Many of you have probably experienced or at least heard that we were having some issues with our payment processor, PayPal, and that we were working on a resolution.
By way of background here is the skinny: PayPal contacted us in late June/early July about a possible Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) violation which initiated an account lockdown for us. Contacting and working with PayPal lead us to remove the Raffles from our site as it's a violation of not just PayPal AUP but also questionable legal standing due to lottery laws and such. Ok. Fine. Done.
As of that conversation in June we have no longer had Raffles available. In fact, they were disabled right there on-the-spot while talking with PayPal support.
Fast forward several months and our account is again shut down. This time for another violation of their AUP. Know what it was? This link right here.
Why is this bullshit? Look at the date of that thread. It has JUNE plastered all over the place. The thread is closed and no further posts were made past June. i.e. this "example" they sent was in the past, before they contacted us the first time to discuss possible AUP violations. So at this point we're getting shut down due to a thread that's clearly historical because it says the word "Raffle" in it, despite any amount of actual thinking to understand that it pre-dates our last conversation.
After much discussion with their support I find out that the AUP department is some shadowy sub-organization within PayPal that has totalitarian control and decides in secret the fate of user accounts. They cannot be contacted, called, or transferred to. Email is the only gateway in. IF they call you and you miss the call too bad, there is no number to call them back. They also do not schedule calls or meetings. Effectively, there is no way to discuss with any live person the situation to demonstrate the illogical decision to further limit our account based upon historical posts sharing space with 15 years of other historical posts.
So the end of this tale is a bit anti-climatic and involves me doing the walk of shame. THANKFULLY I had done a withdrawal just before our account was limited. In the past this has occurred with several hundo in the account that was frozen for a good 6-months and leaving me to personally foot Topia's bill until I could get that cash out of PayPal.
Thankfully, we at Mycotopia are not only resourceful, but also very clever. We'll be making some adjustments to the business model, if you can even really call it that at this time, to account for these issues. Soon we will be more legit and relatively untouchable as far as merchant providers go. We'll also be able to expand beyond PayPal and offer more options to donate and support the community, including BitCoin, which many have asked for.
So a personal thanks to everyone who brought this issue to our attention, and to those patiently waiting and holding their donations until we can get this sorted. It's been over a week, possibly two, and we're in dire need to regain our ability to accept payments and continue to fund the existence of the community.
I know I always say there are upgrades in the works, but know that I meant it then and I mean it now. The truth is that the site is really a living organism and is continually being cared for and updated. The degree of updates, minor or major, fluctuates over time, but things are constantly being done to improve our position in the greater community as well the individual positions of each and every one of our members. Good things are coming and we thank all of you for your support.
VIVA LA MYCOTOPIA!