Paypal Can’t Get Out of Its Own Way

December 6, 2011; Source: Forbes | On December 4 last year, Paypal was embroiled in a dispute with Wikileaks—withholding donations that had been made to them and basing the withholding on the fact that the state department had declared Wikileaks illegal—which, of course, was not at all true. This year, in apparent celebration of the anniversary of that event, Paypal informed another customer, Regretsy, that they wanted previous donations that they had already passed along to the organization back because the group was not a 501(c)(3). Regretsy, described here as a “snarky humor site,” has been raising donations for needy children at Christmas. Never mind that Paypal’s own guidelines do not require that they be. Regretsy wrote about the incident in a blog titled “F— you, Paypal”. At the same time, Paypal’s guidelines are clear about the fact that they will retain all fees associated with donations. This kind of arbitrary action on accounts has caused members of the hacker group Anonymous to call for a boycott on Paypal and urge groups to seek alternatives. Here are some: WePay, Skrill, Ukash, Dwolla, Amazon Payments, Google Checkout, and the decentralized crypto-currency Bitcoin.—Ruth McCambridge