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PayPal Brings Mobile Payments To U.S. 130

Posted by Zonk
from the lol-i-pay-kk dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PayPal is bringing the eastern use of the cellphone as a payment method to the United States. The company's mobile service aims to use secure text messages as a payment method for direct-marketing initiatives and other 'on-the-spot' mercantile opportunities." From the article: "To the extent that digital money doesn't feel like real money, it may increase spontaneous purchasing ... " This story offers more details on a discussion we had last month.
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PayPal Brings Mobile Payments To U.S.

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  • PayPal sucks (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2006 @08:33PM (#15140107)
    So, what's wrong with PayPal?
    What do I need to know about PayPal and what about the lawsuit? []

    1. According to PayPal accepting their ToS (Terms of Service) in effect means you waive your rights to credit card consumer protection laws if you want to use their service, and that you may not issue a chargeback for unauthorized use of your credit card and PayPal account, or if you do, then they have the right to limit your account. Is this legal? We don't know. But it's how Paypal operates. See my credit card waiver page for more information.

    2. Their customer service is horrible. They used to hide their telephone number, (intentionally - by their own admission) and only provided support via "form" emails:

    "As for the customer service, Sollitto said they intentionally make the phone number very difficult to find in order to save costs."

    This is confirmed in the book "PayPal Wars". If you have a problem, you are at their mercy! (And you will eventually have a problem.) The only reason their number can be found now is because they were forced to by law (EFTA Electronic Funds Transaction Act) due to complaints from users of this website. You can also click on our FAQs page. Just scroll down a bit, and you'll find their phone numbers, plus their toll free numbers as well, plus a huge list of unpublished PayPal phone numbers.

    3. Their terms of service are not completely disclosed upon signup and some key "conditions" are not disclosed. They fail to mention their total lack of security to prevent your account from being compromised by phishing & spoof sites. That if your account is accessed by a criminal using one of these methods, PayPal will hold YOU monetarily & legally responsible! Also, no place do they openly tell potential members that their money is 100% at risk. That PayPal can, will, and has in the past, completely cleaned out customers' accounts, (including your checking or savings account) with no appeals process available. Instead they bury in the fine print of 37 pages of their "Terms of Service" (ToS) where they disclose to you that PayPal can close your account for any reason what-so-ever, or no reason, and then you have to wait 180 days to get your money. Think that'll never happen? Think again. That's what everyone thinks till it happens to them.

    4. If PayPal feels your actions are questionable, PayPal is the investigator, judge, jury and executioner. "Telling your side" of what happened, in most cases seems to be irrelevant. They also refuse to provide you with the details of their investigation and withhold documents they relied upon to make their decisions. Your only contact will be an email that says:

    Thank you for contacting PayPal. We apologize for the delay in respondingto your service request.

    After review, the decision has been made to keep your account locked. This decision cannot be appealed.

    If you have any further questions, please reply to this email.

    That will be the end of it as far as PayPal is concerned. You can email back, but you'll just get more of the same. Oh yea, and you'll have to wait 180 days to get your money.

    5. If you are a bona fide, up-standing individual with hundreds of successful transactions, but someone pays you with a stolen credit card, your account (by PayPal's own admission) is immediately flagged as being "criminal behavior" and any money in that account is confiscated. If a customer "disputes" the charge, same thing happens. (See email above.) PayPal claims that they will fight chargebacks, but read this before you fall for that one.

    6. Paypal's fees for NON-credit card funding are the same as for credit cards! This is the single biggest rippoff on their site. We understand Paypal charging a fee when you fund your account with a credit card. After all, they are being charged by Visa/Mastercard, etc. And we understand there is a lot of fraud with credit card funding. However, most of the money sent withi
  • The Original Concept (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2006 @08:51PM (#15140174)
    This interests me primarily because PayPal was originally designed as a mobile payment service for PDA users. Mobile phones now incorporate a substantial amount of functionality that was once restricted to the PDA.

    Maybe their original idea was simply ahead of its time.
  • by pHatidic (163975) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @08:53PM (#15140179)
    TextPayMe already provides this exact same service. I wonder if they have a patent on it.
  • Re:Great (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ppirtmleahcim)> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @09:01PM (#15140206) Homepage
    That's not really true, Paypal only charges fees on credit card transactions and the fees they charge are reasonably well in line with what other credit card gateways charge merchants when you purchase something from them with a credit card.

    Whether the fees charged by credit card gateways are too much is another matter, and seems like it might be the case. I seem to recall class-action suits being brought against Mastercard by merchants because they felt the fees they charged were unjustified.

    The fact of the matter though, is that although as a consumer you generally don't realize it, merchants always take a hit on credit sales and it's not always small. There are plenty of legitimate complaints about paypal and I don't see this as being one.
  • by Dex Ro (222863) < minus distro> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @09:12PM (#15140243)
    An automatic system makes a voice call to your phone after you have texted "send 14.99 to 2125551212" to 729725 ((PAYPAL)) and you touch-tone back a PIN which you set up when you activated the PayPal Mobile service. So the phone thief would need your PIN, not just your phone.
  • by big tex (15917) <torsionality&gmail,com> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:12PM (#15140430)
    Guy: "Hi, sir, [remainder of unlikely made up theoretical story] This'll be fantastic!
    Get a free Macbook Pro for yourself, and help me do the same. []

    Right. Like we're supposed to take 'how to not get scammed' advice from a guy advertising a pyramid scheme [] in his sig.

    If you believe that stuff, getting fleeced by paypal's service or loosing your phone are probably not at the top of your problems.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Monday April 17, 2006 @02:31AM (#15141000)
    "The reason why PayPal (and most other financial institutions) don't support the eastern european countries is that those countries are notorious for the sheer number of fraudsters. So much so that it is not worth it to provide service there."

    Thanks for standing behind an old stereotype that offers quick answers. However you may notice that "fraudsters" script kiddies can obtain US credit card numbers and then sign up without problems for PayPal.

    It's guys like me who want to sign up with their own credit card that have the problem. The credit card operators in Bulgaria are the same as those well known internationally (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club etc.).

    And to bust another stereotype, it's not "most other financial institutions" that don't support Eastern Europe, from the big payment processing companies, the problem is specifically with PayPal.
  • by drazvan (93345) on Monday April 17, 2006 @08:24AM (#15141381) Homepage
    I second this, I'm getting tired of all this "we don't support Eastern European clients" crap. I'm in Romania and have both debit and credit cards issued by Romanian banks. A Romanian client signing up with a Romanian credit card from a Romanian IP is definitely less likely to be a fraudster then someone signing up with a US credit card from an IP in Eastern Europe and asking for his goods to be shipped there.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk