Complaint information
  • Author: Baubles-N-Bling
  • Date: 11.17.2011
  • 0
 (Votes #: 0)

Google Checkout - Kept our customers' money & closed our account

I'm on the flip side of this situation with Google Checkout. I am a retailer trying to collect payments from customers. My retail website Baubles-N-Bling,, had just started using Google Checkout as an alternate in conjunction with Pay Pal with our shopping cart. I have since stopped using Pay Pal as well for similar problems described here.

Our first few orders with Google Checkout processed without any issues. However, the last couple in September and the first three in October came through without any user contact information, shipping address, etc. other than the Google assigned email address. When we attempted to contact those few users about their orders, we never received a response through Google's email system. It wasn't until one customer finally contacted us a week after her order was placed that we realized there was a problem. Once we obtained her alternate email address, phone number and shipping address, we explained to her about our shipping terms and what to expect as far as when her order would ship. We were in the middle of a warehouse move so she knew to expect a delay until we were situated, approximately one week. A few days later, Google Checkout sent this same customer an automated request to rate and comment on our company, the products and customer service. This customer left us a rating of 2, made derogatory comments about how long the shipping would be (after agreeing in writing to our terms when the order was placed) and such even after speaking with someone in Customer Service regarding the move and expected delays. This was posted for the whole world to see without even contacting us again. On October 6th, 2011, we received an email from Google Checkout notifying us that our account with them had been closed and did not explain why. It gave us absolutely no clue as to why and when we asked, we were told in an email from Google Checkout that the reason would not be revealed due to "Privacy Issues" and that was not up for further discussion. It also stated that any remaining funds in our account would be held for up to 180 days and that all pending orders had already been refunded to customers. A week or so later, we discovered this woman's rating of "2" on Google Shopping. We were not given the option for a rebuttal to her comments! This is our only clue as to why or how our account was closed so abruptly.

My point here is, without even contacting our company first, Google Checkout shut down our payment processing and held all funds. They did not give us a valid reason for such action nor any rebuttal on what caused it. They also caused us much grief with our remaining customers who had orders pending with us. Within days of the closure, we started receiving phone calls and emails from our remaining customers inquiring about their orders. They had received notification from Google Checkout that their orders had been canceled but nothing about their refunds. They were looking to us for either the merchandise or the money. Two customers were very nice about it and followed through with Google Checkout about their refunds directly. One customer swore at me and demanded a refund immediately or they were going to go to their bank to file a dispute. I explained that we never received their funds and that they would have to deal with Google Checkout directly. They claimed we had their money and that Google Checkout insisted that we did receive the funds. I was finally able to get someone at Google Checkout to send us an updated status of our account (as it was blocked and we could no longer see the transactions online) and from that was able to determine which accounts we had not been paid for. Only one of the orders we had actually received money for and that order was shipped and received by the customer by this point. The remaining money retained by Google Checkout and was over $200. One of the customers actually paid us by an alternative online method and completed his sale with us. He was given instructions on how to request his refund from Google but was very polite in saying he really wanted the item he requested and wished to complete the sale with us....... that made us feel very good! It meant that he paid twice and was willing to wait for his refund from Google. It's nice to know there are customers out there like this still. He has since received his merchandise and we hope his refund from Google Checkout. We strive to make all our customers happy.

The long and short of this all is that not only did Google Checkout cause us a lot of grief and did not even give us a chance to tell our side of this situation, they also caused our customers a lot of frustration, more delays and inconvenience. Had it not been for a total lack of communication with our customers who utilized Google Checkout, we might not be in this situation today. Google's system allows customers to tell the system exactly how much information to disclose to the seller (for privacy) and their internal email system (assigned email addresses to customers and sellers) leaves a whole lot to be desired...... as in, it doesn't work! In the whole scheme of things, Google Checkout explicitly caused a lack of communication with our last 5 customers because their system failed both our company and the customers. None of our customers claimed they had received any of our emails through Google Checkout! Nor did we receive proper contact information and shipping addresses to ship our customers' orders. How is this our fault? It may only be $200 dollars but something is very wrong with this picture!!

Leigh T. Karchner
New Port Richey, FL

Thank You for reading of this Complaint / Review.
Complaint author: Baubles-N-Bling

Country: USA
State: California
City: Mountain View
Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
ZIP code: 94043
Phone: 6503300100

Category: Miscellaneous

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