ATTENTION: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED HAS RECEIVED ALL MONIES OWED TO US BY PAYPAL. THERE IS NO NEED TO NARASS THEM WITH FURTHER EMAILS. THANK YOU.

THE PAYPAL SAGA! - THE STORY HAS A HAPPY (SORT OF) ENDING

PART 1: THE INITIATING EVENT

3/31/03 PAYPAL IN VIOLATION OF USAPATRIOT ACT!

HOW IT ALL STARTED: PAYPAL CLOSES WHAT REALLY HAPPENED ACCOUNT!

Received from PayPal...

 

As you know, the PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any reason. We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed. Your funds will be held for 180 days from the date of the last transaction on the account. After 180 days have expired, we will refund your funds by mailing a check to the address linked to your account.

Sincerely,
Merchant Risk Department

 

PART 2: MY RESPONSE

Now, as an experiment, type the words "PayPal" and "Porno" into any search engine. I used Google and got a list of hundreds of pornography web sites that PayPal does not seem to have any qualms about doing business with!

Note also that PayPal is going to hold onto the funds YOU have already donated for almost 6 months before turning them over to us.

Direct email to customercare@paypal.com

 

PART 3: THE PUBLIC REACTION

3/12/03 PayPal: oui au sexe, non à la paix… The Paypal story gets picked up in the French-Canadian media!

3/11/03 DoNotUsePaypal

3/11/03 PayPal Warning This web site claims PayPal is currently being investigated by regulatory authorities in three states!

3/11/03 Pay Pal wall of shame!

3/11/03 PayPal problems Check out the class action suits against PayPal at left.

3/11/03 PayPal hit by class-action suit Company has a history of problems.

3/11/03 Welcome to the PayPal Fraud & Complaint Forum!

3/11/03 Consumer Alert: PayPal's Problems I honestly had no idea that PayPal had these kinds of problems. I apologize to those readers who tried to warn me; I should have listened. I find it curious that, given the sheer scale of the allegations against PayPal, that the mainstream media have missed what should be an important story.

3/11/03 PayPal Lawsuit - anyone else having problems?

3/11/03 PayPal and eBay in trouble already

3/11/03 www.paypalsucks.com I guess I am not the first...

3/12/03 Our fifteen minutes...

3/12/03 Fifteen minutes of fame, part 2!

3/12/03 PAYPAL PORN PROMOTES PEDOPHILIA

3/12/03 Suit Claims PayPal Not Your Friend

3/12/03 WARNING - PAYPAL GOING UNDER - FREEZING ACCOUNTS

3/12/03 Our fifteen minutes, part 3... "Ironically, linking death to war seems to be taboo at a time when the connection should be on the top of our minds. "

3/12/03 Remember that "privacy" PayPal says they are so worried about...

3/12/03 WARNING: SCAM ALERT INVOLVING (BUT NOT CAUSED BY) PAYPAL!

3/13/03 PayPal Adds 'Acceptable Use' Policy to User Agreement A sudden shuffle of the rules?

Re: PayPal's form letters

I fail to see how this answers my questions, lol. If you notice, I explicitly state that I care not a damn for the privacy policy, and they write back to inform me of changes made to their TOS. What gets me is that according to this, you should have at least been given a warning...

There was no warning. And, as far as I can see, there is nothing about my site that violates their usage policies either before or after the changes made yesterday.

I don't think PayPal (or I) understood just how much hostility to PayPal is out there!

We did a lot of research before selecting out online payments system. No doubt you got suggestions on this, but we found that it was difficult to find an online payments system which was cheap AND reliable. even more difficult is finding one which provides a donations system. We use it for out Uganda aid section of GuluFuture.org -- the humanitarian side to our alternative news site.

You can see it from a donators perspective here:

http://www.gulufuture.com/donate_small_or_large.htm

Enter a dollar amount and be sure to back out before actually donating !

The service provider we suggest to you is http://www.2checkout.com

Note there is no referrer id in that clickable!

We have no financial angle on this.

i'm working with the french daily news online www.01net.com I've heard about you problems with PayPal. And i'd like to know a bit more about it. First of al, did PayPal give you an explanation for banish your site? What is your personal analyse of the situation? When will you recover your account ? What is the amount of your account ? What is Whatreallyhapened.com ?

I don't know exactly how Pay-pal works, but whatever they do there is an alternative system of electronic, instaneuous gold based payments. Just open an account with www.e-bullion.com or some other gold based payment system like Gold Money. I think this is the wave of the future and hopefully it will replace rip-off credit cards and pay pals.

You can do a search on google for anything involving politics, hate, jews, iraq, israel, AND PAYPAL. Sure your site is much more important than all of these, but it goes to show the hipocricy of paypal and their risk assesment dept. This is just the tip of the iceberg....:::

http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/rnb/archives/00000679.html

http://www.why-war.com/index.shtml (then click on Join/Donate)

http://www.notinourname.net/~orders/

http://www.conspiracypenpal.com/columns/day4.htm (donate button here, not on home page)

http://www.churchofsatan.org/membership.html

http://www.arteto.com/anti-war.htm

http://www.anti-state.com/article.php?article_id=157

http://www.fringefolk.com/shop.html

http://www.geocities.com/dearkandb/linkstext.html

http://www.factnet.org/index.html?FACTNet

http://www.inner-meditation.org/support.htm

...and countless others...

Mike, I'm really disappointed because I specifically warned you about PayPal's policy of freezing accounts willy-nilly. I even suggested that you regularly withdraw your donations into a separate checking account dedicated to your PayPal transactions. I'm especially pissed off because some of the money they have 'frozen' was donated by me. Grrr.

Here's the letter. Short and sweet:

To whom it concerns:

I have been informed by the recepient that my payment of $30.00 (detailed below) has been frozen by your company for a period of six months. Would you please explain why the recepient will have to wait until September to get the money I sent.

Earlier today, I closed my PayPal account as a direct result of your actions. Please note that I am no longer in a position to accept bids from PayPal account holders on my eBay auctions.

Sincerely,
XXXXX XXXXXXX

Yes, you warned me, as did many others, and I should have paid more attention.

