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back to article Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

A public relations boss briefly became the world's first quadrillionaire after a PayPal slip-up made him the richest man on the planet. Chris Reynolds, from Delaware, opened up his monthly PayPal statement and was astonished to find he had suddenly been handed a whopping $92,233,720,368,547,800 - roughly 1000 times as much as …

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If it were Baldrick

He'd probably buy a turnip the size of a planet.

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Happy

Re: If it were Baldrick

Only if it had grown into a rude and amusing shape...

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I'd settle for

Just a seconds worth of interest on the sum. That wold be fair. I'd still be a trillionaire.

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Anonymous Coward

Interest

Technically speaking are PayPal allowed to remove the interest generated from the amount they placed in this guys account?

Are they not just allowed to remove the amount they deposited?

Obviously I realise this is just a mistake.

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WTF?

Re: Interest

Here we go, someone trying to come up with a "serious" point about something that's clearly happened in error.

Along the same lines - if he'd received a bill (rather than credit) in error for this amount, then technically should he have to pay some of it or the interest for the time over which the error wasn't spotted?

The answer - in both cases - is obviously no.

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Re: Interest

Doesn't matter. Paypal are a payment service, not a full bank - so they don't pay interest.

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Re: Interest

Your PayPal balance does accrue interest if you sign up for their money market service. You can lose at it too although they haven't ever lost any of my money. The rate is better than most savings accounts. I certainly wouldn't trust it as a place to store large amouts but it's nice to have a little there.

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he should have real money in his bank accounts and just use his debit card

credit cards are for the poor

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@Zmodem

You seriously would use a debit card to buy stuff on the internet???

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Re: @Zmodem

most shops online use paypal and your money is covered

visa debit cards from barclays etc use the same verification as credit cards and your money is still covered

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Happy

Re: @Zmodem

Barclays Etc are evil. Don't go near them.

Worst part of the Barclays group.

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Re: @Zmodem

No, multiple credit cards are for the poor, a single credit card is for either the incredibly poor, or the wise.

Single credit card with cashback or something similar, constant use rather than debit card and making sure that you pay off the credit card fees on time means that you'll make money back off the account (more than you would interest on a debit account) and build up your credit score since for some reason they use your credit cards to check this.

On the other hand for the uber poor who've gone bankrupt. One of those 47% apr credit cards can be one of the fastest ways to build their credit back up to a reasonable level.

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Re: @Zmodem

they are the best bank

natwest lost all my money and it took a month for them to find it, then they banned me from openning up another account and having rubbish switch debit card

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Re: @Zmodem

when you use your debit card, the money is paid straight out of your bank account and you dont have to think about it again or pay it off monthly

visa debit cards you can use worldwide

you probably need to ask the bank for a new limit if you want to buy a super car

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Re: @Zmodem

In the UK, when you purchase something with a credit card that is over £100 in value, the credit card company is equally liable for it. This means if the company you purchased it from goes bankrupt, the credit card company has to refund you. This protection is not offered with debit cards.

Additionally, you can arrange for your full credit card balance to be paid off every month which means you do not have to worry about it and do not pay any interest. You effectively get up to eight weeks interest free credit.

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Re: @Zmodem

"In the UK, when you purchase something with a credit card that is over £100 in value, the credit card company is equally liable for it."

Quite true. In-fact you only need to part pay for something e.g. pay the deposit on your car, to get this protection.

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Re: @Zmodem

The reason to use a credit card rather than a debit card is not so much the level of protection offered - Visa Debit is pretty much as good as a credit card from that point of view. Its just that its a hell of a lot less disruptive to have your available credit nicked than your bank account cleared out, even if you do get the money back down the line.

That said, if you want to be nice to the seller on a large purchase, use a debit card. They pay a percentage on credit card transaction, and a flat fee on debit cards.

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Re: @Zmodem

most people with money have a savings account or an ISA thing

your debit is only linked to your current accoumt

no company will go bankrupt overnight and not dispatch your goods

if you have real money you can just buy a car with your debit card and wave it about better then a gold card

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Re: @Zmodem

I bought my wife's SmartCar on my credit card simply because of the cash (points really) back option. I use my credit card for 95% of my purchases. There is no interest as I pay the balance every month, no practical limit, and I have enough reward points to buy all the birthday presents I have to get throughout the year. I also get large discounts on my plane tickets, rental cars and car insurance and don't have to carry much cash.

Not sure where you're getting your financial advice, but you need to find someone new. If you're using cash or debit you aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

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Re: @Zmodem

I'd find it pretty damn inconvenient to have my current account out of action - I imagine it would cause all sorts of issues with direct debits and standing orders, and make paying utility bills harder etc.

Nothing impossible, but why not use a credit card and minimise the issue? As long as you pay it off every month there is no downside - I find it helps me control my spending since I get a letter each month telling me how much I've spent in the last month.

Probably should look into the reward thing though. I'm still using the card I got when I was a student and they don't give me anything like that.

