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Google Cop-Out

You might remember a while back that I decided to buy an Asus EeePc. Whilst I eventually went into Toys-R-Us to buy it, I initially tried to buy it from an online retailer, who used Google Checkout as their method of payment.

Buyer beware.

The retailer in question (I'll keep it nameless for the moment), was totally unresponsive to my order - hence the reason for me cancelling my purchase. I've never actually known such an unresponsive e-tailer. I contacted them to cancel the order and they never replied - meaning that I'd either have to contact Google (who processed the payment) or my bank to lodge a dispute.

Try a search on Google Checkout and customers getting refunds - you may notice the rather unhelpful search results.

My bank initially advised me to contact Google in relation to this - but funnily enough, they don't have a phone number. In fact, most of their help is dedicated to the merchant, so this makes reclaiming the funds virtually impossible.

My only recourse was to log a dispute with my bank - and with any luck, I should get the funds back shortly.

The moral of this story? I guess that should be self explanatory - even Paypal has a number you call in the event of issues. The lack of a physical building to go to in order to get some results doesn't help, but I shall be a lot more wary when buying online in future because Google's payment system appears to be very one-sided. When things work, great, but when they don't, you're a bit stuffed.

Other web experiences: Here and here. (There's a lot more)
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