I think it’s interesting. I started boycotting PayPal ages ago for a variety of reasons. I watched them freeze friends’ accounts for no legitimate reason and do other somewhat nefarious things. The last straw was a situation where someone used their policies to rip me off when I was purchasing something from eBay, many years ago. The vendor, recommended on eBay with high ratings, never provided the merchandise I paid for. It was a small purchase, only $23, but instead of trying to be helpful, PayPal took my money and then spit in my face (figuratively), shrugging their shoulders and telling me it was my problem even though I had followed all of their directions with purchase follow-ups. I swore I would never use them again, if I could help it. I only buy from vendors who accept some other method of payment, and I’ve only made one exception for the sake of charity.

I’ve heard many other people say, what other options are there? I buy from vendors who accept regular credit cards, not via PayPal, and on many occasions I have sent money orders or cheques. I have yet to have a vendor rip me off when I have used those methods of payment, but I can’t say the same about PayPal, so what does that tell you? I was not the lone victim of that dishonourable vendor that day – it was a scam of massive proportions and PayPal turned a blind eye and a cold shoulder to those who were cheated. They were quite content to profit from another’s wrongdoings.

Now, the irony.

Here comes their latest round of interference in the erotica writing industry and PayPal feels they have the right to play censor. I don’t agree with that, but I can’t boycott them anymore than I already do – sorry folks. Now I do have a conservative outlook on life and I don’t think that erotica that condones certain behaviours should be available for purchase from legitimate vendors, but from what I understand, PayPal isn’t being selective in their ban on these topics. The mere mention of these topics, even in a negative light, is being targeted, and that I don’t support. You can’t strive to fight terrible things if you aren’t allowed to discuss them in a mature and meaningful way. They are also blacklisting vendors in full, even when some of the people they sell for are not selling anything that goes against the new policy.

I feel PayPal is overstepping their authority by playing judge and jury when that should be some other type of regulator’s place, a public agency rather than a private business with private prejudices and biases. Considering the wrongs they have allowed or perpetrated in the past, why should they have the right to play moral police?
I’m only one person, and they are a giant, but that hasn’t stopped me from at least expressing my distaste for their unfair policies, even if they don’t hear my one little voice out of millions (or perhaps billions). It would take a lot of individuals willing to do what I’m doing, and make the necessary stand and sacrifices, before they’d even notice. I don’t blame the vendors in this, Smashwords or others, who have bent to PayPal’s will. They are clearly feeling powerless in the face of the bully. I only hope this triggers new competitors who are willing to offer other options.
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Published on March 03, 2012 04:53 • 77 views • Tags: censorship, erotica, irony, sales
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message 1: by Ruby (last edited Mar 03, 2012 05:38AM) (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Chantal - This is definitely something I think is worth doing some research on. What is alarming is not so much that a private company is making is it's own Terms of Service (which it DOES have the right to do), but that the US Government frequently forces them to refuse services to vendors that the US Government doesn't like - WikiLeaks is the most obvious example, but essentially they can do this to anyone that uses Paypal. What's even worse than this is that Paypal is really the only INTERnational service of its kind - which means that businesses in any country in the world can be crippled if the US Government doesn't like them and decides to get Paypal to refuse service to them.
Under US Trade Agreements (such as the proposed TPP) the US Government can pretty much cut out the middleman, and just demand that other countries directly prosecute anyone they label a "copyright infringer" - pretty much any site or user on the internet can be made to fit under their definition. Check this out and see what I mean: https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

message 2: by Chantal (new)

Chantal Boudreau Interesting comment, Ruby, but far beyond the scope of my little blog post. I'm sure plenty of people have a multitude of issues with various governments, agencies and businesses. I was addressing this one issue, since it would probably take several novels'worth of writing to address them all. I do encourage people to investigate further, if they feel the need, and to post their own opinion pieces on associated issues.

I never suggested PayPal doesn't have the legal right to set its own Terms of Service, I'm suggesting that this and other actions on their part is bad behaviour and bad business, and I think those who disagree with their policies should make a point to stop using their services - as a means of protest. We have a right to do that just as much as they have a right to offer lousy Terms of Service and use hostile business practices. People say it can't be done, but I've been doing it for years; you just have to take a stand and stick with it.

message 3: by Ruby (new)

Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance] Thanks Chantal. I'm just suggesting that these issues with their business practices are very much the thin edge of a very scary wedge! Good luck with your boycott :)

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