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'[OT] My Personal Paypal Horror Story'
2006\10\30@215601 by Aaron

picon face
Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.  Seems that
somehow an unauthorized transaction occurred and I am now nearly $2000
poorer.  And my bank helped them out by transferring money out of my
savings account to cover the 'shortfall' in my checking account.  Of
course I dispute the transactions with both with paypal and my bank.

Thankfully, as of today, the money is back in my PayPal account.  Of
course, it still remains to be seen if it withdraws properly, but at
least it is back in my available paypal balance.  It looks like I'm only
out the $33 overdraft charge and the time and hassle of closing old bank
accounts and setting up new ones.  After I get my money back out of
paypal, I'm going to hit them up for the overdraft charge and see if
they will cover it since it wasn't my fault.

Moral of the Story - If you use Paypal, set up a dedicated account at a
bank you don't normally deal with.

Aaron

2006\10\30@224029 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2006-10-30 at 21:55 -0500, Aaron wrote:
> Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.  Seems that
> somehow an unauthorized transaction occurred and I am now nearly $2000
> poorer.  And my bank helped them out by transferring money out of my
> savings account to cover the 'shortfall' in my checking account.  Of
> course I dispute the transactions with both with paypal and my bank.
>
> Thankfully, as of today, the money is back in my PayPal account.  Of
> course, it still remains to be seen if it withdraws properly, but at
> least it is back in my available paypal balance.  It looks like I'm only
> out the $33 overdraft charge and the time and hassle of closing old bank
> accounts and setting up new ones.  After I get my money back out of
> paypal, I'm going to hit them up for the overdraft charge and see if
> they will cover it since it wasn't my fault.
>
> Moral of the Story - If you use Paypal, set up a dedicated account at a
> bank you don't normally deal with.

Wow, that sucks! When it comes to bank accounts I have one rule: nobody
is allowed to withdraw money except the company with my mortgage (which
happens to be another bank).

Deposit access is fine, I don't mind them giving me money. But under NO
circumstance would I ever allow any company withdrawl access to my
account.

In the case of Paypal they have deposit access to one of my accounts,
but the only way I can add money to my paypal account is VISA, which is
the ONLY access I give companies (since disputing a charge is quite easy
with VISA).

TTYL

2006\10\31@034948 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Aaron wrote:
> Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.  Seems that
> somehow an unauthorized transaction occurred and I am now nearly $2000
> poorer.  And my bank helped them out by transferring money out of my
> savings account to cover the 'shortfall' in my checking account.  Of
> course I dispute the transactions with both with paypal and my bank.
>
> Thankfully, as of today, the money is back in my PayPal account.  Of
> course, it still remains to be seen if it withdraws properly, but at
> least it is back in my available paypal balance.  It looks like I'm only
> out the $33 overdraft charge and the time and hassle of closing old bank
> accounts and setting up new ones.  After I get my money back out of
> paypal, I'm going to hit them up for the overdraft charge and see if
> they will cover it since it wasn't my fault.
>
> Moral of the Story - If you use Paypal, set up a dedicated account at a
> bank you don't normally deal with.
>
> Aaron
>  
This happened one month ago. I ordered a few proto PCBs, for a total of
$120. The clerk at the
PCB shop accidentally entered $920. She "corrected" it and assumed all
was OK, but in fact it
"locked" my checking account for 4 weeks, which began to run so short it
took a trip to the bank
to sort out. Finally, the error was caught, but somebody had the use of
$800 of my money for
almost a month.

I'll never use these people again,, but how can one protect from this
kind of thing?

--Bob

2006\10\31@043953 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
What worries me is that I have a VISA set in my PayPal account and it
withdraws the money from that credit card without any further notification
basically. For example when I make a deposit to the SkyPe, I just click on
the but credit stuff, it just asks me how much would I like to make and
that's it. PayPal does not ask anything like can I recognise that
transaction and do I really want to do that. OK, I receive a mail so I will
be at least notified what happened, but still, if SkyPe can do this anybody
could do the same.

Tamas


On 31/10/06, Bob Axtell <spam_OUTengineerTakeThisOuTspamneomailbox.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\31@044507 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Bob Axtell wrote:

> I'll never use these people again,, but how can one protect from this
> kind of thing?

Push for a decent banking system with decent rules (not rules established
by the bank, I mean binding rules for all banks). Or else pay (and receive)
only cash... :)

Gerhard

2006\10\31@061959 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Aaron,

On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 21:55:49 -0500, Aaron wrote:

> Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.  Seems that
> somehow an unauthorized transaction occurred and I am now nearly $2000
> poorer.  And my bank helped them out by transferring money out of my
> savings account to cover the 'shortfall' in my checking account.  Of
> course I dispute the transactions with both with paypal and my bank.

Sorry to hear about this, but how did the transaction occur?  Was your password compromised?

> Thankfully, as of today, the money is back in my PayPal account.  Of
> course, it still remains to be seen if it withdraws properly, but at
> least it is back in my available paypal balance.  It looks like I'm only
> out the $33 overdraft charge and the time and hassle of closing old bank
> accounts and setting up new ones.  After I get my money back out of
> paypal, I'm going to hit them up for the overdraft charge and see if
> they will cover it since it wasn't my fault.

Isn't the bank responsible for paying out money without your authority?  Or was the PayPal authority valid in itself?  And as for tranferring between
accounts, that sounds ridiculous without checking with you first.

> Moral of the Story - If you use Paypal, set up a dedicated account at a
> bank you don't normally deal with.

That's rather difficult to do over here - how would you get the money into the account whenever you want to pay for something?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\10\31@063435 by Tony Smith

picon face
> Bob Axtell wrote:
>
> > I'll never use these people again,, but how can one protect
> from this
> > kind of thing?
>
> Push for a decent banking system with decent rules (not rules
> established by the bank, I mean binding rules for all banks).
> Or else pay (and receive) only cash... :)
>
> Gerhard


It's not a regulatory problem, it's a procedural one.

It doesn't help that PayPal isn't a bank (or weren't last I noticed),
they're just a processing bureau, like http://www.firstdata.com/

The credit card had $920 deducted before the mistake was noticed, so in
order to correct it you need to send a reversal, followed by the correct
amount for $120.

However, not all merchants are given the ability to easily reverse
transactions, or the clerk doesn't have the authority to do so.  You've
probably had this happen at a supermarket checkout, the cashier needs to
call a supervisor in order to void out an incorrect item.  (There are a few
problems with fraud in this area.)

A true online processing system can reverse a transaction as easily as
creating one in the first place.  Companies that have batch processing,
telephone authorisation etc may need to jump thru a few hoops.  Depending on
their training, they may need to find out what the hoops are first :)  While
PayPal would have the ability to reverse a charge, getting them to do it (by
the vendor, not you) may be cumbersome.  If pushed, most companies will just
refund you the $800 and avoid the process.

Banks also take a dim view to merchants with a lot of reversals (charge
cancellations), so some companies try to avoid it.  It makes you look dodgy,
and pushes your fees up.

In Bob's case it looks like the reversal got lost in the system somewhere,
so they actually had the full $920 of yours to play with for the month, not
$800.

Tony

2006\10\31@064028 by Tony Smith

picon face
> What worries me is that I have a VISA set in my PayPal
> account and it withdraws the money from that credit card
> without any further notification basically. For example when
> I make a deposit to the SkyPe, I just click on the but credit
> stuff, it just asks me how much would I like to make and
> that's it. PayPal does not ask anything like can I recognise
> that transaction and do I really want to do that. OK, I
> receive a mail so I will be at least notified what happened,
> but still, if SkyPe can do this anybody could do the same.
>
> Tamas


That's a 'feature' of the credit card system, not PayPal flaw.

It's mainly a reflection of 'ease of use', with automated debit you no
longer have to remember to pay your bills.  Some companies will even pay the
bill for you long after you've stopped using it, now that's 'ease of use'!  

It would be nice if more systems were set up to notify you, and provide an
'authorise' link.

In other words, how eBay does it.  They send you an email with 'you've
won!', and a link to PayPal.  A few clicks, password and it's done.  Imagine
eBay having an 'automatic payment' option!

eBay / PayPal works well from the users point of view, with the downside of
your details residing on their servers.  That's ok, your credit card details
are on LOTS of servers.

The only real security is to have people check their credit card statements,
and merchants worried enough to actually spot fraud.

The alternative is to set up automated payments from your account, but that
only work if the amount is constsnt month to month.  That is, you send them
$20 per month, rather than them taking $20 per month.

Tony

2006\10\31@065957 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>It doesn't help that PayPal isn't a bank (or weren't last I noticed),
>they're just a processing bureau, like http://www.firstdata.com/

In the UK Paypal is regulated by the Financial Services Authority, so UK
users may have a bigger stick to wield here.

2006\10\31@073839 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 22:40:01 +1100, Tony Smith wrote:

>...
> The alternative is to set up automated payments from your account, but that
> only work if the amount is constsnt month to month.  That is, you send them
> $20 per month, rather than them taking $20 per month.

In the UK this is called a "Standing Order", a fixed amount on a fixed schedule.  When you set up a variable transfer controlled by the other party, for
paying things like electricity bills automatically, it's called a "Direct Debit", and there are a *lot* of safeguards on these, starting with the fact that if
it happens beyond your authority it will be refunded immediately when you query it, so you get the money back straight away and any sorting-out is
done afterwards, not the other way round.  This makes DDs very widely used, especially for paying bills, and the Utility companies usually give a
discount if you use this method.  I'm not sure PayPal uses bank accounts directly over here - they certainly didn't when I joined - you have to use a
Debit or Credit card.  This may be because they don't want to operate within our Direct Debit rules, which basically say that the Customer is in
charge!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\10\31@083218 by Art

picon face
I read all the comments and have my own paypal nightmare, but I'll
spare you all the gory details::>

The short version is that I agreed to try it. During the sign up
process, the paypal software did not display the financial
information that I had just sent it-and I refused to check the
'confirm' button.

So, I was in limbo and paypal was unreachable by phone and emails to
them were not answered. The organization is rotten to the core, and I
know this from my own experience with them, not from other horror
stories I have heard.

When I did get their attention, (which required almost 4 hours of
long distance charges while I was on 'hold', they refused to do
anything and told me I had to log on again and resubmit information.
By this time, I was all done with them and just wanted my account
closed permanently.

Paypal has been to court many times, including at least 2 class
action lawsuits that I know of.

The FTC was after them for failure to comply with banking laws and to
provide adequate security for your money.

Just say NO to paypal! I did it, and I survive just fine. You can do it too.

GL to all.

Art


>Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.


--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.408 / Virus Database: 268.13.17/505 - Release Date: 10/27/2006


2006\10\31@092538 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

> That's rather difficult to do over here - how would you get the money
> into the account whenever you want to pay for something?

Don't you have simple (and free) transfers?

Gerhard

2006\10\31@093754 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

>> Push for a decent banking system with decent rules (not rules
>> established by the bank, I mean binding rules for all banks).
>> Or else pay (and receive) only cash... :)
>
> It's not a regulatory problem, it's a procedural one.

Procedures are limited by available infrastructure and regulations (and
stupidity, of course). So a procedural problem potentially has a solution
in decent regulations based on a decent infrastructure. And since we are
talking about money exchange between different entities, we are also
talking about money exchange between different banks. Which of course
implies that the banks operate from a common set of rules and procedures,
which preferably is not from two centuries ago -- or else you wind up with
something like the online bill payment system in an unnamed country where
your online bill payment transaction potentially ends up as a printed check
that gets sent by postal mail and needs to be physically taken to the bank
and deposited by the receiver. You of course have no control whatsoever
when the check will reach the destination and neither do you have any proof
that it was received. Which potentially is important.

I have explained the German banking system some time ago here on this list.
It provides some facilities that make the likes of PayPal unnecessary. Some
features that are still not being well addressed by other systems are
working there just fine at least since I know the system -- which started
in the late 60ies. (Other European countries, like the Netherlands,
apparently have similar systems.) It's a pity that these facilities are not
more generally understood -- as they provide very workable solutions, they
just require a bit of infrastructure. And the associated regulations, for
protection.

Gerhard

2006\10\31@102925 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I have explained the German banking system some time ago here
> on this list.
> It provides some facilities that make the likes of PayPal
> unnecessary. Some
> features that are still not being well addressed by other systems are
> working there just fine at least since I know the system --
> which started
> in the late 60ies. (Other European countries, like the Netherlands,
> apparently have similar systems.) It's a pity that these
> facilities are not
> more generally understood -- as they provide very workable
> solutions, they
> just require a bit of infrastructure.

FYI: my shop accepts payment either by PayPal or by bank transfer. The
EC laws require that the fee for a propperly initiated bank transfer
within the Euro countries is the same as a domestic transfer - almost
zero. Hence nearly all my customers in Euro countries use the bank
transfer method exclusively - and it works like a charm. It is
customer-initiated, even knowing their bank details won't allow me to
initiate a transfer (there are exceptions for large corporations, such
exceptions require - in theory - an explicit permit by the customer).
Customers in a few non-Euro  european countries (like Sweden and the UK)
seem to prefer the bank transfer method, even though it costs them a
non-neglectible fee ($10 and up).

One note: a bank transfer takes some time (a few days). Some customers
in EC-countries prefer PayPal, even though my PP prices are a little
higher, because the transfer is almost instantaneous. As yet there is no
(other) service in Europe that provides what PayPal provides: low-cost
instanteneous transfer. The banking system is/was quite good, so there
was not much need for such a service. From what I hear the USA banking
system is not nearly as good, so that's where PP sprouted. funny world.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\10\31@111337 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Just say NO to paypal! I did it, and I survive just fine. You
> can do it too.

Assuming I'd want to do that (say no to PP), how should I arrange for my
world-wide customers to pay me? There are a few compareable services (I
remember Kagi) but I think they will be almost the same.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\10\31@113147 by Aaron

picon face


Tamas Rudnai wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Tamas,

Don't rely on the email notification...

In the case of my unauthorized transaction, I never received an email
that it occurred.  But I've got an email confirmation for every other
transaction that I ever did.  Go figure.  And I checked my spam filter
to make sure it didn't get intercepted.

Aaron

2006\10\31@113204 by Aaron

picon face
Howard,

Howard Winter wrote:

>Aaron,
>
>
>Sorry to hear about this, but how did the transaction occur?  Was your password compromised?
>  
>

I don't know how it happened.  I went ahead and changed my password, but
still don't believe it was actually was compromised.  There are several
inconsistancies in the whole thing.

1.  As I wrote in an earlier message to Tamas - I never actually got got
an email confirmation that the transaction occured.  But for every other
transaction I've ever made via PayPal, I've received confirmation.  Stange..

2.  When logging into my PayPal account, it normally shows any
transactions I've made in the past week on the opening page.  This one
never showed up there - only by clicking "history" would it actually
show up.

3.  After I found the transaction in the PayPal history, the transaction
details were even strange.  It was supposedly for an ebay item, but the
ebay user name wasn't shown.  The ebay user name shows up on every other
ebay transaction I've completed.

4.  When I clicked on the link to the ebay item shown in the transaction
details it took me to an auction for a laptop.  The seller name was not
even remotely similar to the name and email that the unauthorized
transaction went to.  Of course I immediantly contacted the seller and
told them not to ship the item.  The seller replied saying it was too
late, but he actually gave me his personal phone number and the address
to which the item shipped.  I'm sure he was concerned about a
chargeback.  I googled the person's named to which the item shipped and
found his home phone number.  So I gave him a phone call.  After a brief
discussion, I got the impression this guy was telling me the truth.  He
even forwarded me a screen shot of his paypal account showing the same
transaction amount paid to the ebay seller that I had previously contacted.

