WebGuild: Sergey, You Can’t Be Serious! — I read stuff like this and think to myself, “Microsoft is seriously worried about Google’s online threat to its core business? The fact that you would get charged for a cancelled or botched/crashed shopping cart transaction represents greed or stupidity on the part of Google. Did they think nobody would notice?

Sergey you can’t be serious. Dinging users 20 cents every time they use Google CheckOut! This is addition to hefty fee you are charging users and merchants for using the service. Yet somehow everyone seems to think the service is FREE. Furthermore, you are also dinging users 20 cents every time they cancel an order. You can’t be serious.

Even worse, merchants are charged 20 cents every time a user cancels an order – even if it is of no fault of the merchant and on plain simple errors made by users. Over 10 million transactions that could add up to $2 million dollars that merchants and users are out of pocket. Do you need everyone’s 20 cents? You can’t be serious.

Let’s get serious. The service is full of bugs. The callback API malfunctions half the time. It is not even a reliable payment service as users are led to believe. In fact, it is merely a check out service.

  1. Ben Franske says:

    Google may be charging 2%+$0.20 but PayPal, their main competitor, charges between 1.9%+$0.30 and 2.9%+$0.30 depending on gross sales and is an absolute bear to deal with, both for customers and merchants.

  2. chuck says:

    Google’s main rip-off is Ad-Words.
    The rate per-word will vary depending on how big a customer you are. Bigger customers get better rates. And only Google keeps track of the click-through rate. If they wanted to raise their revenues by 5%, they just adjust their billing algorithm. How would a web-site operator know any different?

    And how do you dispute your billing with Google? You send in a complaint, you get an automated reply saying “thanks for your input”. Then, if you’re really lucky, you eventually get another e-mail saying the problem has been resolved. But no compensation or indication of what the “problem” was.

  3. the answer says:

    it’s a company. of course they are going to charge you. Where’s the news?

  4. Donal says:

    Adwords is also very flawed. I’ve seen our campaigns’ budget expended before 8:00 EST by what appears to be bots, since the corresponding bounce rate increases exponentially.

    Google’s response: a click is a click, a click is a charge.

    This wouldn’t be so bad except that your ability to block out people/bots is mostly limited to countries. So, ideally if you are a competitor, you have someone set up a bot net for you to expend your competitions budget and away you go … you’re at the top of the list without having to pay too much….

    Oddly enough, after suspending the Adwords campaign… sales didn’t drop.

  5. johnone says:

    Come on someone has to pay for Sergey’s space flight ticket

  6. Steve S says:

    Some additional info. When I first used Google Checkout, I wondered how they made money by providing this service (other than advertising). I did not notice any fee at the time. When I received the item I ordered and its receipt, I discovered that Google had charged my credit card on the day when I placed the order. Google had net-30 day terms with the company that actually sold the item. So Google received my money immediately and collected interest on the full amount for 30 days before paying the company that stocked and shipped the item. Multiply this by enough suckers, I mean users, and it could add up to a nice income stream. Clever.

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    #6, Steve,

    Good point, BUT, the interest received would barely, if at all, cover the costs associated with the collections.


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