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I would contact them by mail, it shows them there is customer service on the site and find out what/if there is a problem. All they can do is tell you to bugger off which is rare or more than likely ignore the mail.
it is acceptable to contact them via email
Just to clarify, when we contact the customer, we say that there was a problem with their payment and that it was declined. We ask them to re-submit their information (most of the time it's just transposed numbers or an incorrect expiration date).
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:41 pm (utc) on May 4, 2009]
THEN we give it 24 hours to see if they'll return and finish checking out. The happens quite a lot in our niche. They'll setup the cart to get a complete total with S&H and return later to purchase. (Despite the fact we have a mini-cart view on each page with estimated S&H).
After 24 hours, we send a "canned" personal email asking if they had any issues checking out and to give us a call if we could assist them.
We're able to convert about 30% of our abandoned carts using this method.
[edited by: T_Miller at 8:29 pm (utc) on May 4, 2009]
The rate of customers that complete payment after getting an email reminder is about 30% for me, too.
I used to run 24 hours, then went down to 12hrs, then down and down till 20 minutes. This has worked very very well, i think the more pro-active the shop is for the end user the more comfortable the end user is especially a new end user buying for the 1st time.
I closed an $800 sale this week that was declined by the issuing bank. In fact, he added to the original order! Come to find out, his bank declined due to a name difference: He didn't put his middle initial and "Jr" on the first attempt.
I made a slight wording change on our cart because of this to emphasize the name needs to be exactly how it appears on the card.
Most banks will accept slight difference in name, but you never know.
I feel embarrassed asking customers in case their payment failed due to insufficient funds
On any declines we always say 'there was a message for you to call your bank, please let us know when we should put it through again'. It's almost always the bank stopping things on a fraud hold and has nothing to do with a card problem.
Never address specific card problems with a customer if they talk about plenty of credit, call the bank for me, etc. since you don't want to get involved in peoples ego or face issues. Just play ignorant.
We follow up via phone with the customers who've entered payment details regardless of the decline type (assuming we've determined the order isn't fraudulent), but never insinuate that it's due to any error or oversight on their part.
We tell them it isn't unusual (it isn't), and is usually related to the safety precautions of their issuing bank (it is). I've never had a customer get upset with this approach. They are all happy to either call their bank immediately or provide me with a different card.
Many people will make simple typos when entering their address and PayPal would reject the card based on that
Well, at least with a real processor you can select when you want to decline based on address.
I'd still use the AVS though. Even if you just keep it on the zip code. Those 'simple typos' that the AVS weeds out for you often prevent you from shipping something to a the wrong address or running into other similar problems down the road...and it is a good tool for detecting fraud.
Just bargain hunters / price gatherers, from my findings. No real value in these as of late.
The other 0.01% just didn't respond.
Sometimes they look like obvious frauds and I don't bother.
Other times it's glitches in the AVS system, yes, believe it or not the payment processors don't always properly match what your customer typed to their actual address.
Sometimes I have to ask people to type in their address exactly as it appears on their credit card bill, or simply click OVERRIDE AVS and force the order through.
YES! That is SUCH a headache. Once a customer faxed us a copy of how their bill is sent to them (the exact way their credit card company types their address) and that didn't work along with another few variations. The street name was "NorthWest Street" that's what it says on the sign, that's how they get their mail. By for online ordering they have to do "NW STR" because that's how someone keyed it into the Visa system.
the name needs to be exactly how it appears on the card.
With regard to addresses I have certainly found spelling mistakes in the UK PAF files. Most organisations will "correct" what you enter to match the PAF although some go the other way and insist on redundant county names. Then you get to problems over standard appreviations such as Hants/Hampshire
With so many free shipping, coupons and other baits these days, this is the best time saving way to determine what you will actually be paying.