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This is why I stopped using PayPal !!

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  • ghwelker3@comcast.net
    http://success.grownupgeek.com/index.php/2008/04/05/paypal-limited-access/ Banned From PayPal! (Permanently “Limited”) Go here if you have had a problem
    Message 1 of 130 , Jun 1, 2012
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      Banned From PayPal! (Permanently “Limited”)

      Go here if you have had a problem with PayPal:


      Last week while busy at my ‘day job’ I got the following email on the iPhone:

      (slightly edited for brevity)

      Dear Rand Wilson,

      The PayPal User Agreement states that PayPal, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to limit an account for any violation of the User Agreement, including the Acceptable Use Policy. ….

      We are hereby notifying you that, after a recent review of your accountactivity, it has been determined that you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy regarding your sales of Subscription Services … Therefore, your account has been permanently limited.

      You will need to remove all references to PayPal from your website(s)
      and/or auction(s). This includes not only removing PayPal as a payment
      option, but also the PayPal logo and/or shopping cart. We thank you in
      advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact
      the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department at aup@....

      PayPal Acceptable Use Policy Department
      PayPal, an eBay Company

      My first gut reaction that this was just another phishing attempt, so I quickly logged into my PayPal account only to find the following:

      We recently reviewed your account, and we need more information about your business to allow us to provide uninterrupted service. Until we can collect this information, your access to sensitive account features will be limited. We would like to restore your access as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

      Why is my account access limited?

      Your account access has been limited for the following reason(s):

      Mar. 27, 2008: In accordance with PayPal’s User Agreement andAcceptable Use Policy,we have closed your account. Your funds may be held for 180 days from the date of your last transaction. After 180 days, you will be able to access your funds by requesting an online bank transfer or, if applicable, a check from PayPal. Please update your address or bank information as we cannot be held responsible for checks issued to an incorrect address. We do ask that you please remove reference(s) to PayPal from your site

      It took me only a minute to realized something I never even thought was possible:

      I was banned from PayPal!

      All the work I had done in the last year building my Premium Membership income to over $5,000/mo. was gone! That’s it, game over, no reason to go on! I literally became ill, and I assumed that my online career was over for good.

      After calming down and putting away my rope and wobbly stool, I figured that this must be a mistake. I had used the term “Adult access” in describing an area of our premium membership forums and surely this must have tripped an automatic red-flag or something. I contacted PayPal customer-support by telephone and was told that I could send an appeal to “appeal@...”. I promptly wrote a lengthy explanation and fired it off to the ‘appeal@...’ address.

      Now here is where I began to realize that PayPal is not the most professional outfit out there. 24 hours after I sent my appeal to appeal@..., it was returned as undeliverable – those fucks on the phone gave me a fake email address to send my appeal to! How’s that for professional customer service?! Now I went from being depressed to angry. I resent my email, this time to AUP@... which was the address for questions that was on the first email I received.

      *Update: I have since learned from a PayPal employee that the correct email for a PayPal appeal is appeals@... . I have not tested it, but I was assured thatappeals@... (with an S at the end) is the correct email address.

      Within hours of re-sending my appeal to AUP@... I received what appeared to be an automated response that basically echoed what the first email said: “you’re banned from PayPal and we are going to hold your balance ($5,100) for up to six months“. I then sat down and wrote yet another email, explaining that after being a long-time PayPal customer, paying thousands of dollars in fees over the years and being blown-off by the customer support people who gave me a fake email address that I at least deserved the professional courtesy of being given the assurance that my issue had been reviewed by a human being. I was confident that if someone actually reviewed the website, that there was no way they could come to the conclusion that we were selling subscription services to “certain sexually explicit material“.

      Less than 12 hours after my “demand” for review I got my reply, from a human, assuring me that my case had been reviewed – and they would not be reversing their decision, and my $5,100 balance would be returned to me within 180 days.

      Ok – so it’s PayPal’s game and they have decided to take their ball and go home. Time for me to move on and find someone else to give my transaction fees to.

      Google Checkout can have my transaction fees from now on:

      I had thought about using Google Checkout in the past because their transaction fees are much lower than PayPal (about 1/3 less) – but because GC does not support ongoing subscription payments I stuck with PayPal. Well now that PayPal has decided they no longer want my transaction fees I figured it was time to switch to Google Checkout. This would mean that I would have to change from a “subscription” based model to a one-time “lifetime” membership model. We’ve been offering lifetime memberships for $25 at the site for over a year, and we get a few each day, so the move to lifetime only memberships is not that big of a deal. And even though there are other providers that can do ongoing subscriptions, because there are no Drupal modules to support them, they aren’t a good choice for me.

      The average lifespan of our premium subscriptions was 3-months. So earnings for the average subscription were $9.97 ($5.99 first month, $1.99 for each of the remaining months). We are now offering lifetime Premium Membership for $25, which is approx. 2.5x that value of an average premium subscriber. So even though I expect fewer lifetime signups because of the higher fee, that should be offset by the increased fee. To my surprise though, so far we have been getting the same number of higher-priced lifetime signups as we had been getting with the lower priced subscriptions, so earnings for the month so far are way above average. We are also offering a $10 discount to current subscribers who would otherwise loose access to our Premium Forums and so far there has been a very high purchase rate as their PayPal subscriptions run-out. So – even though PayPal has banned our account, being forced to move to one-time fees with Google Checkout may have been the best thing that has ever happened.

