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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: May 18th 2010 1:28PM Harrekki said

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Just a reminder, that in the US, it is illegal to send cash through the mail..... Just FYI.

Posted: May 18th 2010 1:36PM jmerriex said

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Actually no it is not illegal to send cash through the mail anywhere. This is a common misconception. First off, how would anyone know that was what is in the envelop.

The US Postal Service DOES explicitly warn against doing so because it is not safe. There is no way to prove the person you sent it to received it and a bunch of other issues. I will say having used and worked with PayByCash they are probably the best at what they do.

But yeah, there are no laws restricting mailing cash anywhere. I searched google and yahoo and could find no law anywhere in the US prohibiting this. In fact I found this that slightly confirms what I am saying: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080708134633AAT4FcZ
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Posted: May 18th 2010 1:41PM DeadlyAccurate said

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Just a reminder, just because someone says it online doesn't make it true.

It is not illegal to send money through the US mail. And if Easy_Rhino's cite isn't sufficient, I'm pretty sure the USPS website would not use "safe, convenient, and economical alternative to sending cash through the mail" as the sales pitch for International Postal Money Orders if it were illegal.
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Posted: May 18th 2010 1:46PM jmerriex said

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I know deadly that's why I said "slightly" in my post.
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Posted: May 18th 2010 1:50PM DeadlyAccurate said

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Oh, that wasn't in response to you, Jon. That was in response to the drive-by we both answered. Sorry for the confusion.

Stating ignorance as fact without doing even a modicum of research chaps my hide.
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Posted: May 18th 2010 3:09PM Harrekki said

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Then go to the Post office and tell them you are sending cash in the envelope. they won't take it.

And I did more than a little research, right or wrong, they won't accept it, and I know this from experience. Since it was a postal worker, and not some shmuck on the internet, I had a better source than Yahoo! answers. If it is wrong, then it is wrong, but don't assume ignorance and lack of experience when making a smart ass reply.

Thanks
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Posted: May 18th 2010 4:07PM Dandmcd said

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http://www.snopes.com/legal/postal/sendcash.asp

Quit being a jerk and do you research tielung...
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Posted: May 18th 2010 1:36PM jmerriex said

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I work for a Free2Play publisher you may know: GamersFirst. We have about 30 different payment providers including PayByCash (PlaySpan) and a Cell phone payment provider (new as of May).

In general we are on the look out of odd or "off" purchasing behavior because the online industry comes with a high volume of fraud. We have an internal fraud and payments team and a host of tools that will automatically notify us if something looks off. If a player who has previously only spent $10 a month with us suddenly spends $100 in a day. We get flagged.

In that case we usually look at the account. If the player has a history of doing this (say when we release new servers or game updates) we move on. But if it truly looks odd we will go as far as calling and ensuring the card holder was aware of the purchase. If they are not, we will immediately do a reversal. Most of the time when we do reversals like that is it because a child did in fact spend without the parent's knowledge.

We try to educate our players (and their parents) as much as possible. I know of 100s of situations where a parent contacted us with an issue like this and we normally will reverse the charge (usually if it is over $50) or somehow compensate them (removing access cash and allowing it to be spent over a period of time. i.e. A child purchases $30 in G1 Credits, well remove $15 worth and restore it a month later when the child would need it and the parent wouldn't need to make a charge for the following month). The big thing from a publisher's point of view is to be as flexible as possible and to be willing to bend.

At the end of the day these people are paying you and keeping you in business and you want to be able to do all you can to make them feel like they can come back the next day and pay again.

Posted: May 18th 2010 1:33PM (Unverified) said

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It's not a good idea, because they can just say they never received it, but it's not illegal.

http://www.snopes.com/legal/postal/sendcash.asp

Posted: May 18th 2010 1:34PM (Unverified) said

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I think it can be said that lack of discipline is what makes a child think doing the above examples okay. These companies accept different payment methods because it maximizes the profits they can get, in a sense. I don't think its inherently suspect, but it obviously will cause more fraudulent activity as long as "fishy" payment methods are accepted.

Posted: May 18th 2010 1:43PM (Unverified) said

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These companies will do whatever to get that money, but they should just tell the kid to go get a money order.

Posted: May 18th 2010 3:36PM Pingles said

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While the variety of payment systems is definitely to maximize the number of customers a company can have there Is another way to look at it:

More options let more people play who might not have access to credit cards and such.

Posted: May 18th 2010 4:49PM Dblade said

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And who doesn't have a debit or credit card? A child.

F2P games do target kids, and they do enable addiction and money spent. A sub fee is a fixed, monthly bill that wont vary at all. But your average f2p game tries to push as many microtransactions they can because it's pure profit, and it's easy to spend hundreds of dollars just in accessories and items per month.

to be honest, mmo gaming is starting to become a form of virtual casino and needs to return solely back to sub roots.

Posted: May 18th 2010 10:20PM Valdamar said

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"And who doesn't have a debit or credit card? A child."

Not just children - someone I used to know had a criminal record, solely from a burglary committed over 20 years ago, which under our laws precluded him from getting a credit card. Few MMOs accepted debit cards when we were playing MMOs together (he was allowed to have debit cards), so another of our friends had to pay for his EverQuest account for him.

My brother is disabled with cerebral palsy and has to have a guardian signing for him on his bank account, and he is also precluded from getting a credit card in his own name. I think folks with serious mental illness are also prevented from having a credit card here, and prisoners too (though admittedly their lack of access to PCs is probably a bigger obstacle to playing an MMO :p ).

And, rather obviously, people with really bad credit ratings are also not allowed to have credit ratings.

So no, not just children - though it probably differs from country to country.

Personally I'm in favour of lots of different payment methods, so that most players are catered for, no matter their means - I'm just not in favour of MMOs being designed around their payment method(s) - in particular I'm not in favour of cash shop item malls because in my experience the game gets designed around pushing you into visiting the cash shop (I much prefer DDO's implementation).

Paying a monthly subscription, with everything included in that, is still my favourite MMO payment model, though - that's because the only payment decision you have to make is whether to keep playing or not. Also the Devs have to balance the game based on fun and longevity, which means they can't pull any shenanigans to drive you towards a cash shop, and they can't put in too many grinds or timesinks (like they might be tempted to with a per-minute or per-hour fee) or people will just quit. With a monthly sub Devs have to consider the long term future health of the game as there are less opportunities for them to quickly cash-in on their customers.

As for subscription + cash shop, well lets just say I won't be playing any Cryptic/Atari or SOE MMOs any time soon... unless DCUO or Planetside 2 are really good :p
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Posted: May 18th 2010 10:23PM Valdamar said

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"And, rather obviously, people with really bad credit ratings are also not allowed to have credit ratings."

That should have read "And, rather obviously, people with really bad credit ratings are also not allowed to have credit CARDS."

WTB edit button.
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Posted: May 18th 2010 11:06PM Pingles said

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And I had a friend who was new to the US. Came here legally with plenty of money but no credit history.

They wanted to get online before they got all that stuff lined up.

I think it's real easy to have a very narrow view of a situation and not be able to see that there are LOTS of reasons why someone may not have credit cards and such.

Keep an open mind. There are LOTS of reasons for everything. Not everything is black and white.
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