One of the downsides to how I set up my Paypal billing is that most of my sites are under one corporate umbrella, Top Notch Domains, LLC. Since my sites aren’t all pet-related, I can’t just have one billing name like “DogWalker” or something else that would ring a bell. I know there are ways around this, but that’s been discussed in another post.
As a result, on very rare occasions, someone will see the Top Notch Domains billing notice and file a complaint with Paypal saying that they had an unauthorized charge. I’ve had 3 total complaints so far, and two of them were resolved right away when I reminded the people why they were billed. However, I am dealing with a third complaint right now and the person couldn’t figure out how to cancel it, so I am defending the case.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like Paypal has a great way for merchants of intangible goods to respond to complaints. When I tried to resolve the complaint, I was given three options:
1) Provide the shipping information, which includes the shipper, tracking code, address, and other physical shipping information.
2) I already gave a refund
3) I plan to give a refund
There isn’t an option to tell Paypal that the payment was for a directory listing on one of my websites, was authorized by the person to re-bill last June, and the person still has an active listing. There is a field under the first option to provide more information, but it seems more geared towards the shipping details.
I can see this being a problem for service providers who aren’t necessarily web operators. People who do things like painting, babysitting, dog walking, or other intangible services could be put at risk if they can’t adequately respond. Even if Paypal looks at the field under the shipping information, it’s not very clear that this is where to respond.
When I called Paypal, they gave me an email address I could use to respond to the complaint: firstname.lastname@example.org. I did this, and I received a confirmation of receipt. However, a couple of days later, I received another notice from Paypal that told me I still needed to respond to the complaint online, so there’s something funky about Paypal’s complaint response system that needs to be reconciled.
I hope Paypal addresses this issue.