I really think that the transaction was somehow spoofed and whoever done
it was able to refer to a completely non-related ebay auction to throw
everybody (me at least) off track.

Neither has PayPal offered any explanation.  The money just silently
appeared back in my paypal account.  No email notification or anything.  
I found it when I logged in last night.  I still have to withdraw it
into my bank account.  Hopefully that goes smoothly!

By the way, I did run a complete ad-aware and virus scan on my PC - it
came up clean.


>
>Isn't the bank responsible for paying out money without your authority?  Or was the PayPal authority valid in itself?  
>

I guess the paypal user agreement is authority in itself.  That said, my
bank's fraud department is investigating.  When I opened the case, the
bank did tell me they had a hard time getting it opened because they
couldn't find the proper electronic authorization number to start the
paperwork.  They actually had to open the case by filling out an old
form by hand.  I guess normally they do it all electronically based on
the (missing) authorization number.  The bank did say that the lack of
this number was good for my situation.

>And as for tranferring between
>accounts, that sounds ridiculous without checking with you first.
>  
>

Actually many banks in my area offer this as an overdraft service.  It
is generally something you authorize them to do when you open your
accounts.  It could be a good thing if it was due to a mistake I made in
over-drawing my account.  But in this case, it just let the fradulent
party get more money.  I've now terminated this 'service'.  Never needed
it before...

{Quote hidden}

PayPal has my credit card information, so I always use that.  They only
had my bank info because they required it in order to let me withdraw
funds that people sent me.  So for folks in the USA, I stand by my
earlier statement - if you use PayPal set up a dedicated account at a
bank you don't normally deal with.

Aaron

2006\10\31@113218 by Aaron

picon face


Herbert Graf wrote:

>In the case of Paypal they have deposit access to one of my accounts,
>but the only way I can add money to my paypal account is VISA, which is
>the ONLY access I give companies (since disputing a charge is quite easy
>with VISA).
>
>
>  
>

Herbert,

You're in Canada, right?  Deposit-only accesss is something I've never
heard of.  I'll have to check with my bank here in the USA to see if
this is an option.

Aaron

2006\10\31@115054 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Neither has PayPal offered any explanation.  The money just silently
>appeared back in my paypal account.  No email notification or anything.  
>I found it when I logged in last night.  I still have to withdraw it
>into my bank account.  Hopefully that goes smoothly!

Hope they don't charge you for the transaction ...

2006\10\31@115247 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2006-10-31 at 11:22 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Howard Winter wrote:
>
> > That's rather difficult to do over here - how would you get the money
> > into the account whenever you want to pay for something?
>
> Don't you have simple (and free) transfers?

If by here you mean North America: nope. Wire transfers are slow,
expensive, and a pain in the *** here. :( TTYL

2006\10\31@115751 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Aaron,

It is possible to spoof your system with a phishing trojan like that (I
would not say that is there, but the possibility is always there). So that
if there is a trojan sitting on your computer it can do whatever it wants to
do, changing your web pages in that way that you will see a different one
believing that you do it right, and finally it can delete mails from your
mail server or alter it, send transactions and even paying items as it was
you using stolen credentials and/or man-in-the-middle attacks.

Try to use well known antivirus products to search through your system and
also well known and trusted anti-spyware softwares. Use firewall products
other than the WinXP built-in one. Also Internet Explorer 7 and
FireFox 2.0are much better in fighting against phishing and fraud
stuff. Until that I
would suggest you to change the password for eBay and PayPal and other
online banking access using a *different* computer which you believe that is
well protected against threats.

I hope your problem will be solved soon!

Tamas




On 31/10/06, Aaron <.....aaron.piclistKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\31@121132 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >> Push for a decent banking system with decent rules (not rules
> >> established by the bank, I mean binding rules for all banks).
> >> Or else pay (and receive) only cash... :)
> >
> > It's not a regulatory problem, it's a procedural one.
>
> Procedures are limited by available infrastructure and
> regulations (and stupidity, of course). So a procedural
> problem potentially has a solution in decent regulations
> based on a decent infrastructure. And since we are talking
> about money exchange between different entities, we are also
> talking about money exchange between different banks. Which
> of course implies that the banks operate from a common set of
> rules and procedures, which preferably is not from two


Stupidity can overcome almost anything, even bureaucracy.

This isn't a bank-to-bank problem, is a
customer-to-vendor-to-processor-to-bank-to-bank-to-vendor problem.  The
regulations to ensure everyone plays fair probably exist, and would have
given the same result, perhaps several months later.  

In this situation, the vendor either provides a credit, or hands over a
cheque for the difference.  Problem solved.  It's customer service, not
regulations.

At one job where we processed credit cards, I somehow wound up with handling
chargebacks.  Some of these were over a year old!  I quickly realised that
it was just easier to refund the money (mostly < $AU20) than chase the trail
to see if they were legit.  (Those who questioned my technique were invited
to do it themselves.)

Either the vendor screwed up, or the procedure takes a month.  Either is
possible.

Paypal only exists because of credit cards.  Doing what they do with only
bank accounts would have been near impossible.  Sure, bank-to-bank
communication is standardised, but you have to be a member of the club to
get access to it.  Customers and vendors don't have a chance, hence the need
for the middlemen.  I would take me half a day to figure out how to send you
money thru the bank-to-bank route.  Paypal?  60 seconds.

Sure it sucks, but so does the alternative.

Tony

(I spent time on a project called BASEL II recently, that's was a 'let's all
do the same thing' for banks.  It was as exciting as it sounds.)

2006\10\31@121225 by Mark Jordan

flavicon
face
On 31 Oct 2006 at 11:52, Herbert Graf wrote:

> On Tue, 2006-10-31 at 11:22 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> > Howard Winter wrote:
> >
> > > That's rather difficult to do over here - how would you get the money
> > > into the account whenever you want to pay for something?
> >
> > Don't you have simple (and free) transfers?
>
> If by here you mean North America: nope. Wire transfers are slow,
> expensive, and a pain in the *** here. :( TTYL
>
> --

       Here in Brazil you can login in your bank's website and transfer
money from your bank account to another account on the same bank
immediately. (There are amount limits, of course).
       Transfer to other banks takes one day to clear out.
       You can do the same on any ATM.

       Mark Jordan




2006\10\31@124731 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

> Paypal only exists because of credit cards.  

Not really. It exists because it seems that outside of a few European
countries nobody understands the ease that cheap bank-to-bank transfer
brings.

> Doing what they do with only bank accounts would have been near
> impossible.  

FWIW, it has been done in Germany since before the 60ies.

> Sure, bank-to-bank communication is standardised, but you have to be a
> member of the club to get access to it.  

"The club" = living in Germany, the Netherlands or any of the other
countries who have that available for every checking account holder. Look
up the thread from a year ago or so where Wouter and I explained that
system in more detail. It really works out a number of kinks the US system
(that appears to be somehow UK based and therefore seems to have leaked
over to down under too) has.

> Customers and vendors don't have a chance, hence the need for the
> middlemen.  

See, in the system I'm talking about, identifiable bank-to-bank transfer is
the cheapest method. Both sender-initiated or sender-authorized
receiver-initiated transfers. (Receiver-initiated transfers can be reversed
without much bureaucracy.) Available to everybody with a checking account
(both sending and receiving). Receiving: free, unlimited. Sending: usually
free, up to a rather high and very reasonable number, and after that pretty
cheap. More expensive when used internationally, but still quite cheap
compared to the 3% credit card merchant charge. (People may think they
don't pay that, but that's just putting-the-head-in-the-sand. /Somebody/
has to pay it, and it's not the merchant.)