This is rich!! I'm not even a member of their stupid setup. I merely sent e-mail in support of your site and in disapproval of what they did to you.

I think so many people have dropped their service that they are now in "kiss-up, damage control mode"

As a note of support for you and because of a newly found sense of disrespect for PayPal, I have closed my account.

I closed my account after receiving a generic "privacy policy" response to a message I first sent them warning that I would close my account if they did not reinstate your account or explain why it was closed.

I received the first standard Paypal response about privacy; but today, I received the following. The weird thing about this is - I don't even have a Paypal account.

Dear PayPal Member,

On 03/11/03, I sent you an email regarding your PayPal account. As part of PayPal's commitment to excellence, I want to make sure I met your needs in my response. Would you please take a minute to answer a few questions to let me know how I did?

A few people report getting these "we care" messages.

I just wanted to write and let you know of a positive side of this whole thing, (for me at least).

After reading the account cancellation notice from PayPal, I too, for obvious reasons was outraged and promptly cancelled my PayPal account. I had a whopping $2.00 in there too!!!!! Anyway, I have been trying to get my friends and business associates to visit your website to counterbalance the propaganda from CNN. Well, I've finally done it!! You see, I simply mail them the PayPal letter with no comments other than, "see why they cancelled WRH for yourself". Out of curiosity they go to your website. How wonderful! More informed electorates!!! I can finally have conversations with people I otherwise couldn't talk to about "what's really happening". If PayPal had not of cancelled your account, my business associates and friends would remain ignorant! Thanks PayPal!!! I couldn't have gotten them to WRH without you!! I also know many of them will cancel their accounts with PayPal as well.

Be of good cheer Mike! Many people who otherwise would never have heard of your website, now will, an that's a good thing indeed!!

No question about it, this story has increased the readership.

In view of the pontentially diminishing revenues of PayPal, you might be able to get your monies quicker through put options. The effect of put will effectively drive down the value even more.

here are a few sites that sell hardware/software ...sole purpose is to steal DTV ...in clear violation of the DMCA...a federal offense and accept PAYPAL

all i did was a google search ..hu + paypal...these three sites are just the tip of the ice berg

http://www.walldone.ca/contactinfort.htm (AKA get dss free.com)

http://www.dsscove.com/paypal.asp

http://www.private3ms.com/page44.html

http://www.cosmicdss.com/products/accessories.html

PayPal,

Thank you for the past use of your services. I have closed my account effective today, March 12, 2003.

I have removed or changed my checking account information, credit card information, address and phone numbers using your system prior to closing my account. But as a software developer I know that this does not permanently remove these data from your system(s).

Please remove all information about my account from your live, semi-live, backup and archived data storage, except that which is required by law for you to maintain (if any.)

Due to the recent actions by your company, and pending lawsuits and regulatory action against your company, I have lost confidence that PayPal looks out for the best interests of its customers and henceforth promise not to use PayPal again for any reason.

Sincerely,

Hello Paypal,

Due to the fact that you have assisted in defrauding our company out of $250 and then turn around and close the account of whatreallyhappened.com and are holding their funds hostage for 180 days we are now no longer accepting payments through paypal. We are no longer holding auctions on ebay, and we are no longer selling on half.com.

We feel your company is corrupted beyond return and your practices are not acceptable.

You have just lost the business of one of the biggest hosting companies in the USA and our 50+ hosting websites will not be accepting payments from paypal.

We will also be notifying/warning, our clients and their 10,000+ websites that paypal is acting in a fraudulent manner.

We will make you feel the burn along with the 1000's of others who will now boycott your company because of this. May your company rot from the inside out...

Thank you for your absolutely excellent communication and customer service... NOT!

Sincerely,

3/12/03 Our fifteen minutes... I don't know what the person who started this PayPal mess hoped to accomplish with this stunt, but what they have actually done is make this web site better known than ever before.

People with the mentality that would do this, are essentially not very bright. It's the "thug" mentality. That's why they call them "thugs" :-)

(I sent a Really Nasty email to them) :-)

Dear Merchant Risk Department,

Regarding your suspension of the account connected with Whatreallyhappened.com... Well, I will save plenty of time here... and the words that would fill it.

I am a web designer who will no longer be doing any business with you or your company, for myself or ANY of my clients.

Preach on... and so shall we all...

have been a PayPal user since December 2002. The last time I used PayPal was just this afternoon. That is, before I read something that I found extremely disturbing.

What I read was a letter written by one of your staff regarding the cancellation of a pro-peace, anti-war website. No explanation was given for the cancellation. Below is a copy of this letter.

I understand that businesses such as yourself post their user policy as a disclaimer to protect you from legal liability. That is all well and good. But are such disclaimers truly helpful if they are misused by management and result in outraging customers? If enough are outraged, how does the said disclaimer protect you from bankruptcy when your customers turn to say, "iBill.com"?

It matters little how your disclaimer reads, if you expect to retain your users you cannot engage in arbitrary cancellations of websites which someone in upper management decides to have a hissy-fit about.

It is particularly ironic when so many of the websites you cater to are pornographic in nature (not that I have anything against them, mind you) whose content these same managers do not find distressing. Some policy.You can reserve the right all you want, but people like me (and the majority of other fair-minded users) get really pissed-off.

The most outrageous thing of all, is that you keep their money (which was donated by people like me to help them continue their peaceful work) for six months before "deciding" to give it back!

My question is this, do you pay them the going rate in interest at the end of the six months? If not, then policy or not, what you are doing is stealing. And that too tends to piss-off your average PayPal user.

The website in question may be too small to fight back, but I for one will no longer use your service.

Neither will anyone else on my mailing list when I forward them this letter. Neither will the vast majority of the people in the peace community who, as we speak, are deciding to boycott your service whether or not your reinstate this account.

As a college student, I know tons of people who use your service via e-bay, I predict that most of them will drop you as a result of this. When I forward this letter to them, I'll include a request that they send a short email to e-bay asking them to refrain from using your service. I will make a similar request at the various bulletin boards around campus where I will also post this letter. Fifty photocopies at the library at ten cents a piece, strategically placed, has the potential of reaching most of the ninety-thousand students who attend the University of MN's Twin Cities three campuses.

