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. Tell PP to shove it and use Google or Worldpay. If every disgruntled PP customer closed their account PP would go bust!

  2. S a professional Market researcher I applaud you asking for information from your customers! nothing like feedback…

    I have not had problems with Paypal but I am a personal user, not a business.

    The only other payment mechanism I have come across is to do with my kids school –…so there must be companies out there offering something similar

  3. Hi Guys,

    Excellent that you have made this information public. Our organisation has recently stopped using paypal as a method of payment for all sorts of reasons, mainly that the are as you put “abhorrent”.

    They have lost our business and I hope many more supplier follow suit.

    We use RBS Worldpay, they are always fantastic with us, we get a miles better deal than paypal and their site is extremely simple to integrate into your website.

  4. I agree – Paypal has done me wrong in the past – freezing my account with over $500 in it for several weeks until I would confirm my identity… by snail mail!!! They said my account had been compromised but didn’t explain how or why… Since I don’t trust them, i don’t offer it as a payment option on my website and I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you if you didn’t use it any more. Tell paypal where to stick it!

  5. I’m indebted to statcounter for their wonderful free service.

    I trust the people behind this organization, I trust their statement about callousness of paypal. I have personal experience with paypal and noticed that their interaction with the customers has deteriorated to a large extent during last couple of years.

    Perhaps paypal has got saturated with its business objective and they no longer require business.

    So it’s the high time for the people to quit them.

  6. Sorry to hear about your issues – very frustrating.

    We provide two processors for our customers, PP and

    The later attracts many more business customers and more European customers both business & domestic.

    We’ve been with for 4 years and whilst we pay more for each transaction, the service, the interface and customer service has been excellent in our experience.

    Order Process in Over 20 Languages
    International and regional payment types: credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, wire transfer, check, direct debit, money orders, and online wire transfers via iDEAL, giropay, and IPS
    13 billing currencies and 47 display currencies

    Hope this helps and kudos to you guys @ Stat !

  7. PayPal is great for non-professional. It allows individuals to take credit card payments. However, I don’t feel it’s necessary for a business to use – I don’t in my business. 99% of those that would use your paid service will have a card to use for billing. If not, what good is the business if you can’t get paid?

  8. As an online business owner, Paypal has saved us a lot of money in merchant fees, without a doubt keeping paypal to us is a no brainer for the merchant and the buyer online as well!

    Our suggestion… Work out your issues with Paypal !

  9. Having been with you guys for over 5 years I now trust you and can say that my payments do not need to be covered by Paypal protection or made through them, so if you were to remove paypal from your payment options for current subscribers it wouldn’t hinder me.

    I would happily use an ‘on site’ payment checkout as much as I would use Paypal.


  10. I do not conduct any e-transactions for my website, it is just informational, but I have from time to time been forced to use PayPal to purchase something and it has been a miserable experience every time having to tweak firewall, cookie and browser settings. I no longer use PayPal at all.

    Much of what I purchase over the internet is generally available at a few large e-commerce websites that I don’t need to scatter my transactions across the internet. When I must make purchases at a new untrusted site, mastercard/visa payment have usually been an option which I chose over PayPal, and *everytime* a phone sales contact has also been available for me to place my order over the phone and pay by check or Visa/MC.

    The thing about PayPal is, it either works well or works poorly, and there is no correcting when it works poorly and seems random in which experience one will have, and chance uncorrectability is something I personally can’t *risk* in e-transactions.

    OTOH, Visa/MC customer support is as good as the bank which handles and stands behind the account, and my banking customer support has always been excellent, whereas it would seem PayPal’s is nonexistent.

  11. I do like Paypal, so convenient.
    The only alternative for the dutch market is: IDEAL. (used bij Google also.

  12. As a consumer, I do like Paypal. It is convenient, and I trust it. If an e-commerce site offers Paypal as a payment method, I always select this. If they do not offer it, I get up out of my chair, and go fetch my wallet, and use a credit card. 😉

    Another online payment source is Revolution Money Exchange.

    I have used them successfully, both as a merchant, and as a consumer.

    My opinion is, if Paypal is earning you money, stick with them. If they are costing you money, drop them!

  13. I personally hate PayPal as they play politics and favoritism instead of focusing on the differences between legal and illegal activities.
    I have been using GPAL for a while and have been VERY happy with the service.
    Gpal is secure and does not play politics or favoritism.

  14. Thanks for asking for customer feedback before taking action – that’s unusual in today’s corporate world (which is why I like doing business with small enterprises).

    Feedback: I have had a different, but similarly frustrating experience with Paypal so I can relate to your feelings.

    On the other hand, I like using Paypal and to some extent and when I can, make buying decisions based on who offers Paypal and who doesn’t. I will continue to use StatCounter because of the quality of service for the price whether you renew with Paypal or not.

    I have been using Paypal since it began and have noticed that in the last couple of years they are getting sneakier and less flexible.

    Personally, I elected to maintain my account with Paypal despite their practices and interactions with me because I like the service (not the quality of service) and aren’t aware of anyone else that does it.

    Those are my thoughts – your decision is up to you, whatever you choose will not impact my choice of using StatCounter; but if I was a new customer it might keep me from using it. However, companies like Paypal will continue to act this way unless it costs them in business, so if you decide to drop them, I support you.

  15. I have used Google Checkout and have found it to work very well. The customer has to register as they do with PaPpal and once they do, they can use it just like PayPal but, from what I have found, without the hassle.

  16. On my rebsite I have a free document that explains how PayPal makes more money by witholding funds. This is in the form of interest on he witheld money. The document if called How I Sued PayPal and Won. Thank you for having the guts to inform PayPal users about this problem. I consult with people in similiar situations

  17. Hi,

    Paypal can be utterly useless at times. I’d be happy to pay by CreditC/Debit C/Google checkout.

    But I think you should keep paypal as an option, but discourage people from using it by adding a surcharge, say 5% and briefly explain why on the payment page. Then you wont loose anyone who wants to pay by paypal because its not too much, but people will naturally shift to another form of payment to save the money.

    If you bring the charge in, in say 6 month then there is plenty of time for existing customers to switch and avoid the surcharge.


  18. I have had a hot & cold relationship with Paypal. Sometimes they’re OK, sometimes they’re not. Sorry to hear you are having trouble with them.

    I would be happy to pay by credit card instead if that makes things easier.

  19. PayPal are one of the most unprofessional organizations. Have you ever tried to find their postal address? They religiously hide it and when requested they do not give it. When a registered mail was sent (after several weeks and an extensive research the address was found) it was not accepted and the letter came back. A friend of mine did not get the merchandise paid through PayPal to a ”verified” PayPal member. When complaining on the phone they told him that they cannot do anything to help him getting his mothose of you who wander what is the PayPal address I will give it to you here to help you in your research: Paypal Inc., 2211 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131 The none response/no resolution of the demand addressed by StatCounter is more than normal for them. Actually it would have been surprising if they have fixed the problem. They never do that. PayPal what are you hiding from your members and why such a behavior?

  20. I have a similar fear of PayPal. Even worse, I’ve had accounts mysteriously suspended, leaving thousands of dollars in their hands I hadn’t yet withdrawn. PayPal is strange, they have a lot of practices and policies that just don’t make sense. For someone on your scale, I think leaving PayPal for good would be a fine option.

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