Wednesday 1st of December 2021

pay it forward .....

pay it forward .....

Dear “Heather” whoever you are.

Thank you for your aggressive, offensive & unhelpful email letter.

In the first instance, I thought your email was just another unsolicited piece of spam: a bogus attempt to extract valuable information from an unsuspecting user of internet-based services, such as PayPal.

However, after attempting to login to my PayPal account & discovering that it had indeed been frozen without explanation, I’m now 80% sure that your email is the real McCoy.

Even then though, I suspect that there is no real “Heather” in the traditional sense, but probably a bogus name programmed into your stupid computer system. If there is a real “Heather”, please do not be offended, as I realise your communication protocols are governed by your organisation. But you might care to mention to your masters, if you are real, that, where I come from, it is both impolite & offensive to forward business communications to strangers without including your full name, a contact location (real estate as opposed to an anonymous post box) & a telephone number. To do otherwise is discourteous & reflects poor business ethics, whilst inviting suspicion.

I must confess to being somewhat mystified by your aggressive communication, given that you already have my address, my credit card details & those of my bank: one of the world’s largest & an organisation with whom I’ve been a customer for over 30 years. Any half competent “financial services company” would have been able to verify my bona fides, without having to resort to such arrogant & offensive behaviour.

For the record “Heather”: I’m an Australian citizen; I own my own home (fortunately not in partnership with a “financial services company”); I work full-time & have done so for 40 odd years; I pay my taxes & meet my financial obligations; I hold an Australian passport & a current Driver’s Licence; I have no criminal convictions; I am unaware of being the subject of “sanctions” by any person or organisation, although there are plenty who have made it onto my list over the years; I look after my family & actively engage in my community; I am registered to vote & am active politically, as the Constitution of my country guarantees that I can be.

I have travelled to the United States of America on numerous occasions & have enjoyed the hospitality of many of your wonderful citizens. I was a director of a major American corporation for many years, faithfully serving the interests of its customers, my colleagues & its stockholders.

Sadly though “Heather”, I am not prepared to meet your “compliance” demands. I can see no sane reason to do so, in particular as your organisation has offered no sound reason for me to do so.

Your vague reference to non-specific “lists” is Orwellian, although unsurprising given the fascist nature of your country’s current government. For your information & better understanding, America does not run the world, as much as she might like to or think she does. I am answerable to the laws that govern my country & any other international standards legitimately entered-into by our elected government & not your country’s phoney dictates.

I find your presumption that I would comply to a request from your organisation that invades my privacy, is unnecessary & is presented in such an offensive fashion, to be arrogant & unwarranted & I will treat it with the contempt it deserves. From that, you might conclude that hell will freeze over before I will spend my time & money sending you copies of my documents.

I must say that I find your organisation & that of your parent corporation, e-Bay, quite extraordinary. In spite of my best efforts, I can find no record of your company’s registered address or a contact telephone number in Australia. Your email refers to your Australian subsidiary but provides no contact details; something that I think is illegal (it is certainly unethical) in my country.

I had intended to speak to your local office, in the first instance to verify the efficacy of your email & to try & ascertain the basis of your demand. However, given your company’s rather secretive behaviour, I have to assume that you are prepared to communicate only by your method of choice. Regrettably people are not able to contact you via your web site unless they can log-in & they can’t log-in once their account is frozen: a state of affairs reminiscent of that magnificent piece of satire on the “American Way” - Catch 22.

On that basis, I can only assume that my account with PayPal will have to stay frozen in perpetuity: or at least until you next undertake some housekeeping. But please don’t be worried; this is not a circumstance that will cause me any loss of sleep.

There are plenty of alternate means open to me to continue donating money to the entirely legal & transparent public service organisation in your country that I used to be able to do via PayPal. Your actions have not caused me any inconvenience & have succeeded only in damaging the interests of your real customer. Of course, I have taken the liberty of informing your customer of your actions & it will be a matter for them as to how they respond to your curious notion of “customer service”.

Now that we’ve dealt with your “compliance” demand “Heather”, I’d like you to address mine please.

The most important thing to me is my reputation & that of my family.

