Another day, another infuriating and confusing email. Receipts for PayPal have been coming in all day with the following cryptic message on them:

This purchase was made with special financing offer “No Payments/ Interest if paid in full by July 2011”.

An additional fee of was applied.

Of? Of what? The suspense is killing me!

I’d call it a typo but every email I’ve gotten has this exact same message on it with the same exact phrasing written TWICE in each email.

So, first, the what: The no payments or interest promotion is part of this deal: Make your first purchase using Bill Me Later on eBay and get $10 off. (Info on how to take advantage of this deal from FatWallet, my husband’s favorite website ever.) My first reaction to learning about this was delight: Obviously, this whole Bill Me Later thing is working out well for sellers (or, me, at least) because I am getting a TON of PayPal Notification of payment received messages with this message on them and if all of those sales are really coming through people using BML, I’m all for it. If this $10 off offer or BML itself is making more people hit that buy button this holiday season, you won’t see me complain.

But I’m not in love with that weird message that mentions an additional fee (even if they didn’t tell me what it was) so I went to PayPal to dig a little deeper. Spot checking the transactions with this message on them, I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t charged any additional fee: the fees on these transactions were consistent with my normal Paypal.

But, then, why is that message there? Does it portend an additional fee to come? Would sellers still like the extra sales Bill Me Later brings in if they had to pay an extra fee?

What do you think?