Sincerely,

I am not a lawyer, but:

I have been corresponding with Paypal.com, and I think that unless they specially identify which point of the agreement your site is in violation of, that you can reasonably collect damages (lost interest income, lost donations, costs associated with finding another payment gateway, etc) from their withholding of money.

I suspect that PayPal.com views WRH as a "hate" website. In which case, it may even be argued that their action is retaliatory.

Whatever their reasons, it has backfired. The story is being picked up by alternative media around the planet and the hits at my server have gone through the roof!

I am writing to inform you that, because of the injust closure of the account for the web site whatreallyhappened.com, I will no longer be using your service.

Is this an autoresponder or are they at paypal real stoopid? or what?

--------------------------------------------------- --- "customercare@paypal.com"
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 03:14:27 -0800
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Subject: Re: whatreallyhappened.com
(KMM27642005V67374L0KM)
From: "customercare@paypal.com"
Dear XXX,

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate that account. I tried numerous time in order to answer your question but I wasn't able to bring up an account under whatreallyhappened.com. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Sincerely, XXXXXXXXXXX PayPal Customer Service

It looks like PayPal's response (I don't have room to post all the emails I am getting on this, sorry) has devolved to form emails stating that their privacy rules forbid discussing the subject. Given that I have posted their original email to me, it is only PayPal's privacy that appears to be at issue. But this is the first I have heard that my account has vanished! Ah well, as another reader pointed out, it isn't important relative to stopping this war. There wasn't a lot of money involved, and I am not interested in ever doing business with PayPal again. However, there is a clear need for some consumer advocacy here and PayPal is getting their own permanent page at this site, with links to the various lawsuits and investigations underway.

XXXXXX(woman's name),

Thank you for the fast response, I have already closed the account in question. What I could not do is remove all refernece to my financial info before I did it. If there is anyway for you to do so I kindly ask that you do it for me as I no longer have acess to that account.

On a off note. XXXXXX, a woman...... Dont you find it strange that the company you work for will close a news related websites account but not ones related to Porn? Just curious, you know, you as a woman who is to be respected what do you think of this? When a guy leers at you funny (you know what I mean) or makes one of those comments dont you kind of feel complicite in that even though you might not like it? I dont expect a answer or response but know for sure Im just mildly curious.

You probably know they shut down my business account and falsely accused me of advocating abortion doctors be killed.

There has to be some kind of Constitutional overtones to their action. They are definitely engaged in restraint of trade, prior restraint censorship. I think they are government actors in that they are doing what they do at the bequest of Congress who asked Internet Service Providers to "police" the Internet.

check out pocketpass,

contributors with paypal accounts can transfer to pocketpass as well.

I DONT HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY YOU ARE PLAYING GAMES?? DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF CAMPAIGNS GOING ON AT PRESENT TO SHUT YOU GUYS DOWN, ABSOLUTLEY LOADS. ALSO, I HEAR OF SOME LAWSUITS AGAINST YOU. COMPANIES LIKE YOURS NEED TO BE DUMPED. GOOD RIDENCE.

-----Original Message-----
From: customercare@paypal.com [mailto:customercare@paypal.com]
Sent: 12 March 2003 14:39
To: XXXXXXXXXXX
Subject: Re: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON (KMM27647924V79841L0KM)

[Usual PayPal form response]

Paypal also does business with people who sell pirated softawre over the internet using Hotline, Pitbull and Carracho peer-to-peer software. In order to get an access login and password you must first buy thru paypal.

I have sent info concerning them as a conduit for illegal trading in software to Adobe, Apple and Microsoft

Strange set of "ethics" these people have!

I thought you might find this interesting. I too voiced concern over the closing of your paypal account (original message at the bottom of this page), and this is their reply. I think they want to avoid the issue, and make it difficult to be addressed by consumers by by making them use their web-site to ask questions.

PayPal has stopped replying to the complaints and is simply sending out a form email claiming that their privacy rules prevent discussing the case.

The account closing, however, are sending a message that is a bit harder to ignore as word leaks out to the stockholders!

Hadn't used it in over a year, but their treatment of your website prompted me to officially close my acct.

Thanks.

Please be informed that because of your repression of freedom of speech & the position you have taken regarding the web site whatreallyhappened.com I have *closed my Pay Pal account. I am giving serious thought to closing my ebay account, as well, due to ebay’s disdain for it’s users (customers!) rights of privacy. How appalling that you are aligned with vile, pornographic sites ~ but shun the business of one of the internet's finest independent news sources! American voting booths may be rigged, but I can still vote with my wallet. I vote NO on PayPal.

Regarding: Merchant Risk Department obvious discrimination of free speech i.e. website: whatreallyhappened.com

To whom is may concern:

I am astounded at your audacity to shut down Michael Rivero's website! whatreallyhappened.com is a wonderfully informative site of published articles. There is absolutely nothing wrong or questionable about Mr. Rivero's website. It may be debatable, but that's the beauty of living in a free country that still honors our 1st Amendment rights!

I find it questionable that you list many porno sites, and yet, hypocritically shut down whatreallyhappened! I did a simple research using Google and came up with this: http://aolsearch.aol.com/aol/search?query=paypal+porno

I think your promoting porno more unacceptable than the published articles you'll find on whatreallyhappened, and I'll be sure to point this fact out to my friends and family. That fact that you are withholding Michael Rivero's funds for 180 days is criminal. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I've done business w/ PayPal several times in the past, but never again! I'm going to tell everybody I know about your shady practices.

As a regular Paypal user, I have to ask............Why have you closed the WhatReallyHappened account? Why are you holding the $10 that I just sent them, for 6 months? This is outrageous. So, Paypal welcomes Porno sites, but not whatreallyhappened.com ? I recommend that you reconsider your action. If this is Paypal's version of fair treatment, then perhaps I need to reconsider my use of the Paypal and Ebay web sites.

Hello Mr. Mike,
This is their reply.

Did they give you any more detail as to why they cancelled WRH's account?

Strange!