Having this (free or very cheap and simple bank-to-bank transfers) in
place, everything else falls into place. I want to send money to my buddy
Tony? Tony gives me his account info, and there it goes. None of us has to
leave the house for that. I want to receive payments from my clients? My
account info is on my invoice, and they just transfer it to me. No hassle
with checks in the mail and all that. They add the invoice number to the
info that goes with the payment, and I see that on my statement. I want to
pay taxes? The tax man of course has an account. I just transfer money
there. Same goes for all other service providers. And so on. Of course all
online and without abusive middlemen like PP.

> I would take me half a day to figure out how to send you money thru the
> bank-to-bank route.  Paypal?  60 seconds.

That's what I'm talking about. That's not because the bank-to-bank route
isn't workable, it's because it doesn't work well in your country. Because
the infrastructure and the regulations are not there. (That, OTOH, one may
be able to trace back to the stupidity problem :)

Gerhard

2006\10\31@125606 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Australia is similar, and I dare say the US & other countries are as well.
I don't think we have an equivalent term for 'standing order'.  I haven't
heard of too many problems with direct debits, so I guess either vendors are
careful not to screw it up, or someone has a big stick.

Direct debit from credit card is very popular here as well, mainly because
for a small company it's just the same as doing a normal credit card charge.
Nothing extra is needed, except a small well-debugged end-of-month script.

Tony

2006\10\31@134001 by Tony Smith

picon face
We could switch countries and still have the same conversation.  :)

Sure, bank-to-bank transfers within the same juristriction is fine, but only
credit cards have the back-end setup to make it easy to transfer money
between countries for the average person/vendor.

Fixing the banks would be nice, but until then you're stuck with PayPal.
The banks aren't in that much of a hurry to change (the 3% you mentioned)...
and many goverments don't like the idea either.

Tony



> {Original Message removed}

2006\10\31@134045 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2006-10-31 at 11:30 -0500, Aaron wrote:
>
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> >In the case of Paypal they have deposit access to one of my accounts,
> >but the only way I can add money to my paypal account is VISA, which is
> >the ONLY access I give companies (since disputing a charge is quite easy
> >with VISA).
> >
> >
> >  
> >
>
> Herbert,
>
> You're in Canada, right?  Deposit-only accesss is something I've never
> heard of.  I'll have to check with my bank here in the USA to see if
> this is an option.

Yes I'm in Canada.

I don't think it's anything specific. I signed up with paypal, submitted
my account details, which allows them to deposit in my account (in North
America there are basically no obstacles to depositing money into an
account with only the account number).

Then they do a "small" deposit of a specific amount that you're supposed
to submit to them to confirm it is your account so they can enable
withdrawl access. I never did that last step (on purpose). So I'm in a
kind of limbo. They are waiting for me to complete my "authorize your
account" step, but I never will.

The result is they can deposit, but they've been given no permission to
withdraw (and there is no option when I log in to withdraw from my back
account, only deposit).

TTYL

2006\10\31@140805 by peter green

flavicon
face
> Isn't the bank responsible for paying out money without your
> authority?  Or was the PayPal authority valid in itself?  And as
> for tranferring between
> accounts, that sounds ridiculous without checking with you first.
iirc its quite common for account terms to have clauses that allow them to
use money from your other accounts if you go over your overdraft limit.


2006\10\31@141115 by Richard Prosser

picon face
NZ seems to be more "European" in this regard.
We have both Direct Credit " = Standing Orders?" and direct debit
available and bank-bank transfer works overnight. Costs ~50c I think.

One problem. You have to enter the correct bank account number. If the
money ends up in the wrong accoujnt it's your job to get it back. The
bank can't do much about it. My son bought a car and transferred the
money at the bank and the account number was "corrected" by the
teller. The money never arrived. The bank could only reverse the
transaction because it was their error. If my son had given the wrong
account number we could still be trying to get it back - a year
later!.

RP

On 01/11/06, Tony Smith <ajsmithspamKILLspamrivernet.com.au> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\10\31@142243 by peter green

flavicon
face

> Not really. It exists because it seems that outside of a few European
> countries nobody understands the ease that cheap bank-to-bank transfer
> brings.
its an option but there are two problems

1: giving out bank details is often considered a bit risky, while people
shouldn't be able to use them to get money out of your account shouldn't and
can't are very different things.

2: last i checked international bank transfers are insanely priced for small
sums (domestic ones are generally free), i think my (uk) bank wanted a fee
of arround ?7 to send money to germany.

2006\10\31@143227 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> This happened one month ago. I ordered a few proto PCBs, for
> a total of $120. The clerk at the PCB shop accidentally
> entered $920. She "corrected" it and assumed all was OK, but
> in fact it "locked" my checking account for 4 weeks, which
> began to run so short it took a trip to the bank to sort out.
> Finally, the error was caught, but somebody had the use of
> $800 of my money for almost a month.
>
> I'll never use these people again,, but how can one protect
> from this kind of thing?
>

I had more or less the same thing happen to me when entertaining a client at
a local bar/restaurant some years ago. The cashier hadn't been fully trained
with the CC machine and didn't understand the response code from Amex to
mean that it was accepted. She felt my card had been declined. The owner was
called over and made a quip about cutting up the card, which infuriated me,
but I couldn't really say anything in front of the client. We ended up
sorting it out, and afterwards I lodged a complaint against the place with
every one I could think of including Amex.

My point is just that we are at the mercy of untrained employees and
confusing equipment whenever we use a card. Although I no longer do so,
after that incident, I always carried enough cash to cover in an emergency
and I tried to pay when the client was not near by.

If it were up to me, and my wife manages the funds so it isn't, I would bank
only with a small, hometown credit union. My experience has been that they
jump where there is a problem where as the "Wells Fargo's" don't really give
a crap. There are more "Wells Fargo" ATMs, branches and cool online
services, but when push comes to shove... Knowing your banker by first name
is cooler still.

She recently found three $60 charges against our bank account and realized
that the replacement ATM card she had been expecting was over due. It took
weeks of waiting, hours on hold, and several lost faxes to get our $120
back. They required that we report the incident to the police (not that I
minded, but the time was wasting) and the office actually said, with a
straight face mind you, that the secret service would be investigating the
apparent theft of our mail. And to my wife's credit, she kept a straight
face. And yes, he really did say "secret service." <sarcasm>It's a good
thing they are so well funded after 911, so that they can take on mail fraud
in addition to locking down our boarders against terrorists.</sarcasm>

---
James.


2006\10\31@145932 by peter green

flavicon
face

> sums (domestic ones are generally free), i think my (uk) bank wanted a fee
> of arround ?7 to send money to germany.
sorry that should have said £7, looks like my mail client was misconfigured.


2006\10\31@164358 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
peter green wrote:

>> sums (domestic ones are generally free), i think my (uk) bank wanted a fee
>> of arround ?7 to send money to germany.

> sorry that should have said £7, looks like my mail client was misconfigured.

Exactly what I'm talking about: missing common regulations and
infrastructure. It could be cheaper...

And before someone says that this is better with a private company because
it's so difficult to get different governments to agree on something, think
about this a bit. If they don't agree on something, there are no
cross-border regulations. That private company is then not bound by any
cross-border regulations, because they are not existing. PayPal UK may be
bound by UK law, but PayPal US for sure isn't. And if PayPal UK can say
that they have done their part and the problem is with PayPal US, you're
probably out of luck, court-wise, in the UK. For example.

Gerhard

2006\10\31@164422 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> 2: last i checked international bank transfers are insanely
> priced for small
> sums (domestic ones are generally free), i think my (uk) bank
> wanted a fee
> of arround ?7 to send money to germany.

One of the defences of the banks for such fees is that they bear the
risks and fees of the currency exchange. Apparenlty the European
burocracy took notice of this, and when the Euro was introduced a law
was passed that transfers within the Euro zone must bear the same fee as
national transfers.

