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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

  1. Paypal is the worst in terms of service, customer care and in solving problems, they need to come to standards for bigger customers, but a great system for those who transact in pennies. Paypal sucks!!

  2. PayPal have caused me a lot of troubles too. Considering they’ve deducted hundreds, probably thousands, from me fees, you’d think they’d be a little more courteous.

    Regretably, the reason why we are having this discussion is because no real, complete and accepted alternative currently exists.

    StatCounter Team… How about a new project 🙂

  3. I completely agree with what RichardC said on October 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm.

    Like it or not, Paypal is pretty much the defacto standard for payments anywhere in the world.

    I feel bad for Statcounter but I have to ask, are you dealing with the right people at Paypal? They have a huge staff and often times, you are likely dealing with minimum wage and sometimes barely competent employees.

    Have you contacted someone much higher up in the ranks at Paypal? Statcounter is no mickey mouse operation so your issues with Paypal should be considered high profile.

    When a company grows as big as Paypal has, it is inevitable that out of 100’s of millions of customers, there will always be a few that have experienced problems… some will be fabrications, some exaggerated, and others will be truly bad experiences (such as in Statcounters situation).

    I am positive that your issues could be resolved quickly if you contact the right people at Paypal. I guarantee that someone at Paypal will want to make things right with Statcounter.

    As an aside, Don Robertson… I am sure I speak for many others that your political commentary is not welcome here. You do realize that credit has been utilized since the invention of commerce? Without commerce, humans would still be migratory. Clearly you are mistakenly equating credit and commerce with corruption. Wow! What an opportunist…using this blog to push your own form of corruption masquerading as morality! BTW, your website is oddly reminiscent and crazy sounding like James Lee’s website…. only, I don’t think you care about the squirrels.

  4. The problem with us have been quite similar then yours here in Statcounter. We are selling some softwares and we should get the info of every buyer, but no.

    We are also looking for new payment system.

  5. Hello Statcounter.com, We have been with Paypal for at least 9 years and we have started to have a lot of problems with Paypal as well. Our account was placed on “Limited Access” for documents that were requested 3 days before our account was limited. Paypal poor reponse and poor follow up since Ebay purchased the company is down right atrocious. We have signed up with http://www.AlertPay.com and are looking for suitable online payment processing back up.

    -HardHeadTechnologies.net

  6. In this economic environment, accepting credit card payment through any third-party merchant-services vendor, is risky -over the long term.

    Read carefully the agreement you are asked to agree to. You are signing up with a partner who keeps their hand in the till 24/7.

    In so many words the agreement says, the merchant-services vendor owns you, your business and the you agree to indemnify them against any and all claims.

    (In other words, you are shipping product to people who pay with a card, which turns out to be illegitimate, and you end up losing -all the way around.)

    Business is not so simple as simply setting up shop for a VISA/MASTERCARD merchant services vendor, and letting them make all the sure money, while YOU take all the risk.

    Go ahead! See if you can find statistics concerning the percentage of online sales that go -bogus- and the proprietor loses.

    Bingo.

    A bank is a bank -is a bank -is a bank.

    And of course it looks like you need them. But the truth is, all they need is for you to put your head in their noose.

    Ask any small business. They’ll tell you. The credit card services are draining the life’s blood out of their business.

    The credit card business is draining the life’s blood out of the economy too.

    These credit card merchant services vendors are vampires.

    Don Robertson

  7. I am a member of several paid to click sites and one of my most favorite payment processor is through paypal. Through those long period of time, I never encountered any problem with their services.

  8. I would try contacting one of their sales people, they would probably love to help you out, talk to the right people at Paypal, they will help you. Talk to the wrong people, u will have problems. Every company has their screwups who dont give a crap about doing things right and has their good people, just sayin.

  9. Hi,

    We use PayPal as a payment processor on our website to collect subscriptions and they definitely DO still send out subscription IPNs, so I would suggest there’s either a problem with an IPN over-ride on the PayPal button or a problem with your IPN script.

    We use the MaxProg IPN script from this link:

    http://www.maxprog.com/site/scripts/paypal_ipn/index.html

    and it works very well. The only thing I would add is that we listen on the secure port 443.

