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Most of the subjects are based on reading and study and well as real life experiences (my field is aquarium and pond research and information as well as business)

PayPal Review; Dishonesty, Fraud Protection, Customer Service, Positives and Negatives

 

PayPal Positives and Negatives; especially Customer Service & Fraud Prevention (or more accurately; fraud assisatance

Updated 10/21/13

PayPal Logo, shopping cart, shipping problems, fraud, dishonestyFirst let me state that I am a PayPal merchant with multiple users on our business PayPal account. We have over 8 years experience as a PayPal merchant, resulting in much experience with the good and bad of being a PayPal merchant.

If you purchase much at all online, whether with the many small to medium size independent retail or even wholesale business or via eBay, you likely are quite familiar with PayPal.

PayPal has much to offer, from both a customers and sellers perspective.

From a buyers perspective,

*PayPal allows one to save information so as to avoid refilling address, credit or other information. As well there is the trust that your information is secure on their servers, unlike many unknown self hosted shopping carts found on many websites.

*PayPal allows you to shop online securely without the need to give out your identity to unfamiliar websites

*As a buyer you can also choose to either maintain funds in PayPal, have funds withdrawn from a credit card, or have funds withdrawn form a bank checking account (or debit card). Personally I prefer the first two options as the third option (checking/debit card) places the funds on hold for as long as a week before they are released to the seller, thus slowing one's purchase from being able to ship.

From a Sellers perspective

*PayPal offer website integration that is second to none (this includes Google Wallet/Checkout which falls way short of PayPal here).

*PayPal offers simple hosting of convenient shopping carts and credit card processing all in one, instead of cart hosting and then a second transaction processor.

*PayPals fees are also competitive and their method of funds transfer is very simple and provides for easy bookkeeping, unlike most bank credit card processors or Google Checkout.

*Also PayPals easy links to print packing slips/invoices and process orders is a service that is very helpful, and time saving. Their Virtual Terminal is also an excellent service.

Sadly though, PayPal has some major negatives (especially from the sellers perspective), and all these negatives can be summed up in one category and that is Customer Service.

First though let me state that while PayPal has a long ways to go when it comes to merchant or buyer customer service when compared to banks such as Chase; when compared to Google Wallet (Checkout), PayPal is light years ahead as Google Wallet has absolutely NO customer service as they hide behind anonymous persons who only communicate via emails from India and other non USA locations with limited canned responses that always go in circles.
So when compared to Goolge Wallet, PayPal is the clear choice for both the merchant and the buyer.

However; PayPal has not seemed to figure out that they are working for the seller and seem to think that the seller is lucky to have them based on their condescending and often arrogant responses to phone or email help, in particular their very arrogant technical department (much of which often goes unanswered).

PayPal also does not seem to realize that they benefit from a sellers success and by listening to their sellers instead providing condescending or no responses can also improve PayPal's bottom line (financially speaking).

As of the most recent update PayPal still has yet to add more tiers to aid sellers to spread out the cost of shipping.

WORSE, a major glitch PayPal added on February 1st 2013 that forced any mail system run by Gmail to now stack all PayPal transactions as ONE transaction took weeks to address and even then PayPal came back with their typical EXTREME arrogance of "we know better" and refuse to correct this.
For us this glitch is costing us copious amounts of time, as it now requires us to perform multiple searches to answer our customer inquires. In terms of dollars, this is adding to our business expenses.

While PayPal might have reasonable customer service for other matters relating to PayPal accounts, their lack of interest in even responding to ours and others many complaints about this change, has once again shown the complete arrogance of their technical department.
The problem is these techies might know their programming business, but I would venture to say that these PayPal techies have about as much business savy as an earthworm, yet they act like they know what's best.
Does this remind you of another idiot who knows nothing about business yet dictates to professional business persons how to run a business? (if you live in the USA, you sadly do!).

