|Sun July 17 2011 15:25:27|
PayPal Providing Incomplete Shipping Address Info
By: Ina Steiner
Just a heads-up to let you know (and to alert your readers) of a PayPal bug that can have potentially devastating consequences on eBay DSR scores.
Even though I cut-and-paste the customer's address directly from my PayPal email notification, in the past week, I've had TWO items returned to me by the USPS because of incomplete address information.
When the items were returned, I wrote to my customers and asked them to confirm their address (or provide an alternate address). In both cases, they let me know that I was missing the information they had provided to PayPal for the "address line 2" field.
Generally, the "address line 2" field includes important information like "Suite 123", or "Apartment 456", or "Mail-drop 789", or "Fourth Floor", or "ATTN: Shipping Dept", etc.
At first, I thought that this error might have been limited to email notifications only. However, when I checked my PayPal transaction history online, it also displays incomplete address information.
In my case, I was very fortunate to have very sympathetic customers who understood the mistake was not my fault. But I wonder how long it will be until I encounter a customer who isn't as understanding.
PayPal's assurances that the address is "confirmed" and that it's "OK to ship" are meaningless unless this error can be resolved. Even though the majority of my customers do not use the "address line 2" field, there's absolutely NO WAY for me to know which ones do, and which ones don't.
Until then, it will probably be a good idea for me to add ANOTHER STEP in my shipping routine. Before shipping anything, I'll have to email EACH CUSTOMER to get confirmation of their correct--and complete--shipping address. This is an extra hassle for my customers, and it will delay each item being shipped by the amount of time it takes for each one to respond. (There goes my quick-shipping DSR scores!)
But I suppose that a day or two (or three) delay is preferable to having the USPS return items to me because of insufficient address info.
The amount of time for a package to make a round-trip is at least 8-9 days PLUS the amount of time it takes to arrive the 2nd time. (That's not "5-star" worthy, is it?)
In addition, there's the consideration of my having to PAY AGAIN for the 2nd round of postage! Of course that's an expense that I must absorb (asking the customer to pay for PayPal's error is the same as asking the customer to give me "1-star" in the Shipping Cost DSR.)
Everyone loses! Customers AND sellers!
Note from the Editor: Sellers discussed the same issue in this eBay discussion board thread on June 30, it appears the problem has been happening for some time.