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CATS 1, KIDS 0 - Paypal halts gift exchange for disadvantaged children


Fairy Queen
Apr 14, 2010
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“You can raise money to help your sick cat, for example, but not poor people.” - Paypal Representative

As you know, we have been trying to buy Christmas presents for kids in the Regretsy community.

We took many applications, vetted them carefully and set about creating a giant gift exchange program, where you could buy a gift for the over 200 children we’re helping.

We raised so much money that we found ourselves in a position of not just being able to send toys, but to send a monetary gift to the families as well. We hoped it might help them make their holiday dinners more special, or maybe pay a pressing bill.


Apparently we made the mistake of using the “Donate” button, which Paypal is now claiming is only for nonprofit organizations to use. They froze the account, which also includes Zazzle money that we use to make emergency gifts. That money isn’t in issue, but what the hell! Might as well keep everything!

So last night, I decided to go about this a different way. Since these toys are already purchased, I decided to offer them up for sale on this site, just like any other retailer would. You could buy them according to what you wanted to spend, and we would send them on to the recipient of your gift, just like any other retailer.


After a very long and jaw-dropping conversation with an incredibly condescending representative, they have decided that I must refund all the donations and purchases that have not been processed. If you don’t get a refund, it’s because we got your money before they got smart and kept us from helping children at Christmas, which is really the best move any corporation can make.

Source and, in case any of you may wish to have a look at it, the petition against Paypal to bring this to their attention.

Now, I am aware that there's red tape in situations such as the above and I would appreciate a more unbiased source, but so far I personally am pretty annoyed that Paypal is being so unmoving in putting that above a good cause and it makes me wonder where (or even if) goodwill comes in when companies are covering their backs. From what I can gather this person was told he could not use the Donate button any more and so switched to selling the gifts to be donated, making Paypal suspicious. But at this time of year when we could all use a bit of that giving spirit should Paypal really remain so unmoving in refusing to compromise? Where does protocol stop and common sense/decency begin in these situations?
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The paypal is a nonprofit organizations because they are sending gifts to disadvantaged children
Disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful. The content of that post just says it all for me. I now have absolutely no understanding or sympathy for Paypal and I hope there is the kind of backlash this deserves, but that just won't happen if we all continue to use their service and do not complain.

Still, thank you for providing that link, Satoshi-kun. It's definitely a valuable insight.
Wait... so what did Paypal do wrong again?

What is the Registry community? What exactly is going on? If I were paypal, I'd be suspicious as well. All of this said, if they froze this organizations account then there should be ways for them to petition their position to paypal. The Holidays is the time when most scamming occurs. I think just because you know you have good intentions doesn't make it enough for everyone to believe as such.
Update: PayPal says 'our bad' on Regretsy charity scandal

As the growing rift between the haves and have-nots casts a Dickensian atmosphere this holiday season, could it be that PayPal recently received visits by three ghosts, and maybe even its dead money-changing partner, Jacob Marley?

Tuesday morning, the Internet raged at reports that the online payment service didn't just shut down a charity drive headed by Regretsy, an insanely popular satire site that pokes fun at the insanely popular craft marketplace site Etsy.

According to Regretsy founder April Winchell (who writes as "Helen Killer"), PayPal claimed Regretsy must return the money to donors — even though many of the charity drive gifts had been purchased — while PayPal kept a portion of that well-meaning dough as processing fees. Oh, and PayPal's handling of the whole Regretsy affair? The stuff of ghost stories.

With a seemingly Scrooge-tastic change of heart however, PayPal is now telling Digital Life, other media outlets and its customers that that it has released the funds donated to Regretsy, is making an additional donation to Regretsy to help family needs, and as such, is "working directly with the account holder on this matter." It even posted an apology on its blog.

The only person PayPayisn't saying "my bad" to, it seems, is Winchell.

"Paypal has issued a statement saying they have made a donation and they are working with me, but I have not spoken to anyone yet. I will let you know when I do," Winchell posted on Regretsy. Digital Life reached out to Winchell and we'll update this story when we hear back, but it seems PayPal made the only possible move in this epic tale of awful customer service.

Chronicling the charity drive debacle in increasingly (and many agree, appropriately angry) posts, Winchell stops short on sharing whether PayPal originally suggested prisons or union workhouses for Regretsy's charity drive recipients — 200 hundred families in the Regretsy community "who might not get much otherwise."
That... This... I, uh...
I really wish PayPal weren't so stinking prevalent.
That way, I could get away with not using it.
Please note: The thread is from 12 years ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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