Online business is great. You sit at home in your pajamas
while customers send email to your autoresponders.
They receive your well crafted, irresistible sales message
and visit your website. When they arrive, they find a dream
YOU, yes you, have the exact widget that they have been
searching for and for 50% LESS than the rat they were
thinking of buying it from. To them, you are indeed the
site of the month, maybe the year!
They eagerly click your Order Here button and happily place
their order. They wish to pay by credit card and you have
wisely provided a super secure page for just that purpose.
Your fulfillment company ships the super duper widget and
you get paid.
All is well in Online land.
Except that when they receive the widget they claim it is
defective (of course they have simply changed their minds)
and want a refund. They won't pay for return shipping.
They say that until their account is credited they won't
be returning the widget at all. Next, your phone rings.
It's your merchant account provider.
It seems that the card is over the limit and they are going to
have to "investigate" any possible shady dealings by your
customer before any decisions can be made about settlement.
In the meantime they have debited your account for the
transaction. But they are sure it will be cleared up
soon and they really appreciate your business.
Storm clouds are building in Online land and you are
some kind of .... let's say upset.
WHAT DO YOU DO NEXT?
Life is still OK in Online land because you have options.
You contact the bank who handles your merchant account but
figure out quickly that you'll be on hold, listening to their
lame music PLUS a message about how they really care, until
you retire. You hang up. Still OK. Next option.
You email the customer that you are sure you can work the
problem out together. In about 2 1/2 seconds you get a reply
that says something like "yeah ... right". Not encouraging,
but still OK. You have options. So you decide to exercise the
ultimate option of all. You own the business.
You are captain of your ship. You are decisive and being
decisive you decide to blow the whole thing off. After all,
it's a $20 widget. You can't call your attorney over $20.
You email the customer that you wish it had worked out.
You email your merchant account holder that you are
blowing it off. Calm has returned to Online land.
The next night at 2:30 a.m. you wake with that terrible
feeling of All is NOT well. You check your books and discover
that you have blown off over 100 widgets this year. None of
them were worth calling the lawyer. Not good. Not good at all.
The bottom line is that you are a small business and need
to protect yourself. The nightmare above could happen to
any of us but it DOES NOT HAVE TO!