electronic brain surgery since 2001

Paypal Oddities

Paypal logo I'm using Paypal to accept donations for some years now. Despite their bad reputation I have nothing to complain about them so far. But I encountered some strange things over the years I'd like to share with you.

One thing which isn't so strange at all, is the amount of Paypal phishing attempts I find in my inbox on a daily basis. I'm not sure if scammers scrape sites for paypal links to target the service's users directly or if everybody gets their share of it. It's probably both. Paypal now offers encrypted donation buttons. But they use HTML forms so they can't be used everywhere. I usually just stick to the plain links. Those phishing mails are easy to recognize though. Paypal's genuine mails always address me with my real name and in my own language.

For a while I received many donations with amounts of one or two cents. This didn't happen anymore in more recent times, but I'm not sure why. Maybe Paypal made it impossible to donate such low amounts. Those small cent amounts where taken completely by Paypal's fees so I never really received any money from those. I wonder if the people who sent this where for real or if they just tried something. If you ever donated just cents please let me know of your intentions.

A much more disturbing thing that happened a few times in the recent past where wrong transactions. Meaning people who donated a larger amount (compared to usual donations), but contacted me shortly after telling me they did a mistake. This happened 3 or 4 times in the last year or so. Of course I did refund the money promptly every time. But I wonder how you can do such an mistake. I asked them about it but after they had their money back none of them ever cared to answer that question.

The most interesting thing happened today. Someone donated a single Dollar and I told him about the fees taking nearly the half of a single Dollar donation. His reply really opened my eyes. Until today I used this button in DokuWiki's footer: Donate. Notice how it says one dollar? It never occurred to me that users might take the amount as a literally hint about the suggested donation amount!

I spend many hours a week of my spare time working on free software like DokuWiki, gBrain and others. Not only with coding but also with answering support mails or writing in the forum or on IRC. As a balance I like to see the world by traveling 1). Your donations help me to finance those trips.

I'm happy about every amount, but please don't give if you can't really spare the money. While most donations I receive come from individuals I'd much more prefer donations by companies using my software. From my referrer logs I know of a few very big enterprises using DokuWiki for example. I'd love to see donations from them in the future – if you happen to work for such a company, why don't you ask your boss about it?

So here is the new donation button :-)


Similar posts:
Next destination is New York