Google's new Checkout Service debuted in the UK the month before last to the usual fanfare: "Online shopping will now be faster, easier and more secure with Google Checkout™," said the search colossus. "If you're tired of waiting online, then try Google Checkout. Online shopping is made easier, faster and safer," enthused …
I also had trouble with Ebuyer and Google Checkout's £10 off deal. However It wasn't anything to do with car rejection, simple that Ebuyer failed to display the terms and conditions before I sent my hard earned cash, and so didn't find out until after that the deal did not include postage.
£10 on delivery wasted. Thanks Ebuyer.
Waiting for the Sweet Spot
Haven't we seen this before with Ebay/PayPal? A period of technical problems, followed by a sweet spot (a year or so?) of reliable functionality, followed by a slow collapse into insecurity as the baddies exploit the holes and backdoors with and without the help of insider-assisted fraud.
Returns are definitely not easier
Ordering from ebuyer using the google service is easier. But try returning something....
The ebuyer returns service is all online, you have to login to access it and have your order number.
You can order though without registering through the google service, and so it becomes a mammoth task of constantly emailing their support desk to get a returns number, and then again to convert the returns number into a valid RMA number, and then finally to arrange for them to collect the item (as you can't post things back where postage >£5).
I'll stick to dabs I think, £10 saved isn't worth the hastle.
Returns complex too
As a regular e-buyer customer I was seduced by the £10 off deal (which is a great offer) - what I hadn't realised is that you get a completely new (and illogical) Google checkout user name.
Between email delays to Google and Ebuyer to establish this new account name & password, it becomes quite difficult to RMA stuff (you only get 7 days to return "unwanted" / faulty items).
I'll stick to credit cards in future!.
Checkout is OK, delivery is not!
Why is it I keep going back to e-Buyer?
Well, OK this time it's because with the £10 Google Checkout discount my latest order was much cheaper.
But, what really gets under my skin so much that I am tempted to add e-Buyer to my router's black-list is what they do with delivery.
OK, so I live in Northern Scotland and that's "miles away" so is it my fault?
Well, whenever I try and order something from them I get really excited about all the options that are "in stock" and "available for Next Day delivery". Yay!!
I put them in my basket and select "Next Day" - everything is going well.
Then I press "Checkout" and... "Your chosen shipping method is not available for this address. We have selected a suitable alternative"
It seems that because I am so far away it will take a minimum of 3 working days to get to me rather than 1 to places a little further south. But I guess that's what I get for living up here...
Hang on though... e-Buyer are based in Howden in Yorkshire which is about the same distance from me as Dabs in Bolton, who don't have any problems getting stuff to me "Next Day". Even Screwfix never had problems when they were based in Yeovil (almost twice as far away).
But OK, maybe e-Buyer just don't have couriers that can manage the trip that fast. Sad and annoying, but I guess I have to live with it.
Um, no... hang on again. When I track my order on e-Buyer's website, and on the courier's site, it turns out that every time I am forced to use the "3 Working Day" delivery option the goods are not dispatched immediately to a snail-slow courier, they sit in the warehouse for 2 days, and are dispatched the afternoon before delivery!
So the courier is actually doing a next day delivery (and there is often a "Next Day" sticker on the package when it arrives!) but for some reason e-Buyer would rather the goods spend 2 days sitting on their shelves gathering dust.
Do they hate Scots or is there some marginally logical reason for this?
Accepted Debit Cards
I was tempted by the Google £10 off offer (I was looking to buy some stuff from SVP). When I went to register I found that they didn't accept VISA Electron.
Looks like it might have been a blessing considering the problems others are having.
All went smoothly for me
No problems with the card, and as I already have a Google account for gmail, calendar etc my details were simply attached to that account, so no new user name was needed.
The fact that the offer does not include delivery is clearly stated on http://www.ebuyer.com/googlecheckout (reached by clicking the HUGE Google checkout banner on the ebuyer home page):
"To take advantage of this offer, sign-up with Google Checkout. Offer valid on ALL orders over £30 (Inc. VAT, excluding shipping)."
And you can even use it on multiple orders, although because you then pay shipping on each order you will only save £5-6 per order, it's still a decent saving.
(I have to admit if it wasn't for the discount I would never have bothered, and chances are I won't use it after this runs out as I'm not keen on my card details being stored by anyone online, no matter how secure they may try to be.)
But I thought I'd add my 2p as a satisfied user so far.
Same problem with Adsense payments as well.
I got the following email regarding AdSense payments.
We would like to let you know that we have discovered a
technical error which has delayed your May AdSense payment.
We are resolving the problem and your payment will be issued
by the end of this week.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Google Adsense Team
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
No problems for me either
I bought through google checkout on both eBuyer and SVP (who initially didn't do the offer)... both went without a hitch!!
Then again, I was using my normal gmail username which is used for all the other google area's. Must admit - I was a little worried about buying on ebuyer again, they are normally bad enough on their own, but add another layer of complication and the monkeys over there have a hard time figuring out what to pack. I once ordered a bluetooth headset from them for 40quid, and what I got was a 5 quid Plug socket extender.
Cancellation ignored !
I took out the offer and then realised you don't get the discount on delivery. The product inc vat was below £30 D'oh.
Straight away I sent google an email to cancel the order and left it at that. Three days later my order arrived :-(
RE: All went smoothly for me - a correction
The T&C's now appear to have ruled out £10 discounts on future orders after your first one. (This has changed since I first took advantage of it!)
Cancellation of an order needs to be addressed to the retailer (which can be done on ebuyer's site by logging in to your account, opening the order details and selecting "Cancel Order").
(Although in an ideal world I'd agree you should be able to cancel the payment itself, which in turn would automatically cause the order to be cancelled.)
Just another "it worked for me"
Perhaps a reg reader survey is in order:
Have you used google checkout?
Was it with eBuyer?
Did it work without a hitch?
"If you're tired of waiting online" Dude, wait. What? Like, queuing up in some virtual way inside a website to pay for stuff? Surely not? Am I being obtuse? Plz someone to explain...
Works OK for me but...
I've used it twice with ebuyer (on super-saver delivery which means stuff sits in their warehouse for a week before being despatched next day) to get the £10 discount.
One problem for Google - once the £10 offer is withdrawn I'll not use it again! Another set of logins, hassles and emails… No thanks I'll just enter my card number in future, it's not difficult or time consuming.
Yet another "it worked for me"
Ive spent just over a grand through google checkout this last month on pc upgrades, havent had a single problem with using it at all.
Status emails were better organised and more pertinent than the ones id get from the company i was dealing with, if id used them direct, (eg "weve dispatched your order" messages before i recieved the item, rather than after) and over all i was really impressed.
Sorry to hear folks have had problems,
Offer ending on Sunday?
Just had an email from Saverstore saying the Google £10 offer will end at midnight on Sunday 10 June. Also had an email from SVP at the same time but they say "We can't imagine that this offer is going to last forever" with no mention of a cutoff date.
I've used the offer 5 times with ebuyer, empiredirect and svp and had no problems so far. I just wonder how much it's costing Google who are not charging retailers to process their orders during 2007.