----- Original Message -----
From:
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 9:23 PM
Subject: Re: WhatReallyHappened.com (KMM27631872V42771L0KM)

Dear XXXXXXXXXX

Thank you for contacting PayPal.

Due to our Privacy Policy, I am unable to release information regarding another PayPal account.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Sincerely,

No. There has been no explanation given. The actual amount that was still in the account is trivial, and there is no way I will ever do business with them again on First Amendment grounds (not to mention the hypocrisy of finding my site objectionable while doing business with porn sites). However, having learned what I have learned about this company, it is clear that this is an unethical business that does not deserve to be in business, and they have earned a permanent place in the list of problems that need to be dealt with!

I know the whole PayPal fiasco is important to Mike and his efforts.

Unfortunately, they succeeded in silencing everyone for a while, because everyone is busy complaining about this injustice, they have taken your sights off the important issues.

This is typical distraction techniques that I use quite effectively on my nephews and nieces. They are all under 4 years old...it works a treat. It works a treat on adults too.

Don't be fooled, keep your eyes on the target of stopping this war.

They will try to distract you with many different things. They proved that with PayPal.

Focus on your objective of stopping this war, and see it done. Put your blinders on and go flat out.

Good point. We'll get back to them after we stop this war.

I am one of your dedicated readers and have sent an email to the linked email you have to Paypal. In case you were not aware, PayPal is owned and operated by Ebay. Though I know many people who use this web page, I have already suggested people boycott that page as well. It may be worth your time to mention the fact that PayPal is owned and operated by Ebay.

I am extremely dismayed that you have turned off the account of whatreallyhappened.com.

I am aware that PayPal has stifled other "controversial" people and websites before. That you have an interest in promoting this or that cause and making your service a political one is deeply troubling. Furthermore, you have frozen assets that ARE NOT YOURS for a period of six months. That is APPALLING.

You can rest assured that I will do all I can to dissuade people from using your website pointing out the above points and more.

In response to your cancellation the webmaster at whatreallyhappened.com said this: "Now, as an experiment, type the words "PayPal" and "Porno" into any search engine. I used Google and got a list of hundreds of pornography web sites that PayPal does not seem to have any qualms about doing business with!"

Your double standards will ultimately lead to your demise. ITZ COMING.

overthrow.com just got their paypal account pulled too.

Subscribers to the World Affairs Brief.

Be advised that there are many warnings building up about unethical practices at PayPal.com. They have a very nasty habit of freezing accounts for various and sundry reasons and refusing to release funds to you. Their track record on dealing with complaints is bordering on the criminal. Lawsuits are building. Like AOL.com they refuse to deal with any buyers or sellers of guns, and yet do a booming business with pornographers. PayPal and Ebay are joining forces, and thus the inducements are high to pay via PayPal. I admit it is terribly convenient. Here are my recommendations to keep from getting stung.

1. Don't use Paypal to receive funds unless absolutely necessary (as in dealing with an overseas client)

2. Keep the amounts small

3. Withdraw funds immediately upon receipt so you don't build up a balance.

4. READ THE FOLLOWING HORROR STORIES

http://www.paypalwarning.com/ This web site claims PayPal is currently being investigated by regulatory authorities in three states.

PayPal Wall of Shame

http://www.paypalwarning.com/WallOfShame/Default.asp

PayPal Problems

http://www.aboutpaypal.org/

PayPal Hit By Class-Action Suit

http://news.com.com/2100-1017-842240.html

Here’s the letter whatreallyhappened.com just received from PayPal on 3-11-03:

As you know, the PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any reason. We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed. Your funds will be held for 180 days from the date of the last transaction on the account. After 180 days have expired, we will refund your funds by mailing a check to the address linked to your account.

Sincerely,

Merchant Risk Department

whatreallyhappened.com wrote at their web site – Now, as an experiment, type the words "PayPal" and "Porno" into any search engine. I used Google and got a list of hundreds of pornography web sites that PayPal does not seem to have any qualms about doing business with!

Note also that PayPal is going to hold onto the funds YOU have already donated for almost 6 months before turning them over to us.

Direct email to customercare@paypal.com

More PayPal stories:

http://paypalsuit.com/ - PayPal Fraud & Complaint Forum

Consumer Alert: PayPal’s Problems http://www.techimo.com/newsapp/i997.html

http://www.paypalsucks.com

PayPal and eBay in trouble already http://www.silicon.com/news/500022/1/1035021.html

re: I honestly had no idea that PayPal had these kinds of problems. I apologize to those readers who tried to warn me; I should have listened.

Apology accepted, but don't do it again :P

I'm extremely disappointed to see that you have canceled the WhatReallyHappened account. You have that right, but it's enlightening to see how your company's hypocritical discrimination in the way you do business. Incidentally, what's the reason for withholding the funds for 180 days?

in light of your ridiculous action to close the account on whatreallyhappened.com I, as the ownder of www.whatreallyhappened.net have decided to leave voluntarily.

I am a French citizen and regular visitor on your site.....Paypal seems to think you are doing bad things... I would just like to say this:

The Bush administration has led to a lot of Europeans feeling anti-american. This is not because we dislike americans: we just think your government is very sick. The articles posted on WRH allow us to realize that americans do not all support Bush's war, that "there is hope".

In this sense, I would like to stress the positive effect of this site on the worlds opinion of what americans are and want. You help to show that the US is not a sheepish nation, that there are resistant voices, that lies are not being believed. Your site does more to improve the image of America worldwide than anything else, therefore, no one should be calling you anti-patriotic.

Thank you! You are keeping the world united in a way that goes beyond the oil, the WTO, terrorism or any organ of the "fear factory": You promote union through search for the Truth. In such uncertain times, nothing is more valuable than that.

As for Paypal, as we say in smelly cheese frogland (and we do love our cheese, no shame in that!), they are just one of those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

So what did really happen to whatreallyhappened.com, Mr./Ms. Merchant Risk Department? Do you really think paypal has financial control over the internet? I'd just assume mailing $20 in paper currency (whatever that's worth now) rather than giving paypal one cent in service fees! Even before e-bay came along, they were doing just fine without Paypal's services.

