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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    A Way Around PayPal?
    Let me start by stating that PayPal does NOT process any of my company's transactions. We use a real merchant account tied through the Authorize.net gateway. I have a PayPal account and use it to give people quick cahs bonuses.

    But in funding that account, PayPal decided that it didn't like me and limited my account. They took the money from my bank account of course, but refuse to give it back or allow me to make payments (there's about $500 tied up right now sitting in PayPal limbo hell). This comes about two months after they held a $1300 payment I received for a full month.

    The only reason I have a PayPal account right now is to be able to send people cash bonuses, mostly for their contributions on ABW. However, there is only so much abuse I am willing to take from a company that holds onto my money for indeterminable amounts of time without telling me why. So, the question.

    Is their a viable alternative for PayPal in sending cash bonuses?

    I've tried searching this forum, but have only come across threads laden with posts from people with a maximum of two posts. The senior members of ABW almost always reply, "Get a real merchant account." I have one, I love it, but you can't get my money from it!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  2. #2
    Member reneton's Avatar
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    What about Moneybookers?

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would recommend sticking with PayPal and working out the issues. I think many (most?) people aren't signed up with any similar services. (I would have a hard time even naming any others.)

    If bonuses are related to affiliate activity, I would recommend paying it through ShareASale.com.

    Do you have any idea what caused PayPal's concerns? How did you fund the account when you had the holds? Do you use the account for anything else? Is it possible to talk to someone at PayPal?

    Sorry that I just have questions and no answers, but hopefully those questions will help lead you to the right answers.
    Michael Coley
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I ran into a similar situation with Paypal for a client who was experiencing a similar scenerio.

    Here's what we did to overcome this issue. We think - Paypal is very secretive when telling you why funds are in limbo hold hell and what you can do to prevent this from occurring each time.

    Originally, the clients account was basically only being used to send out small amounts of money periodically. When the client went to draft money from their bank account through the Paypal manager it would always go into limbo hold hell just as yours ... Paypal customer service is a quagmire of pointless call transfers to different departments, etc. ... you know the routine well I am sure.

    Then, we thought to ourselves ... okay, if I was Paypal what would trigger me to flag this account to "hold fund transfers and why do so".

    The only variable that we could see was the fact that the client only wire transferred money from their bank account to Paypal for outgoing disbursements (similar to yours), but there was no active sales or other means of funds coming into the Paypal account from any means like most merchants using Premier & Business Accounts.
    Does Paypal possibly think there's money laundering or something possibly illegal occurring?

    We assumed this had to be the variable and we need to test the theory. The client started using the account in small ways here & there ... but it added up to frequent/normal use (including Paypal CC for account) and his wire transfers suddenly only started taking 3 - 5 days to his bank and automated drafts were painless as well.

    Is this your cure?

    Don't know, but it seemed to work for our client.
    Ray Thomas
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  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    On the $1300 hold, I had not setup my merchant account yet, but had the client log on to my server and submit his credit card info. I bill him a monthly service fee, and he agreed to my keeping his credit card info on file.

    To avoid repetitive receipts, I used a different email of my primary domain to pay the original amount. A $1300 credit card processed from the same TLD caused some concerns. I was OK with that, I was not OK with it taking them 30 days to process my emails and my client's faxes verifying the information.

    The newest hold comes in my paying one of my accounts with a credit card and then transferring those funds to the first account. Again, I faxed them copies of my credit card statements and got an email stating that it wasn't enough that I own the cards and approve the purchase. They want more information.

    The best part about their reply was that the address they sent it from has a disclaimer that it doesn't accept incoming emails, and that all faxes should be sent with a cover sheet that wasn't attached. Logging into my account did not lead me to a place where I could resolve the issue.

    So I'm frustrated. Actually, I'm beyond frustrated, but frustrated is the family-friendly word appropriate for public forums. I've got promos closing that I need to pay on (paying people for suggestions to improve my program), and I need this resolved to make good. In the end, I might end up having to see if Geno (who's co-managing the program) will do the actual paying, and I'll pay him. It would be frustrating, but when I promise to pay someone by a certain date, I'll damn well make sure it happens.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I agree with Michael C on this one Chris, provided you can stay cool and work out the issues with paypal. If you cannot get a mutually fair resolve, then I'd stick with issuing bonuses through SAS or whomever when regular disbursements are made. Good luck to you. Remember to close your eyes, breathe deep, find your "happy place" and then proceed. Frustration can cause us to lose our composure, and anger in communication never brings about a positive resolve.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  7. #7
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Dealing with PayPal - when a problem arises - is the single most frustrating experience on the Internet.

    Like you Chris, my problem wasn't listed in their automated dispute resolution system, so I went the fax route. Like you, it took them over 30 days to reply - which was longer then the dispute allowed.

    To this day, this account says something like "This account has been closed/You can never re-apply/yada yada yada

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I can see where some complications would have occurred with your type of setup. Unfortunately, Paypal moves very slowly.
    Ray Thomas
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    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    It's not that I can't understand their suspicions. In both instances I would say it was warranted. But faxing them documents of my credit card statements the same night that the account was put on hold - which is what their customer service rep told me to do, and their response being, essentially, "the fact that you own and approve these credit card transactions is not enough, please tell us everything about you" upset me.

    That, and with my first go, when I was on the phone with them every other day trying to get my $1300, a rep once explicitly stated that either I had stolen the credit card or the company I worked with had. He actually assured me that there was no way that PayPal had instigated the dispute.

    Being accused of being a crook, or at the least, of working with crooks, really pushed me over the edge. And now this. In the end, I'll probably have to keep an account with them. And that makes me even more upset. I don't like knowing that they can do whatever they want with me and my money and I have no way of retaliating, even by doing business with someone else.

