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Google The Almighty Buck The Internet Businesses

Google Checkout Sees Poor Customer Satisfaction 191

Aryabhata writes "Ars Technica reports on a survey by investment firm J.P. Morgan Securities, stating that Google Checkout has had a relatively quick and modest market penetration of six percent since its launch in June of 2006, but lags behind in customer satisfaction vs PayPal. On the customer satisfaction front, only 18.8 percent reported having a 'good' or 'very good' experience with Google Checkout, while 81.2 percent indicated a fair to poor experience customer experience compared to PayPal's 44.2 percent reporting good experiences. Some users have reported anecdotally that Google Checkout mistakenly canceled sales without warning or that the checkout process took too long."
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Google Checkout Sees Poor Customer Satisfaction

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  • ....pinch me! this is the first time i've heard of something touched by google not instantly turning to gold! Personally, i would use paypal. It's not perfect but it gets the job done and tbh i spend enough on online purchases that it shouldnt really be made any easier. keep at it Google, never give up the dream! //first post on /. /no hate ////hurrah for slashes
    • Re:Google's touch (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PhoenixAtlantios ( 991132 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:21AM (#17701272)
      That's an interesting point of view, because as far as I was aware the only Google services that have "taken off" have been their Search and GMail - anything else was either bought or has only had minor impact. Sure, they've dabbled in just about everything, but they certainly haven't expanded far past Search yet (unless I somehow missed something huge?)
    • Re:Google's touch (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @09:24AM (#17701482)

      this is the first time i've heard of something touched by google not instantly turning to gold!

      Hardly. Google has a lot of stuff which haven't really made an Impact
      Orkut - successfull only in India & Brazil, not even close in the USA.
      Google Talk - barely in the Top 10 IMs.
      Google Finance - barely in the Top 50 finance sites
      Google Blog Search - far behind Technorati

      Lots more probably.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by appavi ( 679094 )
        Google Blog Search - far behind Technorati

        According to Hitwise [], Google Blog Search traffic over took Technorati's traffic in December.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zaatxe ( 939368 )
        Orkut - successfull only in India & Brazil, not even close in the USA.

        So, if it's not successfull in the USA, it doesn't count?
    • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @11:03AM (#17701954) Homepage
      Personally, i would use paypal.

      Personally, I wouldn't. I'd already heard enough on them withholding payments on dubious grounds that I won't even consider setting up an account (which I might otherwise have considered for buying/selling stuff on EBay).

      However, a while back I wanted to pay for something, and PayPal gave the impression you could do this through them without setting up an account. Yet when I actually tried paying, every step seemed to want account details, or be forcing me in that direction. I concluded that (at best) it *might* have been theoretically possible to pay without an account, but that the process was deliberately designed to make this hard, and to bully and niggle you into setting one up.

      That wasn't going to happen, and I wasn't prepared to fight this nonsense over God-knows-how-many screens. Partly because I didn't have the inclination, and partly because it confirmed that PayPal were a lousy, self-interested company who didn't give a damn for their customers' interests. From what I've read elsewhere in this thread [], this was the right conclusion; PayPal don't even look like a good bet for simple payments.

      Half their BS "guarantees" don't even apply in the UK (where I stay) anyway.

      PayPal is a deal-breaker; I won't use it, period.
      • indeed. google checkout makes you jump through so many fewer hoops than paypal. It's clear that most of the nonsense on paypal is for them to try to really rope you into being a regular user rather than have a convenient one-time interaction, but I do wonder if there is a bit more security inherent in some of the extra steps paypal takes. I was also disappointed to see that google checkout saved my credit card information on their server without ever explicitly warning me that they would do this (at leas
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ScrewMaster ( 602015 )
          Fortunately it was fairly simple to go in and delete the credit info.

          Remember the Iran Contra hearings. Don't you know that just "deleting" something doesn't necessarily make it go away? Particularly in the case of a Google, which replicates data continuously to multiple datacenters.
          • well sure, but anytime I use my credit card a vendor could theoretically be saving that information indefinitely. However, if I'm not able to access my saved credit data myself, it makes it that much less likely that others can. Many websites are starting to save customer credit info for convenience, and I suppose that's fine as an option, but it should be something that you opt into rather than are roped into.
      • Well nice try FUD man.

        Here [] is the first page customers get when using Paypal as a payment gateway.
        Is it so hard to find the non paypal account option ?
        Also, notice the writing at the bottom of the page - Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom as an electronic money institution.
        Just for completeness, here is the second page [] you get to if you choose non paypal. Oh, seems like that's pretty straightforward too. Maybe you're just a troll.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Dogtanian ( 588974 )
          : Well nice try FUD man. Here is the first page customers get when using Paypal as a payment gateway. Is it so hard to find the non paypal account option ?

          Mmm... And I don't suppose it occurred to you that, since I clearly mentioned that I used them "a while back", PayPal may have changed their website/process since then?

          :Also, notice the writing at the bottom of the page - Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom as an electronic money institution.

          I don't
          • by smoker2 ( 750216 )

            I note that your homepage is a commercial website that uses PayPal as its payment system. If we're throwing accusations about, I'd say you have a vested interest in PayPal not looking bad.

            Yes that's true. However, the *facts* remain - your post spreads misinformation, my post redresses that. As for you not knowing what the current situation viz Paypal is, well maybe you shouldn't post on a subject where you know nothing about the current situation, or at least make allowance in your post for the fact that t

            • Yes that's true. However, the *facts* remain - your post spreads misinformation

              No, it was a correct representation of my personal experience, which I clearly pointed out was "a while back".

              As for you not knowing what the current situation viz Paypal is

              The current *legal* situation; I don't know if they had a UK subsidiary at that time, and what (if any) UK legal obligations they had back then.

              well maybe you shouldn't post on a subject where you know nothing about the current situation

              So if
    • this is the first time i've heard of something touched by google not instantly turning to gold!

      Actually, this is the first time I've heard about Google Checkout AT ALL! Seriously. For a company that sells advertising, it sure does a shitty job of advertising it's own ventures. And I DO use PayPal, and have been looking for a reputable big-player to replace them.
      • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
        Actually, it was at for the last week, though it appears to be gone now. It's a relatively blank start page, so the one line that Google Checkout used was actually a fairly significant portion of the otherwise bare page.
        • Fair enough. I didn't notice it to be honest... maybe it was only on, while I'm using Which makes sense if they're targeting the US, not the world.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ecuador_gr ( 944749 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:44AM (#17701112) Homepage
    This is very weird. I used google checkout for more than 15 checkouts so far (and about a similar amount of paypal checkouts - mainly ebay - for the same period) and I was impressed by how much faster google checkout was.
    I admit I only tried google thanks to the amazing $10-$20 off promos, but it really did seem to me way better than paypal. I guess if I had an order cancelled I would complain - but in such a case do we know for sure it is google's fault and not the merchants?
    Forgeting about ease of checkout, I always hoped for a paypal rival, since paypal has a severely bad track record of not paying or at least widtholding amounts with absurd excuses etc.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Liquid-Gecka ( 319494 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:07AM (#17701230)
      Yea same here. I have had several purchases go completely south with Pay Pal. Money got locked up and I couldn't get refunds until the problem was completely resolved. I have never had any problems with Google Checkout merchants so I have not had a chance to see Google react to a bad purchase, but the TOS for Google Checkout seems much friendlier for both Buyers and Sellers (See the disputes section here []. The ability to do dispute resolution actually seems nice compared to PayPal's hit or miss resolution and that makes me trust Google a bit more. Then again, it helps that most Google merchants actually have some screening done on them, where paypal allows anybody to anybody money transfers.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LordKronos ( 470910 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:34AM (#17701306)
      I have heard people complain that some merchants had poor integration with Google Checkout (GC), and that it was taking a lot longer to get orders processed and shipped. If that were the case, I could see how orders get canceled. If the integration is poor, then by the time the merchant loads the GC orders into the system, the products could be out of stock, already being sold to customers using the stores native payment method. If that's the case, its hardly Google's fault (other than maybe they could have tried rolling it out several months before the holiday season to get all these kinks worked out with the merchants earlier).

