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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. Here’s a radical concept: adjust your expectations. From the tone of the notices you have published, your company seem to be firmly in the camp that expects to receive poor service from Paypal, that expects that it is going to mess up again some time in the future and that it is too difficult or impossible to fix the problem. I see this happen over and over again… have an expectation and Lo and Behold, look what happens!

    I dare you to experiment with shaping a different reality by just adjusting what you CAN control: expectations and projections. I know people will label this suggestion as ridiculous and wacko, but it really does work. I happen to really like Paypal and think they offer a really great service and I have never had anything but good support and great responses from them. My customers all really like that they can make their payments with Paypal because they perceive it as safe, convenient, reliable and a great value.

    I like to use Paypal whenever possible as opposed to CC because I like the way they have made it easy for micro businesses like mine to operate globally. Overall, I’d say my customers (and myself) trust it and like the low fees. Speaking for myself, I also really dislike the Mega McBanking industry as an institution and try to not use them as much as is reasonably possible.

    An alternative suggestion would be to find other services you like better and offer those to your customers and tell them why you prefer other, non-Paypal methods of payment, but still allow customers to choose to use their Paypal account for payments if they prefer. You may loose more customers than anticipated if you unplug from Paypal completely.

    Your last incident was two and a half years ago. Is two and a half years between incidents really such a “poor” record? My car goes in the shop more often than that but I don’t want to chuck it out and get a new one as soon as something breaks down or needs attention.

    Paypal has a lot of cache in the global community. Why? It must be doing something right.

  2. Howdy,
    This is not easy to answer.

    From a business perspective I think you have to consider continuing with Paypal.

    Revenue comes from your customers – so you have to keep them happy. If Paypal payments have been popular as a percentage of your business, I don’t think you have a lot of choice if the issue is annoying but only affects a small percentage of paypal payments.

    To change if it is a small scale problem is crazy – you have to make things messy for a lot of your customers. How you feel about paypal makes no difference to this – customer focus.

    If the Paypal issue is affecting a large number of your customer payments then your customer service will suffer. This threatens the relationship with your customers – then that is the grounds for looking at alternatives.

    You have to look at the whole thing from the customer point of view.

    Best wishes with this issue.

    Michael Storer

  3. Our own business only deals with financial organizations that are governed by banking industry and FTC standards-PayPal is not governed by anyone but their own bottom line.
    Drop PayPal, we did about 9 years ago and the only thing you will miss are the headaches. You do not need PayPal to continue being successful-we are living proof of that. 🙂

  4. So long as we can pay by credit card then there’s no problem. Check or wire transfer isn’t really an option for us as we’re not in the US and trying to get US$ checks or international wire transfers costs a bomb. But I see you accept credit cards separate to Paypal so we have no problem with going that route 🙂

    Good luck getting anything sorted with paypal for those people who’ve already used that route though!

  5. I’ve not had problems with them either and have been using them for many years. Many of my own clients pay me via that option. Being in Australia and not having USD or EUR as my currency I don’t want to be incurring any extra charges for conversions. Paypal has been convenient and easy to use.

  6. Eliminate paypal. Your are not the only one to have problems with them, as they’ve ignored my legitimate requests also.
    Use a credit or debit card like most sites.
    Thanks for a great service.

  7. I have been a paypal member for 11 years and a Statcounter member for at least 5. (maybe 6). I am not currently a “premium” member, but have been in the past and will be again I”m sure, in the future.

    I have only had one incident where I needed to contact paypal and did have a hard time getting some answers. My problem was eventually solved, but I remember it being a nightmare in the process.

    Paypal is owned by Ebay for anyone that didn’t know that.

    I do not have any problems paying you, Statcounter, directly using a Visa or Mastercard Debit or Credit card. I am not concerned with “people finding my info out” I pay all my bills online and do plenty of online shopping.

    Another option for those that don’t have a bank debit card or credit card is a re-loadable prepaid debit card. They can be bought at most drugstores, gas stations and convenience stores. I used to use Green Dot, formerly called “Truth” card. I didn’t have a bank account for a long time and I have found Green Dot to be the most economical and most convenient. http://www.greendotonline.com

    I do hope you get your Paypal problems solved !!

  8. I have not experienced any problems with Paypal in either of my companies and I have been using Paypal for at least 8 years, but in answer to your question AMEX would be the best option for me.

  9. I no longer use PayPal for anything – they are the pits. I’ve had very good luck with both Google and Amazon payments so you might check them out. And of course offering your own Visa/MC/Amex etc payment option would be great too.

  10. This deeply concerns me, and as we were preparing to open our own storefront using PayPal as the sole payment option, I am now reconsidering.

    I don’t mind paying using Visa…perhaps if you explain (just a link and brief description) why you are not using PayPal to future customers, it will go over better with them.

  11. I have never ever had an issue nor problem with PayPal. In fact they have recovered money for me from a swindler. I do not give my credit card details to anyone else. Sorry.

  12. Only once in 7 years have we run up against a technical issue that couldn’t be answered immediately, but by requiring that they transfer us to first escalations, and then to technical support, we assured that we would be kept “in the loop” as to progress. And we were. We got regular e-mails from the technical guys as they worked through the issue, until it was resolved.

    From a merchants POV, who has tried most of the other options similar to Paypal and had horrendous issues, up to and including massive identity theft (which my business insurance had to pay out on) using a “world pay” type of online merchant program, not to mention the fees associated, as well as regular merchant options, where they keep your money for days, charge you a million piddly little fees, and essentially take a quarter of your income.

    We’re on one of PayPal’s lowest fee percentages, and pay no gateway fees, chargeback fees, maintain no “deposit balance”, and get our money the minute someone deposits it.

    There’s not a service in the world, online, or merchant, that can beat that.

    I’ll pay by whatever method you institute I suppose, but I think you need to think past your anger at the moment and consider how many years you’ve been in business, using Paypal, and how many real issues you’ve had. Then compare that to how many times your company may have had a glitch or two, and whether you believe it would be fair for your customers to get up and move away en mass. ALL technical companies have glitches. 2 in several years seems extremely minor to me considering some of your alternatives.

    Me personally? I wouldn’t give them up for the world, despite being irritated at them a time or two myself.

    But that’s JMHO…

    Cheers!

    kim

  13. I use the Paypal, but I’d be fine if you removed it as long as you offered Google Checkout instead.

    Thank you for taking the time to ask for your customers opinion. Impressive.

  14. PayPal has tried to screw me over more than once with shady claims of account misuse and such. Still have a couple hundred dollars in a sunk account they won’t let me access. Just scratch PayPal and use a different solution.

  15. Hi guys
    The fact that you contact us to give input/opinions into an issue that most folks would have just flicked is a testament to your brilliance. Thank you.
    You do what you need to do, we are still behind you 100%.
    What ires me is if they treat a large account as yourselves with such disdain what hope do us little people have.
    Good luck

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