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PayPal Pleasantly Surprises Me!

I recently had to process a refund through my PayPal account (first time ever!). The account I was refunding from had only that one transaction in it, so according to PayPal’s rules, I would not be charged the usual fee and thus I could refund the full amount, which is what I did.

Today I received an email from PayPal that read:

Recently, your PayPal account dipped to a negative balance of $0.30 USD. This can happen sometimes if you’ve issued a refund, for example. Not to worry. We’re covering the $0.30 USD to bring your balance back up to zero. That way, your account remains in good standing. It’s our way of saying, “Thanks for using PayPal.”

My assumption is that their system automatically charged me their flat 30 cent fee for the refund transaction itself, which is why I was 30 cents in the red. But PayPal did two very smart things:

  1. Rather than come after me for 30 cents, they simply credited my account and zeroed my balance. Trying to collect the 30 cents probably would have cost them at tens of dollars, if not more. So why bother?
  2. More importantly, they TOLD ME what they’ve done and explained that it’s their way of saying thanks. Far too often, organizations (maybe yours) will do things for their customers without telling them that they’ve done it. PayPal was smart enough to tell me, rather than having me stumble across it (or not).

So look at your processes and ask yourself “Are there things we’re doing for our members and customers that we’re NOT telling them about?” And “Do we have processes in place that cost more money than they make (e.g, spending $50 to chase after a $10 underpayment)?”

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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