eCheques on eBay are possibly the worst way for a buyer to pay. Sellers hate them simply because they’re a nuisance to process and buyers are always disappointed that they take about ten days to clear. It’s sad really because sellers should love eCheques, (unlike credit card funded payments) once they’ve cleared there is absolutely no possibility of a charge back except through an official PayPal claim.
Yet again I had a buyer pay with eCheque again this week, this is how the conversation went
10 days for a paypal payment?
Yes – you paid with an e-cheque and although PayPal say they normally clear in 3-4 working days in the UK 10 is the norm. If you like I can refund your pending payment and you can select a different funding source such as a credit card to pay? If you’d like more information you can contact PayPal by telephone on 08707307191
Hmmm, I think unfortunately I just clicked through and assumed it was a normal PayPal set-up rather than defaulting to an e-cheque. I’ll let it run through rather than complicate it as it’s a company paypal account and I cba to have to explain it all to our Finance dept
So that’s another not particularly happy customer then 🙁 Let look at the issues and how could they be solved:-
1) Clearance time
Sending an email promising clearance in three to four working days sets false expectations for the buyer. Sellers immediately have to email their buyers to keep them informed resetting expectations to ten days. Even worse on the odd occasion an eCheque fails to clear having already waited ten days is incredibly frustrating for the buyer and seller alike. Bearing in mind that bank transfers are processed in much less than ten working days and that PayPal work with HSBC in the UK, there really is no excuse for a shorter clearing time. Buyers buy online because of the convenience and speed. Having paid, to then be delayed for ten days by PayPal’s archaic banking system just isn’t good enough.
PayPal seem to make life as hard as possible for sellers to manage their transactions. Email is known to be unreliable, if an email is delayed in transit or simply doesn’t ever arrive there is no mechanism for the sender to retransmit or the recipient to be made aware they have a lost email. In a users PayPal account the only place sellers are notified of a cleared eCheque is in the “History” tab. Just how hard would it be for PayPal to display cleared items in the “Recent Activity” tab under “Overview”? If a seller is going to check for new transactions (and file them once picked and packed) “Recent Activity” is the perfect place to look, history is just what it says… past transactions that you don’t need to worry about today!
eCheques are a great idea for buyers that may not possess a credit card but currently they’re bad for buyers and worse for sellers. A couple of small changes and both would benefit. Come on PayPal, help us out here!