Why My Paypal Handling Fee is Worth It

paypal fan audience reachPaypal has its advocates and enemies just like any other successful brand. Prior to last Friday, I’d been a fan of Paypal but not am “evangelist” per se – they were simply another tool I used to get my job done, get paid and make it EASY for my clients to pay me (as we all know that the “let me check with Accounts Payable” line can become exhausting). On Friday, I became a raving fan of Paypal.

I’d hopped a plane late morning to head to Houston – a mix of personal and business along with the luxury of being able to work at 36,000 feet. Aside from the guy in the window seat who proudly remarked that he’d had three double bloody marys prior to boarding and who proceeded to pound 3 Heinekens during the flight slurring his words at me and nixing any hope of getting a lick of work done, the trip was uneventful. I got off the plane, headed to grab my bags and took a few calls while in baggage claim. Checking my email to see what I’d missed…

Apparently while I was flying, I’d been doing some shopping with my Paypal account. With an import/export company out of Bejing. And to the tune of $515.

I let slip a little whatthefuck and once securely in my rental car, I whipped out my Paypal debit card and dialed the number on the back. Within 5 minutes, Paypal had my account locked down, a dispute filed and assured me that nothing would be happening to my funds as I made the journey to mom’s house.

The net/net? After a series of emails with the merchant who stood to be on the end with a fraudulent purchase, they closed the account and this morning, I logged in to Paypal and saw the entire $515 transaction credited back to my account.

Brilliant.

So – here’s your Monday morning food for thought:

Given my audience and alliances, this blog post, when tweeted and posted on Facebook, will reach anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 people. Whether you’re someone who’s the subject of criticism, a person who thinks the internet makes them unaccountable for their actions or a brand fortunate enough to have earned a loyal fan, maybe it’s time to think about your audience.

Their reach. Their influence. Their willingness to act.

Building “followers” builds an audience of yellers. Yellers don’t act.

Building a community builds a collective of people who act. People who support you and follow recommendations and take advice to heart and who in turn, share their experiences with you. All of a sudden, information starts flowing TO you. If you build it right.

I’m a loyal fan an advocate for Paypal as all of this happened on Friday mid-day and by 6AM on Monday morning, it’s resolved. No hassle. No BS. They dealt. And I’m grateful.

And if you’ve received exceptional service, I’d love to hear about it – and I’m sure all my readers would, too. Chime in. And think about reach.

 

37 comments
John Paul
John Paul

I have to say, I use my Paypal debit card more then I should haha But I agree 100% with Paypal's customer service, each time Ive had to call they were great, polite and very helpful. As bad as pretty much every other customer service attitude is at other companies, Im fine with the cost to use them, when I know how well they deal with issues. Amazing how good customer service should be a given, but the fact it is the opposite, and I'm ok with paying for it haha

Killian
Killian

The company I'm giving props to is probably one that most of your readers may not frequent, or even know. But to any parent who has a kid in soccer, my guess is that they're aware of a company called Eurosport, as it's THE place to buy soccer regalia in all its forms. My youngest is on his high school Varsity team and had practice on Friday before Labor Day weekend. He blew his cleat out; and I mean, in half. He had a conference game the following Wednesday and I was in a panic. We found his ohmygodmomtheseareawesomeImusthavethem cleats, ordered them, and I paid extra for expedited shipping. The warehouse is literally 15min from my house, but they absolutely do not allow customer pick-up. They shipped on Tuesday, and I called to see what I could do to intercept the box from UPS. CSR told me to call UPS first thing Wednesday morning and I'd be set. I did so, and was told no, the way they shipped, they went through UPS but would actually arrive by US Mail, on FRIDAY. There was NO way I could get them. I was furious. I called back into Eurosport. The new CSR, upon hearing my politely worded frustration, especially at the proximity, said, "Wait...do you know where our warehouse is?" I said that I did; it's 5min from my son's practice fields. She got a new box ready and had it waiting at the front desk for me when I picked it up 2 hours later. I took them over to the school, and he wore his ohmygodmomtheseareawesomeImusthavethem cleats in his game that night. (And they won 10-1!) When I went to pick the cleats up, I brought warm chocolate chip cookies in immediate gratitude, but they will forever have a loyal customer in me! Erika, I can't remember your policy on photo links, so if this is a no-no, just delete it and consider me bitchslapped. =) But if it's ok, here's a shot of Josh, wearing the iridescent purple and lime green cleats. (No, I am not kidding about the color combo!) http://www.flickr.com/photos/killian77/4988485635

Melanie
Melanie

I actually just dealt with PayPal over the weekend; they were supposed to credit my account $10 as the result of a promotion I completed a month or so ago, and I got a chirpy e-mail telling me they had credited my account $5. I sent Customer Service and e-mail (granted, that service isn't the easiest to navigate of any e-mail help service ever) and within 24 hours I had an e-mail from a polite representative who said he had looked into it and verified I had been shorted, and he had already put the proper procedures in motion. Sure enough, two days later, it was all there. I would also like to nominate the (Madison-based) Roman Candle Pizza. I am highly allergic to raw tomatoes (only raw) and after the kitchen neglected the special order on their Pestoral pizza, they recompensed with two pizzas the next size up, free breadsticks while we waited, an apology, and a coupon. And all the staff was quite sympathetic. (Granted, SOMEone benefited from the two extra pizzas, and that couldn't have hurt the mood.) While both of my examples started with a company committing the fault, the respective companies accepted the fault, made it right, and were prompt and polite while doing so.

Janeyfaye43
Janeyfaye43

Hello there! I am a big fan of Paypal!! The same thing happened to me! Some one hacked my account, paypal gave me back every penny of it, no questions asked! I think they are wonderful!!! Janey from Texas

Kat
Kat

Glad yoo didn't hesitate to post a positive outcome. And glad things worked out for you.

