A former PayPal engineer wrote an interesting piece about Google Checkout: 5 Reasons Why Google Checkout Is the Beginning of the End. He thinks that Google shouldn't have launched this kind of service because:
* Google is not able to combat fraud.
* Google launches too many products, so it can't handle payment processing.
* Google is bad at customer service: they mostly use automated emails.
"The sad truth is that customers are not patient or understanding when it comes to money. All but the most enlightened of them are irrational and paranoid."
* Google finally picked the wrong battle.
* This failure will cause their best engineers to leave.
The article's tone is way too catastrophic, but it makes two good points: Google should improve their customer service and they should prepared for online fraud.
Here's an example of bad customer service from Google:
From: "Dave Taylor"
Subject: Ad Problems
Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2005 02:22:24 -0000
I can't tell if I've inserted the code into my RSS feed incorrectly or not, but I have been receiving reports that clicking on the ads in my feeds generates a 'you don't have cookies enabled' error for users, even when they DO have cookies enabled. Reluctantly, I tried clicking on an ad myself (Safari, Mac OS X 10.3.8, no security, cookies for "All sites" enabled) and I also see the same error message. What's wrong with my code? The ads I see in my aggregator from *other* AdSense for feeds sites work just fine.
Thanks for your help!
Three and a half months later...
We're sorry that we weren't able to address your email in a timely manner. If you're still experiencing difficulties with your ads please don't hesitate to contact us again.
The Google AdSense Team
Google Checkout launched
Google's mission to be completed in 300 years
In other news:
A PayPal employee wrote a blog post about Google Checkout and the removed it. The post starts with: "I find it amusing how the general media is claiming GBuy will be a significant competitor to Paypal based on GBuy having near zero buyers actually using the service vs over 100MM using Paypal." You can read the recovered text.