Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google Checkout's refusal for my business

Further to my earlier post about being suspended from Google Checkout because I'm selling travel products, we've swapped reasons as to why I have been suspended ("in breach of their content policies" - which I knew) and I've tried to get to the bottom of why selling travel products (in my particular case, rent of my holiday home) is a banned item.

I pointed out that many of the items banned from Google Checkout are either illegal, immoral or otherwise of questionable value (drugs, fake passports, alcohol, adult materials, wonder miracle drugs, guns, etc), none of which I had a problem with, but that I could not understand why Google would classify travel products in the same way.

Today I received a reply back from them in response to my probing:
Hello Geoffrey,

Thank you for your email. I understand you would like to know why Google does not allow sale of travel products and services through Google Checkout.

I would like to inform you that when we develop our program policies, we focus on providing a positive user experience while adhering to various legal considerations. These policies are formulated to ensure overall program quality and a positive user experience for everyone, whether they are buyers or sellers.

While formulating our content policies, we take into consideration different factors like the buyer's user experience, chargeback risk (for both buyers and sellers), associated with the product or service that is being sold through Google Checkout, and the like. Our goal is to create fair, consistent, and adaptable policies.

As mentioned in my earlier email communication to you, Google reserves the right to expand or edit these policies at any time. Google will also exercise its sole discretion in the interpretation and enforcement of these policies in conjunction with the program's Terms of Service.

Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any additional questions.


The Google Checkout Team

So there you have it, an explanation (of sorts) for the suspension decision.

Google Checkout either thinks that taking payment for renting our french holiday home is illegal, it could result in a "negative buying experience", or it could result in a higher risk of charge backs.

Other payment mechanisms (rentalsystems, paypal, ownersdirect, gitesdefrance, etc) don't seem to perceive these concerns, but Google obviously does; and as they're judge, jury and executioner on any policy decisions, there's little I more I can do but reluctantly accept their decision.



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