PayPal announces "Customer First" initiative

PayPal (EBAY +1.1%), no stranger to well-publicized complaints from disgruntled merchant partners and payers, has unveiled a multi-pronged initiative called Customer First it hopes will yield higher user satisfaction.

Among other things, PayPal is adjusting its risk models to result in fewer payments to trustworthy merchants being held up - an exec refers to this as "[catching] more sharks and less dolphins" - and is implementing a "no fault construct" for small buyer complaints regarding counterfeit goods. The latter move will result in PayPal absorbing $2.5M/year in claims.

PayPal also says it's giving employees more autonomy to tailor policies for individual customers, and is asking execs to "spend a week on the front lines at our call centers to hear and deal with issues first hand." PayPal claims its existing efforts have led to a 40M Y/Y drop in customer issues thus far in 2013.

PayPal chief David Marcus has been busy shaking up how the online payments giant does business since taking its top job in March '12. The latest moves come with PayPal facing competition from upstarts such as Stripe, and perhaps soon Facebook.

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Comments (4)
  • Leftfield
    , contributor
    Comments (4070) | Send Message
    Better late than never for Paypal to allegedly begin to curtail the customer bludgeonings they are now well known for.


    That their base of millions of captive Ebay customers will not expand with sufficient critical mass beyond that gated marketplace against able competition for digital payments to yield profits enough to offset self-induced Ebay marketplace's relative stagnation will apparently require the company to make unaccustomed attempts at reasonable behavior towards customers.
    29 Aug 2013, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Not the Boss
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
    Asking their execs to spend time on the frontlines at call centers is something a lot of companies should try. I nominate Hughesnet, AT&T, and Humana's "Rightsource" to lead that parade.
    29 Aug 2013, 04:34 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
    A week and I have not received my refund from PayPal!
    30 Aug 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • User 10500071
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Ebay is faulty. Its not free market at all and anti-American, the customer support are not there to hear your problems but police the ones that call in for help and track them as being suspicious.


    The platform is a bureaucratic one, a system that is so sensitive and automated that it will criminalize even the innocent who is just wanting to start an operation and get some help.


    Terms like high risk selling behavior, permanent suspension indefinitely of account are labeled for sellers who have problems initially setting up the account to sell without providing them with valid reason for their faults by customer support other than saying "you having nothing else to say", "don't use our system", "don't create another user account or you will be banned", "you can only buy".


    The scope extends to the ones you are related to as well, so if you screw up everyone you are related to is screwed up. If that doesn't scare you, think about this, that its a competitive machine that eats up its competition with the cash and debt available so there is no where a seller could really go.


    I had no intention to do this to myself and my friend and after the burn, the hopelessness, the anger, the guilt that set in, its just really unfair.


    The customer support is a group mainly from a foreign country, I think in the Philippines whose first language isn't English I remarked as I spoke with them so as to repeat what is given to them and your record populated with more evidence as you try to explain. Some even have acquired a prejudice over other countries even though ebay has a presence in that country when I listened very carefully.


    However the main culprit is the upper management team, who wrote these policies and established this system to shut you off as well the ones you are related to permanently from ever selling without hearing you out in the proper context.


    I am starting to question if this is a company that gives value to its small sellers who drove the company to where it is now or does it place more weight to give value on its buying activity.


    And judging from others who are in a similar position as I am, former sellers - small - are leaning away from this platform to search for alternatives but there are very little alternatives.


    To understand their strategy, the features are being enhance for its buying activity which is the demand side that encompasses more buyer protection, more ease in paying, expansion to mobile devices because you are essentially a buyer using a mobile vehicle for the platform.


    They "supply" a platform where there customers are the sellers who use this platform to proactively transact with their buyers. These sellers range from the small to the big. eBay is able to leverage their customers through their supply platform and ecosystem.


    The small ones are now being less valued since they anticipate larger transactions from big sellers and therein lies there faulty system.


    These small sellers are the ones that drove the company to where it is now and since they aren't as valued as the bigger sellers anymore the new instances of small sellers are being immediately slaughtered.


    They have no where to go since eBay chewed up most of the competition with its cash and debt.


    To me this is not a right business which I only figured out after having felt the burn.


    I had high hopes with its mobile expansion as a shareholder going long but without understanding prior the process and system, its time to pull the plug now that I do and go short when the time is right or put capital to use else where.


    In summary it doesn't need to expand like this in the internet sphere.
    5 Sep 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
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