Author Topic: was my response as an online seller rude?  (Read 2549 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1994
was my response as an online seller rude?
« on: April 10, 2012, 09:18:30 AM »
I sometimes sell stuff online (like old books) through a site like ebay. Anyway, on my item description pages, I mention point blank that I only accept google checkout as payment,  no exceptions whatsoever. The other day, someone bought one of my items. I checked my google checkout account and saw that payment hadn't been received. So I went to the item page and saw that she had selected "Payment sent: Other" as her payment instead of "Payment sent: Google Checkout." I (reasonably IMO) concluded that she had tried sending me a non-approved payment and resent her the invoice, where I attached the following note:

"Thank you, but the only form of payment I accept is google checkout, which is clearly stated on the item description page. If you sent another form of payment, I won't receive it, so you should cancel that payment and use google checkout instead. :)"

Anyway, this morning I received a transaction cancellation notice for the item. It's no skin off my nose and figured that maybe she had inadvertently skimmed the part about accepted payment methods. Except when cancelling the transaction, she made this comment as her reason:

"I paid using google checkout but the seller said she did not receive it and was in my opinion rude..."

What? I don't think my note to her was out of line. I guess the "...which is clearly stated on the item description page" could be considered iffy? I don't know. What do you think?

(I should be happy though that she deigned to simply cancel the transaction instead of vindictively leaving me negative feedback, lol.)

Jaelle

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1521
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 09:58:16 AM »
Since she clearly selected "other" payment, I'd say you were just fine.

Some people just translate criticism (perceived or otherwise!) as rude. My guess is that you pointed out to her that she'd made a mistake and in her world, that's "rude."  ::)
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

RebeccainGA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1207
  • formerly RebeccainAR
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 09:59:31 AM »
You were fine. The buyer was cranky, possibly because they didn't do things right and were hoping you'd let them slide. I used to get those ALL THE TIME when I sold on ebay (vintage accessories and aprons).

Sometimes you just have to ignore the twits.

ShadesOfGrey

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12682
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 10:07:12 AM »
Why is there an option to select "other"? I'd remove that, if at all possible.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1994
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 10:15:18 AM »
I'd remove that, if at all possible.
It's not, unfortunately. That sort of thing is out of my hands.

And actually, the way the payment process is set up, when the buyer receives the invoice, the invoice itself only shows the approved payment method on its page. The buyer actually clicked on that at first - when the buyer clicks on the payment button, I get a notification: "Buyer will pay using google checkout." But they did not go through with that. They actually had to double back to the item page in order to mark down that they had paid for the item, and that's where they selected the "payment sent: other" button. My guess is that they clicked on the payment button and then tried to figure out a different method of paying.

If that sounds confusing, that's because it is. I'm not really a huge fan of this site's format.  ::)

Thanks, RebeccainAR and elephantschild. I thought that maybe that one part could be construed as snotty, sort of a "reading comprehension: do you have any??" thing.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 10:18:29 AM by blahblahblah »

Reason

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 774
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 10:16:22 AM »
I think most retail/billing services leave an "out" for the customer so the customer doesn't feel pressured or incompetent, which may have been the standard she was expecting.

Something like,

"Dear customer,

Unfortunately, I was unable to process the transaction for the "old book?". My account is set up to only receive payment in the form of google check. If you had already sent the payment in the google check format, please ignore this message. I apologize for any inconvenience."

But I wouldn't say there was anything rude about your original message. It did feel a tad informal though for a business transaction.

Aeris

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9641
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 10:22:15 AM »
Given the number of technological glitches that exist, I do think it's *possible* that she did actually select google checkout and somehow the system went wonky. Or it's possible she *thought* she had, but misclicked. Or who knows. I don't know if those are very likely, but they are possible.