Your letter suggests that an unnamed third party, for reasons that are not stated, has decided that I might be “guilty” of some unnamed offence under unspecified laws of your country. That suggestion denies me the presumption of innocence & reverses the onus of proof: a circumstance that is anathema to freedom-loving people universally; is foreign to the principles of democracy & smacks of fascism. It is also defamatory.

So “Heather”, given these circumstances, I require PayPal to advise me of the following:

· what are the “lists” that you refer to in your mail;

· can a person’s name be added to these “lists” without any other identifying information being required/provided;

· who compiles those “lists” & what steps are taken by their compilers & PayPal to ensure that the information contained within them is accurate;

· under what circumstances is a person’s name added to these “lists” & who makes such decisions;

· is the person advised that their name has been added to these “lists”;

· what are the consequences of a person having their name added to these “lists”;

· is there a process to review the decision to add a person’s name to these “lists” & if there is, what is it;

I require you to provide the above information by return, so I can explore my options to pursue legal action to restore my reputation & recover damages.

In the meantime “Heather”, please advise your superiors that I will be broadcasting copies of your communication & my response far & wide, through the numerous internet-based publications to which I have access.

It will also be my pleasure to add PayPal & e-Bay to my “list” & to encourage freedom-loving people everywhere to do the same.

Have a nice day & I await your response.


John Richardson.

----- Original Message -----

From: <>


Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:59 PM

Subject: PayPal Verification Request (KMM3928415I96L0KM) :ppk1

Dear John Richardson,

PayPal as a regulated financial services company is required under law to assess its customers against certain lists of individuals and entities which have had sanctions imposed against them. PayPal as a financial institution is required to comply with these regulations in multiple jurisdictions where we do business.

Where a potential name match is identified, PayPal's policy is to lock the account and request further identifying documentation. The decision to lock your account has been taken solely by PayPal in line with its compliance policy in regards to the legislation covering financial sanctions.

To regain access to your account, provide the following documentation within the next seven days:

• A copy of a government-issued photograph identification (ie: passport, driver's license) that provides date of birth

• A copy of a utility bill verifying your address

Include the email address associated with your PayPal account on all copies.

Fax the information to Attention: Compliance at +303-395-2802 or mail the documentation to:

PayPal, Attention: Compliance

P.O. Box 45950

Omaha, NE 68145

United States

PayPal currently does not accept scanned documents. Reply to this e-mail with all questions at




Compliance Department

PayPal, an eBay Company

PayPal Australia Pty Limited.

Copyright © 1999-2007 PayPal. All rights reserved. PayPal Australia Pty Limited

ABN 93 111 195 389 (PPA).

PPA has an intermediary authorisation from PayPal, Inc. (ARBN 111 900 906) (PPI) which holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, number 283443. Any general financial product advice provided in this email is provided by PPA as an authorised representative (no: 296034) of PPI and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situations or needs.

the land of the free .....

----- Original Message -----

From: "JR"

To: <>

Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 1:59 PM

Subject: Re: Your recent PayPal inquiry (KMM4665928I96L0KM) :ppk

Dear Carrie.

As to my identity, if you park one of your satellites over the south coast of Australia, around 500 kilometres south of Sydney, you should be able to pick-out my property. It is the one with the sign that says "Reward – Wanted for War Crimes & Crimes against Humanity - George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld."

As foreshadowed in my previous correspondence, PayPal's refusal to comply with my request unfortunately leaves me with no alternative but to place your organisation on my "list" of sanctioned organisations, along with its parent corporation e-Bay.

Have a nice day.


----- Original Message -----

From: <>

To: "JR">

Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 5:19 AM

Subject: Your recent PayPal inquiry (KMM4665928I96L0KM) :ppk1

Dear John Richardson,

I apologize for any confusion and frustration regarding the previous email that PayPal has sent you. Unfortunately, PayPal is not able to release any additional information. PayPal is obligated by regulatory laws to gather additional information on our customers.

PayPal is not stating you are the same person on any "list"; we are simply trying to verify your identity. Which is outline in the Legal Agreements.



