Paul Butzi |||

Paypal And Acceptable Use Policies

There’s been a brouhaha recently about Paypal’s revisions to its acceptable use policy. In brief, the new policy allowed Paypal to fine users who expressed views that Paypal didn’t like by simply taking US $2500 directly from that user’s account.

The resulting hue and cry caused something of an exodus of Paypal users, and their stock price dove from ~$98/share to ~81/share.

And so Paypal backpedaled rapidly, saying they didn’t mean it, it was All A Big Mistake. Cynic that I am, I’m doubtful it was All A Big Mistake except in the sense that Paypal thought they could get away with it, and discovered they couldn’t.

But apparently the acceptable use policy still has this If you do something we don’t like we’ll just fine you $2500” stuff in there, just with the term disinformation’ withdrawn.

So this morning I went to read the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy for myself, to sort out exactly what they were up to. Lo and behold, clicking on the Acceptable Use Policy’ link on PayPal gets me a Sorry. We were not able to process your request. Please try again later.” page. Hmm. When you go to a companies Acceptable Use Policy page, or their User Agreement page, and you get… sorry, we can’t show this important legal document to you” there are a slew of reasons that might happen, but the most likely ones are that they’ve been caught doing something shady and are scrabbling for a response which doesn’t make them look really really REALLY bad, and they are having a hard time coming up with anything.

This got my opinion of Paypal downrated from I’m not completely comfortable with this company” to I will no longer do business with this company.”

All this is annoying as all get out, because a great many amateur radio related small businesses use PayPal exclusively for their e-commerce arrangements, and not using PayPal will make doing business with those small vendors a real pain in the ass.

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