can’t believe paypal continues to be like it is. how is this not considered fraudulent

anyway paypal is fine if you want to send another american us dollars, but you should more or less never accept payment through paypal. you will regret it

paypal is extremely opaque about the fees that it charges. and once they’ve charged a fee, there’s more or less no way to undo it. if you immediately ‘refund’ such a transaction, it actually means you’re giving back the money you received *and* paying the fee paypal charged.

they have two payment options – one of which is free and offers no ‘protection’ and the other of which is not and offers their ‘purchase protection’. you can instruct someone to send via the free option but there’s no guarantee they’re going to listen, or that they’re going to parse the options correctly even if they do, at which point there’s already money down the drain in the form of a fee and it’s just a question of who eats it.

this is what the page to pick looks like (gotta love that mobile first design):


here it says you might be eligible for purchase protection, and the ‘seller’ is going to pay a fee, but it doesn’t really explain what any of that means, or how much it will be.

this is bad, because a lot of people will decide they might as well be protected, right? since it’s free. but the program is relatively picky and a lot of the times people use it it does not actually apply. but it gets worse. let’s say I’m sending $150 by paypal to my business partner:


it says right there BigNuts is going to get $150. he’s not. maybe in paypal’s accounting he gets the full amount and then pays the fee, but in practice he is never going to see the full amount. if Mr. McLug is in the US, he’s going to lose $4.35 on this.

but it gets worse if he’s international, as the fee gets jacked up – he’s going to lose $6.60 plus some change in whatever currency it’s going into. and the messaging gets much more confusing!

paypal still pretends there’s no fee for a goods & services transaction, but if you send via the lower cost option, it shows you the currency conversion charge up front.

if you’re sending $1000, the currency conversion charge is $5. if you’re sending goods and services, it’s $44 but to the sender it looks like $0.

so paypal is basically conning people into creating these fees in exchange for what is often a nonexistent guarantee. ok, what else?

well, paypal tries to bill itself as a ‘safe’ way to receive money over the internet, but it’s not actually better than anything else. it’s still part of the financial system.

if someone pays you via paypal, you still need to do all the work of verifying that they’re a real person and not scamming you, because there is no protection. if the payment paypal received gets revoked or marked as fraudulent, guess who’s covering it. you!

this is a pretty common move for scammers, because I guess people trust paypal and think they can actually trust payments they receive by it. but if you want to take money from someone you don’t trust, you basically need to do cash or bitcoin or something like that.

now, payment processors are famous for this sort of shit. and if you’re a merchant, you might write it off as the cost of doing business. the frauds will be amortized to an acceptable cost over your whole volume of transactions.

but if you’re just some person doing a one off transaction, this is much less true. and paypal makes this deliberately more confusing instead of being transparent.

This, and also:

Did you know there’s an arms race going on between [Canadian freelancers who get paid in USD] and Paypal, where Canadians try to withdraw into USD-denominated bank accounts (to avoid Paypal’s terrible exchange rates, and perhaps use the USD directly) and Paypal tries to stop them?

Last I heard, Paypal was winning. (edit: apparently the Canadians have struck back, but the method they’re using these days costs $4/month, so even if you can get it working it’s only worth it for sufficiently high volumes. [link])

(And God help you if you want to *send* an American money: even if you have the USD lying around because you weren’t allowed to withdraw it at a reasonable exchange rate, a USD$3 flat fee is huge when you’re only dealing with a few dollars at a time.)


#adventures in human capitalism #reply via reblog #PSA #our home and cherished land #home of the brave

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