What to do when a customer payment fails
It has just happened to me (first time) and I immediately thought, "How would I respond to an email saying my payment for something hadn't gone through?"
By putting myself in the other person's place, I was able to write a simple email to get my message across in a non-aggressive way, and hopefully encourage the person to respond in a favourable manner.
We must not assume it was a deliberate act, it could simply be a temporary lack of funds or a whole range of other possibilities.
This is what I wrote:
The customer is on the other side of the world to me, and I knew that it was possible I might never hear back from them, or receive my payment. The sale was for an ebook, which is emailed as soon as the payment is received.
In this case, I hadn't considered people using "eChecks" with Paypal, so now I will tweak my payment process to avoid those in future :-) Please note that eChecks means that the purchaser has their Paypal account linked to their bank account, and this can take 5-10 days to clear ... so not the best solution for a virtual product like an ebook.
A half an hour after sending my email, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response (via Blackberry) - very apologetic, saying it would be sorted out a.s.a.p.
I wanted to share this with you, because at some point you too might be in a position to wonder what to do when a customer payment fails.
I hope this has been helpful - if you have similar stories, please do let me know. Sharing them with others helps us learn and find better ways to communicate.