So the solution is simple: join the Euro :)

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\10\31@164940 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Mark Jordan wrote:

>> If by here you mean North America: nope. Wire transfers are slow,
>> expensive, and a pain in the *** here. :( TTYL
>
>        Here in Brazil you can login in your bank's website and transfer
> money from your bank account to another account on the same bank
> immediately. (There are amount limits, of course).
>        Transfer to other banks takes one day to clear out.
>        You can do the same on any ATM.

But the Brazilian government charges a tax for every transfer (0.38%,
unless it's between accounts of the same owner), and the typical fees for
bank-to-bank transfers in Brazil are quite steep when compared to the
similar service in Europe (typically around 3USD).

Whereas transferring funds from one account to another using a check is
usually free (like in the USA). Go figure... Just for fun, follow the path
of a typical check payment, then follow the path of an online-initiated
direct funds transfer and then try to explain why the latter is so much
more expensive (goes for both Brazil and the USA) or not even available to
the common banking customer (ACH transfers, in the USA).

Gerhard

2006\10\31@165736 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Sure, bank-to-bank transfers within the same juristriction is
> fine, but only
> credit cards have the back-end setup to make it easy to transfer money
> between countries for the average person/vendor.

True, but for me 'juristriction' in your sense is certainly all
countries that use the Euro, and maybe all other countries (for instance
Sweden) that use the European-Contintal banking system.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\10\31@170130 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> One problem. You have to enter the correct bank account number. If the
> money ends up in the wrong accoujnt it's your job to get it back.

Well, if you tell your bank to do something wrong it does not surprise
me that they consider it your problem if you told them the wrong thing.
If you want to dereference a wild pointer...

But of course technology can and should help. When I do a bank money
transfer (in my off-line banking program) I fill in both the account
number and the receipients name. When I go online the name/number
combination is checked for all domestic (same country) transfers, if
they disagree I must acknowledge the transfer with the corrected name.
My wife prefers the on-line web based interface which works much the
same.

But when I do a transfer to a foreign account (differnet country) I
don't think there is such a check, so it is my duty to specify the right
data.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\10\31@182447 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > Sure, bank-to-bank transfers within the same juristriction is fine,
> > but only credit cards have the back-end setup to make it easy to
> > transfer money between countries for the average person/vendor.
>
> True, but for me 'juristriction' in your sense is certainly
> all countries that use the Euro, and maybe all other
> countries (for instance
> Sweden) that use the European-Contintal banking system.
>
> Wouter van Ooijen


Yes, that's what I meant.  Since I'm in Australia, I'm outside of your
juristriction (& vice versa), so money transfers are a bit more difficult (&
$$$).

The good thing about PayPal is it lets individuals accept credit cards.
Indirectly of course, and the costs are much less than international
transfers (except in your case).

In Australia, most eBayers will accept payment to their bank account, the
costs are low, same as what Gerhard said.  Mind you, Australian banks try to
charge you for everything, they'd bill you for the ink you used to fill out
a deposit slip if they could find a way to meter it.

If the UK is in the EU, then so should Oz, being part of the Empire and all
that.

Tony

2006\10\31@185651 by peter green

flavicon
face

> One of the defences of the banks for such fees is that they bear the
> risks and fees of the currency exchange.
but if you look at how the fees are structured (flat fee for any transaction up to ?5000 iirc) it is clear that the real reason is they don't wan't to be bothered with small overseas transactions.


> Apparenlty the European
> burocracy took notice of this, and when the Euro was introduced a law
> was passed that transfers within the Euro zone must bear the same fee as
> national transfers.
and according to wikipedia the french banks decided to get arround this by making transfers free only if done online and not implementing international transfers in thier online interfaces.


2006\10\31@205834 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

> If the UK is in the EU,

It is, but only somewhat

> then so should Oz, being part of the Empire and all that.

I don't think the Empire has made it into the EU. But Australia could apply
for a membership on its own right -- maybe they can claim to be culturally
closer than Turkey. Or maybe not... :)

Gerhard


'[OT] My Personal Paypal Horror Story'
2006\11\01@023548 by Wouter van Ooijen
face picon face
> and according to wikipedia the french banks decided to get
> arround this by making transfers free only if done online and
> not implementing international transfers in thier online interfaces.

Dunno if this is true, and if so how long it will last. But the french
are of course a breed apart.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\01@040509 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Australia is similar, and I dare say the US & other countries are as well.
>I don't think we have an equivalent term for 'standing order'.  I haven't
>heard of too many problems with direct debits, so I guess either vendors
>are
>careful not to screw it up, or someone has a big stick.

New Zealand tried to introduce a Direct debit system back in the 60's, and
the way it was being handled caused an accountant relation of mine to ask
some very awkward questions at a presentation for accountants. The result
was it got shelved for a number of years until they sorted out how
authorisations and traceability were done.

2006\11\01@040948 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>One problem. You have to enter the correct bank account number. If the
>money ends up in the wrong accoujnt it's your job to get it back. The
>bank can't do much about it.

<VBG> I had a whole company branch payroll direct credited to my account
once - but I did not work for them. They were a customer of the company I
worked for at the time though.

It didn't stay there very long though - all the transactions were reversed
within 24 hours (sigh).

2006\11\01@133921 by Rolf

face picon face
Aaron wrote:
> Last week, my bank calls to say my account is overdrawn.  Seems that
> somehow an unauthorized transaction occurred and I am now nearly $2000
> poorer.  And my bank helped them out by transferring money out of my
> savings account to cover the 'shortfall' in my checking account.  Of
> course I dispute the transactions with both with paypal and my bank.
>
> Thankfully, as of today, the money is back in my PayPal account.  Of
> course, it still remains to be seen if it withdraws properly, but at
> least it is back in my available paypal balance.  It looks like I'm only
> out the $33 overdraft charge and the time and hassle of closing old bank
> accounts and setting up new ones.  After I get my money back out of
> paypal, I'm going to hit them up for the overdraft charge and see if
> they will cover it since it wasn't my fault.
>
> Moral of the Story - If you use Paypal, set up a dedicated account at a
> bank you don't normally deal with.
>
> Aaron
>  
I don't suppose you made a *very* public complaint ....

http://cbs5.com/topstories/local_story_305004735.html

Kidding, of course.... It would have been much more spectacular if it
were a piclister.... ;-)

Rolf

2006\11\01@175441 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Peter,

On Tue, 31 Oct 2006 18:57:37 -0000, peter green wrote:

> > Not really. It exists because it seems that outside of a few European
> > countries nobody understands the ease that cheap bank-to-bank transfer
> > brings.
> its an option but there are two problems
>
> 1: giving out bank details is often considered a bit risky, while people
> shouldn't be able to use them to get money out of your account shouldn't and
> can't are very different things.

I've never understood this - whenever you give someone a cheque it has all that information (bank sort code, account number) printed on it, so you
*are* giving this to other people (you're also giving them a sample of your signature)!  Giving someone a cheque was never considered a risk, so why
is it riskier to give them the same information directly?

> 2: last i checked international bank transfers are insanely priced for small
> sums (domestic ones are generally free), i think my (uk) bank wanted a fee
> of arround ?7 to send money to germany.

Huh, that's cheap!  :-)  Last time I checked, sending money internationally from my bank would have cost £22... I paid by PayPal, which incidentally
means the recipient pays the cost, rather than the sender as happens with almost any other type of transfer (including MoneyBookers, Western Union,
etc) which hasn't been mentioned in this thread.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\11\01@181152 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Wouter,

On Wed, 1 Nov 2006 08:33:36 +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> > and according to wikipedia the french banks decided to get
> > arround this by making transfers free only if done online and
> > not implementing international transfers in thier online interfaces.
>
> Dunno if this is true, and if so how long it will last. But the french
> are of course a breed apart.

