denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_biz2012-01-02 07:24 pm

why you can't pay for your account with PayPal or Google Checkout

We've seen a bunch of people questioning why we don't accept payment via PayPal. We used to, but PayPal closed our account with them, after demanding that we censor our users' content to remove material that did not violate our Terms of Service but that made them uncomfortable. We refused to place restrictions on our users over and above the restrictions placed by US law, and so PayPal refused to process payments for us. (The same thing then happened with Google Checkout, before we found a payment processor that was willing to accept our business without placing further restrictions on user-generated content other than "is it legal".)

I know this is inconvenient for people without credit cards and people outside the US, and I'm sorry! We thought that sticking up for our users and maintaining our integrity was important enough to stick to our guns on the issue, though.

If you don't have a credit card, or are outside the US, there are a few payment methods you can use:

* We accept checks and money orders in US funds as well as credit cards. The address to send payments to is available in the shop. (We'll also accept US cash if it gets to us; however, we don't recommend it, since there's no way to track or recall a payment if it goes astray in the mail.)

* We accept prepaid Visa gift credit cards (prepaid Mastercards have some issues, so we don't recommend them), which are in many cases available in convenience stores and other similar locations, and if all else fails, can be bought online.

* If your debit card has a Visa logo on it, it's very likely it will also function as a Visa credit card.

* We accept American Express travelers' checks (sent to the same address as check/money order). They only come in limited denominations, but you can buy Dreamwidth Points for the amount you're going to send us, and then use those points over time for paid services.

* If you can't find any other method to pay, you can arrange a swap with a friend who has PayPal and a credit card: you PayPal them the money, and they put it on their credit card to buy you Dreamwidth Points, which you can use over time. We unfortunately can't offer anything official there, because we can't be responsible for any problems with transactions and if we offered anything official PayPal could freeze the accounts being used, but there's much less risk to doing it unofficially with a friend, except of course having to pick someone you trust enough to function as a proxy for you.

I know this is annoying for some people, and I'm really sorry about the inconvenience! We've investigated a number of different payment processors, both ones that people have suggested and ones that I've found on my own (seriously, sometimes I think I've probably read the Terms of Use of every single payment processor on the internet) and all of them either prohibit content that we allow, place unreasonable restrictions on sites that accept user-generated content, refuse service to sites that accept user-generated content, or have fee structures that are prohibitively expensive. The solution we've found really is the best and only solution that won't lead to future posting restrictions.

In the meantime, if anybody knows of a good place to get prepaid Visa credit cards in countries that don't usually use them, leave links and information in the comments!
laitaine: (dreamwidth - yay)

[personal profile] laitaine 2012-01-03 12:43 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you once again for sticking to your principles on this matter. You guys are all kinds of awesome. ♥
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2012-01-03 12:54 am (UTC)(link)
this.

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sporky_rat: One of the Awesome Future Dudes from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. (you talkin' to me?)

[personal profile] sporky_rat 2012-01-03 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
The United States Post Office accepts Postal Money Orders from 29 countries - They do have some countries that won't issue in USD, though.
ariestess: (Default)

[personal profile] ariestess 2012-01-03 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
I think it's fantastic that you guys are willing to stand up for your users like that.
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)

[personal profile] momijizukamori 2012-01-03 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
And for some Japan-specific links care of [staff profile] denise and [personal profile] sporky_rat - prepaid Visas in Japan, sending postal money orders in Japan.
scruloose: (Default)

[personal profile] scruloose 2012-01-03 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
Big kudos on putting users' right first!

I doubt that this is news to you, but I remember reading that when the Diaspora* folks had a run-in with Paypal they ended up switching to a payment processor called Stripe. Just thought I'd mention that in case it helps any.

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perrito: Young Hughes | Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Squishy!)

[personal profile] perrito 2012-01-03 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
I live in Mexico and have used both American Express and cards with the Visa logo on them without running into any issues.
tentacular: Yami Bakura - Yu-Gi-Oh! (Default)

[personal profile] tentacular 2012-01-03 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
The Visa UK site has information on where to get them for any British people here.
robotic: (Default)

[personal profile] robotic 2012-01-03 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
Have you checked out WePay? I have no idea what their stance is on user-generated content or if they have business restrictions, but I've heard good things from individuals who use them.

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gothicgunslinger: (Default)

[personal profile] gothicgunslinger 2012-01-03 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to say how impressed I am at your business prowess in terms of actually understanding how payment processors work. I used to work customer service for a credit card processor and I was consistently dumbfounded by the amount of merchants who would call in having no idea what they even signed up for. They often acted as if reading the terms of service before they signed was the most outrageous expectation in the world. Le sigh.

So kudos for savvy businesspersonship (...new word?) as well as sticking to your principles!

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tameiki: (Default)

[personal profile] tameiki 2012-01-03 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for sticking to your guns and doing what you said you would: not to censor user content as long as it's legal.

I've used your payment system several times now (fairly recently), and it's just as easy to use as Paypal was. There might be one or two more steps but nothing that's difficult.

Just a side note -- it took my Visa debit card with no problem at all! :)
red_trillium: Dreamwidth sheep with Maori flag & face moko (DW sheep - Tino Rangatiratanga)

[personal profile] red_trillium 2012-01-03 02:11 am (UTC)(link)
People in NZ can buy the Prezzy card at their local Postshop/Kiwibank if they don't have a credit card. It's a Visa you buy and pre-load. It costs $5.95NZ (more if you want it shipped to you), you have to load at least $25NZ onto it. I've never used them but would suspect you want to load a little extra for the fees, especially for foreign currency fees.

