It looks like PayPal messed with the wrong charity drive.
After shutting down craft comedy blog Regretsy’s attempt to raise funds for toys and monetary gifts for poor families, PayPal faced a wave of backlash, including a deluge of angry Facebook comments and its own Twitter hashtag –#HowPayPalStoleChristmas. Hundreds of Regretsy community members vowed to shut down their PayPal accounts.
Today, PayPal, an eBay company, released an apology in a blog post.
“We have released funds back to Regrestsy and will be making a donation. We are very sorry this occurred,” wrote Anuj Nayer, PayPal’s director of communications.
However, Nayer’s statement has done little to quell the anger. More than four hundred people commented on the post, and had little nice to say.
“That's nice. Now how about refunding the countless others around the world who you have wrongly taken money from?” wrote John Cullen.
“It is very poor and horrible that PayPal would even accidentally make the mistake that sick cats are more important than poor kids and families and that only the cats are considered charitable,” wrote Stephen Nicolas, echoing Regretsy founder April Winchell.
“Paypal, I have closed my account today. I am actively encouraging others to do the same,” wrote Tracy Sinclair.
In Regretsy’s latest blog post, Winchell informed the community that their PayPal outrage made Regretsy a national trending topic today. She also apologized for slow bandwidth due to increased traffic.
“I am extremely grateful to all of you for your efforts. If PayPal is sincere about allowing us to make these gifts, you will have made a difference for 200 children and their families this holiday season,” she wrote.
This is not the first time that PayPal’s customer service practices have ignited ire. In 2005, PayPal shut down the Something Awful forum’s charity drive for Hurricane Katrina. Accusing the do-gooders of fraud, PayPal refused to donate the collected $30,000 to the Red Cross and confiscated it instead. Unlike the Regretsy case, this one was never resolved.
The Daily Dot has reached out to both PayPal and Regretsy. We’ll update the story accordingly.