I've always thought that the EU would be better off without France - that nonsense about moving the European Parliament (I think - it may be
another entity) between two cities each month because France insisted that it was in their country for some of the time, is an example where huge
amounts of money are wasted just to satisfy the French ego...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\11\03@161552 by Barry Gershenfeld

face picon face
Alternate title: "Creative Financing".

I almost changed the thread title, but decided to "stick with the crowd".

My online banking lets me issue checks (U.S. for "cheques") to anyone I
want.  For businesses these transfer electronically in a day or two; for a
private party, it goes through the mail.  Still, I don't have to mess with
PayPal or worry about whether I can trust them.  As an added benefit, I can
delete all email purporting to be worrying about my PayPal account without
reading it, since I don't have an account (as well as with the Bank of
Tennessee, Frostbite Falls Credit Union, or the Fifth Third Bank--that last
one's real, by the way!)

This story didn't actually happen to me, but saying so will keep it
simple.  I sent my sister a check to cover some previous expenses.  When
the bank statement arrived, I saw she had cashed the check.  I was
interested to see how long it took for her to cash it.  Much to my surprise
she had cashed it almost immediately.  I checked my records to see when I
had issued it.  What I found was that she had cashed the check the day
before she received it!

I called the bank to find out what was going on.  Oh, the help line said
cheerfully, we have a feature that helps prevent overdrafts!  Seems that
when you issue the check, the funds are debited from your
account.   Apparently this prevents you from thinking  you have more money
than you do, thus preventing overdrafts.  When the check is posted, they
pay the recipient (or that bank).  In the meantime, guess who has the money
to play with?

I'm glad that in real life, it isn't my bank that  does this.  Not that I
have much love for them.  The last time I changed banks to get away from
them, they simply bought the bank I had switched to!

Barry

2006\11\03@173141 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I almost changed the thread title, but decided to "stick with
> the crowd". (snip story about checks / cheques)

I still think this cheques system is weird: you write on a piece of
paper, which you give to someone else, who takes it to her bank, which
reads it, and forwards the request to your bank, to transfer money to
her bank, at which point your bank might find that you don't have that
amount of money in your account.

If you want money from your account to her account, just say to your
bank how much and to which account (if you want you can do that on
paper, but we live in the www age...). If you don't have that amount of
money they can tell you immediately. But this is probably my continental
predudice...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\04@092425 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Nov 03, 2006 at 11:29:26PM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > I almost changed the thread title, but decided to "stick with
> > the crowd". (snip story about checks / cheques)
>
> I still think this cheques system is weird: you write on a piece of
> paper, which you give to someone else, who takes it to her bank, which
> reads it, and forwards the request to your bank, to transfer money to
> her bank, at which point your bank might find that you don't have that
> amount of money in your account.

That's about the gist of it.

> If you want money from your account to her account, just say to your
> bank how much and to which account (if you want you can do that on
> paper, but we live in the www age...). If you don't have that amount of
> money they can tell you immediately. But this is probably my continental
> predudice...

The perceived problems are authenication and paper trail. The piece of
paper (check) has a signature on it. That signature is verified by your
bank when the check is presented. Also the actual piece of paper (or
a digital image of it) is available when you dispute that you authorized
the transaction.

Virtually every business has a online presentation method now. What's
missing is a way for individuals and other small concerns to conduct such
transactions.

It took an act of the US Congress to allow for faxed signatures to be
legally binding. Authorization and authenication are still problematic
issues.

BAJ

2006\11\04@103435 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> It took an act of the US Congress to allow for faxed signatures to be
> legally binding. Authorization and authenication are still problematic
> issues.

On this side of the water that issue seems to have been solved, at least
in practice. In the paper age I filled in and signed a transaction
request, much like your cheques, but I sent it to *my* bank. The bank
processes the request to an electronic form, destroyed the paper, and
processed the request. In the electronic age my request is electronic, I
use my login with password, and for each session I must provide a unqiue
code number (I have a list of 200 such numbers, each is used only once.
The list is sent by regular mail). The www version my wife uses also
requires a password, but the session code is sent to her mobile phone by
SMS. But the contact is still between me and my bank, the receipient has
no involvement other than seeing her bank account increased by the
amount I transferred to her.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\05@221453 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Byron A Jeff wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 03, 2006 at 11:29:26PM +0100, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>>> I almost changed the thread title, but decided to "stick with
>>> the crowd". (snip story about checks / cheques)
>> I still think this cheques system is weird: you write on a piece of
>> paper, which you give to someone else, who takes it to her bank, which
>> reads it, and forwards the request to your bank, to transfer money to
>> her bank, at which point your bank might find that you don't have that
>> amount of money in your account.
>
> That's about the gist of it.

*ALL* monetary systems are based on trust, including cash.  If the
"end-users" of the system stop trusting the system, it falls apart (or
more likely is re-vamped).

Nate

2006\11\05@234608 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Nate Duehr wrote:
{Quote hidden}

We just waded thru a paypal fraud. It seems that a fraudster had been
telling EBay that my wife
sold him a laptop for $1439 and that he never received the goods. No
such transaction ever happened;
in fact we never owned a laptop. Lois turned in his fraudulent emails
repeatedly to ".....spoofKILLspamspam.....ebay.com".

Then all of a sudden Paypal dinged our paypal account, which fell thru
to our debit card, for $1439.
We immediately complained, noticing that the spoofer even used his own
<?> name in the scam. This
happened on Thursday. We complained all day Friday. By Sat night the
charge was sent back to the
bank. But for 2 days and a weekend, we were on our knees with the bank
account locked out. It turned
out that Paypal used an old CC# that had been cancelled by the bank<?>
but the bank honored it anyway.
There was a lot of foot-shuffling at the bank when it realized it made a
serious error by honoring a card
that was cancelled at the bank a year before.

The funds will be there tomorrow, but this is my LATEST paypal episode.

--Bob

2006\11\06@014829 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> *ALL* monetary systems are based on trust, including cash.  If the
> "end-users" of the system stop trusting the system, it falls
> apart (or more likely is re-vamped).

But some are more trust-based than others, so it is usefull to talk
about such differences.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2006\11\06@021041 by Nate Duehr

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Bob Axtell wrote:

> Then all of a sudden Paypal dinged our paypal account, which fell thru
> to our debit card, for $1439.
> We immediately complained, noticing that the spoofer even used his own
> <?> name in the scam. This
> happened on Thursday. We complained all day Friday. By Sat night the
> charge was sent back to the
> bank. But for 2 days and a weekend, we were on our knees with the bank
> account locked out. It turned
> out that Paypal used an old CC# that had been cancelled by the bank<?>
> but the bank honored it anyway.
> There was a lot of foot-shuffling at the bank when it realized it made a
> serious error by honoring a card
> that was cancelled at the bank a year before.

Sue the bank for something -- it's the only thing that will get their
PERMANENT attention on their internal problems.  Lawsuits are overdone,
but a small-claims suit will have the full attention of their managers,
their legal department, and a whole lot of people real quick-like... if
only for a day...

Of course, you'd have to leave the back most likely, but there's plenty
of banking competition out there.

Not to mention even if you don't sue them or take other very strong
action against them for honoring a credit card that was canceled or
expired long-prior to the transaction, you really should pull ALL of
your business from any organization that does that anyway.

Not saying that another bank might not make the same mistake, but well,
really they might not.  And pulling all of your business is simply that
-- GOOD business.

If they can't be trustworthy enough not to put a transaction through on
a card that doesn't exist... whew... it'd definitely be time to leave
that bank if that happened to me.  That's a sign that they might have
severely bad internal processes and procedures and FDIC or not... they
could be gone tomorrow.

And again, small-claims lawsuit, real lawsuit or none, you MUST report
what they did to your local banking oversight folks, please.  The
over-seers can't do their jobs without input.