So if this happens in the future, a tweak in phrasing might be helpful, so that you communicate exactly what you need to, but also leave open the possibility that it wasn't actually the buyer's fault. Perhaps something like "Thank you for purchasing Item X! Unfortunately, there seems to have been an error in handling your payment. As the item description indicates, we are only able too accept Google Checkout as payment option. If you attempted to complete your transaction using something other than Google Checkout by mistake, please cancel that payment option and resubmit with Google Checkout. If did use Google Checkout, it should have gone through correctly, so please let me know immediately, so that we can fix the error. Thanks again for your interest in our shop!"

I think the benefit here is that it still points to the item description payment instructions, to prevent 'but I didn't know that!' protestations, but it also avoids any feel of 'scolding' if the buyer did actually do her part correctly, or made a silly error. If it were me, I would find "which is clearly stated on the item description page" somewhat scolding, and it would be irritating to me *IF* I had actually done nothing wrong.

I don't think you were rude, exactly, but I think a shift in approach could be beneficial in some cases. Of course, some people, no matter what you do, will be difficult. :)

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1994
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 10:32:21 AM »
Quote
Given the number of technological glitches that exist, I do think it's *possible* that she did actually select google checkout and somehow the system went wonky. Or it's possible she *thought* she had, but misclicked. Or who knows. I don't know if those are very likely, but they are possible.
If it were just one thing, like if I simply hadn't received payment yet but hadn't received the "payment sent: other" message or vice versa (i.e. if I *had* received payment but had also received the "payment sent: other" message), then I wouldn't have thought anything of it. I will say that I haven't encountered that sort of glitch with any of my other items, so if it was a technological glitch, then it's not a common one. But the two combined was what made me think she had tried to pay using some other method.

But you're right that maybe I could reword it regardless. Unfortunately, this site also imposes a "character limit" on comments. Sigh. Maybe I should just go back to ebay. Does ebay give you the option to cancel transactions outright? I have to say that that's the main appeal for me, lol.

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9701
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 01:06:27 PM »
I think it's probably a good idea to have a standard message for these sorts of things that acknowledges that there might have been a glitch. Reason has good wording.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

blueberry.muffin

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 296
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 02:31:31 PM »
Having just cancelled a transaction as a buyer, I'm in an extra-twitchy mood.

Could you take out the "clearly?" It kind of puts the buyer on the defense. It's a small thing but it can change the tone quite a lot.

As painful as this may sound... although the economy is improving, it still has a ways to go, and so I suspect that it's easier for buyers than it is for sellers. Subsequently, although it's not necessary, changing the tone of your message in general to a more enthusiastic "thank you SO MUCH for purchasing!" along with "I'm SO sorry but I only take Google Checkout" would go a long way into keeping your customer satisfied.

Case in point, I made a purchase recently on Etsy for a friend for Easter and had it sent straight to her house. The sellers contacted me a few times to make sure I was aware of what was going on albeit making/shipping said product and were overall just fantastic. Even though I've never seen the product myself (though my friend loved it!), I'd recommend these sellers to anyone just because they were SO, so nice.

blahblahblah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1994
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 04:43:31 PM »
blueberry.muffin, you have a point, I'll take that word out. :)
Quote
As painful as this may sound... although the economy is improving, it still has a ways to go, and so I suspect that it's easier for buyers than it is for sellers.
This actually isn't a huge concern for me, because I only sell stuff as a hobby. I don't have a store or anything, and I'm not the equivalent of a power seller (power sellers sell thousands of things, I've only sold a few hundred). Not that I go out of my way to be rude or anything (and a lot of my positive feedback actually says how nice I was, as unbelievable as that might sound, lol).

Roe

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6474
Re: was my response as an online seller rude?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 08:44:07 AM »
I think most retail/billing services leave an "out" for the customer so the customer doesn't feel pressured or incompetent, which may have been the standard she was expecting.

Something like,

"Dear customer,

Unfortunately, I was unable to process the transaction for the "old book?". My account is set up to only receive payment in the form of google check. If you had already sent the payment in the google check format, please ignore this message. I apologize for any inconvenience."

But I wouldn't say there was anything rude about your original message. It did feel a tad informal though for a business transaction.

Pod.  I like Reason's wording.  More formal, more businesslike though I didn't see the "rude" part of your original email, it's still best to be more professional.