back to article Paypal glitch hits merchants with 12-day headache

PayPal customers are up in arms as a series of fresh glitches cost them time and money. Once again, eBay's inability to accurately say when the problem might be fixed is adding insult to injury. The most serious malfunction affects what's known as the "handling_cart," a feature within the PayPal shopping cart that tacks on …


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  1. Pyros


    Raise your hand if you've saw this one coming.

  2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Papal Glitch

    [quote]Alan Hatch says he's prepared to work around the problem by removing handling cart fees from a site he maintains, but that will require a God-awful amount of work.[/quote]

    This is nothing to do with the death of Constantine, the Life of Lucrezia Borgia or events in Tudor England is it?

    Therefore it must be something to do with Kopernic and Galileo.

    or Adolph Hitler.

    I can see the work god is in for but what is the cart-handles thing about?

  3. Darren7160
    Paris Hilton

    Nothing on their site?

    I find it interesting that there is nothing on their site. If I hadn't read this article I could be setting up an account at this moment that would cause me to loose money as soon as I started receiving orders. Hmmmmm.

    Shouldn't there be a front page announcement that vendors could refer the customer to that would verify that it was a PayPay error and not the vedor's?

    Oh wait! How stupid of me. That would require respect of the PayPals customer and honesty... not a high commodity in today's business environment. Deny, deny, deny.

    Why not Paris?

  4. heystoopid


    A truly evil bunch of blood suckers and vampires , deliberately operating outside all commercial laws !

  5. Aubry Thonon

    Bloody ridiculous

    And yet, eBay wants to make PayPal effectively mandatory in Australia.

  6. eddiewrenn

    A shame.

    I was a big fan of PayPal when it came about - ebay purchases and payments like web-hosting became a breeze and I kept thinking I would happily bank with them. Until two weeks ago I was still a fan, although I use it less frequently, but this is a worry.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    A PayPal Spokesman...

    ..Dick Turpin, said "we are working on the problem as fast as wel can, meanwhile we ask all customers to stand and deliver!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    international orders update

    huh? i wonder if there's something sketchy in the background happening related to tracking they are doing nefariously for international transactions. big brother telling them to not say anything?

  9. Pooka

    They've got an odd view of "international"

    Forgive me for being an idiot - but according to the article it only happened if the company and the customer were in different countries. If that's the case is Bristol in a different country from Newcastle?

    We placed an order with a company and noticed the handling charge vanished when we confirmed it but wasn't sure what was going on. Thanks for the heads up on this one, El Reg.

    (Smiley, 'cus, ya know, it might mean I'm not in the same country as Manchester)

  10. Jason Clery

    Bollocks to ebay

    Bollocks to Ebay and their soon to be compulsory Paypal only. I'm off to eBid.

  11. Tim Schomer

    What I don't understand is...


    ... why the hell they have to keep messing with the format of everything. It seems that every month or so the payments page changes completely and without warning, it's a free invitation to anyone who wants to rip off login details since no-one's quite sure what the page is supposed to look like anyway.

    What they really need to do is get the bugs out (OK, make it secure at least) and then LEAVE IT ALONE until they have THOROUGHLY tested the updated system they intend to put in its place, then inform users that there will be a change, along with offering them the option of staying with the old layout for a while.

    It's a miracle the banks let them stay in business!


  12. Anonymous Coward


    So if a bank had some kind of similar problem, they'd be compensating their ultra-valuable business customers quicker than you could shake a martini. Paypal, on the other hand, who's cash cow is probably still eBay will probably just say "sorry, our bad" and refuse to compensate. It's fucking outrageous.

  13. Naich
    Jobs Horns

    What sort of monkeys work for them?

    Two weeks to fix the bug? Have you actually seen what this bug is? When you change the country from a drop-down box, the page is refreshed but the new value isn't remembered.

    That's it.

    It's about, ooh, let's err on the side of caution here and say one line of code that needs changing or adding. Good grief.

    Need a useless monkey icon. I've picked the closest thing I could see.

  14. Cameron Colley

    Can't even leave them...

    I just hope wiping out my credit card details did the trick, at least that seems to have stuck, even if I can't cancel the account to stop the container loads of spam "confirmations" that are currently capsizing my ISP mail.

    This rat, for one, is getting of the good ship PayPal for good -- thank fuck it's just email confirmations and not 2000 £10 transactions, I suppose.

    Mine's the survival suit with the pockets stuffed with shark repellent.

  15. Adrian
    Paris Hilton


    Doesn't VIsa etc have some sort of standard that their users have to adhere to ? Seems Paypal is not playing ball.

    Paris, because their is no eBay icon for when they do public gaffes (although at this rate I suggest to El Reg to get one designed)

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Once again it must be said

    PayPal is not a bank - much less your pal.