    It's almost enough to make me build a website that will do what I need, just to avoid using PayPal. I'd probably lose money, but it just might be worth it...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, Paypal terms of use are pretty tight and they do freeze or hold accounts/transfers quickly for anything remotely suspicious.

    Would creating an automated monthly subscription fee (monthly billing to client) through the Paypal system work for you? You could then transfer funds not needed for balance at Paypal to your own account from there.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I've since moved this client's billing to my real merchant account, and I have Authorize.net take care of the monthly subscription.

    The only reason I have a PayPal account any more is to give my personal equivalent of GBs, for participation around my forum and what-not. PayPal no longer handles anything resembling my receiving of funds!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  12. #12
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    I de-activated my PayPal account months ago, after it appeared that someone had hacked into my account. (It was a big crisis, as I changed all my logins and passwords for all financial accounts, and checked daily for any unauthorized activity on my credit cards etc.) I had already found it frustrating that PayPal will not let me have a debit card because my credit card bill is sent to a PO Box (at their instruction, I went to the trouble of changing the mailing address for my bank account, and then after that hassle, PayPal told me I'd wasted my time as they will ONLY look at the credit-card billing address, period).

    PayPal sucks. It is not customer-centric; the company's entire business model relies on keeping customers "at bay" (whenever I've called the long-distance number for help, I'm on hold for at least 30 minutes and often an hour or longer before I reach anyone).

    But as others note, PayPal really is the "only game in town" for those quick transfers of relatively small amounts. I've never found any competitor of PayPal that looks trustworthy.

    I'll probably re-activate my account in the next few weeks as I've been cleaning house and have a pile of stuff I want to sell on eBay.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    At the very least, it's comforting to know that other honest people have had problems with PayPal taking over their accounts. Misery loves company, I suppose.

    As a side note, I'm about 73% certain that I am going to start developing a competing service. It won't serve as a merchant account (get a real one!), but will only facilitate transfers between members.

    At least I'm 99% certain that I'm going to look into it.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  14. #14
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbsturg
    As a side note, I'm about 73% certain that I am going to start developing a competing service. It won't serve as a merchant account (get a real one!), but will only facilitate transfers between members.
    Unfortunately transfers between members won't be useful unless there is a debit card or virtual credit card that allows them to actually spend the money that's transferred.
    Deborah Carney
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  15. #15
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbsturg
    The only reason I have a PayPal account right now is to be able to send people cash bonuses,
    Am I missing something, or is there some reason why you can't just send these people their money by check?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  16. #16
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    Am I missing something, or is there some reason why you can't just send these people their money by check?
    Two words:
    Instant Gratification.

    But loxly is right, there needs to be a way to get to the money just as quickly as getting it into an account.
    Last edited by knight01; June 11th, 2007 at 02:27 AM.

  17. #17
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    I've used Paypal in the past - but the horror stories always made me super concerned that one day my funds (eBay purchases and sales ) might be frozen

    As an alternative to Paypal I use ePassporte - funded from either my CC or bank account. Person 2 person transfers are quick. I gave my Mom an ePassporte gift account for Mother's Day (includes a virtual Visa electron) as she was always reluctant to use her CC online. I easily send funds to her account... she told me they are there within minutes
    CharPaula
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  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    Two words:
    Instant Gratification.
    Exactly. "Here's $10. It will come in the mail in the next 5 days, and then you'll have to drive to the bank to cash it."
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Unfortunately transfers between members won't be useful unless there is a debit card or virtual credit card that allows them to actually spend the money that's transferred.
    If I do this, I'll be sure to keep this in mind.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    One other thing that's almost as good as cash: Amazon.com gift certificates.
    Michael Coley
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    One other thing that's almost as good as cash: Amazon.com gift certificates.
    That could be a great short-term solution. Hmm....I'm mulling over this one and I'm liking it.

    Thanks, Michael!

    P.S. I'm from the Fort Worth area and will be returning at the end of August. I can't wait to be back in the Metroplex!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    To wrap things up: 3 hours on the phone, several faxes, and a handful of emails and my account is back to normal.

    Once my $200 Promo is over, I think I'll head the direction that MichaelColey suggested. Amazon.com GCs might not be GBs, but if I can avoid using PayPal, I'd gladly take any slack that comes my way.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  23. #23
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Chris,
    I think it was mentioned previously, but you could simply do future contests that are open to your affiliate partners and then do a bonus into the affiliate account, I know for me, I'm not a big Amazon person.


    Maybe give a choice? Affs get a bonus, non-affs get a Amazon G.C.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    Chris,
    I think it was mentioned previously, but you could simply do future contests that are open to your affiliate partners and then do a bonus into the affiliate account, I know for me, I'm not a big Amazon person.


    Maybe give a choice? Affs get a bonus, non-affs get a Amazon G.C.
    Not a bad option. Naturally I want to make sure that non-affs (or rather, people who have yet to become affs...) are as involved as possible in the promos. Part of the reason I'm willing to pay good money is to get people interested in promoting my program, be they current affiliates or future ones.

    But providing people optional ways of receiving payment isn't a bad idea. Obviously depending on the depth of the project the options would have to be limited in some way, or it would become quite onerous to pay out!
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  25. #25
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    But providing people optional ways of receiving payment isn't a bad idea
    Just thinking aloud.
    .
    1 - Send a check, money order, money gram, or western union.
    2 - Add it to the affiliate account.
    3 - Send it as PPC traffic to one of your affilate products targeted page.
    4 - Let your affiliate chose an equivalent $gift$ product, from your products line.
    5 - If it's a big bonus of over $100.00, ask those affiliates, how do they want to receive it.

    .
    .
    .


    - -

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