Here is a List of just a few other areas where PayPal needs to listen to their Sellers

  1. Occasionally, the PayPal Payment Received Page cannot be reached until the computer cache and more is cleared, this happens multiple times per week and costs each of my employees at least 15 valuable minutes to re-start all the browser tabs to get back "in the groove" and process orders

  2. Performing updates to PayPal's processing site (for sellers) at times such as late Sunday night to early Monday morning. The updates often extend into Monday morning business hours, resulting in an inability to process orders on Mondays (the busiest day), then when we & others call PayPal with the result of the customer service representative acting like it is no big deal; "just check back in a few hours".
    Sorry we have paid staff sitting around which costs us $$, as well we have clients we have promised to get packages out for that we now have to apologize to. This type of response is the height of arrogance on customer service at PayPal's part

  3. Lack of any quick print feature to add/print all shipping fees at the end of the month (this would save at least two hours of valuable employee time)

  4. Addition of more shipping tiers; this would allow for more spread of fees that would allows us to charge more accurate prices for shipping on the higher purchases while keeping the low value sales at as low of a shipping price as possible. We figure this would save at $100s of dollars in shipping and really help our bottom line, however this is where PayPal has been especially arrogant in their responses stating that we need to set up a separate cart host, but they sadly miss the point of why we use PayPal in the first place; integration. If we were to spend the money and time to over haul our 100s of web pages, we might as well switch to another credit card processor.
    Even more bluntly (& where the arrogant techie Obamanites at PayPal miss the point), if we are going to spend the $1000s to over haul our websites as we have already had a web designer hosting service already provide a quote, why would we use PayPal Pro , rather as suggested by this web designer (& others), use our own bank and avoid PayPals most egregious issues; Fraud Protect & terrible technical support for sellers!!
    For a definition of an Obamanite: Definition of Obamanite

  5. This brings me to the next point, seller protection.
    Which although fraud protection seems to be improving; PayPals history has been one of terrible seller protection from scammers, unlike separate processors I have used in my 30 years of running retail businesses.

    In one case PayPal allowed a scammer to keep an aquarium medication that was still within the best used date and still refunded all fees and shipping plus a $10 reversal fee.
    In this case the so-called customer purchased Triple Sulfa for their Bettas Dropsy (which our information pages clearly state is incorrect), when her betta supposedly died, she claimed this was due to the fact the best used by date was only a month away (keep in mind that most medications are effective well past their best used by date). She wanted to return this, which we offered to take it back (even though opened) as a customer service knowing we could use it in-house or for our aquarium maintenance company. However she demanded that we pay for both her return shipping and her time to go down to the post office (all this for a $8 aquarium medication, of course we refused and she filed a claim with PayPal and her credit card that resulted in a free product and us out shipping, product and the reversal fee.
    Sorry PayPal, this is clearly fraud, for which you need to stand up to, even if it incurs a loss on your part.
    REFERENCES:
    *Aquarium Triple Sulfa product link:
    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Pimafix.html#sulfa
    *Aquarium Medications; Facts about "Best Used by Date":
    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquarium_Medication.html#expiration
    *Betta Dropsy; Correct Information:
    http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2006/11/betta-with-dropsy.html

    HOWEVER, I should note that an extremely honest PayPal employee did finally reverse this case of fraud and all fees charged about 15 months later, so although this was a bit late, I have to admit a "better late than never" and at least this one person is a credit to PayPal.

  6. Inability to block scammers or other problem so-called customers; Even if PayPal cannot or refuses to do a better job in fraud prevention, they at least could help us by allowing us to block this often repeat scammer from purchasing (via their email address).
    This service is already in place and has been in place for years at eBay, so bluntly there is no excuse for this not being implemented with their online retailers or other non-eBay retailers accepting PayPal. Implementation of this could save us much $$ in employee time or losses due to fraud/scams. Sadly, this would also save PayPal, since many of these persons are repeat offenders and PayPal could also save in employee time and charge back fees, so there is NO REASONABLE EXPLANATION for the lack of such a feature!!

