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!

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