We're already working on an alternative, and until then I'll just cover the costs like I used to do. No problem.

http://www.payquake.com/index.htm Here's one that looks like it might be what your looking for, I'm not sure exactly what to look for, you can check everything including the contract here. P.S. I don't think c2it is what you want, I wouldn't trust CitiBank for one thing, I saw some articles that say they have their share of troubles !

I sent this to PayPal:

There has GOT to be some kind of explanation for this:

As you know, the PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to close an account at any time for any reason. We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed. Your funds will be held for 180 days from the date of the last transaction on the account. After 180 days have expired, we will refund your funds by mailing a check to the address linked to your account.

Sincerely, Merchant Risk Department

Even a lie would be better than aboslutely NO explanation. I will suspend doing business with PayPal (which I HAVE done plenty of in the past) until this is resolved. Whatreallyhappened.com is an extraordinary web site with many, many regular readers...........and the power of the boycott will be felt by PayPal if you continue in this manner.

Seeing this garbage from PayPal reminded me that PayPal has been holding funds that someone paid to my company for a purchase LAST YEAR - several hundred dollars. They charged my account 3.99 twice in order to supposedly 'set up' my checking accounts and verify the accout. On numerous occasions, I tried to have them deposit the money into the business account as stated, but they always had a new problem with everything. After fighting with this for several weeks, I sent a letter and got busy with other things. I never heard back from them. Today, after seeing this story, I logged on again, and LO AND BEHOLD!!! When I went to look up my history with them, the particular week these transactions happened were GONE!!! There is no record of them receiving funds from my customer AND my customer has records that these monies were taken out of their account. I cannot get any answer from them, so they got nearly 400.00 in addition to charging my account 3.99 X 4 for their set ups and processing. What I would really like to know is this: Why does EBay use them since EBay seems to have a fairly good reputation and WHO OWNS PAYPAL? Is my money being used in Israel to slaugher people and spy on me? My money is GONE - FLAT OUT GONE!!! Nowhere in the system or history and customer service says, 'well, there is no record of it here...sorry.

To whom it may concern:

In response to your termination of the account for What Really Happened, I am asking you to completely remove my account.

My name is XXXXXXXXXXXX

My email addresses are YYYYYYYY and ZZZZZZZZZ

If you need to verify this request email me back at this address.

I will no longer use your service and I'm urging all my friends and associates to do the same.

sorry for your paypal loss

it actually happens to more people than you would think

PayPal is an internet payment gangster

http://www.paypalsucks.com/

I'd suggest e-gold (www.e-gold.com) or e-bullion (www.e-bullion.com) for your donations

I have just closed my PayPal account. I am seriously considering closing my Ebay and Half.com accounts as well.

I am prompted to do so because you have cancelled the PayPal account of the web site "What Really Happened.com".

What Really Happened.com is one of many alternative news sites that seeks to offset the pro-war propaganda of the mainstream news media. I don't always agree with everything presented, but I feel Mr. Rivero has the right to present his views.

The fact that you would cancel his PayPal privileges, and yet allow sites like "alltheporno.com", "2hotstuds.com" and "totallytitties.com" (to name a few) to use your service smacks of hypocrisy.

It is also predatory, to say the least, that you would hold his funds for 180 days.

The Ebay organization may be number one today, but you will not last very long if you continue with practices such as this.

Thanks for post of Pay Pal info. I was not aware they have so many problems

Me neither. I am chagrined that I did not listen to the readers who tried to warn me.

Last time THAT will happen!

Did Paypal tell you what part of the user agreement they are claiming WRH has broken?

If they do not provide a section# and details about the complaint, then I will most certainly stop using Paypal, and my customers will have to stop using Paypal as well.

There was no warning and no explanation. Just the one email, quoted verbatin on the main page.

There certainly has to be at least one reader of yours that is a lawyer and can scrutinize the policies of Paypal, especially the holding of money from an account of which there is no suspicion of fraudulent activity.

They made it quite clear they have closed your account because of your website and there is nothing in the user agreement that I have read that your website has violated.

"We write to inform you that, after a review of your site, and in accordance with the User Agreement, your account has been closed".

Anyone willing to battle the legalities of this issue?

From what other readers have sent in, they would probably not notice another lawsuit.

you could try using c2it.com for donations. I'd be able to give ya some money using that service.

I have just received word that Pay Pal has notified the owners of the website, whatreallyhappened.com that the account is being closed pursuant to Pay Pal's user agreement.

It was also brought to my attention that Pay Pal actively supports and continues to do business with a numerous so-called Adult or Pornographic websites.

Therefore, in my view, Pay Pal's closing of the whatreallyhappened.com website can only be viewed as a political action geared towards squashing voices of legitimate dissent. If this is correct, I believe the actions of Pay Pal are anti-democratic, anti-capitalist and ANTI-AMERICAN.

Be advised, if you close the whatreallyhappened.com Pay Pal account, I will immediately close my Pay Pal account, and advise my numerous colleagues, friends, family and business associates of the same.

Pay Pal member since 2001

Please be informed that because of your oposition regarding an American's right to freedom of speach and the position you have taken regarding the web site whatreallyhappened.com I would demand that you remove and or close any account that may have reference to me David L. Rodgers with my email account being drodgers@citynet.net and remove or expunge any reference to me or any business I may have conducted using your service in the past.

Be it further known that I will notify any site that I frequent or consider doing business with that I no longer consider your service to be a viable method of payment in that you are no longer a nuetral party only interested in conducting business but have squarely placed yourselves in a tenable position of trying to moderate freedom of speach on the internet.

I regret that you have chosen to align yourselves with every deviant and disgusting opponent of wholesomeness and would prefer that pornography and vile distaste would be your benchmark to success.

Please consider this notification to become effective immediatly.

Mr. Matthew J. Bannick
Chief Executive Officer
Paypal

Dear Mr. Bannick,

It has recently come to my attention that the Paypal account of whatreallyhappened.com has been summarily closed without explanation.

Given the recent attempts of the United States government to suppress the First Amendment rights of Americans and the general atmosphere of government intimidation surrounding critics of recent policy issues regarding Iraq, I find this case extremely interesting in that it would appear your company has been coerced by the U.S. government into closing the above account.

