|Mon Apr 23 2012 08:43:35|
The Haggler Strikes (PayPal) Again
By: Ina Steiner
The New York Times "The Haggler" column put eBay on the spot again, catching its online payments unit PayPal in a, "our rules say one thing, our customer service reps say another" moment.
Readers of EcommerceBytes may remember when The Haggler investigated PayPal's 21-day holds policy on behalf of a reader last month. After the newspaper contacted eBay, the company told the columnist it would not only address the reader's problem, but would change its policy so it no longer earned interest from funds it held when it froze sellers accounts.
Now, PayPal told The Haggler it will retrain its customer service representatives when it comes to handling payment reviews, according to the Sunday column.
A reader of the newspaper had written to the columnist explaining that PayPal was holding its customers' credit card payments for up to 24 hours because the buyers were unverified. "This has happened even when the credit card was the corporate card of a well-known company," the seller wrote.
What was striking about the case was that PayPal customer service reps told the seller he could not opt out of the payment reviews. But PayPal PR told The Haggler the seller could opt out of payment reviews.
The newspaper then sent PayPal emails from its Executive Escalations team it had sent to the seller explaining that it was tool to prevent loss for customers and for PayPal and was not optional.
Wrote The Haggler, "it contradicts the point of the program, which a publicist said was all about protecting merchants. Now we learn that it's about protecting merchants and PayPal." It also wrote, "PayPal has a credibility problem," and said its fraud reduction policies appear to be "more about profits than risk prevention."
Be sure to read the full column about PayPal payment reviews from Sunday's New York Times here, and you can write to the Haggler (David Segal) using a form on this page.