PayPal, an eBay Company PayPal Australia Pty Limited. Copyright © 1999-2007 PayPal. All rights reserved. PayPal Australia Pty Limited ABN 93 111 195 389 (PPA) holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, number 304962. Any general financial product advice provided in this email is provided by PPA and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situations or needs.

Well said John

Dear John,

I have long time ago given up (actually I never used PayPal) this method of payment. On one occasion when buying something from the states, I had the choice of going PayPal or paying an exhorbitant WhichBank cheque fee. I chose the later after having investigated a few class actions in the US on Paypal... 

makin' it .....

The US terrorist watch list includes more than 755,000 names and continues to grow, the US Government Accountability Office said Wednesday. 

The list exploded from fewer than 20 entries before the September 11, 2001 attacks to more than 150,000 just a few months later, after the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was created in December 2003 to keep tabs on terrorist suspects, according to the GAO, the non-partisan investigative arm of Congress.

Including known pseudonyms of suspects, the list's 755,000 names as of May 2007 represents, in fact, around 300,000 people, according to TSC estimates.

Tasked with gathering data on individuals "known or appropriately suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of or related to terrorism," the TSC gets its information from Federal Bureau of Investigation intelligence and passes it on chiefly to immigration authorities.

Since 2003, the list has been used around 53,000 times to single out individuals for possible arrest or to prevent them from entering the country, the GAO said. 

More Than 755,000 On US Terrorist Watch List

real terrorists .....

from Crikey ….. 

eBay to customers: we’ll handle your money, it’s for your “protection” 

Stilgherrian writes: 

Imagine that you’re Alice, proud owner of the new shoe shop at your local Westfield. Bob is buying a pair of brogues. As Bob opens his wallet, suddenly Frank Lowy appears. “There’s some terrible con-men around,” he intones gravely. “Let me handle that.” He grabs Bob’s cash and pockets a fiver. “I’ll give you the rest next Wednesday,” he says, and disappears. 

Alice, understandably, is mightily p-ssed off. 

Sellers on eBay have been mightily p-ssed off overnight too, because the world’s biggest online marketplace has just pulled the same stunt. From 21 May, all eBay sellers must offer PayPal as a payment method. And from 17 June — unless the buyer is physically collecting the item from you or for a few big-ticket categories like real estate and motor vehicles — they must pay you via PayPal. 

eBay owns PayPal. So apart from their fee for handling the sale, they’ll now also get a PayPal transaction fee. Meanwhile you don’t get your money for days. Unlike an overnight bank transfer, moving funds from PayPal to your bank takes 5 to 7 working days — despite being more expensive. You could leave the funds with PayPal, but you don’t get paid interest. 

Now PayPal isn’t necessarily evil. Indeed, for small businesses setting up an online presence, it is often the most cost-effective way to accept credit card payments, and the easiest to set up technically. But clearly there’s a big question here about anti-competitive behaviour. 

PayPal also has a poor reputation for dispute-handling. The internet is littered with stories about people’s accounts being frozen without warning, about consumer credit rights being ignored because PayPal claims its terms of service override them — at and here for starters. 

eBay is spinning this as being “for your protection”. Their announcement uses words based on “safe” six times, “protect” 12 times, and “secure” twice. But then bullies demanding a percentage of your business takings has always been called a protection racket. 

Requiring customers to use other services which you own? ACCC, are you watching? 

Maybe this anti-competitive change by eBay is just the leg-up that Australian online auction house OZtion needs.

more pay it forward .....

Dear Amber. 

First off, thank you for your prompt response to my scream & thanks also to Monica for calmly sorting-out my purchase of Not the Costello Memoirs. 

Whilst I’m more than satisfied with Crikey’s service, I remain very angry & upset with my dealings with PayPal & this latest experience simply serves to remind me of my previous experience. 

As expressed in my note of complaint, I cannot understand why Crikey would be associated with a company that has such an appalling record of customer service, engages in dishonest business practices & seeks to bludgeon everyone into compliance with its unreasonable demands.

Indeed, as I indicated to Monica in our phone conversation today, Crikey has previously published similar criticisms of PayPal & its parent Ebay, making their association with the organisation even more surprising. 

