2005-09-04

PayPal suspends Katrina donations

I occasionally plunge to the darkest depths of the internet by visiting Somethingawful.com, a humour website and internet community. They tell really bad jokes, they make fun of people, they photoshop images and turn them into something sick and twisted.

Somethingawful's servers were in New Orleans, and have obviously been shut down. Nonetheless, the creators of the website have managed to set up a temporary page to let everyone know what is going on.

Despite the horrible jokes and twisted humour that typify the SA community, deep down the people there actually do care about real life and suffering. The temporary webpage had a Paypal link where community members could donate money for the relief effort in New Orleans. SA had a paypal link for ages anyway, so people could buy merchandise.

So what's happened? After the community members had raised $20,000 in donations for Hurricane victims, Paypal pulled the plug and suspended their account. The reason? Apparently there was no "proof of delivery" provided. In other words, Paypal, in their wisdom, had deduced that the payments were, in fact, a scam because no "shipping information" was provided.

Naturally the SA goons are livid. It's so bad it has even been posted on Slashdot. The issue is obvious - why did Paypal want shipping information and proof of delivery when the payments were donations? At a time of national crisis a corporation steps in and decides to suspend the account - no money in or out - thus depriving the donors and the recipients of much-needed funds. And why? Probably because no one in the corporation even bothered to check out what was going on.

The internet is an amazing place - information travels fast and people will now be less confident in using Paypal. In fact, their reputation will be seriously tarnished by this episode.


1 comment:

Donnie said...

Thanks for the heads up. I just received a bogus email from PayPal today! I posted about it and linked to your post.