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Monkey Wrench

monkey wrenchThis was a day to remember. I thought PayPal (PP) had thrown a monkey wrench into my ecommerce Ramblin’ Dan’s Store. PP actually did toss the wrench, but I was able to get it out of the gears before it did too much damage.

Here’s what went down. I opened a new PP account last fall when I changed my ecommerce store name from The Hobbyist Machine Store (THMS) to Ramblin’ Dan’s Store (RDS). What that did was remove eight years of excellent credit history from the PP record. Actually the old record is still there but attached to the old PP account.

All was going fine with the new RDS account. I even got a debit card to use with the account. However yesterday a new customer ordered about $1200 worth of machine parts. That is a typical order and I have handled much (2X+) larger orders through PP. However this time PP decided to seize the money and not make it available to me for at least 21 days until “THEY (PP)” were satisfied the customer was satisfied with the order. I was instructed to ship the order to my customer and wait 21 days before it (the money) would be released. I had done nothing to deserve the pathetic excuse of buyer protection.

I became furious. I never heard of such an ignorant, stupid, idiotic and probably illegal action from an on line payment / banking organization. Actually I have, as Google was actually worse to their merchants a few years ago. They both want to force their ideas on how to protect buyers by handicapping the merchant.

Actually the standard PP buyers protection forces me to force the customer to pay for signatures and shipping insurance. Adding to the cost. If I don’t include it, PP charges the dealer (me) for all of the buyer protection PP claims, THEY say THEY provide. Of course they don’t provided it. They force the seller to pay for the package stolen off the front porch.

I know the reason. These agencies are paranoid about all the gypsters selling on the internet. I can see and feel the pain.

The problem is that putting sales money on hold is definitely not something a business person can stand when running a legitimate business. I can’t wait 3 weeks for the cash to clear PP’s hold. This must be a new policy some green horn at PP didn’t think well enough through. The moto at PP is protect the consumer and to heck with what an honest business needs. No, it’s not that bad but it seems that way.

A phone call to PP and a LONG discussion got my payment released immediately but I was told it would happen automatically again on the next order until I hit a specified volume. WTFun?

The person on the phone agreed the easiest solution was to return to my eight year old account rather than use the new one. That was what I thought from the beginning and so that is what I have done. My customers will see no difference and I will have full use of the purchase funds less the usual PP service fee. Business as usual.

Sometimes when you try to do something you think is right, you find out you made a big mistake. One pissed off sleepless night and a 20 minute phone call later the next day, and all is well in Mudville again. This mighty Casey didn’t strike out.

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