Message to Our Customers: Shopify Incompetence is Causing Us Problems / Delays
We spent a lot of time, effort and money planning the recent summer launch on July 26th to bring you the best possible grab bag deals. You responded in an amazing way by spreading the message throughout social media. As a this result of this, our offer was quickly spread to other popular websites and generated hundreds of orders for us. THANK YOU! Your order will help us help other people, "if" we get paid by Shopify.
BUT the same day we launched this, this happened:
Shopify put our payments on hold, requesting my ID. No problem, as the ID was uploaded immediately and the message disappeared, at least temporarily and then it re-appeared on July 27th. I was traveling at the time and contacted Shopify support and they said they hadn't received the ID and that it needed to be uploaded again. It was and this time they confirmed receipt of it.
Despite doing as requested, the ugly red payments on hold box persisted and calls to support offered no detailed explanation as to why this was happening.
The following day on July 28th at around 12PM, after yet another support call trying to determine the status, we received this message from Shopify Tony.
Let's take a moment to consider this request.
We opened the store and paid our subscription weeks ago. We spent countless hours of time and effort with manufacturers to secure the best designs and ordered the shipping equipment (printers, labels, shipping bags etc). We also needed to ensure inventory was available (note: we have reserved the inventory, no worries there - our supplier is amazing) and suddenly because we got orders for our products - like we're supposed to, because we're a store and sold stuff because that's what stores do, Shopify put a hold on payments.
We do everything right, we achieve what most businesses only hope to achieve, and Shopify rewards us by putting payments on hold. What a great start to our business relationship with Shopify. This is not what we expected for our customers.
Let's go back to the Shopify Tony letter, by 1:15PM on July 28th. Everything that was requested of us was sent to Shopify Tony, yet we heard nothing. No response from Shopify Tony, no acknowledgement that documents were received - nothing.
Why does Shopify wait until the most inconvenient time possible to ask for this information? Why not get it up front as part of the account opening process?
At 5:19PM on July 28th, I called support again to chase the issue and was told that indeed the information was received and that everything Shopify Tony asked for had been sent. It was confirmed that the next step was for Shopify Tony to process the requested and submitted information.
But there's a problem, Shopify Tony and his department only work Monday to Friday from 9AM - 5PM and it's a Friday and it's past 5PM, so guess what? It will not be looked at again until Monday (possibly) and even if it is looked at Monday (possibly), it's very likely that nothing will happen until Tuesday, August 1st, possibly - if we're lucky.
Shopify is a public company that trades on a major US stock exchange. For example, last year alone their revenues were $188.6M in subscriptions, and another $200.7M in merchant fees. They're very quick to sign up small businesses and take hundreds of millions of dollars from them, but it seems they're extremely slow when it comes to allowing their new customers to do business and get paid for it - in short, their best effort has been to treat us with indifference.
Unlike Shopify Tony who likely sits in a plush seat in a fancy office and only works Monday to Friday 9AM - 5PM, the work of a small business to help others in need is never done - it's 16 hours / day and 7 days / week of grind. When the e-commerce platform that you depend on to be trustworthy and reliable tells you your payments are on hold for no good reason, as you can imagine it's a big deal. This is especially acute for a business like ours that's supporting various good causes.
Shopify must do better. I would not recommend them after going through this experience. We're now forced to look at alternatives to ensure our customers have the best experience possible in buying and receiving their socks in a timely fashion so that they can enjoy them and allow us to donate socks to those most in need.
Meanwhile, our customers are waiting for orders. I can tell you unequivocally that those orders will not be fulfilled unless Shopify gets its act together. If Shopify does not resolve this issue promptly, we will be forced to refund all orders, and close our store until we can find an alternative solution. This will be most unfortunate for both our customers, and for the people we're trying to help.
If you have placed an order please don't worry. The worst case scenario is that you'll be refunded, the best case scenario is there might be a shipping delay. All grab bag orders were scheduled for shipping on August 7th. I trust we can honor that date. Again, thank you to the people that ordered. We really appreciate it!
Shopify needs to do better because from where I sit, they're barely making an effort.
FYI - This is not just a rant, and it's not just about us, this is about ALL the small businesses that are affected by this practice daily. I know for a fact there are many businesses that experience this treatment because an insider at Shopify told me exactly how many.