To Paypal or NOT to Paypal…

Quite unbelievably, despite reporting a problem to Paypal on 26 August, we have STILL not received confirmation that this problem has been resolved. Here’s the background…

    On 26 August we identified a serious problem with Paypal.

    StatCounter members who had upgraded in the previous few days had NOT been appropriately upgraded as the Paypal system stopped sending out subscription payment notifications. In fact new subscriptions were no longer created at all and payments received were not linked to StatCounter accounts.

    In short, we were receiving hundreds of Paypal payments which we couldn’t link to any StatCounter account. As you can imagine, this caused serious difficulties for us.

    We reported the problem to Paypal with as much supporting evidence as possible to assist them in quickly identifying the problem… but, as we have come to expect, the first response from Paypal completely ignored the information we supplied and denied the problem.

    It’s now 5 WEEKS since we reported this issue to Paypal and we have STILL not received confirmation that this problem has been resolved. We feel we have been more than patient at this stage and remain astounded that any company can treat its customers with such disregard.

While we understand that ALL services can have problems from time to time we find Paypal’s habit of ignoring its customers to be abhorrent. We are particularly upset that Paypal’s poor behaviour can and does impact on you, our members, and also unfairly reflects on us.

Our Position
As a result of this Paypal problem, we had to manually examine hundreds of payments, attempt to link these to StatCounter accounts and where this wasn’t possible we had to contact the payees individually to request their StatCounter usernames. As you can imagine, this had a high cost for us in terms of time and resources. Further, although these problems were caused by Paypal, StatCounter has absorbed all the costs of this problem. We also felt it was only right for us to offer all affected members a free upgrade for one month to make amends for the problems. Paypal, of course, offered us (their customer) absolutely nothing by way of assistance for the trouble they caused us.

Unfortunately, we have been here before… At that time, we decided NOT to remove Paypal as a payment option for new subscribers. This was because we highly value each of our members and, despite OUR poor opinion of Paypal, we have to cater to what YOU, our members want. However, we are now again considering our position in relation to Paypal…

Your Feedback Please
Due to the problems outlined above, Paypal has been suspended as a payment option (for NEW subscriptions) on StatCounter since 26 August and remains so. We can’t possibly reactivate it until such time as Paypal confirms that the problems introduced in August have been fixed… but we have no idea when that will be. In the meantime, we’d like to ask you, our members, for your thoughts on this.

Both problems we have had with PayPal have been with their subscription payments. During this problem and the last one, regular Paypal manual payments appeared to be functioning normally. On this basis, we are wondering if we should STOP accepting PayPal subscriptions and accept only manual payments instead? Manual payments *would* require our upgraded customers to log in to Paypal every time a payment falls due… so perhaps we will have to restrict Paypal upgrades to quarterly or yearly – logging in every month to pay could be a bit too time consuming! We’re not sure about this idea, so do let us know your thoughts!

We’d also love to know what alternative payment options we can introduce to cater for your payment preferences.

Here are our initial thoughts…

  • We need to accept Discover cards – if you can recommend an acquirer for a European company, please let us know
  • We need to accept AMEX for USD payments – currently we can only accept AMEX directly for EUR payments
  • We need to accept echecks – please let us know if you can recommend any echeck processors

Note that we already accept VISA, Mastercard, AMEX (for EUR payments), wire/bank transfer, EUR/USD checks/cheques.

Please post below with any other card or payment method you think we should accept and feel free to share any comments or suggestions you may have. Thanks folks.

UPDATE: Please note that existing, active Paypal subscriptions are not affected by the suspension of Paypal on StatCounter – this affects NEW subscriptions only.

537 comments on “To Paypal or NOT to Paypal…

  1. Just an idea on this at least for existing subscriptions. I see PayPal now sends the confirmation of payment with a transaction ID no:

    What about setting up an auto responder which emails clients a day or so after the PayPal payment is made asking them to reply in the subject line with the transaction ID no:

    That might help speed up payment cross reference.

  2. I think you have the correct ideas. Amex is the best option for most businesses.

    As for eChecks, there are some issues associated with fraud that cannot be reversed that can with credit cards. You may want to consider your exposure before accepting eChecks…especially using an unknown third party servicer.

  3. I agree with Shareworld’s words of wisdom and would also be happy to send email to Paypal if that would help.

    PayPal is incredibly convenient and lacks the drawbacks of a credit card (the major one being that ONLY the merchant can cancel a subscription – the credit card owner cannot and is at the mercy of a poor merchant — not that that applies to the excellent people at statcounter).

    In the absence of PayPal my preferred solution would be a direct debit — an inconvenient and troublesome method but at least it is within my control.

    Thank you for your excellent customer communication

  4. I think this may be a Business Account problem because I noticed this morning that another Company who has always used Paypal has now withdrawn paypal payments. For me, the customer, paypal is so incredibly easy and I trust my details with them. It’s a complete pain in the tooshie having to go fetch the debit card every time you make a payment.

    I would like to email paypal myself regarding this problem.

  5. As pointed out above, it’s nice to be let into the loop re this issue-at least someone has good communication skills.

    A client whom I work for also had a serious paypal issue recently -and it took ages to sort out with paypal denying any responsibility.

    I must say that as far as paypals services go, I am a strong supporter, their services offered are hard to beat, and obviously paypal as a method of payment is preceded by many.

    HOWEVER, I find it’s far to often a problem these days where as companies grow, their customer service shrinks -I see this within other sectors -broadband services being a notable one.
    I think part of the problem is that companies don’t increase their support arm in proportion to their business growth- this results in a very poor service whenever a problem arises.

    I wouldn’t advise dropping paypal -partly because it’s convinient and partly because I don’t advocate giving up on people/corPorations.

    I would love to see paypal make amends somehow for this issue – hopefully with the size of statcounter you will have the ability to put a bit more preasure on paypal than the average user would…???

    Could we (statcounter users) help in any way?

  6. I agree that based on experience PayPal can be a very difficult company to deal with. They are a trusted brand from the consumer perspective so they the first port of call when it comes to payment solutions.

    Best of luck dealing with them.

  7. I just want to say that this is such a nice honest communication to customers, I am impressed. I enjoyed getting a feel for the human element behind statcounter! I wish you the best of luck with this problem!

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