We’ll save you having to relive exactly what happened, and instead suggest what to do.
Have. More. Payment. Options.
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Plain and simple, this is the best thing to do. Throughout this previous outage, Paypal and most other payment gateways kept functioning. Thus, simply put, the more ways someone can give you money, the less headaches you will have. We are not huge fans of Etsy only providing a small amount of ways to pay. Just because Etsy provides a quick and easy way to pay, does not mean that this is the best option for you or your buyer. Speed and convenience often has a consequence. This is one of them.
We encourage you to tell buyers to pay via Paypal before the checkout for this reason and many more. Cheques and money orders are old school and not frequently used but they enable a buyer to avoid this catastrophe altogether.
However, if the events of July 4th happen again, what do you (as a seller) do?
Don’t panic, do not negatively comment on social media or forums (yet).
Earlier this morning, Sally bought one of your infamous Alpaca throw rugs. She paid via Worldpay and in your Etsy Dashboard, the payment has been ‘processing’ for over an hour.
- Contact Etsy. Explain the situation clearly and calmly. Give them transaction ID’s, the time of payment, the total amount, your store name and the buyer’s name.
- Contact the seller. Send them a brief but honest email about what is going on. Apologize once and let them know that you are in contact with Worldpay and Etsy about resolving the problem and that you will update them as soon as anything eventuates.
Thanks a lot for your recent purchase! Just to keep you updated, we seem to be having a few payment issues. This term is complex, but I can assure you that you have not lost any money.
Just to help me on my end a little, did you notice anything unusual when you paid? Did any pages take longer than normal to load, did you have any messages appear?
I am well aware of this problem and I am in contact with both Etsy and Worldpay. As soon as something happens, whether your payment is accepted or rejected, I will email you straight away.
Thank you again and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience!’
-Phil (or your own name)’
- Remember to breathe.
AFTER 2 HOURS
- Email the buyer again. Reassure them that you are doing everything in your power to resolve the problem. Ask them if they are willing to pay via another method so that you can send them their products and that you will refund the first payment once the issue is sorted out. You want to see this problem resolved as much as they do.
- Update your Etsy store announcement. Explain that you are experiencing payment problems with Worldpay and that buyers should not use it until further notice but all other payment methods have had no problems.
- Contact Worldpay. Just like Etsy, provide the same relevant details like transaction ID’s, the time of payment, the total amount, your store name and the buyer’s name.
AFTER 5 HOURS
If the problem is widespread, you should have heard about it now.
- Tweet- The handmade and Etsy community is very wide and engaging on Twitter, so taking to the twitterverse may also help you find if others are having the problem.
- Check out social media. You’ve probably done this already. Post on Etsy forums, facebook, reddit. Read first- look if any other sellers are having the same problem now or in the last week. Remember to ask questions rather than vent anger.
- Emails– Now would be another good time to get in contact with your buyer(s) and inform them that you’re working on it and remind them that they haven’t lost money. Also send another email to Worldpay and Etsy if you haven’t had a response from your initial email.
AFTER 12 HOURS
One would assume that if the payment went smoothly, the product would be sent within 12 hours of payment (if it isn’t a custom order). If you’re still trying to fix a payment issue, obviously you haven’t sent the payment yet. Even though the payment issue isn’t your fault, consider throwing in a freebie or discount code for your buyer’s next purchase as a way of showing good faith.
- Consider an ‘apology’ freebie or discount.
- Public complaint. If you’ve had no response from Worldpay, contact them via social media. Companies hate bad publicity and a public complaint should be taken care of exceptionally quickly. Remember to explain this situation rather than let your anger or frustration get the better of you.
- Buyer. Once again, let your buyer know that it’s still trying to be fixed. After 3 emails, your buyer should hopefully understand this isn’t a regular occurrence!
- Continue with life as normally as you can.
AFTER 24 HOURS
If the problem still hasn’t been resolved by now, you’re probably a little hot under the collar. Perhaps your buyer is too. If it’s a worldwide problem, it can be guaranteed that you’re not the only angry one. Try to find some solace in social media.
- Email the buyer. Your buyer should be the first person to contact once the problem is resolved. Whether the problem has persisted for 15 minutes or 36 hours, the minute the problem is clear, email your buyer. Ask the buyer if the money has gone back into their account. If the payment has processed and made its way into your account, issue any refunds that have been asked for.
- Email Etsy. Let them know that the payment has gone through. Let Etsy know that you are unhappy and it has affected you, but threatening to leave and take you business elsewhere probably wont change anything.
- Email Worldpay. It was more than likely Worldpay that have made the stuff up. Like Etsy, let them know you are unhappy and it has impacted you. If you are paying subscription fees to use a payment gateway, suggestion a free month or some other kind of compensation. Be realistic if you choose to ask for compensation.
Payment outages are like losing your wallet- it’s never a convenient time for it to happen. Stay calm, keep it together and remember that a little hiccup like this wont destroy you. It’s stressful and no one involved is having any fun, but you will survive. Remember that life can continue outside of your business and now probably is a good time to do the things that you’ve been putting off doing!