88% of New Year Resolutions Fail; Paypal’s is no exception!

Are corporate vision statements very similar to New Year resolutions?

This WSJ article by Jonah Lehrer about personal New Year resolutions is quite insightful.

I think this is relevant for organizations also.  I recently looked at Paypal’s vision statement and got a chuckle out of it 🙂

“PayPal is creating a better shopping experience from start to finish, no matter what’s being bought, how it’s being paid for, or where it’s being sold.”

Few random observations about Paypal’s vision statements.

  • Is this an accurate description of the company’s true capabilities and aspirations?
  • Perhaps, as companies become large they start believing that they can solve every problem. Shopping experience is a very broad canvass. People shop for groceries in a mom and pop store to aviation repair parts. How can you get into every purchase transaction and “make it better (3%)”?
  • Will employees and customer care about a long convoluted vision that is impractical? My recent experience disputing a vendor services showed me that Paypal customer service team  clearly understand what they are allowed to do to ‘create a better shopping’ experience for customers like me that made the mistake of purchasing intangible goods!
  • Guy Kawasaki’s advice on keeping these statements to 3 or 4 words is a great advice! It takes true business insights to distill it to a short phrase. Additional advantage is that using fewer words could potentially lower the risk of errors. Do founders of successful companies outsource the job of writing vision statements to fancy big-5 consultants after they cross the billion $ milestones?!
  • What else could Paypal use as the vision statement..

– Follow the money

– Puncture the money pipeline carefully

– Lube the structured transactions

– Create a trusted market place

– Make buying worry-free

Would love to hear your thoughts! What is your company’s vision? Is it relevant to you and your customers?


Paypal based phishing scam

I received this spam message today! Phishing scam perpetrators are prying on customer dispute concerns to make unsuspecting Paypal users to divulge their login details. I wonder what Paypal is doing about this!

“Resolution of case #PP-094-486-857-123
Transaction ID: 891627735I55G2NBZ
Our records indicate that you never responded to requests for additional information about this claim. We hope you review the attached file and solve the situation amicably.
For more details please see on the page View all details
Protection Services Department
PayPal does not tolerate fraud or illegal activities. Your complaint has been noted in the record of the PayPal user you reported. If we find this user has violated our policies, we will investigate and take appropriate action. If this occurs, you may be contacted in the future about the status of this complaint.
To make sure future transactions proceed smoothly, we suggest you visit the PayPal site and click the Security Center link located at the top of any page. There you will find tips on how to avoid fraudulent sellers in the “Fraud Prevention Tips for Buyers” section.
Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and click the Help link in the top right corner of any PayPal page.
Copyright © 1999-2013 PayPal. All rights reserved.

Link in the phishing message above point to “http://u.to/tcJRBA”

Paypal is bad for small businesses

If you are using Paypal to pay your vendors, think again!

I have been using paypal over the last six years and had developed an implicit level of trust – that this is a safe platform to transact. My recent experience was an eye opener.

I hired an India video developer (http://www.govideotoday.com/sam) to create a 1 min video for our small business. The team did not deliver on any of their promises while we patiently worked through the issues. To make things worse, GoVideo team started demanding additional monies to complete the fixed bid project. I lost my patience and decided to cancel the project and requested paypal to resolve the issue.

Paypal’s response to my dispute request was..
“Unfortunately, we are denying your claim because your purchase was for a virtual, digital, or intangible item, which is not covered under PayPal Purchase Protection. We only cover claims involving physical items that can be shipped and tracked.”

I even spoke to a sympathetic customer support person. He understood what the issue was and said he will look into the issue, but nothing useful has come out.

So what is paypal’s role? How does my real experience jive with their corporate VISION?!
“PayPal is creating a better shopping experience from start to finish, no matter what’s being bought, how it’s being paid for, or where it’s being sold.”?

I bought from GoVideo and lost my hard earned dollars. Paypal makes it easy for poor service providers to swindle money from unsuspecting small business owners?!