      I've used GC twice at and once at Toys R Us, and it worked smoothly each time, and I very quickly got confirmation from the merchants.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tacvek ( 948259 )
        There are two different levels of integration of Google's checkout service. One of them is more minimal, and easier to integrate. You need to use google's order management system with this. You are also FORBIDDEN to use this integration level if you accept any type of coupon code on your web site.

        There is a more complicated system that allows more features and allows you to integrate this into your normal invoicing system. It requires some significant programming, and it requires you to be able to inject

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @09:23AM (#17701478) Homepage
      As the report said, they have a higher penetration amongst early adopters. These are usually much harder to please, so unless the report compared satisfaction amongst the same groups, it won't be entirely accurate.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PietjeJantje ( 917584 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @10:45AM (#17701862)
      "This is very weird (...) it really did seem to me way better than paypal"

      Thank you for your anecdotal evidence, now we can throw away the empiric data on 1100 customers.

      • Yeah, and for every piece of anecdote that touts Google checkout, there are probably many more bits that say it sucks. I actually used it, and it sucked big time. It was a hassle to use (surprising, since it it Google's), took forever, didn't save any money, and my packages were evidently handled and delivered by the lowest bidder. Heck, they didn't even make it to my block (a guy three blocks down was nice enough to hand deliver them after they misdelivered them). So I am glad to see this.

        Speaking of a
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by avdp ( 22065 ) *
          Hum... The package handling and (mis-)delivering parts, how does that have ANYTHING to do with Google Checkout? All they do is process your credit card. The shipping and handling is still (mis-)handled by the merchant. And then, a carrier of the merchant's choice. Google has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            were I in your shoes, I would say the same thing. However, when I called the merchant, they (mis?)informed me that Google actually chose the shipper. Unless I am confused and Google also has some shipping service, it was Google checkout. At any rate, the merchant laid the blame at Google's feet.
            • by Scaba ( 183684 )

              Of course they blamed Google. Wouldn't you? Google Checkout is simply a clearinghouse for the exchange of funds. It has nothing to do with the shipping. That's entirely the merchant's responsibility.

            • by avdp ( 22065 ) *
              Google chose nothing. You chose the shipper from a list of shipping options the merchant passed off to Google Checkout, along with the prices of each shipping options. Google Checkout is nothing but an intermediary between the merchant, and the credit card processor - just like Paypal's merchant service.
      • Thank you for you insightful comment. Now we can throw out all the other 162 comments.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by almostmanda ( 774265 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @11:34AM (#17702164)
      I had problems with GCO from the start. Apparently, someone had attempted to pay with their adsense account with my card number, but didn't have the name, expiration date, or 3 digit security code. This was still enough to put my card on their internal blacklist. So, because someone else unsuccessfully tried using my card number, it was forever untrustable in Google's eyes.

      It was a hell of a time getting that information from Google, though. I got about three mysterious "order cancelled" messages with no indication of what the problem was. I was convinced it was's fault. It took three or four messages to customer service and 2-3 weeks before someone finally explained this to me. It doesn't make sense to me that *I* was put on their blacklist because someone had unsuccessfully tried to use my card, and there was nothing I could do to prove to them that I was myself. I did cancel the card, and my new debit card works fine with GCO, but it felt like they could have been a little more up-front about it instead of expecting me to magically know how to solve the matter.

