Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PayPal: The New Grinch Who Stole Regretsy's Christmas

Goodness me... I use PayPal for business invoices, but I'm not sure I'm going to do that anymore after reading this. I've never been a huge fan of Regretsy's April Winchell, mainly because of her opinions regarding certain elements of weddings, but I am a fan of giving toys to needy kids at Christmas. Which is what Winchell set out to do.

paypal regretsy

Her one mistake? Using PayPal to collect the funds - oh, and apparently using the donate button. The same donate button utilized by many non-nonprofit bloggers to raise a little dough. And correcting the problem was, according to the PayPal rep, also a problem. Maybe because the amount Winchell collected was too big... maybe because she used the donate button... maybe maybe maybe.

The PayPal representative who Winchell spoke to seemed pretty unclear on the company's policies.

"You can use the donate button to raise money for a sick cat, but not poor people."

LOL WUT?

Since I love a good mob and I'm not a big fan of anyone who wants to get between people who want to give poor kids toys on Christmas and the poor kids themselves, I'm currently participating in the scene on PayPal's official Facebook page. I emailed PayPal's PR reps, since they ought to know that the company has committed a pretty big public relations faux pas. And now I am monitoring the news to see whether PayPal - a pretty mediocre company overall - is going to issue an official statement apologizing for their Christmas grinchery.

Oh, and my biggest issue? PayPal made money on the whole thing... twice. See a rundown at the bottom of this piece. And this is a good review of PayPal's own terms of service - which appear to have no problem with a non-nonprofit collecting donations.

UPDATE as of Dec. 6

11 comments:

  1. As many times as I've seen PayPal engage in really shady other-people's-money-yoinking activity, I'm just plain amazed that no one's ever prosecuted them for theft or fraud. Seems like they've been begging for it for ages.

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  2. I think maybe it's easier to overlook when it's grownups, but taking toys out of the hands of needy kids and money out of the hands of their parents (since there was to be a $ donation, too) is major bad PR.

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  3. This is so sad. :(

    I added you to my post!!

    http://randomosityblog.com/2011/12/paypal-sucks.html

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  4. I appreciate the link, Sadie! I figure the more we do to spread the word, the more pressure there will be on PayPal to apologize and reverse things.

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  5. At first I thought your post read Newt Gingrich Stole Christmas...maybe another post for another day?

    I am often conflicted about Paypal. On on hand it's so easy and convenient, but then I hear about stuff like this and I cringe

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  6. It's super messed up, but my thinking is that enough people move to one of PayPal's competitors, that will become well-known and just as convenient. Problem solved!

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  7. Christa,

    Found your blog through posts on Business Insider. I just wanted to piggyback off your sentiment about alternatives.

    The company I work for, Z2Systems, is offering Regretsy a free CRM database that can not only process donations for her but help with future campaigns.

    We're also offering all charities associated with Regretsy 15% for signing up with us and six months of free group training.

    Just trying to make sure she knows about this option! Thanks for your work on spreading the word about PayPal.

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  8. I've been reading about this too...insane...

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  9. What?! This is sooo messed up!

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  10. Hi... thanks for the visit for our SITS day! Hope you found some party foods to give a try this Christmas season! Come back and let us know if you do... we love to hear feedback on the recipes, positive or "constructive"...

    Wow, this is really something but it looks like the word got out about the situation, which is good. Businesses do need to be held accountable but the only way that will happen is if we, as the consumers, speak out when necessary and raise awareness to other consumers that there is a problem, which it looks like you helped do in this situation!! Good for you. :)

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