PayPal Fixed, Price Guide Passes 15k!

Finally, five days later my inbox was flooded with the PayPal subscription payments. From what I can tell they’ve back-billed all of the customers from Thursday until this morning, and normalcy has returned to my world. Thankfully this fiasco is over.

Now comes the questions: why did PayPal wait several days before acknowledging the problem? Why wasn’t their customer service team fully aware of the issue? Why did they wait until yesterday (4 days late) to post an announcement on their blog? Why wasn’t there an announcement on the homepage so everyone could immediately be aware of the issue? And why didn’t they send an email out to all of the people the problem impacted?

For SportsLizard, it was no big deal. An inconvenience – yes. But we got our money. However, there are several people I’ve talked with that rely on payments and had their cash flow hurt significantly (a few hundred $4.99 subscriptions is nothing compared to people with a few thousand $99.99 subscriptions). I’ve also seen comments from people (these ones from the PayPal blog) that have had subscriptions cancelled by PayPal without their consent:

Ummm, it’s worse than that. You are now cancelling my subscriptions. As far as I know this is not reverseable. Your system isn’t collecting the money for a subscription and now it is cancelling the subscriptions. I have had 12 cancellation just this morning. That’s more than I usually have in a couple weeks.

And…

My web hosting firm has been unable to collect our subscription payments since yesterday. There’s a lot of angry customers too because they’re reporting their subscriptions have appeared to have been cancelled.

And…

I as well have had 5 cancelations over the period of Sep 1st 2007 – Sep 2nd 2007. 1 of these customers has messaged me back, asking why I have canceled the subscription. I pointed him to this website, and he said in his own words.
“Ah that figures, paypal at it again”
Good job guys…

Oooof.  You better fix that PayPal or risk getting slapped with a class action lawsuit.

On a much more positive note, the Price Guide passed the 15,000 registered user mark over the weekend! This is a huge accomplishment for us. We launched May 3, so it has only been live for 4 months…an average of nearly 4k/month! The first month was slow, so if we keep up that 4k/month rate that it’s been going at since then we’d sign up 48k users in the first year! I think once you start talking about having 100k+ registered users for something you enter a whole new stratosphere. On top of that, traffic and ad revenue has more than doubled each month, and again I feel like the site is pushing the limits of a “small” site and has the potential within the next year to become a very very profitable mid-size site.

Now comes the big launch of the Detailed Image site we’ve been working on since June.  That comes this week, and I can’t wait to get that monster up and running.  As always there will be a few hiccups, but once it’s on cruise control our company will really be operating at close to 100% efficiency, something we’ve all been pushing hard for.

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