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Moneybookers commercial account for freelancing
Thread poster: Mohamed A. Moustafa

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
May 20, 2010

Hello,
I have been using moneybookers for two years, and everything was fine. I verified my bank account and my address. Recently, I received an email from the site asking why I opened a moneybookers account. I told them that I opened it to get paid for my freelance translation work.
Therefore, they said that I use the account for commercial purposes and therefore they will consider my account a business one. They also told me that they will apply their standard fee on the processed 'receive money' transactions. They sent my a form to fill in, asking about the name of my company, the legal form, the registration number, etc. I told them that I do not have a company, nor do I represent one. If I have one, I will not withhold any information from them. They continued to tell me that getting paid for freelancing via the Internet will consider my account as commercial.
What should I do?
Do you think I should close my account and start a new one?
I am fed up with their endless requests.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Are you sure it's the real Moneybookers? May 20, 2010

Muhammad Abdulfattah Ahmad wrote:
Recently, I received an email from the site asking why I opened a moneybookers account. I told them that I opened it to get paid for my freelance translation work. Therefore, they said that I use the account for commercial purposes and therefore they will consider my account a business one.


I went in search of this on their web site but could not find anything like that. The closest that I can find for it this:

http://www.moneybookers.com/app/help.pl?s=m_info
Should I register as an individual or business user?
We welcome both legal and natural persons as customers. The fees for both user types are absolutely identical. Our merchant gateway products can be used by both business and individual users.


Also, on their fees schedule there are not separate sections for "commercial" and "personal".

Are you sure these mails come from the real Moneybookers and not some scammer?


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
This is why I stopped using them May 20, 2010

They did exactly the same thing to me, except they did not even bother informing me, until I noticed the fees being deducted.
Here is the whole story:
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/113305-paypal_or_moneybookers.html#925790

Closing and opening a new one would probably not work - they do not really delete accounts, they keep track of closed accounts as well, for years. They won't let you open a new one, they would find out it is the same person either by identity verification, or when you are trying to link the MB account to the same bank account.

[Edited at 2010-05-20 12:52 GMT]


 

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, it is from... May 20, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Are you sure these mails come from the real Moneybookers and not some scammer?


Yes, it is from moneybookers (merchant services).

I wonder, will they consider all the translators using their service as holders of business accounts?
What does it mean that I have a business account?

[Edited at 2010-05-20 13:09 GMT]


 

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
to Katalin May 20, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:


Dear Katalin, I have read your story. Have you closed your account?


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Just stopped using it May 20, 2010

Have you closed your account?

No, I have not closed it, just stopped using it. I just didn't want to deal with their customer support, and I think that is necessary in order to close your account. They definitely don't make things easy, so I just did not bother for now.


 

Natalia Kobzareva  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:33
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Same story May 21, 2010

The "merchant account" story in my case was triggered by substantial sums paid to me by my client in UK within a short period of time.
Since I am a registered sole entrepreneur, I filled in their merchant questionnaire trying to stress the point that I am an unincorporated entity and hence have no shareholders/affilates and the like.
However, they did not get the hint and sent me the paperwork to start the merchant use of the account. I tried to politely decline their "offer". But to no avail. They just sent me a notification of new fees.
I would stop using MB, should I be able to get payments to PayPal, which I cannot, since I live in Russia.
But I will definitely try to reduce the use of the MB account.

[Edited at 2010-05-21 06:05 GMT]


 

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Natalia May 21, 2010

Natalia, could you please advise on the change in fees? How much are you charged for the received money, in case if you have a merchant account?

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Moneybookers Fees and Terms May 21, 2010

https://www.moneybookers.com/app/help.pl?s=m_fees

https://www.moneybookers.com/app/help.pl?s=m_terms

Pay attention to #6, where they talk about Reserves.
Katalin


 

Natalia Kobzareva  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 00:33
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
Muhammad, May 22, 2010

They charged 1.9% as per the fee schedule.
This is in addition to EUR 1.80 that I pay each time to withraw the money to my bank account.
As for reserves, no funds have been yet frozen.
I presume this is for those who sell through their websites, to accommodate prospective buyers should they want any refund.


 

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 22, 2010

Thanks, Natalia and Katalin.

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
They simply did not listen to reason, so be careful May 22, 2010

Natalia Kobzareva wrote:
As for reserves, no funds have been yet frozen.
I presume this is for those who sell through their websites, to accommodate prospective buyers should they want any refund.


When they wanted to force me to sign the "Merchant Agreement", they already specified the reserve for me (my account was empty at that time, so they could not lock it, but they would have if they could). Yes, it is for refunds and such but in our business, when the client pays after receiving the translation, and it is a service, not selling goods, there are no refunds, it just does not work that way. They simply ignored whatever I said. I also asked how much interest they are going to pay on the "reserve", and they said they pay nothing, as this is not a deposit, but a reserve. I wonder whether they keep all these reserve monies under their pillow? If not, they are earning interest on it... So, I found it very interesting that they practically laugh when asked about interest on reserves, and at the same time they charge a hefty interest on any amount owed to them. I did not sign the agreement, but they still changed my account type unilaterally and started deducting the extra fees. That was the end of the story for me.

Katalin


 

Mohamed A. Moustafa  Identity Verified
United States
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Katalin May 22, 2010

Don't you think that moneybookers has a vague or a hidden aspect of their dealing with the users of their service? I mean that the details we are talking about are not clear from the moment someone starts an account with them (maybe they exist and I am not aware of them), that if you get definite sums to your account, then be alerted that extra fees will be charged and perhaps your account will be converted to a commercial one. A user gets snared into creating, say, a personal account, and then providing many verification documents, to be able to withdraw his money to his bank account and even to remove the underlying charge of money laundering, which it seems fine to them to raise from one time to another! In many of their demands, they seem to be exaggerating under the pretext of ensuring security. To save us the agony of wasting time and suffering headache, why don't they ask for the documents at one time, and also set clear all of their policies regarding the developments of dealing with them?

 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:33
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I have no idea May 22, 2010

Honestly, I have no idea what may be behind the scenes, and I don't want to speculate. I got extremely irritated with the incompetence of the customer service reps that I had the luck to talk to, and the completely unfair treatment they apply to their customers.
This includes not having a complete and clear description of their services, fees, etc. in one single place that is accessible to anyone and easy to find. I wouldn't be surprised if many people think they are intentionally hiding the information.
Katalin


 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Only good for very small amounts May 23, 2010

Neither Moneybookers nor Paypal listen to reason very often. A cooperation was only possible for me because they did not act consequently either.icon_rolleyes.gif

Now I avoid them because they were not worth the yearly required paperwork. They are only useful for amounts which are too small compared to the fees of a wire transfer, so you cannot build any solid business on them anyway.


 
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