Google checkout becoming as bad as Paypal
Is Google Checkout worth... checking out? Consumers with limited Paypal accounts may have previously said 'yes', but lately, even their merchants have been less than enthusiastic. Thanks to Anita Barci's Google statement announced that the online payment service will be increasing fees from May 5th. In fact, the fee increase will bring Google checkout fees roughly in line with those of Paypal's.
Dismayed users who saw Google as a cheap alternative, currently pay 1.5% of the value of the transaction and 15 pence, but from the 5th of May, this is going to be replaced by a tiered structure starting at 3.4% and 20p per transaction if monthly sales are worth less than £1,500 (and the rest of the scale is pretty much similar to Paypal, for those happy few turning over more than £55,000, Google will only take a measely 1.4% and 20p per transaction.)
On the consumer front, complaints have started to pour into Google's forums, furious by the changes, and how Google are now no better than PayPal. Other Google Checkout complaints ranged from:
- Account closure without prior or appropriate notice.
- Merchants and shoppersfacing delays in sales transactions
- Cancelled orders without justification, and without warning.
- Safety issues for both buyers and sellers.
Several users claim to have already dumped the service, and plenty of criticism surround making the change during a serious recession. Merchants have also lost rebates gained from spending money on Google AdWords (currently, online shops get to use Google Checkout for free should transactions total less than ten times their monthly AdWords spending.) This ends May 4, as cross-border transaction get an extra percent added onto the total. The link with AdWords was a major compelling reason for merchants to use the service.
It is sad that online transaction brokers aren't held accountable to the same rules as banks, and resolving fraud and billing issues with both Google and Paypal usually mean a humanless interaction that revolves around a gazillion emails back and forth with less than adequate template responses. Is it that much to ask for a reliable online payment system that doesn't scam its users? The lack of resolvability and user friendliness is usually behind most complaints from dissatisfied customers. Jacking up the fees certainly won't help its cause.