    I hope you find something of use.

  10. Don’t you know that Meg Whitman has completely committed all of Paypal’s resources to her campaign? If she can buy enough votes you’ll get this fixed in December. Otherwise PP is going to drag their feet.

    1. I am not aware that Meg Whitman has committed all resources of paypal on her campaign. If this would be true then there’s danger in using this online payment processor.

  11. Paypal’s customer service absolutely SUCKS. Their idea of customer service is to keep you on hold for 120 minutes, and then “accidentally” hang up on you.

  12. I run a small non-profit and use PayPal as my online payment option. It is the only option open to us given our small size and I have never had so much as a problem with purchases, donations (single & subscription) or refunds. I also use PayPal as a private individual and there too, never so much as a whiff of trouble with their service.

    I find it interesting that folks are miffed at PayPal but think nothing of suggesting Google to handle their money. Google’s past reputation for privacy problems is legion. I have had block gmail accounts from our site because of their problems with spam, which you might guess is highly annoying for some of our members, but it’s a necessary evil.

    So to answer the question, to PayPal or not to PayPal. For me, its “to PayPal”. I do almost no online purchases using my credit card for security reasons (I’m in North America) so PayPal has been an excellent option. Switching to a “new service launching shortly” as has been suggested, would not be an option for me, they have no track-record and I’m not handing over credit information to a company I know nothing about. PayPal I know and from my track-record with them, trust them. Switching to Google is a definite “no go” for me I’m afraid, they do have a track record and it’s not a record I’m comfortable with. Directed bank transactions are also problematic, not so much because of the security, but rather the service fees – in North America, you get dinged for pretty much everything and at a higher rate than PayPal. My post is getting long enough that I won’t continue with examples.

    One solution that could be possible, is provide customers with the option to continue with PayPal (for those like me) and then Google Checkout or whatever for those who have had problems or who are rabidly anti-PayPal. If the responses are an accurate reflection of members’ preferences, then if there are future PayPal problems, there will be significantly fewer accounts to cross-check. And if there were any future problems involving my account, I’m happy to help and no one month upgrade is required, StatCounter’s service is worth its weight in e-gold to us.

  13. Paypal is the easiest way to pay!

    1. I agree with you that Paypal is one of the best method to pay an online product and services but there are a lot other more better services but the only difference is that they are new and not yet popular enough to be trusted.

  14. PayPal should really read Pay Up Pal .It is THE most diabolical none service ever .Fortunately I have never used on here but on trying to set up an account for use with EBay it didnt take long to realize they were a bunch of indfferent money grabbers who could not be polite nor would they ever be there for a customer .I decided against Well doen Statcounter on giving them the boot .You do a great job and professionally .Why be tainted by them ?

  15. Well, PayPal is not a bank. It is not FDIC insured. They can hold your money indefinitely! For eBay sellers they hold funds for 5 days (and profit from this). Meanwhile, eBay sellers get a lower feedback rating from PayPal / eCheck clients as a result of the sellers not being able to ship for five days.

  16. Here is an idea for the payments… automated subscriptions aren’t needed. In fact, I’ve always hated recurring auto debits.

    Why not just set up 5 one-time payment button options:
    1 month
    2 months
    3 months
    6 months
    1 year

    I don’ know how the backend of your site is setup but this could be implemented as easily as setting a date the membership expires based on which button they used to pay.

    If currently a paid member it would get the current date their sub expires, then for example, if they use the 3 month payment option the system would simply add 3 months to their current sub expiration date.

    If they are not currently a paid sub the expiration date is calculated from today.

    Of course you should get the other members feedback but, to me, this is a very simple option and allows people a lot of freedom in choosing their payment option.

    Receiving an email 10 days before, 1 week before, and 3 days before the expiration date and then another email on the expiration date would be a great idea too in my opion.

    Just my two cents worth! 🙂

    1. I agree with Game Creator, ditch the subscription and allow one time payment options. I would be happy with 6 month or 1 year payment plans with an email reminder close to the time when you need to renew.

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