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. Dump PayPal. They are not worth the trouble. And, are not responsive to their own problems.

  2. PayPal fails to send notification emails all the time. It’s a major problem, and the primary reason I no longer recommend it to my clients. Have you tried Google Checkout?

  3. Excellent post and very interesting and Nice article.Keep posting this kind of stuff

  4. Every body complains about Paypal. I have used Them for years. And The last 2 Years They have improved 100%. When ever i have a problem i call the direct number, Because im a high seller with them, They our always so kind and they always go out of there way to help me.

  5. “run, Forest, run!”

    Seriously agree w/most posters here… paypal sucks… rip off criminals who make up their own rules as they go along… their slogan should be “customer be damned, we own you, beotch!”… b/c they’re not governed nor held accountable by anyone and they think people don’t know there are other payment methods besides them… they are *not* a bank and randomly select accounts to freeze and/or close…

    I’ve only heard these horror stories (thank goodness!), and in 13 years of online sales, they’ve only stolen $180.00 from me, but that was more than enough… I have disabled them from every web site and store I have… people are just fine with trusting the name “google checkout” and 9 out of 10 sales were already being processed through them anyway… so I said “see-ya!” to paypal… lol 🙂

    My vote is NOT to paypal 🙂

    Good luck!

  6. Use ClickBank instead. Their system is good, representative is extremely helpful, and you can even run affiliate programs with them.

  7. I discovered a different problem using Paypal to pay. In Europe they have an arbitary 10 transaction limit (that is not evident in terms and conditions to sellers on the free paypal business account) if someone wants to pay by credit (without signing up for a paypal account0. But they market the account to businesses saying you can take credit cards without customers having to sign up. So small businesses will lose business when their customers who don’t want to sign up decide not to buy = and they will think it is the seller making false claims. I had an unused (I thought I had cancelled it) paypal account so it kept trying to force me to use it. I thought if I cancelled it the problem would be solved but no – my account is no longer live (so they won’t talk to me because account is closed) but they don’t remove my details and my credit card details from their system! When I complained by phone I was told in no uncertain terms that that was tough, and if I tried to contact Paypal in the US that I would be automatically re-directed back to the European Call centre and to the very smug chap I was talking to. They are only interested in money and control and not their users and customers. Good luck with the campaign and finding a really good alternative.

  8. I never had any problem with PayPal both as a buyer and seller ever since. Hopefully your problems can be resolved soon.

  9. Thats an e-commerce problematic situation. There’s always a hole in every move we make.

  10. Hmmmm… Some interesting comments about Paypal.

    Being new (two years) to online retaling, we had to make a decision as to which payment platform to use and chose Paypal simply because we had used it for purchases over the previous six years, with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

    This included payments to countries all over the World and so, as we want to sell globally, it made perfect sense to chose a platform that (from experience) we knew worked. That is not a decision we have regretted in any way – Paypal has worked for us and, on the one occasion there was an issue, it was resolved quickly and efficiently.

    We also wanted a platform that did not commit us to anything and, in that respect, Paypal fitted the bill plus, as another respondant pointed out, Paypal is a name that a huge number of people know (and trust).

    Whether we like eBay and Paypal or not, like MS, they are probably here to stay. That doesn’t mean we should have to ‘put up and shut up’ and I think it is dispicable that they should treat any customer badly.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I cannot believe, nor will I subscribe to the theory that they are part of some conspiracy.

    If you know their subscription service is flakey, don’t use it! If everyone stops using it, then they might take notice and I am sure, as Moonchild said, making 4 x payments a year is not much of a challenge – is it??

    Just one final note though…

    Paypal is the only payment system we use and, over the last couple of months, we seem to have a growing number of potential customers who complete an order, go to the payment page and yet do not complete the transaction. We have reached the point where we have to question why this is happening and the only reason we can come up with is that people do not want to use Paypal.

    So now we have a dilema… We need to add another Payment Platform but who?

    Google Checkout looks good and so does Amazon Payments but, if my memory serves me right, you need to be based in the USA, with a US address (please correct me me if I am wrong). We are also looking at a couple of others but none of them (and especially NOT Western Union – very bad idea as costs are pornographic!) seem as simple or cost-effective.

    Anyway, that’s my 6d worth (and if you remember what 6d was, you’re older than you admit!) – not much help, just a few opinions to add to the mix.

    Keep safe, keep well, keep busy!

  11. Pingback: Account Specific Paypal IPN Issues |
  12. Despite people’s complaints about PayPal and screaming bloody murder about it, I personally have had no issues with them with normal payments.
    Subscriptions is regularly problematic, and I stay away from giving Paypal partners to automatically pull money out of my account. It’s convenient, but also broken, and has very little in terms of security attached (no limits on amount, etc.).

    Do keep PayPal payments in place, please. Having to log in once a month as a result from a payment request and confirming payment gives people full control over their money, and only takes 15 seconds to do. Asking for larger amounts in lump sums ahead of time is opening up a can of worms, too, since then you have to put a refund system in place if people want to stop their subscription mid-term — I’d suggest not making the terms more than quarterly. That’s logging in 4x a YEAR. No need to get more lazy 😉

    As an alternative I would suggest Moneybookers.

    Other services that have been suggested that are, IMO, NOT SUITED are: Alertpay (doesn’t seem to be well regulated), Clickbank (not a monetary institution in any way, no security), Westen Union (insane fees, no security for refunds)

    Just my $0.02 from years of own experience.

  13. Artfire ( was recently having a similar problem and with their new subscriptions are requiring credit card payments instead of subscriptions through PayPal for this reason as well as the inability to easily export and track such records with PayPal’s current services.

    If you are looking for a popular, well used online payment method like PayPal, you might look into either Amazon Payments or Google Checkout. I’ve heard good things about both.

    – Gilliauna

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