Friday, January 29, 2010

FU, e-bay.

No, really. Just Fuck You. Several times.

I used to be somewhat active as both a buyer and seller a few years ago, but haven't really done anything lately. I had been wondering why pretty much all sellers only advertised Paypal as their only accepted means of receiving payment. When I was looking at bidding on something this week, I had noticed one of them had a statement, "We only accept Paypal per e-bay payment policy." My reaction was, "What?!" I went and looked, and sure enough, their payment policy page has a list of what is acceptable now and what is prohibited. And asking for payment via check or money order, except on a very small list of categories, is prohibited.

There apparently is a raging discussion on a number of e-bay posting boards which I skimmed through yesterday. A lot of people are upset about this. I refuse to have a Paypal account, as I have heard some people have had bad experiences with it. My wife used to have an account which was hacked and some crook ran up hundreds of dollars on it charging tickets to concerts. We didn't have to cover any of those, as our CREDIT CARD company (not Paypal) called us up and asked if these were valid charges. So, no. I don't trust Paypal or any electronic payment method at all.

e-bay's rationale for going this way is pure BS. "It protects both the buyers and sellers!" Oh, bull hockey. Money orders, if you don't trust personal checks because people can and do bounce checks, are perfectly safe. There is no reason to require this, other than perhaps the fact (and I didn't know this until yesterday) e-bay just HAPPENS to own Paypal. Gosh, what a coincidence! And Paypal charges $45 a year to have an account! How about that?

They are doing this just because they can, and it opens up all new "sources of revenue" (i.e., screwing your customers) to them. This is the same rationale as airlines charging $$ for people to pay for checking bags when flying. For a family going on vacation, this can add up to hundreds of dollars, if they check them both ways (which is pretty much a given, I would say).

I absolutely detest Corporate America these days. They are all about screwing their customers and grabbing as much cash in as little a time as possible. This thinking is now so pervasive, we hardly even notice it anymore.

I have pretty much decided to avoid flying whenever I can. Sometimes I can't, but sometimes I can. I am either asking to attend business meetings via a web conference (which has been remarkably successful) or taking the train. Yeah, taking Amtrak for long distance travel takes a while, but it sure is a more sane and civilized way to travel than the zoo that is commercial air travel. And I guess I am now going to boycott e-bay. Screw them.

Poster from Very Demotivational.

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