  7. Often we cannot ship certain orders due to an error that can never be cleared, this results in us having to process orders elsewhere (including setting up a Stamps.com account due to the frequency of this problem and other related issues)

  8. Inability to switch to another shipper if we are sending a replacement part.

    Example, if we ship a large UV Sterilizer via Fedex (our primary shipper) and it arrives with a broken UV bulb/lamp, it is more cost effective and quicker to ship this replacement bulb via USPS First Class, however PayPal refuses to offer this option

    Here are product links to the aquarium/pond equipment I was referring to above:
    *For Aquarium/Pond UV Sterilizers:
    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/UVSterilizers.html
    *For Aquarium/Pond UV Replacement Bulbs:
    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/UVCReplacementLamp.html

I could add more to this list, but I hopefully made my point that although PayPal has many positives, they can be so much better if they simply chose to improve their customer service and realize that their business can be improved by listening to their clients by fixing issues that affect the bottom line ($$) of sellers.

The bottom line is if you are new to online selling and you are considering PayPal as your shopping cart processor, I would recommend reconsidering until PayPal has a change of management practices where by they show at least some interest in the success of their online retailers (that pay their fees and keep PayPal employed)!


Update 10/21/13

Unfortunately PayPal still continues to fail with its fraud protection or at the very least with honest customer service.

After shipping to a confirmed address, PayPal reversed the sale based on suspicious activity, even though this customer has shown not issues in the past. PayPal stated we should NOT ship this package (even though is was obviously too late) Either way, we sent an employee to intercept the package at the Post Office, but alas the USPS already had sent it on its way.

I called PayPal and they told me "not to worry", that PayPal would place the funds back in our account once they verified that the package was in the system the next day. PayPal did NOT keep their word.

I then wrote an email; PayPal never had the common courtesy to return the email (Shameful business practices IMO as this is where PayPal often fails, they rarely return emails).

Finally three days later I contact PayPal by phone and the agent finally takes action and returns the money to our account.



Update 7/24/12

Before I go on with many negatives we have experienced with PayPal customer service; on 3/23/12 in another dealing with Fraud, PayPal REALLY stepped up to the plate. The customer service representative (Darron) quickly handled the case over the phone, showing integrity to look at out very well written Return Policy.

In this case a fraudulent buyer made a claim that the item was "not as described" (he claimed he thought he was getting a square pin Compact Fluorescent light when both the description and picture clearly stated and displayed a straight pin bulb/lamp). We told him he could return this for a full refund of purchase price (not shipping though). He returned this light in a shipping box without and packing so that the light was bouncing around in the box. He also did not include the packaging that the light comes with.
The result was we could not re-sale this light, but offered him a 50% credit as a customer courtesy.
This was not good enough and he sent so many nasty emails we had to block him and later he filed a claim asking for the rest of the product price and the shipping fees we already paid back to him (keep in mind this was his mistake, not ours)!

Thankfully Darron at PayPal saw through this quite quickly and immediately returned our funds.
It is noteworthy that the mark-up is quite low on most products including this light, so at 50% that we voluntarily provided we are still suffering a loss due to a customers mistake.

SADLY THIS WAS AN ISOLATED CASE OF FRAUD PROTECTION BY PAYPAL

In a VERY similar case (on 7/13/12) a scammer purchased a Via Aqua AR680-300 replacement pump which we only purchase from the original manufacturer. This person filed a claim "Significantly not as described" after several rude and accusatory emails.
I have used this pump and know that it fits the Via Aqua Aquarium it was designed for.
Although a small clip that originally came with this pump is no longer provided by the manufacturer (Via Aqua) it still fits perfectly and we have never had a complaint in the years we have sold this MANUFACTURER REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT PART.

We are the only retailer even purchasing this part from Via Aqua and likely the scammer knows this. This is made even more obvious when we broke our company policy and offered a return label (we do not offer paid return label for products that are correctly sold by us, only for our mistakes), YET this scammer has yet to return the pump as he knows full well that it will fit and this is all that he can purchase for his no longer manufactured aquarium!!

