Tsunami Relief
December 29, 2004 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Aside from Amazon and Apple, are any other prominent commercial web sites turning over significant portions of their home pages to tsunami relief? This is a good thing, but I'd hoped there'd be more by now.
posted by baltimore to Society & Culture (19 answers total)
I don't know about "prominent" but Google is too.
posted by pwb503 at 12:25 PM on December 29, 2004

posted by ascullion at 12:36 PM on December 29, 2004

Internet Movie Database.
posted by robbie01 at 1:32 PM on December 29, 2004

It should be noted this is probably a very good business decision for amazon as it further establishes their one-click donation system further. Also, they still seem to be charging their $0.30+2.9% fee for donations... (Of course it's good business sense to appear concerned for all businesses, but I find amazon's a little too much)
posted by fvw at 4:23 PM on December 29, 2004

Why do you think they're taking a fee out? I would think "100% of your donation will go to the Red Cross" has no wiggle room. On top of that, I assume Amazon is eating the normal credit card fee they're being charged by Visa/Mastercard.

Your first point stands though.
posted by smackfu at 5:17 PM on December 29, 2004

(IMDB is part of Amazon, so not sure this really counts as a separate company.)

What I thought was weird and more than a little offputting, is that Amazon won't let me use the gift certificate received as an Xmas gift to fund the donation. And they also haven't responded (in six hours) to my help email on the topic.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:35 PM on December 29, 2004

Response by poster: smackfu: Good point, though they should state those facts explicitly to remove all doubt. I expect that's the case, at least I hope it is. If Amazon really wants some halo effect, Bezos should offer to match every dollar pledged through the end of the year.

billsaysthis: I thought the gift certificate exchange would be a great idea, then immediately thought there'd be massive accounting issues with transferring the money. It can be done, but it's a lot of work with the current system, though Amazon could just create an item that's one dollar donation and allow people to specify any multiple and apply gift certificates to it. But that might take a bit longer to work out with the short staff in this unofficial holiday week in The States.

My larger point was that it was great to see two personal favorites push the commerce to the side for a while to help in a greater cause. So, where's Target or Microsoft or Dell or eBay or PayPal. I mean, c'mon, PayPal? That's a no-brainer, yet there's not a mention on their site.
posted by baltimore at 6:53 PM on December 29, 2004

We just updated the homepage of Technorati today.
posted by fraying at 8:28 PM on December 29, 2004

>I mean, c'mon, PayPal? That's a no-brainer, yet there's not a mention on their site

Baltimore and others - send PayPal mail! I just did.

...and I also donated directly to Red Cross - but that's just the beginning.

The amounts that are donated so far (internationally) don't even come close to what is needed.

Please give.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:35 PM on December 29, 2004

So there's no way to use Amazon gift certificates to donate? That's irksome. I've looked around but can't seem to find anything. I emailed them at the disaster relief address and got an entirely unhelpful boilerplate auto-response.

It would even be acceptable to me if they took up to 50% of the gift certificate, as loathsomely corporately whorish that would be. They're counting/expecting on those profits already.

I don't have a credit card, and have even less cash then the modest gift certificate is worth, but I'd really like to donate.

Surely some Mefite somewhere knows an Amazon employee or works there themselves! Within two or three degrees of separation from here the right ear to bend is waiting to make this happen.
posted by loquacious at 2:30 AM on December 30, 2004

Response by poster: seawallrunner: what address did you use at PayPal? Their site seems efficiently designed to obscure any and all non-support email addresses.
posted by baltimore at 6:32 AM on December 30, 2004

Paypal has a little thing off to the side now which leads to this page.
posted by ajpresto at 7:58 AM on December 30, 2004

baltimore, I used PayPal's Contact Us - I scrolled down to the bottom of the FAQ and sent in my query.

I also got a very quick and very polite answer back!

... Thank you for contacting PayPal. I can understand your frustration and concern over the issue. PayPal, an eBay company, does have information regarding this if you go to www.ebay.com and look at the Giving Works Site and Tsunami Crisis Board for more information. Thank you for your concern and being a great PayPal customer! ...

On Preview: ajpresto's link appears to point to that eBay page
posted by seawallrunner at 9:09 AM on December 30, 2004

It's a bit of a tangent, but if you're interested in business that are assisting in relief efforts -- FedEx will be shipping 200,000 pounds of relief supplies for Direct Relief and other NGOs at no cost. There are also several carriers offering logistics support, though information about which airlines are providing services at reduced price or no cost is a little hard to come by.
posted by bl1nk at 9:14 AM on December 30, 2004

this is good, too: Tsunami Relief: Charity Efficiency and Transparency Ratings
posted by amberglow at 9:18 AM on December 30, 2004

What I thought was weird and more than a little offputting, is that Amazon won't let me use the gift certificate received as an Xmas gift to fund the donation.

why is that weird? I agree that it would be nice of amazon to donate their gift certificate money to the relief project, but I certainly don't think it should be expected. Gift certificates are different from cash precisely in that they guarantee a particular business a certain amount of profit. For amazon, that money is already on the books. For them to send it on to asia would mean their making a donation of their profit, not just you making a donation of your books.
posted by mdn at 4:14 PM on December 30, 2004

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