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PayPal as a payment method for your business?

PayPal Fail

Scenario 1.

  1. You have USD funds in your PayPal account, but you want to pay someone in CAD.
  2. Paypal will not convert the USD to CAD and pay the person.
  3. Instead they will send that person an echeck.
  4. You only find out that this is what they’ve done when you get an email saying that your transaction will be pending until March 9th 2010 (it is Feb 24th today).
  5. An echeck can take 7-10 business days to clear your personal/business bank account.
  6. You call them (see scenario 3 below) to ask them to stop the transaction, and you promise to convert the USD to CAD
  7. They cannot stop anything.  Sorry.
  8. So now my client waits (and waits and waits).
  9. Finally your client gets notification that the echeck has cleared.
  10. They can then click to deposit the money into their bank account.
  11. They find that they need to set up a PayPal account to access their money.
  12. Once they’ve set up an account, they can then click to deposit their money into their bank account.
  13. They now get to wait an additional 7 – 10 business days before the money is deposited.

Scenario 2.

  1. You pay someone with PayPal (using the correct currency and ensuring that you have more than  enough money to cover the payment)
  2. They get notification of an instant payment
  3. They click to deposit into their bank account
  4. They find that they have to set up a PayPal account to get their money
  5. They have to wait 7-10 business days to finally receive their instant payment.

Scenario 3

(and I thought it was just me being frustrated by PayPal)

  1. I call Paypal from Canada.
  2. The recorded prompting message wants to verify my account and asks me for my Social Security number
  3. Canadians don’t have Social Security numbers
  4. I don’t know how to answer and find myself saying (to the recording), “I don’t have a Social Security number.”
  5. I am stuck in this loop with this recording of a person asking me over and over for my Social Security number
  6. Then I hear the magic words, “OK we STILL can’t verify your account–let’s try something else.”
  7. FINALLY they ask for the last 4 numbers of my bank account.  I have that handy.
  8. I tell them the number, but they cannot verify my account with the numbers I’ve given
  9. Strange, but they can only recognize my bank account number when they are sending someone an echeck
  10. The recording asks me for the last 4 numbers of my bank account several more times
  11. I fail the test each time
  12. (10 minutes have gone by)
  13. “OK we STILL can’t verify your account–let’s try something else.  Enter or say the last 4 numbers of you Social Security number… “
  14. Exactly 17 minutes from start to finally being able to speak to a living, breathing human being.

Scenario 4

  1. I’ve made a purchase with my PayPal balance.
  2. They charge my credit card instead.
  3. I call them (see scenario 3) to find out how and why this has happened
  4. I am told that there are a lot of fraudulent purchases for that exact amount of money
  5. So they use the credit card that is on file to make the payment.
  6. I ask what would happen if I didn’t have a credit card on file
  7. They answer that they would use the money in my account.
  8. Enough said–I’ve removed my credit card.

All I can say to any of my clients who have been caught in this long waiting game to be paid or to receive a refund, I am very sorry. If I had known, I would have been looking for an alternate payment method/system a lot sooner.

Have you checked out your systems lately?  Are they customer friendly?

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