May 20, 2011

Checking off google checkout

I buy online from a lot of websites and services. I buy music and apps from iTunes. I buy tons of stuff from Amazon using their Prime and Kindle services. I'm a little wary of Paypal, due to the various horror stories I've read about them online, but since none of them have ever happened to me I still even use them occasionally. However, I think after this morning's debacle with trying to set up a new domain for this blog, I'm done for the foreseeable future with google checkout.

What a pain in the ass! There, now that I've gotten that off my chest I feel a wee bit better. Setting up google checkout is easy enough, it's all the rest that pisses me off. First I tried to obtain my domain directly through blogger which sends the purchase through google apps using google checkout. Initially all seemed to go ok. I got all the way to checkout and there, apparently, I made the mistake of indicating that the receipt should go to an alternate email than my gmail address. Two conflicting things occurred at this point. 1) google checkout informed me in the browser window that my order was cancelled and 2) I immediately received an email telling me that my order went through fine. Ok which was it?

My dashboard was telling me I was set up, but nothing was resolving. Not a fatal issue as DNS isn't always instantaneous. So I waited. Still nothing. Waited some more. Nope not resolving. Ok so I went to my google checkout order there. Ok, so maybe it failed after all. I then went to try to purchase the domain again. Survey says...XXX. The system is telling me an order already exists and to contact support. Mind you, no link to support is given during this so I guess I'm the moron for expecting there to be one. However, a quick googling took me where I wanted to go. Google offers no way to call them so I was forced to use one of their canned email forms. I put in my order # from the email and my gmail address.

An hour later I received an email telling me so sorry, but they can't help me because I put in a different address then I emailed the receipt to. Ok so I tried again and waited again. Silly me for assuming this would work. I get another email telling me so sorry, but they can't help me because the email I entered is not the same as my google checkout login (my gmail address). Idiot: see stupid. Stupid: see idiot.

I went back to google. Once again no luck finding a phone #. But I did find an email form that allowed me to actually type out the issue, which I did and sent it off. Waited again and then google emails me to say so sorry you're having problems, but we're so busy we couldn't possibly get back to you in person. Moron: see idiot or stupid.

I finally gave up and tried the whole process again with a .net domain instead. I got about halfway through the process when the phone rang. In getting up to answer it, I guess I instinctively just closed my browser. Another mistake as rather then seeing this as an incomplete order (never reached checkout), when I went back in to resume the process google was once again telling me so sorry, there's already an order in progress please contact support....and NO you can't have a freaking link to find them!

I finally really gave up and just grabbed the domain from another vendor and modified the cname records to point to here. Long story short, until such time as google decides to grow up and treat their payment gateway like a real business and not some beta project, I shall be abstaining from using that particular service. I can't say that the processes they have in place for this service violate their famous 'Do No Evil' motto. However if they had a 'Do No Incompetence' motto it surely would.

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