Not ideal, but an option if needed.
karayan: Madoka: Charlotte (Mami mogumogu.)

[personal profile] karayan 2012-01-03 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
I said it when the whole Paypal fiasco first went down, but I'll say it again: thank you for not compromising on this issue.
telesilla: the dreamwidht sheeps with the california bear flag on it (dreamwidth sheep)

[personal profile] telesilla 2012-01-03 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
I love a lot of DW's features, but this right here is why I really think this site is made of kittens and rainbows.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

[personal profile] melannen 2012-01-03 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
Have I recently told you how happy I am that you don't use PayPal, and therefore I can use my credit card with you? Thank you so much for not using PayPal! :D
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)

[personal profile] moem 2012-01-03 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
Most sites that do use PayPal take credit cards too, as far as I know.

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[personal profile] skuf 2012-01-03 06:24 am (UTC)(link)
I am grateful you stuck up for us, thanks once again :)
siljamus: (Default)

[personal profile] siljamus 2012-01-03 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
* If your debit card has a Visa logo on it, it's very likely it will also function as a Visa credit card.

This, actually called a VisaDankort, should work for user in Denmark. (It's always worked for me, both here and with other sites.)
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)

[personal profile] moem 2012-01-03 11:21 am (UTC)(link)
To be honest, it is a bit of a pain, and I think you'd have more paying members if you did accept PayPal. It can't have been an easy decision.
I'm impressed by how seriously you guysfolks take the issue of censorship, and I greatly respect your principles even though it's inconvenient for me.
dejla: (Default)

[personal profile] dejla 2012-01-03 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I think standing on your principles is awesome.
piratebar: (038.)

[personal profile] piratebar 2012-01-03 11:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Every time a new post is made by you guys, I get more and more excited about being here. My only regret is that I waited so long to make a DW account. Thank you for all that you guys do!
keysmashes: (lots: epicentre of hotness)

[personal profile] keysmashes 2012-01-04 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
So much of this. So, so much of this. It's so awesome to use a site that really cares about its userbase.
februaryfour: (Default)

[personal profile] februaryfour 2012-01-04 06:42 am (UTC)(link)
Is there any central location for people to go and say, "Send us money through Paypal or whatever other places and we'll send you the DW points for the account"?

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crossfire: (Default)

[personal profile] crossfire 2012-01-04 05:16 pm (UTC)(link)
This only demonstrates that Dreamwidth really does stand by their principles and their users.

It's one of the main reasons why I'm here.
sphinxofthenile: (Starbucks love)

[personal profile] sphinxofthenile 2012-01-05 07:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I totally wish I could give you money just for making such a decision.
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2012-01-05 07:56 pm (UTC)(link)
As I understand it, the preferred way to donate money to Dreamwidth is to buy paid time for a random free user.

So now you can! :)

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yamx: (Default)

[personal profile] yamx 2012-01-06 01:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I think you made the right decision.

I don't get it, though--I'm guessing the content PayPal is uncomfortable with are stories of a sexual nature, yes? (I'm guessing that because I read about them refusing to process payments for an erotica publisher a while ago.)

If that is the case, why are they willing to work with Livejournal? LJ has some *ahem* very steamy stuff on it. Have they just not noticed yet, or is LJ too big a fish to let go, or what?

Anyway, I think PayPAl should get over themselves. Their job is to get money from A to B, not to tell people what they can spend their money on. (As long as it's legal, as you say.)
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2012-01-06 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Anyway, I think PayPAl should get over themselves. Their job is to get money from A to B, not to tell people what they can spend their money on. (As long as it's legal, as you say.)

They also want to make money.

Part of this is trying to keep the rate of chargebacks down, when people either dispute having paid for a good or service, or when they deny having received the good or service.

Apparently, "adult" content is something that people (for whatever reason....) deny having paid for more often than other things.

See, for example, these comments on this entry: http://dw-biz.dreamwidth.org/7022.html?thread=702574#cmt702574 , http://dw-biz.dreamwidth.org/7022.html?thread=702830#cmt702830 , http://dw-biz.dreamwidth.org/7022.html?thread=705390#cmt705390 .

So perhaps one way to get PayPal to accept adult sites is to educate people so that they won't be ashamed to own up to purchasing adult content. (Good luck with that.)

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peacekeeper: (stock ☠ stars in her eyes)

[personal profile] peacekeeper 2012-01-06 03:10 pm (UTC)(link)
While this is very inconvenient, I think everyone recognises that it's not inconvenient because of you guys. I really respect you all for sticking to your guns here. As much as I'd love to be able to use Paypal, I'm okay with doing the extra legwork to make sure I get paid time here without having our content restricted on DW.

Thank you for being so transparent about all of this, and for keeping communication lines open for us all!
teeye: (Subaru)

[personal profile] teeye 2012-01-06 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I totally understand your decision and think that it's nice to know that you are willing to go to such length to protect your user's content.

It's a bit sad that it will mean that I can't have a paid account in the near future, but that is a momentary problem at best.

Thank you for explaining the matter!
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2012-01-06 04:00 pm (UTC)(link)
If the problem is that you can send money by PayPal but don't have a credit card, that can be worked around - see the last bullet point on the entry.

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