Day: July 9, 2013

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

08:45 – Well, here’s one for the books. I got an order yesterday for a biology kit. The first thing I look for in PayPal’s email is whether the shipping address is Confirmed. If so, I know I can ship the kit immediately. “Confirmed” means that PayPal has processed the credit card transaction with the card issuer and confirmed that the shipping address provided by the buyer is the same as the billing address on file with the credit card issuer. So, here’s the first part of that email. I’ve changed the name and other details, but I haven’t deleted anything.

Payment received from
From: Jane Doe via PayPal <>
To: “The Home Scientist, LLC”
Date: Mon Jul 8 14:15:06 2013

Hello The Home Scientist, LLC,
You received a payment of 192.00 USD from (
To see all the transaction details, please log into your PayPal account. It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your account.


Buyer information:
Jane Doe

Instructions from buyer:
None provided

Ship-to address: – Confirmed
Jane Doe
P.O. Box
Seattle, WA 99999
United States


I immediately emailed the buyer, of course, to ask what her PO Box number was, but I still haven’t heard back from her. Then I thought I’d better check with PayPal, so I called tech support. When the guy asked what the problem was, I told him that they’d provided “P.O. Box” alone as a “Confirmed” ship-to address. When he saw what I was talking about, he started laughing and said, “Better not ship that one.” He eventually speculated that PayPal had run the transaction through the credit card issuer, who for some reason approved “P.O. Box” with no number as the actual billing address for that card. Like me, he figured that the woman who placed the order just got distracted and forgot to enter the actual box number, but given the amount involved he suggested that I refund that payment and tell the buyer to submit a new order with a proper address. So that’s what I did.

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