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PayPal hirings to ease customer service anger

PayPal hirings to ease customer service anger

EBAY subsidiary PayPal has vowed to improve customer service in Australia by doubling the number of personnel to manage customer queries and complaints.

By next month, PayPal would have made 40 new hires, taking the total tally to 127 customer service agents.

PayPal has been progressively boosting customer service levels over the past few months, according to managing director Frerk-Malte Feller.

"Customer service is very important to us. Apart from adding more people we will also be enhancing our interactive voice response systems," he said.

The company needs the performance gains as it looks to woo more business and consumer clients.

Dick Smith started accepting PayPal on its online shopfront on April 8 and Mr Feller promises more tie-ups later this quarter with "other well-known merchants".

He declined to reveal specifics, but said some of these merchants were not even online yet.

"Our customers are both businesses and consumers and we're very conscious that we need to serve both well," he said.

The increase in customer service agents is key to PayPal's local operations, which has been duly criticised for its poor service in the past.

Many users also can't forget the events two years ago which made PayPal public enemy No 1. In early 2008, PayPal customers were stung with a one-two punch. First, it tried to force eBay members to only use PayPal as a means of payment, but the competition regulator ended that dream after vociferous customer complaints.

July that year saw the collapse of a major eBay seller, Ebusiness Supplies.

People who used PayPal to purchase items from EBS on eBay were not properly refunded and that drew another round of stinging rebukes from consumers.

In the lead-up to its fifth anniversary in Australia on April 22, PayPal has added more universities, schools and non-profit organisations as new business customers.

It already has several corporate clients, particularly in the telecommunications arena -- Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison and Optus use PayPal for pre-pay recharge. Mr Feller also hopes to push PayPal as a "wallet in the cloud".

Having wooed iPhone developers, PayPal, as an application, will be available on the Android and BlackBerry platforms this quarter.

Lonely Planet used the PayPal application to develop various "compartments" in its "wallet".

"The Lonely Planet travel guide application is free, but if you want travel guides for Sydney, Singapore or Bali, you can buy each guide separately . . . there's no need to install the entire application from scratch,"Mr Feller said.


Exposing the sleazery of ebaY and PayPal


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