I am also very interested in your corporate policy that allows for a six month freeze on the above account. This leads me to assume that the originator of this cancellation has an express desire to financially damage the client, in addition to other legal issues pertaining to what amounts to a seizure of funds. You must be aware that these funds were donations. I am also curious as to whether the donors have legal recourse against your company. Looks like a class action suit to me.

If this is indeed the case I would like to interview either you or a senior representative of Paypal, at your earliest convenience.

If this is not the case, I would appreciate a detailed explanation for the cancellation for publication.

Robert S. Finnegan

Managing Editor

Southeast Asia News

Jakarta, Indonesia

(62) 0812-847-4848

seanews1@yahoo.com

finnegan@cbn.net.id

PayPal stands FOR censorship. No thought, just knee-jerk reaction. You people should be ashamed. Thieves. Money grubbers. PORNOGRAPHERS. Hot mother daughter action. USE PAYPAL! Barely legal. OKAY WITH PAYPAL. Hot action on the farm. THINK OF PAYPAL. Obviously your censors don't have the intellectual capacity to understand an open and honest political discussion site like whatreallyhappened.com. Just think of the irony- while you "people" have your heads deeply implanted in sand, PAYPAL isn't fit to be buried.

Lots of alternatives out there, aren't there? I am utterly shocked of the attacks on alternative news web sites of late. However, paypal seems to be having it's own problems of late. If you get a new method set up I will be happy to make a donation. You guys are doing a great job. Thanks for all the info- you're a valued source!

I am astonished that you have closed whatreallyhappened.com's account. I donated money to them through another email address that I have. I have an account with paypal on that email address and just want you to know that I will be transferring my funds out and closing the account. I will be sure to sign on with one of your competitors. Also I cant believe that you guys think you have the right to hold other peoples donations for 180 days. This is outrageous. I will never do business with paypal again or will I pay anyone using paypal. Note also that you have no problem accepted money from porn sites but yet you cant support alternative media. This shows me how utterly ignorant you people actually are to your surroundings.

You guys must have your heads way up the administrations backside to close the acct for whatreallyhappened.com. Are you all card carrying members of the TIA snitch program?

Just curious as you all seem to be the worlds purveyor of porn, how can your company sit in judgement of anyone else. Great to penalize free speech but promote smut wherever you can scratch out a dime. You people are sick and I will NEVER have another paypal account and I will continually suggest another service for my clients needs in this area.

Paypalsucks.com appears to be blocked by the widely used corporate internet censor "websense" for "adult content". I viewed the google cache of this while at work and found NO ADULT CONTENT WHATSOEVER. I wonder if Paypal and Websense are owned by the same company..

It's probably the "sucks" that tripped off the filters.

Dear Paypal:

If you plan on holding WhatReallyHappened's money for six (6) months, I sincerely hope you plan on giving them the going rate for accrued interest as well.

Your closing of the site mentioned above has not only given you status of lip sevice to the government, but leads one to believe you are right wing oriented. I do not use PAyPal and at this time never will. You do a disservice to all of America when you stifle freedom an its ability to propagate. We are not a dictatorship yet, but your push brings us closer.

I made a payment this month via PayPal of $20.00. First time I was able to pay you for the great work you're doing. Let me know if you have a mailing address or PO Box, and I'll just forward a monthly payment via BidPay (Western Union Money Order) or thru my regular online billpay service. This is damned stupid.

I agree. We're already looking at alternatives.

http://www.paypalwarning.com/ This is a scam company, the content of your site didn't have anything to do with it, the economy has gone to shit and their stealing your money, they will probably freeze all their accounts and go bankrupt, or something along these lines !

you have closed the account of whatreallyhappened.com Could you provide an explanation? If you are in the process of closing accounts with out reason then I will like to close my account which is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I will no longer be using PayPal to purchase or donate funds. How dare you permit sites that portray images of bestiality to use your services while closing the account and freezing funds of whatreallyhappened.com!

Whose decision was this? Is this an order coming from a government shill? I have alerted several other alternative news sites to immediately stop using PayPal, as I believe that this is a conspiracy to shut down funding of news sites that dare to reveal the truth behind the illegal, immoral, and unConstitutional activities of Herr Ashcroft and company. Furthermore, I have just sent out a mass e-mail to over 100 individuals alerting them of your unethical behavior, suggesting that my friends and family boycott PayPal and Ebay.

I have recently set up an online store on my website and have resisted using your services for payment, instead opting to set up my own collection methods. I found that setting up a merchant account is cheaper and more reliable. My own experience using PayPal to donate to sites has been nothing short of a disaster, and I have read dozens of other horror stories detailing the lies and deceitful behavior of your company. I see I made the right decision.

Why did you close the donation account for whatreallyhappened.com?

According to the information I have been provided, it was closed after a review of the site. What was it about the site that prompted closure of the account used to donate funds to the site? I am really interested in knowing. Here are a few internet sites that PayPal endorses by way of doing business with them...

http://buy.buybestporn.com/old_porn/ ... and another ...

http://buy.buybestporn.com/gay_porn/ ... and another ...

http://www.allteens.com/?adv_id=123808&ref_url=http://www.tuttosessogratis.net/pay.htm&type=3 ... and another ...

http://pornteen.takehost.com/ ... and another ...

http://asianp.takehost.com/ ... and another ...

http://www.persiankitty.com/ ... and another ...

http://www.animal-x.net/ (ooooh, this one's bestiality!!! - That's HUMANS HAVING SEX WITH ANIMALS, in case you forgot. Illegal, in most states and in many parts of the world, I believe.)

Ad Infinitum. Wholesome stuff, really.

Obviously, since I am not affiliated with the website in question or with PayPal, I have no real right to any information in regards to this business agreement, so I don't really expect a response, but...

It appears that PayPal has knuckled under to the "influentials" in the Pro-War camp. I don't believe it would have been the fundamentalist Christian Right putting on the pressure; they don't tolerate pornography.

It seems clear to me who PayPal answers to. The same people screaming "Anti-Semite" every chance they get.

You're not fooling anyone.

