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.


  1. I always resolved my problems with paypal by calling them on the phone and ask to speak with the supervisor, regular employees aren’t helpful at all.

    I always ask the name of the supervisors I speak with and try to speak with them on the next day, yes, I call them every day until I got my problem solved. Believe me, being a pain in the ass it’s on the best ways to get your problems solved.


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  3. I consider it rather interesting that paypal were a little slack when it came to fixing your payment problems,do they know you have suspended all transactions with them?they might be more inclined to address the problem.

  4. You know, I was sure I upgraded my SC account via PayPal just a few days ago. Now there is no record in PP and I’m still listed here as on a free account. I guess I’ll wait for Monday or Tuesday and investigate, but it makes no sense. If I can’t resolve, I’ll upgrade via a credit card.

  5. PayPal for some funny reason decided to deny a subscription i made for a domain to one of the websites i operate.

    The card linked to my PayPal is directly issued by my bank and i have used it alongside making several PayPal payments without issues over a year now.

    Then now all of a sudden my domain’s renewal is over due since they now claim the card cannot be verified and i should use another card!

    Can you imagine the damage and loss to me as a result of my site not up and running? Am i supposed to start a hunt for another card to please them?

    Why now when my site is making me money, is there more to it than i know of? Who will compensate me for the loss i am encountering as a result of a fault not my own?

    I asked them all this and even talked to my bank just to be sure the problem is not from my side.

    The response came after sending them emails spanning over a week saying….please add another card!!!!

    I am still asking why deny my card, why now and what the hell is going on with them??? The card was there and still is over a year linked to my account with them.

    I do not recommend them and i use 2 merchant accounts and let them take care of PayPal payments on my behalf because love or hate them, business has to go on.

  6. Check with your bank to see if they offer any services directly. Banks are missing out on great opps if they are not offering this to businesses. A bank could offer a payment system that covers all credit cards, instant payments and more.

  7. How many subscribers will be using the same email address for both accounts?

    You must work for Paypal to come up with that.

    That was to Jim here –

  8. Hehe, welcome to the club…

    Opposite to many other folks I never had the BIG trouble with PP (like totally random account seizures, locking of funds, etc.), but whenever there IS a problem, things take forever, and the tendency is the same as with most big companies: excuses, a friendly (but totally incompetent) first level support, problem gets “forwarded” to the “responsible department”, only to be never heard of again…

    Patience, patience, patience.

    Problem is: there are always people who are very quick to recommend other payment processors, but actually so far none has proven to be much better, stable and available in the long run…

    But with credit cards and wire transfer (maybe direct debit for EU customers?) you should be well off.

    1. It seems that the courts have found that honest customers have been patient enough over the years dealing with the sham of a company to the tune of a multimillion dollar class action suit compensating those merchants hurt by Paypal.

  9. They are thieves. just look at
    They call the shots on YOUR money and make no apologies for it.
    The thought a $1200 payment to me was “suspicious” without any explanation other than that, they held the money 6 months and collected interest on it.
    They do not respond to complaints or ever fix any problems.
    They are a very very large scam operation, designed to cheat people by holding onto their money for great lengths of time.

    I now use Intuit Payment Network (by the makers of Quicken)

    They are reasonably priced and the money is deposited directly in to my account.
    They understand it’s MY money and not THEIRS.

  10. I think you should try add some other alternatives like: google checkout, moneybookers etc. and also try to somehow bind together the paypal/google/moneybookers accounts with the statcounter account and this way you will know which client made a payment.

  11. Please keep in mind that creditcards might be common in the US of A but not in many other countries. In Western Europe we all standard have ATM cards to withdraw money from our bank accounts and therefor we don’t need creditcards and many even don’t want one. When a creditcard will be the only payment option you exclude a lot of people.

    Using Paypal for 10 years or so, had an account issue (logged in via a hotel WIFI network that caused my account abruptly being blocked) that required me to send them a photo ID in order to get the status of my account back to ‘normal’ so I did, and I did I several times but no response at all.

    Although Paypal makes huge profits, they really don’t want you to contact them and made it virtually impossible, instead they have hidden themselves in a concrete fort and a fast and functional customer care indeed is something they really don’t with to invest in.

  12. I can’t imagine PayPal’s abovementioned behaviors, such as withholding another business’s money for months, is legal. These businesses who are losing their money/having it delayed, etc., should go straight to the Attorney General and get some class action suits going. PayPal has no right to keep OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY from them. Seems like fraud to me…

    Outrageous. Sounds like time for serious court action.

    1. There was a class action suit where Paypal was forced to pay millions and yet their practices have gotten worse. when you sign up for Paypal you essentially relinquish the rights to your bank account and give them the right to hold your money and freeze your account (cause essentially it’s theirs read the fine print). I hope more legitimate companies like Statcounter dump that trash of a company known as Paypal.

  13. It maybe just my own speculations, but I have noticed that the older I get the worse customer service has become especially with large businesses. I believe it has a true correlation to the managements leadership. What was the saying-

    “Attitude is a reflection of leadership”

  14. PayPal is a complete scam. They are a useless bunch of idiots!

    I have had NUMEROUS problems with PayPal that i can’t even begin to explain, as have many of my friends who own their own business.

    I think the worst thing is that if they decide to terminate your account (which might i add they won’t give you a reason for) they hold onto any money in your PayPal account for 180 days (6 months) before releasing it into your bank account. Creating a MAJOR problem for any business!

    Imagine the interest they gain on all that money they hold onto for 6 months! Let’s say they freeze 100 accounts, each containing £1,000 (which is realistic). They now have £100,000 for 6 months. So suppose they earn 3.5% interest(which isnt a lot at all, some banks offer 5 or 6%) then they have made….£3,500! And thats just from 100 people!

    PayPal use numerous other tactics to hold onto peoples money for as long as possible, and why not, afterall, they are making a bomb from it! Be it un-informative customer support, requesting unnessacary documentation, you receive a slightly larger payment than normal and they freeze ur account etc. etc.

    Personally i think PayPal is owned by the rich trying to get richer.

  15. I use Plimus and like their system. I did some research and found only good things about them. I am not sure if they offer subscription payments, but even if they don’t they offer a great service.

  16. Dear StatCounter Team,
    thank you for posting this issue on your blog.
    We’ve been using your service for 3 years now: you are the best… Your services are exceptional and your response time to client requests is extremely prompt, so we are very displeased to hear of the inconvenience and extreme embarassment which PayPal has caused you.
    You should inform all your clients of this issue via e-mail (these things can happen and you will see that most of us will be understanding…) and (if redress has not been effected in due time by PayPal) seek to engage another company to handle the payments.
    We’re on YOUR side! Best of luck!
    Team M2

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