Worse, after we provided ample evidence, we still had to call PayPal to move this along; we were then told that PayPal would hold OUR money another 10 days until the buyer returns the product.
HOWEVER, after this time nearly expired, we found out that PayPal lied and NEVER sent out a notice to the fraudulent buyer, who never returned the product (even with the free label). The PayPal rep. stated another 10 days would be given while they find in the buyers favor just to move this along; WHAT?
Just more lies and dishonesty from PayPal!!!!!


Update 11/15/11
As of November 15, 2011, PayPal has required ALL businesses shipping via PayPal to login and out of eBay, worse ANY business with more than one employee must use the same administrative login. This mean we or any larger company MUST give out passwords to all employees, thus providing critical access employees that might be new or simply not to a level of trust for such information.

In speaking with a PayPal Supervisor, I received the usual condescending Obamanite rhetoric.

Why PayPal made such a decision without polling their merchants has got to be one of the biggest corporate blunders I can think of.

This said, we are now moving all our USPS shipping to stamps.com (we already shipped our larger packages via FedEx). In speaking to a stamps.com employee (not to mention the unusually long wait time), it is apparent that other merchants are leaving PayPal shipping in masse. Really smart move PayPal; I am glad I am not a stock holder of this company!


Update 10/19/11

In a case where an international customer received products that were damaged in shipping, this customer made the mistake of filing a claim with PayPal, rather than contacting us and working this out via our excellent return policy.

PayPal was very arrogant once again and was adamant in usurping our policy, despite the fact that our policy would have allowed for pictures to prove the damage (which he later provided, but unfortunately too late).
The result is this customer must now pay for international shipping back to us to get a FULL refund.
This is a LOSE- LOSE situation as the customer is now out the shipping, and we will be forced to give a full refund even though only partial damage occurred.

Come on PayPal, show some integrity and allow us to first honor our excellent customer service!!


Update 9/02/11

*We still get the same arrogant responses from PayPal as per website integration improvements (again making the silly back door suggestions that then remove the main positive for PayPal; front door website integration!)

*But worse, the fraud protection continues to fail at PayPal.
We still get many scammer customers that will make purchases at say 3 am and then file a non receipt claim at 4 am (PayPal will also gladly go along with the scam/fraud), however these are easy since we have not shipped at this hours and we simply refund and refuse business with this customer (sadly PayPal still refuses to block these customers as they can/do at eBay)

However as of this update PayPal is once again participating as clear a case of fraud as one can define fraud.

*In August of 2011, we had a customer purchase a 13 Watt GX23 UV Bulb, which we correctly sent, however this customer realized they ordered the wrong Bulb (they needed the G23 13 Watt), and rather than send this one back for exchange (which we are more than happy to do at our Return Shipping expense), they filed a claim against us via PayPal of which PayPal accepted and found against us.

We are now currently out the bulb, our shipping and OUR money/funds. Worse yet the EXTREMELY rude PayPal manager that we spoke with (Michelle), would not hear any of the evidence or facts and kept cutting us off and reciting PayPal policy and even later hung up on us.

All I can say is WOW; how morally corrupt and lacking in customer service can a company be!
13 Watt G23 UV Replacement Bulb Product link:
http://americanaquariumproducts.com/UVCReplacementLamp.html#13wattg23

*Another customer made a purchase of a 9 watt UV bulb a couple days ago, then we shipped to the CONFIRMED (as per PayPal) address.
Today we find our funds placed on hold after PayPal allowed a non receipt claim go through (it has not even been the 7 days PayPal suggests too!!). What is worse is the scammer is re-routing the package, so who knows if this will ever come to resolution since delivery to the confirmed address is now impossible. PayPal should know better and also the customer service agent I first spoke with should know better than to defend such fraudulent activity.
9 watt UV Bulb Product link:
http://americanaquariumproducts.com/UVCReplacementLamp.html#9wattg23

SHAME on PayPal (& where are the Lawyers that claimed to go to law school to "make a difference" that should be filing a class action lawsuit against PayPal for just this type of activity).

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