> The funds will be there tomorrow, but this is my LATEST paypal episode.

All these stories make me want to go dump my PayPal account... I've
always been slightly nervous about them being virtually a bank but
without any kind of insurance or oversight, but their practices in most
of these messages really destroys my confidence that they're responsible
adults with people's hard-earned money.  Obviously your bank isn't
worthy of that level of trust either.

At the very least, have a discussion with a VERY high up official at
your bank, far above "branch manager", even if you have to send/fax a
written letter of complaint so it gets routed to them.

If the bank is a public company, CC all the members of the Board of
Directors -- you'll find their contact information on most companies
public websites, and copying the Board keeps them both in the loop on
serious problems within the organization so they can "ride herd" from
the top by putting pressure on the President/CEO to "get his stuff
together" as well as gives the middle-level to slightly upper-level
person you intended to get a response from an instant kick in the ass
that there's people FAR up the chain above him or her watching his/her
response VERY closely... or at least they'll feel that way, and respond
instantly and VERY professionally.

Play the game Bob -- and don't back down until they've given you
something for the time, effort, and lack of access to your funds (and
from your perspective, missed opportunity costs) as well as perhaps
making sure that at least one higher level person in the bank has felt
at least the level of panic and pain that you did.

Being a large organization with lots of complexity of handling lots of
money and lots of customers does NOT preclude the bank from treating
your money as if it were their own, if they wish to continue to do
business with you.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but I don't play nicely with companies that
screw with my money.  I work too hard for it, and they'd better work at
least as hard to remedy the situation and offer something to retain my
business when they screw around with it.

Make it VERY clear that they as a business put a con-artist in charge of
YOUR money for at least two days, if not three, and you don't TRUST them
to handle it anymore, and see if they respond in an appropriate way --
actions and more than words.  If you don't get action, go higher.  Find
the person who actually makes real business decisions at the bank.

At least you'll know if you should continue to do business with them or
not by the end of an hour of phone calls and/or an hour of letter
writing.  These days, the letter tends to be slow but much more
effective, especially with the right CC's on them.  The fact that you
took time to put something in writing in this fast-paced
e-mail/phone/instant connectivity world and that you're tracking the
response as well as copying other interested parties on it... gets far
better overall service than an e-mail or a phone call.  Strange, but
true -- the "old tech" way of doing business gets better results in the
"new world".

(GRIN... evil GRIN perhaps, but GRIN nonetheless.)

Nate

2006\11\06@021233 by Nate Duehr

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Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>> *ALL* monetary systems are based on trust, including cash.  If the
>> "end-users" of the system stop trusting the system, it falls
>> apart (or more likely is re-vamped).
>
> But some are more trust-based than others, so it is usefull to talk
> about such differences.

Heh, agreed.  Just a reminder of basic Economics, in case anyone forgets
that cash isn't really "worth" anything other than what people believe
it's "worth".

I sure like having some of it in the current state of mind, though --
please feel free to keep believing my cash is worth something.  I like
it that way!

:-)

Nate

2006\11\06@040644 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>If the bank is a public company, CC all the members of the Board of
>Directors -- you'll find their contact information on most companies
>public websites, and copying the Board keeps them both in the loop on
>serious problems within the organization so they can "ride herd" from
>the top by putting pressure on the President/CEO to "get his stuff
>together" as well as gives the middle-level to slightly upper-level
>person you intended to get a response from an instant kick in the ass
>that there's people FAR up the chain above him or her watching his/her
>response VERY closely... or at least they'll feel that way, and respond
>instantly and VERY professionally.

Sometimes the way to deal with this end is to purchase one share in the
company, so you can go to shareholder meetings and ask awkward questions.
Nothing like a Board member embarrassed in front of shareholders to get
action - saw it happen in a company I worked for once.

2006\11\06@063044 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Nate Duehr wrote:

>>> I still think this cheques system is weird: you write on a piece of
>>> paper, which you give to someone else, who takes it to her bank, which
>>> reads it, and forwards the request to your bank, to transfer money to
>>> her bank, at which point your bank might find that you don't have that
>>> amount of money in your account.
>>
>> That's about the gist of it.
>
> *ALL* monetary systems are based on trust, including cash.  

The main difference between a check-based system and a sender-initiated
transfer system is not that much trust, it is efficiency of procedures.

For example, translating the check-based system into the online world has
been difficult and the likes of Paypal are milestones on this difficult
path; translating the sender-initiated transfer system into the online
world was almost a no-brainer. I, as a normal banking customer, could
initiate online transfers in Germany in the 80ies, way before Internet
banking (or the Internet) was known, and this included paying my bills,
receiving client payments and paying taxes (as all this comes automatically
with the sender-initiated transfer system). No need to set up a "bill
payment system" that's separate from other types of transactions with
special contracts with hundreds of service providers (as every bank has to
do that provides a bill payment system -- imagine the collective effort to
set all that up!), because this functionality is already built in from the
start. No need for third party transaction handlers to enable people to pay
taxes with something other than paper checks sent by mail, because that
functionality is also already built in from the start.

But it is /also/ about trust. There is much less trust needed for the
sender-initiated transfer system; the sender is only talking to her bank,
and the receiver is only dealing with his bank. The document (if it is a
paper document) that initiates the transaction doesn't go through several
hands and mail stretches; it goes straight from the sender to her bank. In
most cases now, there is no paper document involved at all, just a unique
transaction number (like Wouter explained earlier). Once the money of a
sender-initiated transfer reaches the receiver's account, it is there for
good (unless the bank made an error). No possibility as with a deposited
check that the funds may be withdrawn from the receiver's account up to a
month later if the check bounced, with all the associated costs and hassle
for both the sender and the receiver: the late withdrawal may cause the
receiver's account to go into overdraft, may cause some of the receiver's
own checks and payments to bounce, and so on. I very much prefer not to
receive a client's (direct) payment (in the case they have no money) than
to receive a check that bounces. The "not received deserved payment" part
is the same, but the "collateral damage" part is practically non-existent
with sender-initiated transfers.

Anyway, I think it can be revealing to understand a
sender-initiated-transfer system and do a comparison with a check-based
system. The question of "why oh why" is almost inevitable :)

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheque#The_future_of_cheques

Gerhard

2006\11\06@161032 by peter green

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> I still think this cheques system is weird: you write on a piece of
> paper, which you give to someone else, who takes it to her bank, which
> reads it, and forwards the request to your bank, to transfer money to
> her bank, at which point your bank might find that you don't have that
> amount of money in your account.
right, but if combined with a cheque gaurantee card then the gaurantee card company will chase it and take most of the risk off the merchant.

alternatively they can set a debt collection agency on you.

its not as solid as a card system that can be checked in real time but its pretty much the next best thing for those situations in which cards are impractical (e.g. small buisnesses who don't wan't to invest in the kit/pay the card fees, payments to private individuals etc)



2006\11\06@162912 by peter green

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> Anyway, I think it can be revealing to understand a
> sender-initiated-transfer system and do a comparison with a check-based
> system. The question of "why oh why" is almost inevitable :)
the big problem with sender initiated is that most such systems have no way to prove to a merchant that you have indeed sent the money until the money actually arrives (which at least in the uk takes days if the accounts are with different banks)

also sender initiated systems also often suffer from a high risk of errors and a difficult time recovering money if an error is made (a typo can mean your money can end up in the account of a third party who may not be particularlly willing to give it back).


2006\11\07@082902 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
peter green wrote:

>> Anyway, I think it can be revealing to understand a
>> sender-initiated-transfer system and do a comparison with a check-based
>> system. The question of "why oh why" is almost inevitable :)

> the big problem with sender initiated is that most such systems have no
> way to prove to a merchant that you have indeed sent the money until the
> money actually arrives (which at least in the uk takes days if the
> accounts are with different banks)

Now try that with a check payment... the days become weeks :)

And you say correctly "with most systems". This just means that there are
some faulty implementations out there.