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Re: @Zmodem

most savings accounts and ISA`s make the point of being able to have access to your money when you like, so you just transfer money into your current account when you want to buy something big

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Re: @Zmodem

Companies can and do go tits-up overnight. In many cases, outstanding orders are not dispatched, and refunds are not provided.

If you've paid by credit card (and the amount is over £100) you can simply claim your money back from the credit card issuer.

If you've paid by debit card, you are unlikely to ever see your money or your purchase.

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Re: @Zmodem

If you're balancing spending out of your savings you're losing interest. Using a CC doesn't effect your holdings as long as you pay it every month.

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Re: @Zmodem

Barclays group

ABSA (the local part in South Africa) are contending for the title of worst!

http://www.fin24.com/MyFin24/Detained-over-fraudulent-debit-card-20130613

A man shopping was detained for hours because his card was declared fraudulent by the system; they were waiting for the ABSA fraud check expert to come along

" He proceeded to ask me four or five questions to verify that I was the account holder. That was done in under a minute and I was told everything is fine.

I asked what the problem was and why my family and I were subjected to this. He proceeded to tell me that it was simply an Absa system error and also told us that if he had not come through to verify my identity, I would have spent the remainder of the weekend in jail."

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Re: @Zmodem

garden-snail I think that is actually out of date. You are not protected by the same statutory rights as with a credit card, but as a practical matter debit card providers these days have equivalent schemes. This didn't use to be the case, and since it doesn't have legal force it is a weaker protection I suppose, but in practice these days the protection is equivalent.

Still makes sense to use a credit card IMO though.

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@Zmodem

With financial thinking so deep, it's obvious you will never be wealthy. Neither will anybody who takes your advice.

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Re: @Zmodem

I was inclined to tell you what to wave about but on reflection... please don't.

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Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

That's a load of crap and you know it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, so you're paying for those points somewhere. Maybe you're benefiting from cost shifting to the poor who get stuck with 47% rates. More likely you're paying for it in the form of higher prices on the goods you purchase.

There's only one good reason to use a credit card for an internet purchase: fraud protection. Everything else is a rationalization about to justify overspending.

Full disclosure: I've done more rationalizing than most about this in my younger days. I'm spent the last three years trying to clean up the mess I made and am likely to spend the next three years before I'm finished. And I spent the ten years before that pretending I was trying to clean up the mess.

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Actually

As any smart Banker will tell you, making purchases with debit cards are for people who can't get credit and/or don't know how to manage money. Credit cards don't charge interest if you pay your balance off in full every month, in which case they are an interest-free 1-month loan, during which your actual money is earning interest. And if you are smart, you only use credit cards with zero-fees and good reward programs, which adds icing to the cake.

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Windows

Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

Nobody said free lunch, you have to pay, but why not stretch the dollar a little further. Using my credit card has no down side for me. I have the money for my purchases but if I pay with cash or check I don't get the rewards. The annual card holder fees are trivial next to what I receive in points and less than what I accrue annually in my savings account.

It sounds like you were using your credit cards as short term loans instead of as a cash substitute. That's simply poor financial management. Just because you made poor decisions in the past doesn't mean you can't learn from them and not be scared of credit cards.

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Re: @Zmodem

Thanks for the update, mike2R.

Good to see debit card users getting some protection, though I'd still rather have statutory protection than rely on the goodness of the card issuers' hearts.

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Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

Tom 13 - there is a higher cost in using credit cards, but the way things are at the moment for consumer purchases, these are generally eaten by the merchant. Very few places will make you pay the additional transaction fees for using a credit card rather than a debit card, so any rewards are basically free money to you as long as you don't do something silly like not pay off the balance in full.

B2B transactions, understandably enough, will typically pass the cost on to their customers.

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@garden-snail

It's not just the protection for items not shipped. It's also the protection for compromised account numbers. If they get to your bank account, your cash is gone. If they get your credit card they can trash it and your score, but you can get those cleaned up. It's a PITA, but you can clean it up. And while you are cleaning it up, you still have accounts from which you can function.

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Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

In the US merchant services agreements strictly prohibit the merchant passing on processing fees to the customer beyond a certain set amount that can't be calculated as a percentage of the purchase. Small merchants get around this by offering discounts for cash or minimum purchase amount when using a card.

But yes, if you pay your balance in full every month you are essentially getting free money through the rewards systems.

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Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

I'm not scared of them. Still use them for some things while I'm paying off the rest.

But I'm not shaking down people who can't afford the bill by asking for more than what I'm paying for on my credit cards. You may not visibly see the cost, but the cost is still there. This is what turns me off most about liberals and progressives: they lord their "moral superiority of caring about others" over conservatives while screwing them over and claiming they aren't. Pay your own bills including the costs for all those people moving the bits around that represent your money.

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Re: Actually

Smart Greedy bankers tell you that because they are raking in the fees from the vendors on all those purchases you make. Fees the vendors have to charge you in the form of higher prices. Plus of course higher taxes because they are "adding more value" to the product when they sell it.

