By Evette Champion
Soulja Boy wrote an email to Stripe, the online payment processing company, because he was alarmed by the huge negative balance on his account. The account was used to process payments for his brand of two-wheeled self-balancing boards aptly named “Souljaboards” which he sold on his online store for $1,500 apiece.
“I need help all the payments are fraud,” Soulja Boy wrote. “And it sent my account to negative because they all say they weren’t authorized. Please help in any way you can thanks. I don’t want to have to pay all this money because of frauds. Is there any way to reverse these payments and get my account to Good standing?”
Apparently, the email is the result of a three-month long struggle between the rapper and Stripe. According to BuzzFeed News, the online purchase of these hoverboards is pretty common and it isn’t just limited to Souljaboards. In fact, almost three-quarters of all hoverboards purchased on-line will result in a chargeback.
The problem has gotten so bad that Stripe is considering suing its users to recoup funds, as stated in postmortem (a six-page document that’s unsigned and it outlines “Remediation” and “Next Steps”).
“We need to be willing to file a lawsuit,” the postmortem reads. “At what point are we actually willing to file a lawsuit? There’s a reputation/PR issue here since we still would be suing a user.”
Right now, Soulja Boy is out at least $175,000 because of the fraudulent credit card purchases that have been made on his online store.
The rapper isn’t the only one who is out a boat load of money due to fraud. IO Hawk, a popular hoverboard brand in the US, is $900,000 in the hole with Stripe due to fraudulent hover-board purchases. In documentation provided by Stripe, John Soibatian, the president of IO Hawk, registered a GoDaddy page in November 2014 with the intent to sell hoverboards. Orders for the boards went through the roof after an episode of the Today Show featured the product in May, 2015. They too had problems with fraud.
I guess what could be learned from all of this is if you want to open an online store, stay away from selling hover-boards lest you go deep into debt. Just sayin’.