Author Topic: Paypal adds new fees with no notice (July/Aug 2009)  (Read 11778 times)


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Paypal adds new fees with no notice (July/Aug 2009)
« on: September 12, 2009, 03:39:36 PM »
Just found this article - not sure if applicable to AU or USA - you know I am no good when it comes to that sort of thing ;)

Paypal adds new fees with no notice
Last month Paypal quietly began charging new fees to its customers who have personal accounts without actually notifying them of the change.  The new fees apply to payments marked as “Goods” or “Services.”  Such payments were previously free but will now be charged a fee of about 2.9% plus 30 cents.  When confronted, Paypal claimed the new fees had been announced in email, news articles, and Paypal’s own blog.  However that turned out to be untrue.  The only thing mentioned in those announcements was Paypal’s decision to allow its customers with premium accounts to make personal transfers for free.

“We didn’t want to make a huge formal communication out of this pricing change, because we weren’t really adding any fees, and we were hoping it would be a more useful experience for people,” Charlotte Hill, PayPal’s PR manager said.

That is beyond inexcusable.  When Paypal, or any company, makes a decision that is going to cost its customers money, the first thing they need to do is communicate this to those customers.  I’m not sure how Paypal thinks taking more money from its customers equates to a more useful experience either.  I get payments via Paypal from my clients every month and Paypal always takes a chunk for themselves.  I think they need to be charging people who send money via Paypal, not those who receive it. Paypal gets a good $50 or so a month in fees from me each month, fees that come from money I’ve earned.

Read [PCWorld]

A further article

Paypal responds to customer uproar over new unannounced fees but doesn’t really say much (Dated 15/08/2009)

You may remember that last week PayPal had introduced new fees for those with Personal accounts without any prior notification.  This caused quite an uproar as angry customers flooded this site, Digg, and other sites around the net with protests.  The new fees affect those with Personal accounts who are now charged a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents to receive payments labeled as “Goods” or “Services.”  Previously those payments were free to receive.  While PayPal claims they sent an email out announcing the changes, I never received one and judging from the uproar, most of my fellow PayPal users didn’t either.  The only notice they got was they saw the new charges on their account.

What was sent out was an email trumpeting how those with Premium or Business accounts no longer had to pay fees for personal transfers.  That’s what PayPal chose to focus on rather than the fact they were going to start charging new fees to their Personal account holders, and a quote from PR Manager Charlotte Hill did nothing but fan the fire:

“We didn’t want to make a huge formal communication out of this pricing change, because we weren’t really adding any fees, and we were hoping it would be a more useful experience for people.”

Actually, they did add fees to Personal accounts, but apparently in their minds, since they removed fees from Premium accounts at the same time, it somehow made things okay.  The reaction of PayPal’s customers has shown that it wasn’t okay and that the company needs to do some serious work on its customer service and communication skills.

Check out Product Marketing Director Heinz Waelchli’s blog post where he says he wants to “clarify” the issue.  Maybe it’s me but I’ve read it several times and still can’t find any clarification.  He danced around the issue completely and again focused on what services aren’t charged fees instead of providing clear information on what services are charged fees and what those fees are.  He claims the new fees were announced on the blog (they weren’t), on the site’s policy page (who checks that regularly?) and via email (which most customers never seemed to have received).  Instead all they got was marketing hype.

I’m not sure what made customers angrier, the new fees or the fact they weren’t told about them, but one thing is clear - PayPal made a huge blunder here and until they recognize the fact, offer a proper apology, and change the way they do things so that policy changes are more transparent and thoroughly communicated, they will continue to draw ire from their users.  I realize they hold a monopoly of sorts, especially now that eBay refuses to allow any other form of payment, but there will come a point when people have had enough, and eventually another company will come along and give Paypal some legitimate and stiff competition.  It’s bound to happen, and for many people, can’t happen soon enough.

Read [PCWorld]

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