P.S. - That's pretty chickenshit to hold donated funds for 6 months. As far as I'm concerned, that's THEFT! You guys are money-grubbing prositutes and I wouldn't do business with you if my life depended on it.

I read recently that you have closed the account linked to Whatreallyhappened.com. While I certainly agree that any business is within its rights to determine whom it will and will not do business with, the idea that political motivations might be the root of your decision is an unpleasant one and is hard to avoid in this situation. Your User Agreement apparently provides for termination of an account "at any time for any reason", but I suspect prudent application of this rule would dictate that it would be used primarily for material which is obscene, illegal, promoting hatred, etc. -- material with which PayPal would understandably prefer not to be associated.

I'm not a current customer of PayPal. Having seen the ease with which you terminate accounts for -- forgive me if I'm leaping to an erroneous conclusion -- espousing political beliefs different from those of your company, I don't plan to do any business with you in the future. I further plan to inform people I know who do currently have accounts with you that those accounts may be in jeopardy simply because their website does not conform to PayPal's presumably-unwritten list of acceptable opinions.

Again, forgive me if I've made a mistake, but I do believe the proprietor of Whatreallyhappened.com is owed an explanation, if not an apology. I am in no way associated with the site beyond being a daily visitor. I don't expect a reply, but I would certainly welcome one.

Why did you close this account? This is an extremely reputable website, one of the best on the internet.

It seems rather that you would deal with enough PORNOGRAPHY cutomers though. Business must be really good for you at the moment huh? Wait til the "recession" hits you... A lot of people will be closing their account due to this.

I understand you are trying to shut down whatreallyhappened.com. If this action is not rescinded, I will have no further dealings with your company; persuade as many others as I can to do the same; and in short cause you as much economic difficulties as possible. This will spread.

As a paying customer of both yours and your parent company, eBay, I am outraged at your completely unfounded and morally despicable closing of the donation PayPal account for the website http://www.whatreallyhappened.com .

I am sincerely contemplating ceasing all future business with both PayPal and eBay as a result of this blatant slap to the face of what the internet should be and is -- namely, an openly democratic exchange of information without fear of censorship or financial blackballing due to content *well* within the realms of legality.

Mr. Rivero performs an invaluable service with his website, which is thoroughly attested to by the massive amounts of traffic it attracts every day, something that necessitated him opening the donation account in the first place, to compensate for the large bandwidth costs that he has thus far paid for out of his own pocket.

I am sure that you understand, from the volume and content of the emails you are receiving regarding this action, that there is no question that the audience for this site are sincere in any and all threats of a boycott in response to such an appalling display of corporate censorship of the open and free exchange of valuable ideas and information.

I assure you that I share this conviction. If your decision to close this account is not overturned within the next several days, I will allow my current activities with both PayPal and eBay to come to a conclusion, at which point I will cease giving you another cent out of my hard-earned money.

I too let paypal know I was closing my account b/c of their action with you. I think, regardless of the rhetoric we ourselves use, terms such as dictatorship, oppression, state run media, etc. etc., I think we still have difficulty believing it really is happening here in America. But it is and may advance faster than we can imagine.

I've been a customer of yours for a little over a year now. But let me get to the point.

I get my news information from What Really Happened.com. I'm a daily reader there and was very disappointed that you have refused them service whilst you do a high volume of business with various pornographic sites. Seems a bit of a double standard considering that you've not listed any reason for cancelling service to them, and the fact that all they do is provide news.

Likewise, thanks also for your service toward me, and as a valued customer, know that I will also be cancelling my ongoing business with you, and contacting the sites and places whom I am a member of and they use you as a pay service, and informing them that this is the reason why i'm cancelling my subscriptions.

I am a bookkeeper and mother who also happens to read information from the website What Really Happened to stay informed about issues going on around the world. I am absolutely furious that you are holding their donations for up to six months and that you have cancelled their account. How can you justify this, yet still have accounts with so many pornographic sites. I am very disappointed and would like a response back from you explaining this. I am also going to contact every single person in my e-mail address book and tell them about this. We will not support you AT ALL until you stop doing ridiculous things like this. It is pathetic!

As a client of yours for over two years I am closing my account with you due to your assault on freedom of speech and your hypocrisy by closing down WhatReallyHappened.com's account. You stole my money that I paid to WhatReallyHappened.Com. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO HOLD MY MONIES FOR SIX MONTHS.

Furthermore, I will advise all of my family, friends, and business associates to close their accounts with your suppressive company as well.

It seems like the height of hypocrisy to close this account for using it's first amendment rights to express it's views, however different they are from the mainstream "media", but it is alright for Pay Pal to be used by hundreds of porno web sites. This definitely reminds me of 'Big Brother" seeking to do anything possible to squelch the growing popularity, and readership of this site

Re: PayPal

Just read the breaking news. Does it even suprise you?

From a company that makes money off of porn, yes.

Gee, right after I read your paypal account was closed, I went to Paypal and closed my account. I let them know it was a direct response to their closing your account and that my boycott goes to Ebay as well.

Thanks.

there appear to be alternatives, http://www.paypalsucks.com/options.shtml

I cant believe it! I just read what you said about Paypal and I sent them an email protesting their actions.

I absolutely love your site and appreciate all the hard work you put into it. I thank you for all your efforts and implore you to continue no matter how difficult things may seem. Its good people like you that may help stave off WWIII.

I am a long time eBay and PayPal user, and I strongly object to your closure of the PayPal account for WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM. I will no longer be shopping on eBay, nor will I use PayPal services until this account is fully reinstated. The WRH site provides links to news and information sources that are covering issues and events that the mainstream media has completely ignored. PayPal seems to have no problem supporting pornography which is supported under our right to free speech - I would ask what your problem with the WRH site is? Are you being pressured by governement agencies to cancel this account? Or, have you taken it upon yourself to decide what constitutes freedom of speech? I have MANY friends and contacts, and will be forwarding this message to each of them to ask that they discontinue use of eBay and PayPal immediately.

eBay sucks too, in my opinion.

I have found your service very useful in the past, but I will need to close out my paypal account and begin advising others to do the same unless you can provide some reason why you have cancelled the account for whatreallyhappened.com and are holding their money hostage for 180 days.

