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Topic: PBS Money Surcharge???

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Subject: PBS Money Surcharge???
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 8:52 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2005
Posts: 45
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 9:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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I understand the reason behind it, but I wish they would have announced this before they implemented it.  It may not seem like much money, but with my limited budget, that $.50 adds up.   Since I can only afford to add  money in $5.00 increments, that's a 10% charge each time.  Guess I won't be adding any money to my PBS account.

The transaction fee is also being charged when we buy credits from the PBS Kiosk.

Last Edited on: 9/11/07 9:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:07 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2007
Posts: 824
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The cost to use printable postage is as follows: 

Electronic DC fee $0.18 (This is added to the postage amount and is paid to the USPS)

Amount to site $0.27

Fee to endica $0.16 (This is the actual fee that endica is charging PBS to use their service)

PBS is not getting anything extra for the site except for what they were for PBS DC.

It is still less expensive than going to the Post Office and using their DC which costs $0.75. (And whatever the gas for you to get there does.)

 i haven't heard about any transfer fee yet.  Are you sure paypal didn't charge this?


Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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We're not talking about the PBS postage fees.  We're talking about the new transaction fee that's being charged each time we add money to our PBS account or when we buy credits from PBS. 

Last Edited on: 9/11/07 9:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,234
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It is not the printable postage fees. It is a transaction fee just to put $ into the PBS account.

I understand why they want to recoup the fees, but I agree that it all adds up quickly.

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 1,305
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I put money in my account and didn't notice a fee, I'll go look. It should be like with an ATM asking if I approve this ammount. I don't mind paying the fee for the DC but a fee to put money in my PBS account I do mind.

I went to look at my receipts and there is no mention of a fee on them from today? I paid using paypal, maybe it's if you use your credit card or was it charged using paypal?

Last Edited on: 9/11/07 9:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,534
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I just checked in the PBS Kiosk.  The fee is being charged for credit card and paypal transactions. 

Last Edited on: 9/11/07 9:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2007
Posts: 824
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I  just went and purchased  some PBS money to see what everyone was talking about.  There was a 50 cent charge.  I placed my mouse on the ? mark beside it to find out what it was for.

The 50 cent fee covers the fees they have to pay to process electronic fund transfer.   

Considering this is a free site to trade books, I can see why they would have to pass this fee  on to us.   Just image what it must have been costing Richard and Robert  for this fee, before it was passed to us.  They are a lot of members like me that use thier credit or debit cards, also paypal. 

Last Edited on: 9/11/07 10:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/11/2005
Posts: 45
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 9:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Hmm. I would rather pay a membership dues than have a 10% transaction fee. I've said it before & I'll say it again and again. I'd gladly pay a membership fee here.

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:45 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Michelle said: Hmm. I would rather pay a membership dues than have a 10% transaction fee

I would have to agree.  Fees for this, that and the other thing are just going to make me stop using this, that and the other thing.

To the original question, though, yes, I do think it should have been announced somewhere.  I have said before  that I wish they would have a place specifically to announce changes.  This would have been something to put "there".

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
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Thanks for mentioning this. I added $20 the other day and didn't notice that fee. So it's .50 per transaction--not  percentage of the total transfer? 'll make sure to only put money in there when I can put a decent amount in and won't be adding in smaller amounts, that's for sure! And yes, I agree, it'd be nice to be notified of this stuff in advance.

The nice thing is, the site is still TOTALLY FREE if you don't use any of those special features. So it can fit every budget. It's "nice" to be able to use the printable postage, DC, box-o-books, etc. etc. but not a bit of that extra stuff is *necessary* to still trade books and have a great experience...I mean, we did pretty darn well before any of that fancy schtuff came along.


Last Edited on: 9/11/07 11:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2005
Posts: 12,167
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I added money to my account tonight and it's definitely per transaction, NOT a percentage. 

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 880
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There was no announcement, and I think there should have been, but it's not like it's a hidden fee--it's visible right there when you put something in your shopping cart. Too many more fees, though, and I won't be use DC anymore.

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,501
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I transferred $20.00 from the palpal account to PBS the other day and didn't notice any fee-but I guess if they have to, they have to???

I'll stick to putting larger amounts in my PBS account...........

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 3:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
Posts: 63
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The site isn't really "free."  They have different service levels, one of which happens to be free (pretty standard arrangement to generate revenue off add-ons for free services).  I'm surprised that they've decided to impose a surcharge when it seems to walk a very fine line legally.  I'm sure they've consulted their legal representation so I'm guessing they are somehow in the clear, but it's still hinky, IMO. 

Either way, even though it's legal in most states to impose a surcharge for credit card transactions, it's against PayPal's policy.  I have no idea how they managed to get around that and still feel ethically OK.  As a business owner who loses thousands to credit card fees every year, it's hard to swallow -- I know that.  However, it's the cost of doing business and that should be rolled into the prices of their services instead of heaped on top of them in an very clumsy way that doesn't evenly distribute the burden.  That's just my opinion.