      I'd wager the low satisfaction level has something to do with this general disorganization, but also with the stores they associate with., the Sports Authority online, and are all stores that have notoriously bad customer service. People were shopping at places they normally wouldn't touch because of the GCO discount, and found out that dealing with them probably wasn't worth the $10 or $20 they saved.
      • Fraud Protection (Score:2, Insightful)

        I can sympathize with your problems, however I also understand why Google would have done what they have done. I mean seriously Google cannot just tell you that your number has been blacklisted. Theoritically if you were the bad guy you now know not to use the number at Google, or even at all. If they don't say that will allow the Credit Card company to collect more information, and possibly catch the bad guy. Otherwise he simply moves onto the next poor fool's card number.

        Now I do find it odd that yo
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by honkycat ( 249849 )
          I disagree. Google should tell you that your number is considered compromised/blacklisted so that, in case you are the legitimate holder, you waste no time in getting the situation resolved.

          If a scammer is using the number and it gets rejected without explanation, he's probably already going to move on to the next number in his pile. You're not giving him much advantage by providing an explanation. He's got a good reason to suspect that he may be detected and will likely view any out-of-the-ordinary prob
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by almostmanda ( 774265 )
          I don't buy your "catching the bad guy" excuse, and here's why: my bank had no idea this was going on. Google never notified them. Not when the adsense attempt happened (which could have been YEARS ago), and not when I attempted to use GCO. Me calling them up to cancel the card was the first they'd heard of it.

          I would PREFER if the "bad guy" knew not to use my card anymore. I don't really think we should pretend everything's peachy just so he can continue attempting to use my card. If he gets a "THIS IS B
      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        Maybe I'm crazy, but if someone online is using your card and you find it blacklisted, maybe the best action would be to cancel that card and have it reissued with a new number? Banks are more than happy to reissue cards that you suspect may be compromised.

        It is bad that it took you so long to figure out what the problem is. It's sadly common with security related errors like this for the people to keep the exact nature of the error vague in order to be "more secure" or something. In the end I think it
    • No Bank Acount ties. (Score:3, Informative)

      by goombah99 ( 560566 )
      Google checkout has two things Paypal does not.
      1) no ties to your bankaccount so they can't freeze your assets
      2) a trustworthy company that actually has contact information.
    • by hazem ( 472289 )
      The funny thing is that I had no idea what Google check-out was until this article. I saw the link on the main google page with the $10 offer, but I didn't realize they were trying to be a payment service. It wasn't clear anywhere.

      Maybe that's why it's not doing well? Not many people know what the heck it's for?
    • by LauraW ( 662560 )

      Ditto. I've used Checkout for over a year (disclaimer: I work at google) and have never had any major problems. It seems pretty usable, and it's fairly easy to buy things.

      The one problem I had was a time (a few months ago?) when Checkout wouldn't let me log in from certain browsers, but that's since been fixed. It was probably some sort of cookie confusion due to the fact that I have at least 3 Google accounts: an old Gmail account, my own domain that's hosted [] at Google, and my work account.

  • Well? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ms1234 ( 211056 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:46AM (#17701120)
    It's in beta so it is to be expected? :)
  • Useless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:55AM (#17701162)
    For me personally, Google Checkout is useless until:
    1. It supports merchants outside the USA.
    2. It supports buyers outside the USA.

    I've been looking for Paypal alternatives for years now but I've yet to find one which satisfies the above requirements, is cheap enough *and* is trusted by enough people.
    • Concerning point 2: I'm residing in N/W Europe and have succesfully signed up for Google Checkout five minutes ago. Haven't bought anything with it yet.
  • by DragonWyatt ( 62035 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @07:59AM (#17701188) Homepage
    Some users have reported anecdotally that Google Checkout mistakenly canceled sales without warning

    This happened to me. Ordered a Creative webcam from and used Google checkout to get $10 off.