Letter to Paypal:

I have used Paypal extensively for Ebay auction payments for some time now. I am extremely disappointed to hear that you have suspended the Paypal account of the website whatreallyhappened.com, and furthermore, that you intend to hold their funds in limbo for months. I cannot imagine why Paypal would do this to an alternative news website except as a political statement. And if that is the case, it is a statement of a political position I *STRONGLY* disagree with.

Freedom of speech is our most cherished American freedom, and if Paypal will revoke WRH's account, and yet have no moral qualms about other websites that use Paypal (other political sites, porn sites, etc.), it can only be seens as an infeingement on the freedom of speech. And if Paypal will act in such an arbitrary way with regard to WRH's account, and hold the funds for months with no reason, I certainly can not trust Paypal with my money either.

I would like to give Paypal the benefit of the doubt - it is possible there has been some confusion, or perhaps someone made a mistake. However, if this decision is not changed shortly, I will remove my Paypal account permanently, and encourage everyone else I know to do likewise.

Sincerely,

To PayPal

So, you don't mind taking porn money but object to money for anti-war, anti-Zionist information?

I am *strongly* recommending that any new clients do NOT use PayPal and that my existing customers cancel PayPal. Otherwise, in some cases, I may cancel them.

Mike I warned you that they were a dodgy bunch of fucks! You are not the first customer who has had the accounts frozen.

Yes, you did warn me, and so did many others and I am open to suggestions for a replacement.

What is really amazing is that PayPal obviously makes a huge amount of its cash from the porno industry. It's not like they have the moral high ground to sit in judgment on anyone else.

As a frequent Paypal user and recent Paypal contributor to whatreallyhappened.com, ...........I am shocked to learn that you have closed the "What Really Happened" account and confiscated their funds for 6 months. Please tell me that their account has been closed for reasons other than the content of their web site. If not, please explain to me why you believe that Porno web sites are appropriate users of Paypal, while "whatreallyhappened.com" is not. I am in shocked and awe, if you have really attempted to stifle free speech in such a prejudicial way.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX
email: YYYYYYYYYYY Anchorage, Alaska

As a result of PayPal's action against you, I have cancelled my account with them.

Why are you closing down the account of the internet site whatreallyhappened.com?

It is a well-known, well-respected site which links its readers to credible, reliable news sources from around the world.

Paypal should reconsider its decision to terminate its agreement with whatreallyhappened.com and reinstate its agreement at once.

 

PART 4: PAYPAL'S REACTION

BREAKING: PAYPAL CHANGES THEIR MIND!

Dear WRH,

Recently was asked to contact you regarding your PayPal account, however was unable to reach you at the phone number on your account. Please log-in to your account and correct your phone number, which can be done through the Profile tab. Your account has been escalated to a manager for review, and has been restored to full access. We would still like to discuss your account with you, and ask that you reply to this email with a phone number that you can be reached, or that you update the phone number on your account.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXX

PayPal Merchant Review Department

3/14/03 PAYPAL PULLS THE PLUG ON PORN SITES

I think you did great work on fighting the evil sides of PayPal, although you probably did not really mean to, but against all odds, you probably are an 'accidental' hero.

PayPal hopefully will no longer accept payments for doubtful "services" in the porn industry such as accepting payments for entrance to websites showing, or pretending to show, child porn, sex with the modern 'slaves', nl. imported East European or Philippino women, ...

I live in a city where many East European and Asian women, as well as minors, are lured into the sex trade and subjected to abominable abuses, if your stance against PayPal have helped preventing only one dollar going into this trade, you have helped, and I commend you for this.

I am sure your unwilling fight against PayPal has helped at least one person to avoid a fate worse than slavery,...

I appreciate the thought, but this was clearly a group effort. I was surprised at the public reaction, almost as much as PayPal was. So, this was a group effort and a group victory, and indeed I hope it has the result you suggest.

Congratulations on the PayPal climbdown Yeeeehaaah ! The pressure worked !

Looks like you started a Paypal revolution

Looks like it was ready to happen without me.

May I quote a part of PAYPAL's acceptable use policy?

"PayPal may also, in its discretion and out of respect for the families of murder victims, prohibit the use of PayPal to sell items closely associated with individuals notorious for committing murderous acts within the last 100 years, such as personal belongings of criminals, letters or artwork created by such criminals, or novelty items that bear the name or image of the criminal. "

Now if that doesn't describe the Bush family and Poindexter to a "T" I don't know what does!

Did you notice that their section on "Mature Audiences" says that you cannot use PayPal to sell porno unless you list it in eBay's "Mature Audiences" section? What a joke--and a racket.

 

PART 5: MY THANKS

 Under the circumstances, this web site will be setting up alternative arrangements for future donations. I am not interested in having my PayPal account reactivated. However, from the huge number of similar complaints and problems that this company represents a danger to the online public, and there is a clear need for some consumer advocacy here! PayPal is handling too much of other people's money to be operating without legislative oversight.

What Really Happened wishes to thank all the people around the world who made their indignation known to PayPal. While the sheer volume of emails is probably more related to frustration with PayPal than with the specific incident that happened to this site, there can be little doubt that PayPal now recognizes that the online community from which it earns its livings has certain expectations of behavior in those they choose to do business with.

Thank you all very much.

3/17/03 PayPal and What Really Happened still in the news!

 

PART 6: SCAM ALERT INVOLVING BUT NOT CAUSED BY PAYPAL

From the looks of what follows someone has just set up a scam using Paypal's known propensity to block people's accounts as a way to fleece them... someone I know was just sent this piece of spam below. He very nearly filled in the form and pushed the button...

----- Original Message -----
From:
To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 4:49 PM
Subject: confirm that this is your email

Dear paypal® User,

The paypal servers are currently under heavy stress due to unproportional usage of our email services. Thus The paypal Staff has decided to reduce the number of paypal accounts by a huge margin to regain its potential.

All accounts which are currently not under use shall be removed permanently from our web servers.

To confirm that this is your email address, click here or go to this adresse and confirm your paypal account :

http://62.39.122.15/acd-magazine/paypal.html

 

 

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