At this point, i will probably just go ahead and go back to copy/pasting into PayPal for shipping.  Just 18 cents for DC and no hidden surprise charges along the way.  I can handle the 4 lines of copy/paste until they come to their senses.  If they need the revenue, offer a paid version of the site with added features.  Don't nickel and dime me.


Date Posted: 9/12/2007 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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I was wondering about the rules paypal has about the surcharge too. I know alot of sellers on Ebay get their auctions taken down when they charge an extra fee for paying with PayPal. I only tried the new PBS shipping once. As neat as it is..I've been sticking with paypal shipping because all I pay extra is the normal 18 cents for DC. I love Paperbackswap and I bought a subscription to boxing which supports the site and has gotten me alot of books..but..I don't want to have to pay extra fees just to be able to put money in my PBS account to print shipping that again costs more than paypal to use. Seems like too many "extra" fees that can certainly add up after awhile.

Add me to the list of users that would rather just pay a yearly membership fee as opposed to all the little extra fees.


Bast -
Date Posted: 9/12/2007 4:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
Posts: 547
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I've used DC here for a long time and love it. But being on a fixed income makes it a little hard to justify. And tonight, seeing the unannounced .50 cent fee added onto adding money to my PBS account, well... it was a surprise, I'll just say that. However, I do understand why I was being charged.

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 5:31 AM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2007
Posts: 2,260
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I just added money to my PBS account for the first time to use the shipping and support the site i wasnt charged the fee. and i enjoyed supporting the site even if the DC is a bit more..but....seeing a new unannounced fee..well that will likely be trhe last time i  add money. I paid for bob and was going to pay for a journal too ect but adding a new fee with no warning doesnt seem right to me.

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 6:20 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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Well I have to say I'm kind of with Andrea & Tammy on this one. I can't remember the last time I was charged a surcharge on an online purchase, which frankly is what this is be it postage, credits or a bookmate, using either paypal or a CC online.  Actually if memory serves and it might not... isn't there a flat rate for "shopping cart" services anyway?  If so then those fees would have been in place for a long time already. It's been a few years since I've ran a site that incorporated one, and then it was a paypal cart so I could be mistaken. 

I put money via paypal in for the online postage, more than I usually keep in PBS money ($15 vs $5) and would have planned to keep on doing so, but I will have to reconsider.  Especially when paypal is available to me with no extra surcharges.

I love the site, and want to support it, but enough already.  The last book cost me $2.31 to mail plus .43 cent printing postage fee, now a surcharge to give them money?  my "svings" are getting less and less each transaction.

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 6,402
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I have to agree. Charge a membership fee if things are that tight. We don't charge fees for taking credit cards where I work and wonder if that is even allowed. It should have been announced that there is going to be a fee for adding money to your account. It's already substantial to use the postage and DC and now this. Poor judgment on their part not to announce it.

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 139
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It seems like they should have announced the fee in the September Newswire.  I went back to look to see if they did, but it wasn't announced.  The only thing I can say in their defense is that when we "buy" money from PBS, there is really no product involved, so there is no place for any markup to cover the costs to PBS.  So, they are faced with either putting in place a subscription fee for everyone (even those who never use PBS money) or having a surcharge for those who do use the service.

If we asked the folks who never use PBS money, I am sure they would not want to pay a subscription to support those who choose to use the add on services.

Dory -
Date Posted: 9/12/2007 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 1,082
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Well I just decided last night to add more money to my PBS account than I normally do because of the fee. I was adding money in smaller increments, but if they're going to charge .50 for each transaction, that adds up. I should now have enough money in there to mail out whatever books I have on my shelf right now. I really like the convenience of "one-stop" shopping for postage, so I didn't mind paying the extra for that. The transaction fee kind of reminds me of being charged a fee to take money out of an ATM that isn't affiliated with your bank. Honestly, I would rather pay for a subscription than pay the fee each time I want to add money to my account, but I'm sure not everyone feels that way.


Date Posted: 9/12/2007 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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Well said, Andrea.

I added money to my account yesterday but didn't notice a fee.  I'm really surprised that this was implemented without some sort of announcement.  I feel a little hornswoggled.

*******ETA:  I just checked, and it doesn't appear I was charged a fee.  My transaction was at noon on 9/11.  My Paypal account is hooked up to a checking account, so it was an instant transfer from that (I don't have a balance in my Paypal account).  I wonder if it has to do with using a credit card to fund the transfer?  Those of you who got charged a fee, did you use a credit card through Paypal?

Last Edited on: 9/12/07 9:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/12/2007 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 233
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I added money to my account the other day, and there was no fee.  Needed to add a few $$ today, so I was about to add $5 when I noticed the .50 fee.  Changed the amount I was adding to $20 so the .50 fee wasn't quite so disproportionate. 

I wish this had been announced instead of being snuck in, but I totally understand why.  On my PayPal account, whenever someone sends me money, I have to play a flat fee of .30 per transaction plus 1.9% (I think) of the value of the transaction.  I think it is more fair to charge us the way they are as opposed to an annual fee for the site -- this way, people who are using the service are paying for it, and people who prefer to use the post office or PayPal postage or some other postage service aren't paying for a service they aren't using. 

Last Edited on: 9/12/07 10:07 AM ET - Total times edited: 1