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 on “To Paypal or NOT to Paypal…

  1. You know, I discovered a problem with paypal recently and found them unresponsive. It affected several orders and definitely caused me problems. As far as I know, the problem was never looked into and is still ongoing. I use them to process credit card payments from customers, have for years, but am going to look at alternatives this week. I say… Dump them altogether for new subscribers. Finding alternatives is work, but ultimately, if you can find the alternatives, they deserve the business more. Shoddy customer service has an inevitable result.

  2. Join the club. I reported a problem where I got payments but no descriptions in them at all… I had to contact over 1000 customers to know what they ordered… No reply from their customer’s service except ‘all ok here’. Well, it was not all ok here! This lasted for 1 month after which it suddenly was corrected.

  3. Paypal have been working great for everyone, it is a known name for online payment processing.

    Paypal has alternatives ..
    – Alertpay
    – Moneybookers
    – Liberty Reserve

    I think payment via above processors should be considered, and paypal should be removed if it is causing the problem and taking your time.

  4. You guys are smart, and have provided a great service for years. Thus, my suggestion is…

    Launch a site that competes with Paypal.
    Obviously, somebody is going to replace Paypal, given their notorious reputation. Why not you?

    Perhaps you could focus on the subscription niche? Do one thing, and do it well.

    If that’s too ambitious, how about an All About Paypal forum, where conversations like could be continued? Would give you more leverage with Paypal, and given the topic, the Adsense income might be sweet.

    This probably won’t work, but honestly, what’s so hard about mailing a check? Your customer gives you their postal address, you send them a nice little package, which includes a stamped return envelope. Everybody pays per year. Simple, and fully under your control, no new technology needed.

    Paypal will continue to terrorize the Net so long as everybody keeps using them. I cast my vote for dumping them, like everybody else above.

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