Paypal freezes Something Awful’s relief fund

PAYPAL HAS frozen a relief effort set up by popular web site Something Awful.
This brilliant wheeze will delay payments to poor people from hurricane Katrina. The good folks at Something Awful, themselves victims of the hurricane, decided to put their mouths where the money is and set up an account to take donations for the Red Cross.

Something Awful has a history of helping out, and has raised tens of thousands of dollars in the name of charities before, and will probably do so again.

This time, it may have made a mistake by choosing Paypal. SA received $20,000 in less than half a day, and then Paypal decided to shut the fund down. What’s the problem? “We have received more than one report of suspicious behavior from your buyers.” I guess you are not shocked to find that SA is not actually selling anything.

Paypal is demanding “proof of shipping” information to the aggrieved parties, conveniently listed in a table on the site. The number of scammed parties listed is all of zero long, and if you want to submit an explanation, you need to pick at least one from the list of no aggrieved parties. It appears there is no one you can call, no one you can mail, just a form that is broken.

Something Awful was screwed by the storm. Not that money is at all critical right now to the thousands dying in the street. So the SA relief fund has had it’s account locked, the $3000 donated by Rich Kyanka, the site owner, is sitting and in the Paypal coffers, and all they asked for was 2.35% for the service.


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