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. Power tends to corrupt; absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.
    Paypal suffers from being the largest player in town and their arrogance shows. As far as those suggesting Google as an alternative, kindly re-read the quote. Google’s customer service for Ad Sense, Ad Words, etc. if nonexistent. For the same reason Paypal feels they can’t or want provide effective customer service.
    That being said, I’ve had issues with both companies. My issue with Paypal was resolved, albeit slowly. For Google, searching and posting on forums is the ONLY way I’ve received any answers at all.
    Quite frankly, I’m surprised StatCounter isn’t in a position to get their own merchant account to accept CC payments. Just shows you how misleading the Web can be. 🙂

    1. Hi Jake,

      We do have our own merchant account and accept VISA, Mastercard and AMEX (for EUR payments) directly – we explain this in our blog.

      HOWEVER many people still WANT to pay with Paypal and we are trying to best cater for the needs of that section of our members.

  2. Paypal is just so overused, I’m surprised they do not favor a big company like yours because in the past, it has been my experience that they(paypal) is out to protect their largest net profiteers and care less so for the little sellers like me, I offer paypal as an option but I also offer people a discount for using Alert Pay instead, that’s how fearful or spiteful I am about Paypal taking money away from me, blocking my account, etc. for reasons that are just not acceptable as disputes, yet they do it against me constantly and never do it FOR me when I need to complain.

    So, personally, I’m more upset about constant chargebacks by people for the most ridiculous complaints, but when I complain about a place like godaddy completely misrepresenting what their Hosting packages include, Paypal refused to give me a refund. Like, Godaddy literally lies about what they offer and I can’t get a refund, while I am 100% upfront about what my website ad spaces offer and how I can’t force people to click on banners etc (thats not what you are paying for etc), and I see people charge back their orders within 2 days!!! Like, who orders long term advertising and wants their money back in 2 days? Scammers, scammers that Paypal gives precedence in almost every dispute over legitimate businesses like me.

    I even wrote to them saying essentially, “you are designed to protect scammers I will be using you much less” and never got a rsponse, and I do $1000’s in monthly business with them, I wonder what you guys (stat counter) must earn for them.

    It’s just amazing how easily they are willing to totally block access to my account for anyone trying to pay me when there’s the tiniest dispute, thousands of dollars in other deals in limbo because of Paypal’s lackadaisical attitude toward small sellers.

    It really is a blight to their entire brand name which is in Mud to begin with for many people around the world.

    I’d say this to StatCounter staff, why not offer a discount for using alternative payment methods, no matter how small, just out of spite of Paypal, 100’s of weekly payments no longer going to them should REALLY catch their attention. What is StatCounter’s Alexa rank? 174? You are one of the most visited sites on earth and they can’t fix this problem for you within a few days let alone 5 weeks?

    My solution.
    Offer alternatives, let the money faucet dry out a little for them, they will wake up and help you, if not, it proves no ones home at Paypal because who would OPT to lose so much business? Imagine being the one person at Paypal that lost the company literally thousands of revenue (every day maybe) from StatCounter customers, wow, heads will roll!

  3. Hi … I’m not wed to Paypal, it’s mostly convenient. I’m good to pay via American Express or another credit, if absolutely necessary. My concern is maintenance and development of your high quality service. drgeorgep

  4. Don’t blame you for wanting to get away from the PayPal/eBay behemoth – I’ve had problems with them, too, and received absolutely no help from them in resolving things – they just don’t care.

    ProPay is a great system that I use on my own websites to collect credit card payments – very low annual fee and per-charge fee, no minimums or monthly quotas, ability to take credit card payments from anywhere in the world, no credit checks or anything to set up your account, and I’ve never had a problem with them:

    You have to have your own shopping cart system to collect the info, I use Mal’s e-commerce, very flexible and allows you to take multiple forms of payment (including PayPal). Also free, unless you want to use their upgraded system.

  5. First off, given the response I got when I queried why it was my upgraded account with Statcounter wasn’t getting the full service that new accounts were getting – followed by the years it took you to sort that one out, I think you’re hardly in a position to complain.

    My preference is PayPal. I’ve nver had any problems with it. If you withdrew PayPal I’d probably close my account.

    My suggestion – require customer service standards of others equivalent to those that you deliver to your own customers

  6. I have, in the past, had issues with PayPal not responding to my concerns as well. I’ve also had an opportunity (HA!) to deal with their customer support people. Not a good experience at all!

    I would be OK with MasterCard or VISA.

    Thanks for the information

  7. I am ok with PayPal, but concerning Statcounter, I am very okay also with direct credit card charge… I like so much about Statcounter… Aodhan: Thanks Once More for Your Excellent Servises !!!