On April 11 of this year, Crikey ran the following piece (Crikey - eBay to customers: we’ll handle your money, it’s for your “protection” - eBay to customers: we’ll handle your money, it’s for your “protection”), which included this quote: “PayPal also has a poor reputation for dispute-handling. The internet is littered with stories about people’s accounts being frozen without warning, about consumer credit rights being ignored because PayPal claims its terms of service override them — at and here for starters.”

Why would Crikey want to tarnish its image by being associated with such a second rate outfit? 

As I mentioned to Monica, I have documented my previous encounter with PayPal (pay it forward ..... | Your Democracy), which confirms the basis of my complaints about the organisation. 

As I mentioned yesterday, I would be happy for Crikey to publish my remarks about PayPal, given that the organisation refuses to deal openly, honestly or fairly.

Moreover, if you have a point of contact with these bastards, please feel free to forward them this communication. 

More importantly Amber, I challenge Crikey to discontinue its relationship with this shonkie outfit & subject it to the same standard of public scrutiny that it readily applies to other organisations, institutions & individuals within our community on a daily basis. 

If you are not able to respond to my challenge, please refer my correspondence to the appropriate person within the Crikey organisation who can or, alternatively, please pay me the courtesy of confirming that you are not willing & able to address my concerns, which I’ll then happily circulate. 

Thank you again for responding to my query so promptly. 

Cheers, John.    

From: Amber Sloan []
Sent: Friday, 12 September 2008 11:53 AM
Cc: Monica Maric
Subject: RE: Complaint 

Hi John, 

I understand you’ve had a conversation with Monica about Crikey’s use of paypal to process payments for Not the Costello Memoirs. 

We decided to use paypal for one-off purchases like this because we’ve found it to be the quickest and most cost effective system to set up at short notice. 

We are able to manually process a payment via the back-end of the online payment gateway we use for subscriptions, which is a completely separate system to paypal. However it doesn’t currently allow us to set up an automated “shopfront” to allow users to process their own non-subscription related payments – something we’re intending to rectify but not in time for this offer. 

I’m sorry our use of paypal for this offer has proved a problem for you – Monica will email you to confirm once we’ve processed your payment via our separate system.  


amber sloan

| general managercrikey 

level 7, 22 william st, melbourne vic  3000 – Australia

phone: +61 3  8623 9900| fax: +61 3  8623 9975

Crikey - that thing on the internet.  Start a 3 Week Free Trial now: 

From: JR [mailto:           ]
Sent: Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:02 PM
Subject: Complaint 

Hi Boss. 

I’m furious that my attempt to purchase your book offer has been denied because my credit card “can’t be used”. 

Clearly this has been caused by your use of the PayPal system, even though I did not attempt to use it. 

For your information, many months ago I was engaged in a major argument with PayPal (by telephone from an unknown location & email) when, without warning, they demanded that I fax proof of my identity to a facsimile number, allegedly in the United States, because a name the same as mine had appeared on an anonymous list created by an anonymous party in the US.

In the interests of my own security, I refused to forward the requested documents & so PayPal “blacklisted” the credit card concerned. 

At the time, I pointed out to PayPal that I was an Australian citizen who owned his own home, had no criminal convictions & possessed a legitimate credit card issued by one of the world’s oldest & strongest banks, Westpac. 

PayPal were unmoved by my outrage & ultimately I had to accept their refusal to accept my credit card because the transactions up to then had arisen in the US & the laws that they claimed to be bound by were made in the US. 

The situation with Crikey is however different. My credit card was issued in Australia. We are living in Australia. The transaction that I was attempting to complete is wholly within Australia. Fascist American laws & “secret” lists that might impose restrictions on US citizens or those unfortunate enough to be in the US or trying to deal with people in the US do not apply in Australia & such outrageous requirements should not be allowed to restrict legitimate trade in this country. 

As a result of this incident, I will, if possible, be pursuing legal action against PayPal and/or its parent company Ebay in Australia.

I will be raising the behaviour of PayPal /Ebay with Westpac, asking them to take action to restore my reputation. 