I did support for a smallish local bank many years ago. One gentleman who was in the lending department had a cartoon prominently displayed on the wall. I don't recall the start of it anymore (probably something like "cash is temporary), but the punchline was "but a mortgage is forever." Bankers all know where they collect their fees. Sounding like they are giving good advice is even more important to fleecing the sheep.

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Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

These are NEVER eaten by the merchant. The merchant ALWAYS passes them along because he doesn't have any choice about it. Because of the restrictive laws about processing them that means yes they spread them to everybody including customers who pay cash.

This isn't me talking out my ass. This is me telling you I've been the person recommending how we were going to pass the cost along to our customers when our organization implemented our credit card processing system. And the 25 other people in the room (because we were a little d democratic organization at the time) agreeing with me. It isn't rocket science.

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Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

I am an ecommerce merchant. We eat the fees on credit card processing.

Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up. Trust me on this, we set them at the level where we think we will make the most money. Cost are obviously vitally important, but this "they'll just put their prices up" is a fallacy.

If we could put our prices up without losing more money in lost sales than we were making from the higher price, don't you think we'd have done it already?

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Re: @Zmodem

you rarely buy anything worth more than a grand

any new online shop that uses visa, you will have to start a visa account or enter your password when the transaction will happen unless someone else has brought something and the shop has been added to the authorized shop database

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Re: @Zmodem

and if you earn £15-22k a year you can probably put 40-50% of your wages each month into your savings and only need to keep your current account around £1800

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Re: Actually

That is wrong. Paying directly with hard cash (or debit card) is far better than buying with credit. It is better for the company in question, for you and the economy in general. The current debt culture we have is a big problem, but this what people are willing to do.

If you do not want to loose all your money from card theft the best advice is to keep only limited amount on your card at any given time. The rest on normal none card connected account.

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Re: Actually

and £1000 is easy to cover out of your savings while the bank looks into the theft

and the visa database can probably be used to block all transactions from any merchant any time if theft has been found

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Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

So when your costs exceed your profit margins you all just happily give stuff away out of the generosity of your hearts?

Fat chance. Somebody in your organization is making damn sure prices keep up with costs, and that includes the costs of credit card processing. They may hide it the same way the whole MBS thing was supposed to hide the high-risk loans, but it works just as effectively.

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Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

If we can't make money doing what we do we shift what we do (as we've done several times over the years) or go out of business.

You're missing the point about pricing. We are not altruistically keeping our prices down when our costs go up, we are deliberately trying to get as much money for our products as humanly possible already. The only reason we are not charging more than we currently do is that people have an annoying habit of buying stuff elsewhere if we do that. There probably are products we could make more money on by charging more, but that is an oversight on my part, and if I can figure out which ones they are I'll put them up first thing on Monday morning, even if our costs were halved.

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Re: @Zmodem

> and if you earn £15-22k a year you can probably put 40-50% of your wages each month into your savings and only need to keep your current account around £1800

You will find that much harder once you are old enough to earn money and to move out of your parents house.

£22k gross = £17,777.76 net which means you will take home £1,481.48 per month. If 50% of this is going to savings this leaves you £740.74 for your rent or mortgage (£550 would be cheap), electricity (£50), council tax (£100), gas (£25), water (£30). You are now digging into your savings and you have still to pay for your phone, broadband, clothes, transport, entertainment, shiny shiny, TV license and subscription, food and a whole lot more.

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Re: @Zmodem

i find it easy, i live in a council flat on my own, if i earn £1500 a month, i cover all bills and food with the £500, the rent is only £320 and council tax is rubbish and area is full of chavs who never intend to work and cry about you buying milk everyday

mortages are usually cheaper then the average private flat rent of £600-1200 a month, you just need to save the £25,000 mortage deposit

if you bank account gets emptied, and you tell the bank, your debit card is canceled there and then and you will received a new card with the last few digits and the security number on the back changed within 1-3 days

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Re: @Zmodem

unless you live in a council house, by the time you have saved up £25,000, you can probably just buy the house your living in with cash, depending how much rent you have paid yourself and not in benefits

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Re: @Zmodem

> mortages are usually cheaper then the average private flat rent of £600-1200 a month,

The £25k deposit will be 10% which will leave you with £225k to pay off. With a 25 year mortgage at 4% this will mean a monthly repayment of £1200.22. If you only borrow £100k this will still mean a monthly repayment of £533.43 so my estimate of £550 for rent or mortgage isn't unreasonable.

> i cover all bills and food with the £500

£320 rent leaves you with £180 per month for everything else which is less than means tested benefit which will give you a minimum of £56.80 per week (£227.20). In addition, those on means tested benefit can get 100% discount on council tax, reduced cost or even free travel, free or reduced cost to access local amenities, reduced or lower costs for social events (cinema, theatre etc), free prescriptions and eye tests etc.

Like I said, when you stop living with your parents you will realise just how much things cost and how many things you have to actually pay for.

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You have been handed the Fief Of Arrakis by PayPalian Decree. Members of the Landsraat are starting to mumble.

Do you accept [Y/N]

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Trap

This is one of them.

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