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The Almighty Buck News

PayPal Preparing To Address Frozen Funds Policy 175

First time accepted submitter skywire writes "After years of forcing innocent customers to navigate a Kafkaesque process to unfreeze their funds, PayPal has announced that they are preparing major changes to alleviate the pain. From the article: 'The company routinely freezes funds for 21 days if it thinks there's a fraud risk, and its terms give it the right to extend the freeze for up to 180 days. To get access to their money, users are often asked to provide the kind of documentation that a product seller would have, like several months' worth of sales records. But if you're running a fundraiser or selling tickets to an upcoming conference, you don't have that paperwork. Even for those with extensive paper trails, the appeals process can take months to resolve. The Web is filled with enraged blog posts, websites like, and a Tumblr called "Conferences Burned by PayPal."'"
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PayPal Preparing To Address Frozen Funds Policy

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  • invisible hand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:38PM (#42651699)

    It's pretty mind-boggling that nobody has come along and eaten Paypal's lunch yet. For all the internet-era services (most?) that based their business model on merely having the most active accounts and got burned, there are a couple for which that strategy seems to be a winner. Facebook is another one. There's no reason to use either of these services other than the fact that everyone else does - and in fact, there are lots of reasons not to (i.e. the services themselves are ass, and are run in a way that's at times abusive to their userbase).

    And yet, despite the fact that there's nothing preventing competitors from springing up (unlike, say, Ticketmaster - which actively uses payola to monopolize the market) - and despite the fact that some with very deep pockets (Google) have tried - Paypal & Facebook still dominate.

    Maybe it's luck? At some point someone will set up a competing service that just happens to ensnare the particular, unmarked, and unrelated 5% group of "tastemakers" who are sufficient to catalyze a shift away to a new service?

  • Re:Too Late (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:40PM (#42651727)

    Credit card policies are not very different

    Most of the sellers I read about we're just dumb

  • by cualexander ( 576700 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:45PM (#42651761)
    PayPal once froze my account. I didn't realize how much they take those comments seriously and several years ago I sent some money to my wife with PayPal and put "For Sexual Favors" in the memo box, just kidding around, the way people would do on checks back in the day. Well, apparently PayPal thought I was actually paying for sex with PayPal and froze the funds. After I called them and explained the situation though, they quickly released the funds.
  • Too little too late (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mephistophocles ( 930357 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:45PM (#42651765) Homepage
    Yep, don't care. They lost me 2 years ago and short of their entire executive team kissing my bare ass on national TV, there's no way in hell I'm ever going back. Doing business with them was exactly like being raped.
  • Re:Too Late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:59PM (#42651859)
    But the credit card companies don't abuse their policy. Most are banks, and have some regulation. PayPal is a non-bank banking institution, and that's why they are evil (well, one reason of many).
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Monday January 21, 2013 @07:41PM (#42652233) Homepage Journal

    For commercial seller Amazon seems to be the vastly superior service.

    This is true for commercial sellers. But for sellers who don't pay $40 per month for a store, Amazon hits them with a $1 per item commission in addition to the final value fee. And items without a UPC/EAN or ISBN can't be sold at all.

  • Re:Too Late (Score:5, Interesting)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @07:43PM (#42652245)

    None of these has really garnered much marketshare, despite Paypal's evils. Although an interesting payments model, its customer service is an oxymoron. When you've got auction funds tied up from eBay, or there's a question to your business model, they shoot their clientele first, look for blood, and allow questions to be asked later.

    If the US banking laws were real (I know, another oxymoron), Paypal would have the teeth of a hundred US DAs in their leg, gnawing viciously. But they're seemingly exempt, as are all the big financial houses.

  • Re:In Germany (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mapsjanhere ( 1130359 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @07:54PM (#42652325)
    The embargo on Cuba dates back to the nationalization of US property in Cuba by Castro (think Bacardi). What's actually forbidden is the transfer of US funds to Cuba, which is why Paypal, as a US company subject to that rule, gets antsy if people use their service to pay for Cuban goods. They would have to trace every transaction involving the German cigar seller for any US based funds, and that would be a huge nightmare. Easier for them to just block the whole transaction
  • by ub3r n3u7r4l1st ( 1388939 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:12PM (#42653501)

    Now about time for someone to actually challenge eBay. eBid, uBid etc. never gain steam. We need an auction site that takes all sorts of payment methods, including enabling established sellers to accept non-recoursable payment methods like Western Union, Bitcoins etc. to increase liquidity.

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer