Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paying for courses

I didn't know before, but apparently this is a complex subject.

This post is mainly for those who wish to pay for our LeanAgileTraining courses. But others are welcome to use it.

First, there are many ways to pay: check, cash, wire transfer, Intuit Payment Network, barter, etc. If you have a question about this, contact Taylor Young (taylor.young@LeanAgileTraining.com).

Second, the two "easy" ways to pay are PayPal and GoogleCheckout. We always have those "buy now" buttons on the course listing.

They seem easy...use your credit card or your bank account and the buttons take care of the details.

But, in lots of ways, only some of which I understand, it is complex.

First, sometimes one will get an error message.  And often a PayPal or Google Checkout error message is not very clear. Typically the problem is on the credit card company side (although this is not clear from the error message). It might seem it's about you, but typically their fraud sniffers are just going hyperactive.

Some of the key data they are sniffing includes: Name, address, card number, expiry date, and the special code. (Watch out for typos; you'll trip the wires!)

They are biased against first-time internet buyers.
They are biased against large amounts.

And, if you have a corporate card, your corporation may set special rules, and not tell you.

You probably know that each card has (kind of, at least) an overall limit. But there can be transaction limits and daily limits, etc. Amex seems to insist that certain transactions be done in USD (even though PayPal allows CAD or EUR, which may be fine if you use Visa or MasterCard or Discover).

PayPal says no single transaction can exceed USD10,000. (Google may say the same.)

There are probably more rules or exceptions; I just don't know them all yet.

It is true that you do not have to become a member of PayPal or GoogleCheckout to use the the buttons. But the screens may imply that to you.

If you have problems, we suggest these actions.

1. Don't feel forced to use PayPal or Google Checkout. There are almost always other options. For example, you can call us, and we can take your CC info over the phone. And, given enough time, we prefer a wire transfer or a check in USD.

2. Before using a credit card, take 5 minutes to call the number on the back of your card and tell them you are about to do an internet transaction of X amount. Ask them if they see any problem with that. Often the humans can actually force the fraud sniffer systems into reasonability.

3. If you try PayPal or GoogleCheckout and have any problems, please contact Taylor Young (taylor.young@LeanAgileTraining.com) immediately. If she can't help you, I will try also.

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