Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Out-of-state tickets for Maine drivers

We are frequently asked by clients if NY tickets will affect them in their home state. Below is an image showing a Pennsylvania ticket on a Maine driving record, and it looks like this violation did not count for points. So if it's the best that you can do for a Maine driver, an 1110(a) isn't terrible.

Our biggest blog post on this topic is Do Points Transfer from July of 2009.

Friday, August 06, 2010

AdWords, YouTube and Adult Content: This is funny!

As part of my campaign for Governor of New York State, I did a quick video to show why I don't fit in with typical politicians.

You can see it on YouTube as NY Politics: Top 10 List

One of the things I'm doing in the campaign is a very small amount of advertising. In particular I'm advertising this video on YouTube through Google AdWords. Last night I got a message that my ad had been "disapproved."

Investigating, I found that the disapproval was due to "adult content." So now I'm scratching my head. The ad reads like this:

NY Politics: Top 10 List
Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and
Warren Redlich? Governor?

I don't see any adult content there.

The image accompanying it has a picture of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, with the text: "#6: Never had cigar with intern"

So I understand the story behind that could be seen as adult content, but the image itself and the words can't.

So I contacted AdWords support (which is generally quite good). Here's what they said:

To clarify, the ad was disapproved because the landing page and video itself comment on prohibited content such as prostitution and tobacco
products. In order for this ad to be approved, please edit it so that it
complies with our policies.

Tobacco products? I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that.

Within the video, the only "prostitution" content is the line "Never caught with a hooker."

Is AdWords going overboard? If you do a Google search on terms like "Eliot Spitzer" or "Monica Lewinsky", with Google's "SafeSearch" set to strict, the top results are Wikipedia entries that have much more detailed descriptions of the relevant incidents.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

PayPal and American Express (AMEX)

The Redlich Law Firm no longer accepts American Express through PayPal.

I logged into my PayPal account today. There was a notice that, going forward, AMEX transactions will require a higher fee of 3.5% of the transaction, plus 30 cents per transaction.

We currently pay 2.2% of the transaction plus 30 cents, so on a $1000 fee, we pay $22.30. If we agreed to the 3.5% rate, we would be paying $35.30.

We think most of our clients pay with Visa or MasterCard. Most of our payments are through our website and we can't see what kind of card they use. But for our over-the-phone payments, we hear the type of card as we enter it.

We do get some AMEX transactions, but not that many. And I suspect most American Express cardholders also have a Visa or MasterCard.

I'm stunned at the attempt to grab so much more money from PayPal sellers. If it had been an extra 0.2%, maybe I would have swallowed hard and agreed. But the extra 1.3% works out to a greater than 50% increase in cost of this service.

This will make it easier to throw out the American Express card offers I get in the mail all the time.