    A few weeks later I wondered where it was, went to Google's and's status pages, which reported "Order was cancelled. Reason: Order was cancelled." Great. Did not even receive an email notification. They did postback the charge to my credit card, though.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slashkitty ( 21637 )
      uhg, the Buy/Google integration is pretty bad. I've had problems with 3 google checkout orders. The main problem is that after you place the order, there is not a good integration with the order process system. This is fine for smaller companies, but for, it's a disaster. For example, to cancel or return an item, it takes much longer to get a response through the google checkout than through the regular process. I'm still waiting for an Xmas gift replacement that was ordered in early Dec..
  • by rumith ( 983060 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:02AM (#17701198)
    I'll say that Checkout is mature when I see it among the methods of paying for Slashdot subscription :)
  • by tsurikomi ( 591259 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:04AM (#17701214)
    I purchased a back ordered lens from Ritz Camera and used Google checkout for the $750 purchase. I realized it would take some time to get the lens and was prepared to wait. I was pleasantly suprised, one week before xmas, to receive and email saying the lens had been shipped and my CC charged. I waited a week and called Ritz Camera to check on it's shipping only to learn it hadn't shipped and this was a mistake on Google Checkout's part. Then the horror began. Many calls and emails to Google and Ritz failed to resolve the issue. Google would just blame Ritz. Ritz was obviously very frustrated with Google and told us they were trying to get them to resolve the issue because it had affected lots of customers. This went on for 3 weeks without resolution. My CC billing cycle was at the point where I'd have to soon pay this amount or challenge it as I couldn't seem to get a credit. My only option, and the option I took, was to cancel the order with Ritz. I promptly received a wonderful email from Google telling me the order had been cancelled and the money credited. I then placed the order at B&H Photo.
    • by ecuador_gr ( 944749 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:40AM (#17701326) Homepage
      Sorry my friend, but it seems that Google's fault here is to have added Ritz Camera to its Checkout service. Why am I saying this?
      1. Did you notice that Ritz Camera has a 1.37 reseller rating? []
      2. On the above link there is at least one story similar to your own where Ritz had to admit it was their fault (that customer apparently did not take their BS) and even offer a $25 gift card!
      3. It should have been obvious to you that for a system, especially from a company with such an excellent track record in online applications, it would have been a little hard to send an event to the end user without receiving an event from Ritz Camera. Similarly, when Ritz send the cancellation event, Google Checkout send the cancellation message as it should.
  • UI = Everything (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tehSpork ( 1000190 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:06AM (#17701224)
    In comparison to the PayPal website, the Google Checkout site is not very user friendly at all. The PayPal site is very easy to understand and very well designed, providing a lot of useful information that's easy to access. The Google Checkout site is maybe a little too simple and very lean on helpful information. Also, resellers like maintaining separate invoice systems for Google Checkout is a pita.

    I was one of the many who signed up for a Google Checkout account due to the $20 off $50 discounts avaliable through some merchants over the holidays and have since stopped using it. It's nice, but I definitely prefer PayPal.
  • by imemyself ( 757318 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @08:11AM (#17701254)
    I've only used it once, but it didn't seem too bad to me. Maybe a little ackward going from the seller's site ( IIRC) to Google Checkout, but it worked fine. I also liked the fact that there was a special at the time where you got $20 off of items over $50 if you used Google Checkout. I don't know if that was just through or not, but it was a good deal considering the thing I was buying cost just over $50.
  • From what I've heard Paypal can be pretty sleazy. Them beating Google of all people... blows my mind.

    Is it just really buggy? I havn't used it yet.
  • That high? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @09:47AM (#17701564)
    "compared to PayPal's 44.2 percent reporting good experiences."

    Are you sure you don't want to not use a non-credit card account to not complete this transaction? Give us access to an account you can't issue a chargeback with and we'll give you a shiny raffle ticket!

    Seriously, with a numeric majority of those polled saying they didn't have a positive experience with PayPal, just how hard can it be to top them?
    • Seriously, with a numeric majority of those polled saying they didn't have a positive experience with PayPal, just how hard can it be to top them?

      For many people familiarity == convenience or haven't you been following this whole MS vs Linux thing.
  • by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @10:09AM (#17701658)
    I have been thinking about why google got into this business, and why they were offering ridiculous amounts off (I used the $20 off of orders over $50 myself) to use the service.

    Clearly, there is money to be made in the third party credit card processing biz. Witness Yahoo and Paypal.

    Also, I think there is an advantage for them to have their own ecomm facilities. They are starting to offer pay services (one of the earliest I have seen is charging for more space in Picassa's online web album), and having a well established ecomm service will allow them to charge for a variety of other things easily. And, the more credit card orders they process, the better rates they get from credit card companies.

    Finally, once they associate your financial information with your google account, they can use it to target advertising. If you read their privacy policy [], they admit to doing just that (sharing non-transactional data from Google Payment Corporation and Google), but there is a way to opt out, although you can only do that through email, which seems really lame.
    • They're getting into the business because they have tons of money to invest, they already know the system well enough, and the only significant competition is PayPal. They've been offering "pay services" since about 2000-ish. Remember Adwords? The whole thing's automated and doesn't rely on paypal or other services that compete with google checkout. Way older than charging for Picasa / Google Earth.

      They offered the money for one simple reason: adoption rates. I can't even begin to describe the amount of mon
    • Google wants to own the Internet advertising game. Currently, their CPC (cost per click) offering is dominant but they have to continue expanding, and that means offering new products that fix the flaws with CPC, such as click fraud. The one totally fraud-proof advertising method is CPA: Cost Per Action/Aquisition. Basically, if you buy Bingo Card Creator (my little software program) after you click on my AdWords ad, I pay Google, say, $5. I don't pay them $.05 every time someone clicks on the ad anymor
  • by Giometrix ( 932993 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @10:23AM (#17701732) Homepage
    I had an issue during the Christmas season that occurred with a Google Checkout purchase, though I'm not sure if the problem was with or with Google Checkout. I ordered a last minute gift on December 14th. Apparently the order was canceled, but I didn't receive and email telling me this until the 21st, which meant that if I wanted to get a gift for this person by Christmas morning, I had to partake in mall madness - fighting for parking spaces, huge crowds, and all of the good stuff being sold out.

    I'm sure I wasn't the only one that had this issue, and I'm sure that this sort of thing happens much more often during the holidays, so I'm wondering if the approval rating would have been higher if Google had launched this service well before the holidays, where there would be less vendor (and Google) screw ups.

    Also, getting from to Google Check Out wasn't very intuitive, it took me a few minutes to figure it out. This isn't Google's fault, though this definately had a negative effect on my buying experience. Had Google not been offering $10 off of my purchase, I would have given up and used a credit card instead.
  • What do you think? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @10:48AM (#17701872)
    First, a lot of the usability problems from the vendor poorly implementing the payment and order status process.

    But it is more important to note that they appear to be completely different services. Paypal is a service for making payments and GCO is a service for making purchases. As far as I can see, the transaction is passed entirely to GCO once the order being placed (like a payment gateway). Paypal is treated more like a credit card at most merchants. I speculate that there could be some advantages in terms of security and possibly tax benefits if the govt ever starts taxing internet transactions and GCO can claim any state/country for transaction purposes. But I could be wrong.
  • A few months ago I developed a checkout system that used a number of payment options, I found google checkout to be the most complicated and the slowest when compared to paypals array of payment processing options (payflow pro, etc) or other merchant account setups.

    Google checkout was the only processor (that I used) that had a distributed processing engine. Unlike say paypal where you execute a POST request and the response code comes back in the same transaction, google is more "fire and wait for a call
  • Take this from this satisfied Google Checkout customer - I bought more shit this Christmas season than I did in two previous combined. Why? Because of two things - Checkout promo gave me $10 off $30 and $20 off $50, and I didn't have to enter my fucking credit card info again and again. Now that promotion is over, I prefer stores that have Checkout as a payment option and if price is not drastically higher, buy my stuff there. I hate "creating accounts" in stores and trying to recall what the password was t
  • bribed me into trying Google Checkout with some ultra-cheap Kingston SD cards that were almost free after the Google Checkout discount. I placed my order, they got my money, I got my SD cards. It was a pretty straightforward transaction. So either I was among the few lucky ones or the people with complaints were among the few unlucky ones.
  • I'm a merchant and have set up service with Google Checkout. They've been pretty good to me so far and I've had no customer complaints. There were some integration problems in the beginning, but we've worked through those.

    I love the fact that they temporarily dropped all fees as a promotion. PayPal still has more features, but Google's slowly adding more.
  • Spam! (Score:3, Informative)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Sunday January 21, 2007 @09:00PM (#17706518) Homepage
    I bought something through Google Checkout from a vendor I've been buying from for years, never had any trouble with them.

    Despite my clear indication of the "don't spam me" preference, I started getting regular, frequent, promotional mailings.

    The "stop getting mail from this merchant" thing didn't work.

    Google's support desk didn't respond to queries.

    The merchant couldn't do anything about it, since they have no control; they can forward mail to Google for "our customers", but that's it.

    Google's only "unsubscribe" option is "prevent any messages, whether they're order-related or not, sent by this merchant, from reaching me."

    Pretty much never gonna use that again, believe me. They don't allow you to opt out of purely promotional bulk mailings without completely severing all contact. If you later use their system to buy from a merchant, then you are immediately back on ALL the promotional stuff for that merchant, because you were never actually removed from the list; they were just blocking mail to you from that merchant. You can't have a way to communicate, without being spammed.

    Will they fix it? I don't know. After multiple spams and heroic efforts to get anyone in the checkout group to do anything, I did eventually stop receiving mail, but so far as I know, they have no plans to fix the underlying system.
  • by Cardoe ( 563677 ) <<gro.ootneg> <ta> <eodrac>> on Sunday January 21, 2007 @10:50PM (#17707136) Homepage
    I actually got surveyed and I'm one of the people that gave Google Checkout a poor rating. I had used it about 10 times over the holidays to take advantage of the promotions. I purchased Zelda for the Wii from Google sent me an e-mail the very next day saying the item had shipped but clearly's site said the item was "Sent to Warehouse" for a over a week. I finally had it and canceled the item, to which I received a very quick e-mail saying I can't cancel shipped items. Checked the status and still "Sent to Warehouse", about 2hrs later it finally send "Shipped" and they sent me an e-mail saying it had shipped... A bit shady on's part... Well now the story takes a downhill turn. I live in a brand new section of a previously built complex. The UPS driver had NO idea where my building was and returned it to saying the address was wrong. received it as can be clearly seen on the UPS tracking page. I contacted them for a refund, for which they told me I needed an RMA number. It took 3 back and forths for them to understand the issue. Well almost 2 weeks went by before I realized that I didn't have my money refunded to me. So I contacted (all of this is via Google Checkout's Contact Buyer), to which they could only tell me they were looking into the issue. So I had enough and contacted Google through their ONLY means of contact... a crappy interface web form. They sent me an e-mail which just had my rant to Google then a copy of the Google Receipt and it was sent to's plain support page. This got ignored for a day so I did it again... and again... every day of the week. NEVER got anything else from Google. finally wrote me an e-mail saying my case had been already escalated, to calm down and they'd contact me when they had an answer. A few more days went by and Google sent me a survey for how they did to resolve my issue. Which I told them was terrible. never refunded me a dime after 3 weeks of receiving the product back. I printed everything out, went to the bank and issued a charge back. Google then had the nerve to send me an e-mail threatening me to charge my card for ALL promo's I had gotten on ALL my orders. THEN this survey came along... Now you can guess why I gave them a poor rating.

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