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…they just settled a multimillion dollar class action suit because of their criminal practices and regardless to this fact they’ve gotten worse! I have seen what this company does to honest and dilligent business owners and I refuse to use them for anything at all even though some of my clients have asked. I use a real bank based merchant services company that is actually is responsive to me and my clients.
    By the way Paypal is NOT a merchant services company or a bank.

    WARNING … THIS IS A SETUP!
    What Paypal is doing in this situation is so very typical. Dump them before they really cut loose. I sense that they were going to let complaints from Statcounter customers serve as the basis for freezing the Statcounter Corporate account all together under the premise “suspicious activity.” They purposely don’t respond to Statcounter’s previous requests for assistance and then freeze Statcounter’s bank accounts that are linked to Paypal and Paypal holds the money in their account so that they earn interest off of it.
    Nothing short of criminal

  2. The problem is although PayPal isn’t the necessarily the best ou there, the name gives any company using it as a payment processor, real credibility. Use any other, and in my opinion, you’ve lost ground. In the UK we have a phone number so we can actually call and talk to someone. Have you gone down this route in an attempt to resolve the issue? I’ve only had to do this twice myself but each time the problem was solved quickly and courteously.
    Just a thought – but then I guess you’ve probably already exhausted that avenue.

  3. i dont know if you have moneybookers as a payment option but it seems it is alot easier than paypal. and i believe a little more generous

  4. Been using it for over 5 years – never had any problem except their complaint/chargeback system is totally dull. Otherwise quite convenient for web business.

  5. The reason I switched to Paypal was because the old system did an annual auto-renew without notifying me in advance, which I find very annoying. I’m happy to pay by any other means, and in fact I’d rather pay annually than monthly, so long as I don’t have to auto-renew. I don’t recall there being an option to simply pay directly by credit card, rather than thru a third party.

  6. I have Paypal set up as a payment option on a site I used to run.* By the time I got Paypal set up, the site’s traffic had dwindled to the point that no customers ever actually used it. But it was a mess to set up, and I never did get it to handle US sales tax correctly.

    Instead of Paypal, I started by using Google Checkout. It was a lot easier to set up, and always worked correctly (except that it was a bit weird about shipping). My only problem with it was that I tried to set up an option for customers to pay for my product plus a donation to a charity favored by my former* business partner, they warned me that I couldn’t mention charity unless I directly represented the charity.

    Anyway, Google Checkout worked really well for me. I’ll use it again if I run another business web site.

    * Technically I’m still working with that site and that business partner, but I’m in the process of getting rid of it and her, so instead of linking that site I linked my personal journal.

  7. We hate paypal with a passion that cannot be described. A wholly owned ebay subsidiary they treat both sellers and buyers, all customers except the very richest of the rich of course with complete disdain, disrespect and condescension.

    I hope you think about starting a competitor if you can’t find one already established. In fact, everything about ebay & paypal need to be taken down and shown the door — the same way they treat customers — abysmally.

    You can read some of the horror stories at http://paypalsucks.com/ as well as recommendations for other services which we have neither tried nor experienced.

    Paypal & ebay hate their customers & They don’t deserve to exist anymore!

  8. Over the years we have had ongoing issues with Pay Pal. Recently Pay Pal decided that, althought the content had been there for years, that this content was against their AUP and cancelled our acct without notice. They also refused to negotiate. This caused us to have to remove over 10,000 buttons on our site refering to photography. If you want m opinion, they are a company with poor management and terrible support. No, I wouldn’t use them. Just our thoughts
    Kelley and Susan
    Defiance Photography

  9. Been using it for over 5 years – never had any problem except their complaint/chargeback system is totally dull. Otherwise quite convenient for web business. 🙂

  10. I’m surprised you had that problem. I purchased something through paypal once and it came defective. I filed a claim and they would not refund my payment stating they only guarantee that a product is delivered, not that it is in good working condition when it is received.

  11. We recently ditched PayPal as the subscription method for HUNDREDS of our subscribers after similar problems to yours.

    How to do this on PayPal?

    ONE AT A TIME – ONE SUBSCRIBER CANCELLATION AT A TIME. an each involves about 3 or 4 page clicks.

    We raised this issue back in July and have no answer yet,other than a post from another Paypal user who had to do the same. It took almost a weekend click click click click, back, refresh, click click.

    And don’t think the Paypal bulk cancel function will help you – it DOES NOT WORK.(even after you have exported all your subscribers and re-imported the CSV etc.. etc… )

  12. Paypal is rubbish. Their support is rubbish. The people who answer questions seems like that have no brains. They just give an automated reply all the time.

    I can’t wait till Google Checkout hits Paypal where it hurts. It’s only a matter of time.

  13. yeah I know how it goes, Paypal really does have some serious issues.

    Search around, there are a lot of other people you could go through, only problem is, paypal is one payment method that people really trust.

    I feel for you guys and hope you get it worked out quickly.

  14. Why Statcounter take decades to come out with the new appearance? By the time you guys make it happen (which u discuss in the earlier post about the new interface), the interface will be decades out of date. Those interface already out of date now….

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