    A bank must conform to a charter, is under surveillance and has the duty of managing your money for you and making it available to you on request. The only way a bank can refuse to give you money on your account(s) is because of a court order.

    PayPal, on the other hand, can and routinely does lock down your account as soon as "suspicious bahavior" (ie anything PayPal doesn't like) occurs. When this happens, you have no recourse because PayPal is NOT a bank and HAS NO OBLIGATION to give you your money. And contacting support is a nightmare.

    When I understood that, I struck PayPal off the list of companies I was willing to do business with. Sorry, but the pimp next door is just as reliable as PayPal and works the same way - he gets off his arse if and when he feels like it.

    That is no way to do business.

  17. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)


    You can't have an eBay icon. You'll get what you're given.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Once again it must be said

    PayPal UK became PayPal UK because it was required to subscribe to the FSA, just like banks. At least for us in the UK, we're covered in that respect.

  19. g e
    Thumb Down


    Are they really not compensating the merchants for this? Perhaps only outside UK seeing as we have the FSA to thwack them about a bit with..

  20. Kevin Reader

    Thoughts and Corrections...

    As I recall Paypal_UK became Paypal_Switzwerland a while ago. There was considerable suspicion that this was because UK users had become better at using the FSA as a stick to beat them with. The swiss are only half way inside the EU and so paypal can avoid a lot of EU and UK regulation this way.

    This is another example - there have been many - of where Paypal or Ebay roll out a change without:

    a) having apparently tested it - at all it would appear or very badly

    b) with no partial roll out - just some servers on the farm

    c) with no roll back possible - they can't or won't put the old one back

    d) seeing if users actually like or need the change.

    Its change for change sake for marketting & sales purposes. And apparently they never care if it does not work. Really its like they have only one developer and that's the owner's nephew so he can do no wrong.

    I've done non-realtime banking and accounting (even in 1981!) and you always parallel test, volume test, compare outputs of old and new system, huge disaster/rollback planning. All the evidence suggests that Ebay have never even heard of this stuff.

    Oh and its going to be the mandatory payment method before long. I think a monopolies referal is appropriate.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Once again it must be said (again)

    Paypal moved to Luxembourg to escape all legalities like needing to be honest,truthful and respecting the money of it's customers. Funny it has a Lux' banking license but it seems that anyone can just buy one (probably got it from a Nigerian eBayer).

    Stop using Paypal - easy innit !

  22. Craig

    paypal screwed me just yesterday

    It let me pay twice for the same ebay item, which just goes to show how little checking/validation must be going on with PayPal. (Paying twice was a result of an error on their site, I'm not that much of an idiot!)

    Of course, I couldn't really contact them for any type of help. After going through several hoops trying to remedy this on their site, i got to a dead end that said because the transaction was already a done deal, there was nothing I could do but ask for a refund from the other party.

    Luckily the ebay seller was honest enough to give me my money back to PayPal, but I'm not allowed it back for several days for some reason.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Thoughts and Corrections...

    Actually, it's Luxembourg, not Switzerland, and like you say, it was probably done to make things slightly less onerous for Paypal to deal with complaints. Luxembourg used to be one of the countries where banking laws were nebulous and difficult to circumvent, but they've cleaned up their act.

    eBay Claims (for claiming back money) is based in Germany, again a nightmare for people from the UK.

  24. Jason Clery


    Anyone know the banking laws in Luxembourg and how banks are regulated? It seems Paypal moved there to avoid the FSA.

    Apparently they are also exempt for the Luxembourg banking law requiring holding a certain amount of cash/wealth because they are a "virtual" bank.

  25. James Anderson
    Thumb Down


    E-Bay owns paypal.

    E-Bay does not receive comminsion on Postage Packaging and handling charges.

    Pay-Pal stops processing Postage packaging and Handling Charges.

    Vendors put up price.

    E-Bay makes more commision.

  26. Franklin
    Thumb Up

    Paypal... the service that finally prompted me to say "screw it" and get a full-fledged credit card merchant account of my own, several years ago.

    And boy, am I glad I did. Turned out to be easier than I expected it to, I use an online transaction gateway that's never had any problems, and best of all, the various fees and expenses involved in having my own merchant account are actually lower than the fees PayPal had been charging me.

    In retrospect, I can't believe I ever bothered with PayPal in the first place.

  27. Player_16

    Australia! Australia! Australia!!!

    I can hardly wait!! Soon, my entire country will be blocked out of a payment system. And THIS is what I will be looking forward to. I hope our new government is paying attention!

    15th May? What did you do this month?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paypal does not understand VAT either

    I *STILL* don't get VAT added correctly to bills for my Euro account and Paypal have simply stopped bothering to try and fix that one.

    Last week I found that four countries were missing from the list that VAT should be applied to - but I could not add them.

    WHEN will Paypal be required to properly report VAT on transactions that they generate automatically.

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