Tim Biden
Tim Biden

Crap! I had a credit union that treated me more like a criminal or a liar when something similar happened to me. After that experience I quickly canceled my account, never to do business with them again. If I'd had an experience like yours where I was treated well and everything worked out well, I'd be an evangelist too. Instead I told everyone I knew how they treated me and I never got my $200.00 back. Screw them and their $200.00. I've moved on and I don't have to deal with them any more. I win. Bastards!

Suzanne Vara
Suzanne Vara

Erika I love hearing good customer service stories as too many times we see bad ones and rants. I have had exceptional customer service with AMEX. For some reason every 6 months or so an erroneous charge will show up and their cust serv team is the tops. I either call or fill out fraud claim online and they get to work immediately. While they do not remove it, the charge is not apart of the overall balance and you do not have to do anything until they investigate. Investigations take a few days or so and then it is always removed and they apologize for the inconvenience. Inconvenience of me having to call or fill out a form? Ok. "Building “followers” builds an audience of yellers. Yellers don’t act. Building a community builds a collective of people who act." Love those 2 lines. I am going to use them and link to this for sure. I could not wrap my arms around what I was trying to say and this is exactly it. You are awesome. @SuzanneVara

Marian Schembari
Marian Schembari

I have a love/hate relationship with PayPal - mostly because I hate giving up some of my money which is totally lame but I can't help it. PP has actually shut down my account a few times for seemingly random reasons which at the time has been obnoxious but I appreciate their little obsession with their customers safety. As for other companies - I can only think of companies I hate rather than those who've been exemplary. How depressing is that? BlueHost has consistently let me down and my site is unavailable at least once a week. I've taken to tweeting out every time they do this and - surprisingly - BH doesn't have a Twitter account meaning they don't monitor the shit I (and others) say about them. They do, however, call after you've purchased a package from them to check it was you who paid and to see if you have any questions. I do like that. Ooh! Ooh! Disqus has great customer service. Every time I've had issues or a question they respond to my email within the hour and if I mention them on Twitter they always respond. I love it when companies realize the importance of monitoring themselves using social media and actually responding to customers issues. THAT is awesome stuff...

Lani Rosales
Lani Rosales

1. we had the OPPOSITE experience with PayPal- had an unauthorized charge, it froze all of our funds in and out for over 30 days. Effing nightmare. 2. best service continues to be Nordstrom, hands down. they have YET to be beat in my world online or off :)

Andrew J. Gay
Andrew J. Gay

Great stuff Erika! Thanks for sharing, more people need to use the sheer power of the social web to share which companies are doing it right and which ones aren't. Kudos to you for stepping up and sharing your "positive" experience with paypal. It has always been easier for people to share their bad experiences with companies than good ones. I see that changing more and more each day. Hopefully the playing field will continue to get leveled with the good companies that put it's customers first standing tall and the shit ones dying. Thanks for sharing! Andrew

The Redhead
The Redhead

Word of mouth: how more business gets done...or undone :)

Lara Galloway
Lara Galloway

Thanks for sharing that shout out! I'm a big advocate for PayPal as well since their customer service has been exceptional everytime I've called. Since I'm not a programmer, but do tend to fiddle around with my own website and shopping cart on occasion, I have needed some hand-holding to make sure that people are able to pay me money without any hassles. The reps at PayPal have walked me through, step-by-step, and even called a few days later to make sure all was working well. The kicker? Other than my handling fees (which I pay to PayPal each time I receive a payment from a client), I have a free PayPal account. No monthly fees, no contract. Just great service. And that's exactly why I suggest all of my mom entrepreneur clients sign up with PayPal as the credit card processor/shopping cart provider. They provide reliable tools with great service that allows our small businesses to grow without the hassle. And I've got a pretty big mouth myself, so I'm happy to add to your reach, Erika!

Mike Masin
Mike Masin

Customer loyalty and great customer service work in tandem; you can't have one without the other.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Are you integrating with an eBay storefront?

Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson

An issue is growth: when you have a rolling reserve (designed to mitigate Paypal's risk), and you're a growing business, each month you are kind of punished for sales. Rolling reserves are between 3-30% of gross sales (pree fees) so we're looking at something along the lines of a 300 sale having 99$ gone. If you're an affiliate marketer you've got 66% of the goss to spend. You don't get your coin for 90 days. That makes bootstrapping harder. But, people are entitled. The service is predictable-enough once you understand the rationale.

Amy Oscar
Amy Oscar

Erika - Chiming in to nominate Panera Bread for excellent service (and really good, healthy food). For the past two years, I've been writing two books - a memoir and a self-help book - in a quiet little corner of several of their cafes. Lured there by the free WiFi and generous amount of outlets for my laptop, I stayed because of their service. Every transaction is a pleasure - friendly staff, squeaky clean space, including the bathrooms. But again, it's the service. The managers greet me - and many other regulars - by name, asking about our kids, our lives. When I don't hear them call my name at the pickup counter, they deliver my sandwich to my table. Once a week, warm-hearted Barbara asks, encouragingly, how my book is coming along. But the day I left my wallet home - their kindness (and good business sense) truly showed itself: "I've got this one," the manager said. That one act, which cost them all of $5.97 made a loyal customer into a lifelong evangelist. I will never forget that.

Genuine Chris Johnson
Genuine Chris Johnson

Paypal just is. They have their warts-(the rolling reserve). They could also improve the communication and rationale behind their policies. But, as we spend time with them they are predictable. They aren't a place to pay recurring transactions from, if you are a business saddled (like mine is) with the RR . They've caused me some embarrassment, and they could rethink a lot. But, they aren't the end of the world.

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