Today I received the worst email a seller on eBay can get:-
The eCheque payment sent by [Name] ([email address]) did not clear through the PayPal system. You have not received funds for this payment in your PayPal balance.
You may want to contact [Name] regarding this payment.
So why does this email upset me so much? Well firstly PayPal send our buyers an email stating that payment will “usually takes four working days”. That may be true in Cobb’s world in the US, but everyone in the UK knows that it will take ten days to clear. Secondly having informed the buyer that they won’t be getting their goods until the payment clears in ten days they’ve been patiently waiting. Now their payment has failed to clear. Sure on some occasions it may be because they have insufficient funds in their bank account, but frequently buyers are at a loss to explain why payment failed when funds are available.
The situation is intolerable and PayPal need to address it as a matter of urgency. It’s only a few days since I had another unhappy buyer (who’s payment thankfully cleared!). Now I have an extremely unhappy buyer who has been forced to wait almost a fortnight just to be told they have to attempt to repay again.
There are several options available to PayPal and eBay
1) Scrap eCheques, although there are many benefits to them in their current form they cause more trouble than they are worth.
2) Allow sellers to block eCheque payments for eBay transactions. You can already block them for your website so why not for eBay?
3) PayPal need to update their archaic banking arrangements to clear eCheques in the promised four working days rather than over ten.
In the short term PayPal need to revise their email and stop promising things they can’t deliver. “Under promise and over deliver” is a maxim all sellers and people in the service industry should be familiar with. The opposite (and PayPal’s current position), is untenable. The only real option available is whenever you’re paid with an eCheque to refund it and suggest the buyer uses an alternative method such as Nochex, who allow buyers to pay instantly without even registering.
Finally with the introduction of Feedback 2.0 I wonder just what ranking someone who’s waited ten days and is still no where near getting their item dispatched will give? Detailed Seller Ranking for “Dispatch time” is not going to look good! Well thanks for nothing PayPal – Your eCheques are worse than useless! 🙁