      How to tell if PayPal is reviewing your account

      A few days before PayPal banned my account, I received two emails that I had successfully confirmed my bank accounts – one email for each bank account I have setup in my PayPal profile. When I sent the email asking for PayPal to appeal my case (the one that did not get returned) I received two-more of those automated “your bank account has been confirmed emails”, and then, less than one-hour before I got my final response from PayPal, I got two more of the “your bank account has been confirmed” email messages. So it appears that each time PayPal looks at your account they also verify/validate your bank accounts, which triggers those emails.
      And lastly: If you rely on PayPal make sure you read and understand PayPal’s user agreement and acceptable use policy. Even though they gouge you on fees, it can really ruin your day if they ban you. Although it has actually ended up increasing my earnings by being forced to move away from Paypal, waiting 180 days for my account balance is just no fun. I recommend not getting yourself banned in the first place.

      Update: after posting my story i found this website, PayPalWarning.com
      Where I learned a lot about how PayPal does business. If I had seen this website sooner I would have thought twice about letting them hold so much of my money. If you use or rely on PayPal I recommend that you check it out. Another very informative site is www.screw-Paypal.com

      **Update#2: Paypal has released my balance to me!

      ***Update #3: Paypal has UNBanned my account!

    • ghwelker3@comcast.net
      New report questions science behind flu vaccine efficacy and use policy
      Message 130 of 130 , Oct 17, 2012
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        New report questions science behind flu vaccine efficacy and use policy



        A nurse injects a patient with a H1N1 vaccine during a flu shot program in Calgary on Oct. 26, 2009. A new report says flu vaccine is not as effective as public health messaging suggests and new and better vaccines are needed.

        Flu vaccine is not as effective as public health messaging traditionally has claimed, says a new report that suggests overselling of flu shots is getting in the way of developing more effective and longer lasting vaccines.

        Existing flu shots offer moderate protection some years and less in others and in general are "sub-optimal," according to the report, from public health experts at the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

        "Our current influenza vaccines work for some of the people some of the time. And we clearly need vaccines that work for most of the people most of the time," Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the center, said in an interview Monday.

        While the report strongly urges the development of "game-changing" vaccines, it says in the meantime people should use the tool that exists.

        "We recommend you continue to get your flu shot. It's the best protection we have. But it's not enough," Osterholm said.

        He is first author of the report, which is the product of a three-year investigation into the science supporting flu vaccine efficacy and safety and the decision-making processes that led to the U.S. policy to recommend all Americans get a flu shot every year.

        The project that led to the report was called the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative, and it involved mining more than 12,000 documents, articles and meeting transcripts as well as more than 5,700 peer-reviewed vaccine studies published from 1936 through April 2012.

        The work was funded in part by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

        Interestingly, where five years ago claims like these likely would have been denounced as public health heresy, this report, in the main, is receiving a much warmer welcome.

        In recent years studies by a variety of research groups — including in Canada — have shown that the long-quoted claims that flu shots offered 70 to 90 per cent protection against influenza have been off the mark.

        Somewhere in the order of 50 to 60 per cent, in healthy adults, is more accurate, the newer studies suggest. Efficacy rates are lower in the elderly or people in poor health.

        The report suggests that the higher numbers came from old studies done on vaccines that were not formulated the way current shots are. It also suggests that the belief that universal vaccination for flu would be useful and desirable, rather than solid scientific evidence, was what drove decisions to recommend flu shots for all in the U.S. (The study did not look at decisions made in Canada or elsewhere.)

        Even the vaccine used in the U.S. during the 2009 pandemic — where there was a perfect match between the virus in the vaccine and the strain infecting people — didn't offer better protection. Studies cited in the report pegged the U.S. vaccine's effectiveness at 56 per cent.

        Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an influenza expert at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, is involved in flu vaccine efficacy studies that have been conducted annually in Canada since 2004. She said the findings of those studies support the arguments made in the CIDRAP report.

        "Over that period, seldom has the seasonal vaccine effectiveness exceeded 60 per cent," Skowronski said.

        The world spends enormous sums trying to vaccinate people against influenza every year. In Canada alone, Skowronski said, spending on flu vaccine programs likely exceed $100 million per year.

        "We need a better vaccine," she said. "And investing in improved vaccine options may be more rewarding than expanding the use of the current vaccine to greater segments of the population."

        A key argument of the report is the fact that the current vaccine that offers moderate protection is actually getting in the way of developing long-lasting flu vaccines that offer more effective protection — vaccines, for example, that might require a shot every five or 10 years. Currently flu shots are reformulated every year to try to keep up with the evolution of flu viruses.

        "I don't want to oversimplify this dilemma of what do you do now?" said Dr. John Treanor, an expert in flu vaccines and chief of the infectious diseases division at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center.

        "How do you at the one time promote the vaccine that you have and at the same time create space to make new vaccines? I think that's a very difficult thing to do."

        In recent years pharmaceutical companies — spurred in large part by massive funding from the U.S. government — have been working on ways to improve existing vaccines. But tweaking the current vaccines won't solve the problem, the report says, insisting that what is needed are vaccines that target different parts of the flu virus than the current ones do.

        The enormous cost of developing such vaccines means the only way they will come into existence is if governments support the work, the report says, noting that producing a single new flu vaccine could take 15 years of work and cost a company upwards of US$1 billion.

        It called on the U.S. government to play the lead role in pushing this agenda, saying the World Health Organization is not in a position to do so.

        And there is little incentive for industry to take the risk to develop wholly new flu vaccine approaches, the report says.

        Even though a flu shot is a relatively inexpensive vaccine, manufacturers sell hundreds of millions of doses of them a year. In fact, the report notes that the global market for flu vaccine is estimated at US$2.8 billion — a decent chunk of the estimated US$20 billion annual market for all vaccines combined.

        Treanor said in his estimation, a major advance in flu vaccines is not around the corner.

        "I think we're very far away from the game-changing vaccine right now."

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