How conflict in the Middle East killed a Kiwi retailer’s credit card facilities

  • News
  • August 26, 2015
  • Sarah Dunn
How conflict in the Middle East killed a Kiwi retailer’s credit card facilities

The trouble started a couple of weeks ago, when Dalson Foods received an unexpected email from PayPal expressing concern that the company was selling Sun Valley dates. The dates are supplied to Dalson from Sun Valley, a subsidiary of New Zealand-owned Icelandic Holdings. The dates themselves are of Iranian origin.

“[PayPal] said under US law it is prohibited to sell anything of Iranian descent.”

The United States has has an embargo on trade with Iran since 1995. The political relationship between Iran and the US has been rocky since the early 2000s, and talk of war between the two countries over Iran’s nuclear programme is still current.

Buckley says PayPal spoke of protecting users with its policy. It asked for documentation around the origins of the dates, but did not elaborate on what kind of information was required when asked. PayPal’s communication was not clear, says Buckley, who describes the emails as form letter style “standard responses.”

“Basically, they said, ‘Look, it’s prohibited… you need to provide documentation that proves its origins.”

Sun Valley told Buckley that they didn’t carry the kind of documentation PayPal seemed to be asking for, he says. After hearing this, PayPal put a limitation on Dalson Foods’ account which means customers can no longer shop with their credit cards on the site.

“Problem was, we weren't aware it wasn't working at all, not until I tried it myself as PayPal tells you your account is limited but doesn't go into detail about how limited you really are on functionality,” Buckley says.

Buckley has received no further communications from PayPal after requesting they remove the credit card block. His perspective is that since Dalson operates in New Zealand, the US laws invoked by PayPal should not apply.

“You can’t do that to a company, you have to operate within the laws of the country you’re operating in.”

Hi everyone! We're currently in the middle of a feud with PayPal who have restricted our account and not allowing our...

Posted by Dalson Foods on Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dalson is in the process of shifting its credit card business to another facility, but this will take time. Buckley wants to warn other retailers about what PayPal has cost them.

“They won’t remove [the block], they won’t respond, I don’t know what to do.”

PayPal has been contacted for comment.

In 2010, PayPal independently moved to cut off a donations account associated with political blog WikiLeaks after learning it was breaking the law.

PayPal explained the decision on its blog: “PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.”

American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand representative Mike Hearn says issues like those Dalson Foods experienced are to be expected.

“If [Buckley] is using PayPal, all I can suggest he does is change to a New Zealand provider.”

Hearn pointed out that while the Iranian dates were not entering the US, customer payments relating to them which were handled by PayPal would have done. Therefore, he felt it was fair for PayPal to apply US law in this case.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Trends analysed at Chicago's International Home + Housewares Show

Each new year for retailers is another question mark in guessing what to present to consumers. Luckily in the world of retail, trade shows can ...


Shoptalk 2019: The city of lights delivers

Juanita Neville-Te Rito shares a sprinkle of retail magic from Las Vegas retail conference Shoptalk.


Consumer confidence falls again, but still optimistic

  • News
  • June 20, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Consumer confidence falls again, but still optimistic

Consumers remain downbeat about the future of the economy, but are more upbeat about their own financial situations.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Automation will help retailers focus on customers

  • News
  • June 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Automation will help retailers focus on customers

More than 100 retailers have gathered at Freedom Furniture’s new Newmarket flagship to consider what the upcoming wave of automation technology offers for the industry. Speakers included Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group and Soul Machines’ Hilary O’Connor.

Read more

A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

  • Opinion
  • June 18, 2019
  • Wendy Thompson
A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

Wendy Thompson is the founder and CEO of the successful social media marketing agency Socialites, and has 16 years digital marketing experience in some of New Zealand's top advertising agencies. However. that doesn't mean she hasn't made her fair share of mistakes in her career. Here, in her typically colourful way, she shares four mistakes she's learnt from all her years in business – and the important lessons she learnt from them.

Read more

The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

  • Design
  • June 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

The vanilla-flavoured, sog-resistant edible cups produced by Auckland company Twiice were four years in the making, but now they’re on the menu at Auckland cafes. We gave them a taste.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit