This post first appeared on Regretsy on March 30, 2011
The other day, I put up this post about how a shipping option made it to the front page of Etsy.
I just got a link to this treasury, which someone posted on Etsy today:
It will undoubtedly be removed by Etsy’s Happytime Cuppycake Elves by the time you see this, but screencaps are awesome.
UPDATE: Not only have the Funsville Police not taken down this treasury yet, it now has over 16 pages of comments, 16,000 views and is presently the most popular treasury on Etsy.
All of which may have prompted this one, which I also like quite a bit:
UPDATE: I can only hope this is becoming a new meme.
UPDATE: After 9 exhilarating hours, The Ship Shape treasury has apparently been taken down. Fortunately, someone just made this, so balance has been restored.
UPDATE: And then this happened.
You may recall that back in December, I had a series of infuriating exchanges with PayPal.
After collecting almost $20,000 to buy Christmas toys for needy children, PayPal forced me to manually refund every contribution, while keeping the fees of these transactions. When I balked, they attempted to freeze this money for 180 days, with no recourse, effectively ruining the holiday for 200 families.
Initially, Paypal’s justification for this was that I had used the wrong method to collect this money, but this was later dismissed as false by a PayPal executive.
What it really came down to was this: When you collect a lot of money in a short time, it triggers a review.
I have no problem with a review under these circumstances. My problem is with the way these investigations are resolved.
Once your money is frozen and you’re in panic mode, you are now at the mercy of the customer service representative, who is asked to make “a judgment call.” This is where it all breaks down. PayPal’s policies are so confusing that the representative inevitably grows frustrated at being unable to explain them. This escalates matters, and almost always ends up with PayPal collecting interest on your money for six months, while your business or project gets deeper and deeper into trouble.
After a worldwide public shaming in December, and again in January, when this violin story came out, I had hoped that PayPal would be much more thoughtful in making these decisions, especially when dealing with people who are attempting to assist charities.
Then today, I read about Steve Berry and Ben Morris, both longtime contributors to Dr. Who Magazine. For four years, they have been compiling a book of celebrity memories of Dr. Who called Behind the Sofa.
Every penny of profit will benefit Alzheimer’s Research UK. Everyone involved cares deeply about Alzheimer’s research. No one is getting rich. It is a labor of love.
Personally, I would have bought it just to read Neil Gaiman’s memories, but there are over 100 celebrities involved in the book, which has been selling briskly.
As Steve says:
This morning I received a very short, very terse telephone call from a lady called Francine, who works for PayPal.
Francine informed me that the PayPal account associated with Behind The Sofa had taken a lot of money over a very short period. She explained that she had looked at the site and understood that I was taking orders for a book.
Francine explained that PayPal would be freezing my account, meaning that the project is stalled. The phone call was followed by an “account frozen” email.
Well, they won’t tell me the details.
Francine flat refused to provide me with information about how to contact them (by phone) to discuss to issue, or indicate how long my account will be frozen pending their review. She then terminated the call. I cannot use the account at all until PayPay deign to contact me.
Not one single penny of the money taken so far has been lost. I am endeavouring to find a way to discuss this with PayPal. In the mean time I would ask for your patience and, if you feel inclined, your support by Tweeting @PayPalUK and letting them know what you think of their customer service.
Oh, I think we can do that. Don’t you?
-Read Steve’s entire statement as well as the history of this great project on Steve’s website.
UPDATE: Paypal proposes a solution and it still blows.
UPDATE: 3/13/12 This has been resolved. Thanks for your help.