What’s Up With PayPal Lately?

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I’ve always been a big fan of PayPal. I joined back in 2001 and have brought them more than a few customers through my script development work. Now they’re not perfect and I know that to some people they are downright scary. There are many stories about PayPal merchants having their accounts frozen because someone at PayPal erroneously decided that the website that the merchant was promoting was outside their terms. In most cases, if it’s an honest mistake then the account is re-instated (unlike Google’s ‘we don’t like you and we’re not saying why¬†– please just go away forever’ policy). It does seem to happen a little too often though.

Anyway, that’s not the subject of this post. I’m finding in recent months and even going back a year or so, PayPal is becoming less and less reliable. It seems that every 2 or 3 months there’s a major lag with IPN transactions … which kind of defeats the whole INSTANT payment notification concept. I don’t know about you, but I break out in a cold sweat any time that IPN transactions are delayed for more than a few minutes.

A lot of online systems are set up to cater for the impulse .. I WANT IT NOW!!! … kind of buyer. And as we all know, when that kind of buyer doesn’t get instant satisfaction you can expect a slew of tickets on the helpdesk or an inbox full od emails…some accusing you of being some kind of ‘scammer’ whilst others are happy just to mention how crappy your service is.

Lately I’ve found that it can be a major effort just to log in to PayPal. Over the past month the ‘Click here to retry’ message is showing more and more often. Just today I had to go through the login process 6 times before it actually let me in. I find it very annoying and somewhat bewildering that a company the size of PayPal is having so many of these issues and glitches.

Am I the only one experiencing these problems on a regular basis or are you seeing the same thing too?


Google Says: You Are Banned For Life – Now Please Go Away

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Every now and then I like to jump up on the soap box and preach a little.

I recently had an email from Google stating that my AdSense account had been disabled. That’s no biggie – I’ve made maybe $150 in 3 years and there are several other options if you really want to do the ‘monetizing thing’. What really annoys me is that this information glutton doesn’t pay it’s customers the common courtesy of even a basic clue as to why it was disabled. The message I received said:

“While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we have decided to disable your account.”

I appealed of course and received a reply that said something along the lines of “we confirm the decision and please don’t reply”.

In my appeal I pointed out that I have never clicked on any ads on my own pages, that I did read and comply with their terms of service and I even provided a list of my sites. So, I’m at a total loss as to how my $50/yr of earnings poses a ‘significant risk’ … particularly when Google have paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle click fraud law suits. My sites are all genuine, human-updated real sites.

Apparently this email I received has been sent to many adsense publishers recently and my guess is that they are simply clearing out all the low earning sites. After all, it’s the very large, well organised ‘made for adsense’ networks that are making Google a lot more income than the little guys. And it’s not in Google’s interest to go after those big players unless they get a specific complaint from one or more of their large Adwords clients.

So, is this all sour grapes on my part? Well..not all, but sure enough I am offended at being labelled some kind of crook by Google. Honesty and integrity are important to me. Heck … I’m the guy who tells the shop assistant that they gave me $5 too much change. Still, it’s not worth getting too worked up about. As I mentioned in opening, Google was an insignificant income over the past few years so it’s just one less option if I ever decide to try that kind of income stream in a big way.