The time it takes to reach the recipient's account is dependent on the
communication between the banks. If it's too long, the communication system
is not set up properly. There's nothing inherent in the system for it to
take that long.


> also sender initiated systems also often suffer from a high risk of
> errors and a difficult time recovering money if an error is made (a typo
> can mean your money can end up in the account of a third party who may
> not be particularlly willing to give it back).

This is correct. However, there are a number of ways to address this.

One is (in online payments) to verify the account holder's name before
actually sending the money, after typing in the account information. This
is very likely to catch any mistyping. Another is to use redundant account
numbers that include something like a parity number. This is also quite
likely to catch any mistyping. Both together make such a mistake almost
impossible.

Another is to use the reverse method of the sender-initiated transfer
system: you give someone permission for a one-time or recurring withdrawal.
The way this is handled in Germany is that such withdrawals can be disputed
up until something like a month after the statement date where it appears,
similar to credit card transactions. Of course, with that you get (at the
receiver side) the disadvantage that the funds may be withdrawn after some
time. But that's not any different from credit card purchases -- it's just
/much/ cheaper. Don't be fooled that just because you never see the 3% that
the CC companies charge you don't pay them -- the merchants in places that
rely heavily on CC payments of course factor those 3% into their prices.

Gerhard

2006\11\07@083522 by Gerhard Fiedler

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peter green wrote:

> its not as solid as a card system that can be checked in real time but
> its pretty much the next best thing for those situations in which cards
> are impractical (e.g. small buisnesses who don't wan't to invest in the
> kit/pay the card fees, payments to private individuals etc)

It sometimes seems that you have to have lived with both systems to be able
to appreciate the differences. One reason may be that it needs some digging
until you see "into" the banking systems, because they are not many places
where they are comprehensively but easily understandably explained.

Gerhard

2006\11\07@095341 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > the big problem with sender initiated is that most such
> systems have no
> > way to prove to a merchant that you have indeed sent the
> money until the
> > money actually arrives (which at least in the uk takes days if the
> > accounts are with different banks)

In my country this is 3 days max, often 2 days. Not much longer than a
cheque would take to arrive at the receipient, and that would not yet be
a guarantee that the cheque actually clears! (BTW: can you send a cheque
electronically, without the trip to the mail box?).

> The time it takes to reach the recipient's account is dependent on the
> communication between the banks. If it's too long, the
> communication system
> is not set up properly. There's nothing inherent in the
> system for it to take that long.

Of course in contries where the dominant mechanism is cheques there will
be little pressure to improve the senser-initiated system.

> Don't be fooled that just because you never
> see the 3% that
> the CC companies charge you don't pay them -- the merchants
> in places that
> rely heavily on CC payments of course factor those 3% into
> their prices.

compare my PayPal and bank transfer prices...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\07@095341 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> It sometimes seems that you have to have lived with both
> systems to be able
> to appreciate the differences. One reason may be that it
> needs some digging
> until you see "into" the banking systems, because they are
> not many places
> where they are comprehensively but easily understandably explained.

Like the VAT versus sales-tax difference: when you live in a country
where a particular system has been dominant since you were born it is
difficult to even realise that other situations can exits, let alone
what you should tell about your situation to explain it to someone else!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\07@111140 by Alan B. Pearce

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>(BTW: can you send a cheque electronically, without the trip to the mail
>box?).

This is how the Switch/maestro network works for debit cards. When I first
arrived in the UK I couldn't get my head around it taking 3 days to clear my
payment when I went to the supermarket - too used to the NZ system where it
was transferred immediately.

2006\11\08@103501 by Howard Winter

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Gerhard,

On Tue, 7 Nov 2006 11:28:03 -0200, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>...
> The time it takes to reach the recipient's account is dependent on the
> communication between the banks. If it's too long, the communication system
> is not set up properly. There's nothing inherent in the system for it to
> take that long.

Yes there is - the banks' desire to hang onto your money and collect the interest on it.  It's been this way all along, which is why electronic transfers
between banks take three days here - nothing to do with communications, all to do with profits!

As a matter of interest, do you pay charges for your bank account?  If not, where does the bank make its money?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\11\08@134711 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>> The time it takes to reach the recipient's account is dependent on the
>> communication between the banks. If it's too long, the communication
>> system is not set up properly. There's nothing inherent in the system
>> for it to take that long.
>
> Yes there is - the banks' desire to hang onto your money and collect the
> interest on it.  It's been this way all along, which is why electronic
> transfers between banks take three days here - nothing to do with
> communications, all to do with profits!

Of course. But banks are also to some degree following customer requests,
at least in principle. If a 3 day delay is not deemed acceptable anymore,
they'll find other ways to make money.

> As a matter of interest, do you pay charges for your bank account?  If
> not, where does the bank make its money?

I have checking accounts in three countries. For most of them I don't pay
charges. The conditions for that vary, though. In one case (Brazil) it was
a promotion that I received for returning to a bank that I had left before.
In Brazil there are also banks that reduce their monthly charge
proportionally with the number of transactions, and eventually the account
is free. (Which is a bit odd, if you think about it :)  In the USA it seems
to be common to get a free checking account if you leave a daily balance in
the neighborhood of $1k on the account. You do the math how much this
costs... (around $5/month). Another oddity is a German account: monthly fee
is waived for any month in which it receives a deposit of around 1300 Euro.
Then there are banks like the Netbank that even pay some interest on their
checking accounts.

Gerhard

2006\11\08@151958 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> As a matter of interest, do you pay charges for your bank
> account?  If not, where does the bank make its money?

In the Netherlands I pay zero or almost zero for my private account, but
I do pay (per transaction) for my professional account.  But the fees
are IMHO low (IIRC the highest domestic fee is E 0.30 for a
paper-initiated transaction, which are very rare). I don't think the
banks earn much on accounts, they earn their profit by providing
mortages.

I get zero interest on my main account, but transfers between the main
account and the various associated savings account are easy and free of
charge, so with a little bit of hassle I can get a fair interest on my
money.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\11\08@180609 by Tamas Rudnai

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My bank do not charge for wire transfer within the EU if I use the normal
method, however, for urgent transactions I do have to pay a lot. A normal
transfer is cleared around 5 working days while urgent is 2-3 so there is no
point for doing that. But they definitely do not keep my account for free,
there is a charge on everything else (duty fees, stamp fees, for the card I
have, for all the standing orders and direct debits I made, for overdrafts
if I had any and god knows for what not, once I calculated it and it was an
outstanding 80 euros a month! -- so they do earn a lot of money on accounts
but I agree that most of the money must be coming from loans, mortgages,
credit cards, insurances, foreign exchanges etc.)

Tamas



On 08/11/06, Wouter van Ooijen <EraseMEwouterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\11\15@100945 by Martin Klingensmith

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Something is missing - how did someone get your paypal password?
Is your password secure? (UPPER/lower/numbers/non-alphanumeric?)
Did you click on a link in an email?
Where did the money go?
Thank you for making me realize that I might not want to leave thousands
of dollars in a paypal account for the 5% interest.
--
Martin K

Aaron wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\11\15@102618 by Martin Klingensmith

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Yes, I've tried MoneyBookers for a group-buy at diyaudio.com that was
based in the UK.
Moneybookers never confirmed my account after giving them my credit card
info, so I was unable to use my account or pay for the group-buy after
giving them my CC info. Others had gotten it to work, but they didn't
respond to my email.
I'll stick with PayPal, I've never had a problem in the past 6-7 years.
--
Martin K

Patrick Murphy wrote:
> I have no connection nor experience with MoneyBookers, but am considering trying
> them out - their fees appear to be lower than Western Union. Has anyone tried
> their services?
>
> <http://www.moneybookers.com>
>
>  


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