During my earlier arguments with PayPal, I attempted unsuccessfully to identify the location of their physical offices in Australia, as a first step to trying to contact them here to resolve my dispute.

I could find no information on the location of their offices, nor a telephone contact number.

I would like Crikey to provide me with such information, so I can make it available to my legal advisers. 

I will also be pursuing these issues at the political level. 

And I still wish to purchase a copy of the Costello book. 

Finally, as a long-time subscriber to Crikey, I think you should consider resigning your association with PayPal, as it is clearly contrary to Crikey’s commercial interests & its reputation. 

I would be happy for Crikey to print this letter (minus any contact details) as a warning to others about the awful business practices of PayPal. 

I would be happy to discuss this matter with a Crikey representative & my contact numbers are: 

Thank you for considering my complaint. 


John Richardson.

paypal strikes again .....

PayPal has again come under fire, this time for ordering the buyer of an antique French violin to destroy it to get a refund - rather than send it back to the seller - after the giant deemed it a fake.

The seller says she has been left $US2500 out of pocket and without a "violin that made it through WWII" and wants to stop PayPal from ordering other antiquities to be destroyed when their authenticity is questioned.

Her view is backed by the owner of Sydney Violins, Zai Sheng, 63, who told Fairfax today that he believed the violin was not a counterfeit after being shown a picture of it smashed into pieces.

The Canadian buyer had taken the picture and sent it to the seller, a woman known only as Erica, who then wrote to Regretsy of the "heartbreaking experience".

She chose Regretsy, a site that features photos of interesting handmade artefacts, to highlight the dispute because it had recently had its own troubles with PayPal when its charitable gift buying program's account was shut down.

Erica's letter recounted how the buyer had disputed the musical instrument's label.

"Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back," she said. "They somehow deemed the violin as 'counterfeit' even though there is no such thing in the violin world."

She added that the buyer was so "proud of himself" that he "sent me a photo of the destroyed violin".

"I am now out a violin that made it through WWII as well as $US2500. This is of course, upsetting. But my main goal ... is to prevent PayPal from ordering the destruction of violins and other antiquities that they know nothing about. It is beyond me why PayPal simply didn't have the violin returned to me," she said.

According to Regretsy, the item had also reportedly been "examined and authenticated by a top luthier" before the sale.

Mr Sheng, who has been making violins for more than 20 years and playing them since he was a young boy, said the violin appeared authentic. He said you could "tell straight away" whether a violin was a fake by looking at the way it had been made, the varnish and discolouration.

But he said the buyer had paid too much for it. "I think it is the buyer's fault [here]," he said. "I don't think the seller is at fault. Even in a very good condition $US2500 ... is too much."

Mr Sheng said many people who bought violins online did not understand them. "You can buy from online but you have to know what you are looking for."

In a statement, PayPal said that, while it could not talk about Erica's case due to its privacy policy, it did "carefully review each case, and in general we may ask a buyer to destroy counterfeit goods if they supply signed evidence from a knowledgeable third party that the goods are indeed counterfeit".

"For example, if somebody purchased a fake handbag, we'd ask them to contact the manufacturer of the bag, or reputable distributor, to authenticate that it is counterfeit.

"Further, we then ask the customer to sign a statutory declaration supporting their claim. As always, we encourage buyers and sellers to settle disputes first before requesting PayPal to intervene."

It said the reason it reserved the option to ask a buyer to destroy goods was that "in many countries, including the US, it is a criminal offense to mail counterfeit goods back to a seller".

It said it was possible for people to buy a real item and a fake one and use the fake one to claim a refund, leaving the seller of the real item out of pocket. But it said it would "report" such activity. This kind of illegal activity has been highlighted by Rik Ferguson of online security company Trend Micro.

"This is one of the benefits of PayPal. We have a closed loop system - that is visibility (a record of personal details/transactions) of both buyer and seller. We are proud of the secure platform we have developed to enable buyers and sellers to confidently transact across the country/the globe," PayPal said.

'Heartbreaking': PayPal orders buyer to destroy 'antique violin'