  8. I have never found an advantage to me by using PayPal. I only use it when required by a vendor or service provider. Dump them, if they not an advantage to your business – or worse costing you money – fire them.

  9. I use Paypall only occasionally and only when a debit/credit card transaction is not available. Why use a middleman. Moreover, I had an unfortunate experience with them several years ago while traveling abroad, in a country they would not honor: Morocco. Even though payments were directed to Bank America. I support your reticence.

  10. Hello there,

    I believe with your older clients, it will not make a huge difference because we have all been working with you for some time now and trust is not a factor. But for your new business, if people have never heard of StatCounter and not sure how reputable you are, they would feel more comfortable paying with PayPal, rather than anything else.

    For your older clients, PayPal is just a very convenient way of payment. I would say try to fix the issue because I see this as a loss of business opportunities fo you guys.

    Kind regards,
    Ashkan Sobhe
    IT Chair, Inc.

  11. Although I have used Paypal for personal and business use for over a decade, I have to say that I have never been happy with their responses to issues.

    I suppose some folks may be happy with Paypal, but wait until they have an issue that needs attention. Good luck!!!

    We have lost business due to Paypal’s poor service and super slow response time, and we have lost clients.

    Our payment disputes with Paypal go unresolved until we finally just give up trying.

    Paypal operates as inefficiently as the old phone companies used to. Much like government. They are a tired old company that forgot to keep up with the times. It’s time Paypal is revamped, all the top management FIRED and a new team is brought in.

    So much more to share on this subject, but I think you get a pretty good idea that not having Paypal as a payment method on SC will not upset me in the slightest.


  12. As Molly said, Paypal is the 600 pound gorilla. I’ve had some issues with Paypal over the years, especially when I moved to an European country from the US. I too have found PP’s customer “service” inadequate. If you want to drop it, that would be fine by me. Credit card or Google Checkout, either way.

  13. Yes Paypal is really behind in terms of interface. And their customer service is a typical corporate one, self-satisfied, incompetent, and of course the guys in the customer service are not given any responsibility. The famous message saying that you may be recorder “for training purpose” is the very signal of an awful customer service.

    We use Paypal as many US clients pay us through them. But I experienced month during errors to access our interface, which resolved only with a claim in Luxembourg.

    For my own you can drop it, as a customer I don’t need it and I know how poor is their service.

  14. and
    I wanted to upgrade, but your possibility of paying with creditcard is not done on a secure page.
    I just don’t like to do payments via unsecured pages.

    Kind regards,


    1. Daan,

      Our payment pages are ALL https – we would never ask our members to submit card details otherwise!

  15. I’ve never had any problems with PayPal but probably 80% of my transactions with them have been through EBay.
    I would imagine your situation with PayPal’s customer service has been infuriating.
    While I prefer to pay for goods and services with PayPal, I would still continue to be a StatCounter customer if CC became my only option.

  16. There has been no problem with Paypal taking out my payments to Statcounter and there have been no problems with my upgrade. I have had no problems with paypal in all the years I have used them. I don’t know what you want to do, I suppose I could use a credit card or find another counter.

    1. Hi BC,

      Did you read the last line of this blog?

      Please note that existing, active Paypal subscriptions are not affected by the suspension of Paypal on StatCounter – this affects NEW subscriptions only.

      So although your existing subscription is working – you will not be able to set up a new (Paypal) one if you want to change your upgrade and in this case we are looking to find out the alternative payment options (in addition to the ones we currently provide) that we can offer our members.


  17. Google should have kicked them in the teeth but the sad reality is that ebay and paypal rule. Theirs is an abhorrent monopoly.

    Direct CC is good for me.

  18. One could fill books with all the stories of bad customer service, dubious transactions and inexplicable account closings (with a side order of bigotry) by PayPal that are floating around the internet…

    Unfortunately, being the 600 pound gorilla in online payments gives them the liberty to do as they please. Personally, I wouldn’t mind to pay directly with my CC, as I’ve used Statcounter for a long time now and am very happy with both counter and service. Quarterly payments would be fine for me as well.

    As for other options, I can only speak for the EU here. Bank transfers are possible without any extra charges for recipient and customer if the correct IBAN number is used. That might be an option and secure extra funds, seeing how many charges PayPal and CCs cut off the payment.

  19. PayPal works for me – sorry about your problem and can undertsnd your frustration. I have not received any other feedback from other sites that use PayPal. I hope it can be straightened out and that I can continue to use PayPal. But – I can live without it.

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