PayPal glitch still causing headaches for eBay Sellers

By Dan Wilson January 29, 2013 - 11:11 am

As many of you noted on Monday, there was a glitch yesterday morning that meant that buyers and sellers were not receiving notification that successful payments were being made to eBay sellers via Paypal.

This resulted in some sellers not knowing that they had been paid and some buyers making multiple payments. eBay have stressed that this was not a universal issue and not everyone was impacted (which will be cold comfort to those who were).

Even though the glitch has been resolved, sellers are still having to deal with the fall out and we’ve had quite a number of emails from frustrated eBay sellers. We’ve tried to get to the bottom of who was affected and what remedial efforts eBay Inc. are undertaking to make good on the problem.

PayPal have released this statement:

“For 3 hours on Monday morning UK time (approximately 7am to 9:45am), PayPal experienced a technical issue where a small proportion of customers made duplicate transactions when they did not receive a notification that their original payment went through. This issue has been resolved. All customers will be refunded for duplicate transactions as soon as possible. We are sincerely sorry that this happened to these customers and we will work with every one of them to put things right.”

So, what to do? The only completely accurate statement a seller will have of who has paid is your PayPal account so it will be worth double-checking there that everything is in order. It’s worth noting that even people who are using management software have been affected too.

Secondly, if you have refunded people people already keep a close eye on your account that PayPal don’t automatically refund them again leaving you out of pocket.

We’d be very interested to hear what your experiences have been with this glitch.

  • Mark Townsend
    5 years ago

    I am a seller but the impact on me was as a buyer sourcing goods from a US supplier whose payment system went down.

    Being unaware of the issue, I absent mindedly made multiple payments but still the order showed as NOT_AUTH (PAYPAL).

    When their customer service came in the next day, it was all sorted out and refunds made within minutes so a happy ending for me.

  • Mark Townsend
    5 years ago

    Hmmm, the comments system truncated my comment and removed 2 links.

    I can only assumme that URLs are not allowed.

    • 5 years ago

      URLs are allowed.

      eBay made this announcement.

      PayPla have also been posting on Facebook:

      This from today: PayPal apologises to its customers for the transaction issues which they experienced on Monday and for the inconvenience caused. The technical issue has been resolved and PayPal will proactively contact every customer who was affected and refund their duplicate transactions as soon as possible.

    • Mark Townsend
      5 years ago

      URLs are allowed in the body of the comments?

      Even wierder.

      I pasted in the URL of the PayPal developer site status page and a 3rd party site that tracks down time and each time I tried, my comment was cut at the first URL.

  • Robin
    5 years ago

    We’ve only been affected in a small way so can count our blessings we were able to get it dealt with quickly, but this is slightly different to what’s been stated.

    Yesterday morning at 7.50am we sold an item, and got a notification that the item had been paid for. A little later, whilst checking for items requiring invoices, we noticed the item sitting in awaiting payment, with no Paypal transaction link. A quick check confirmed payment had been received, so I printed the order, and marked it manually as paid and dispatched. The item was dispatched later in the day.

    This morning, with no notification, the payment was reversed. Only way I found this out was through sending invoices to other customers and found it sitting in awaiting payment again. This time there was a transaction link, but this redirected to the order details. The refund icon was also present. A quick check in our PP account confirmed that Paypal had reversed it.

    According to the Paypal rep, they were refunding all duplicated payments. When I pointed out that we hadn’t received any duplicates, she stated that the initial attempt had been denied so they were refunding ALL payments affected, duplicated or not.

    We have managed to contact the customer and they’ve repaid fortunately.

  • 5 years ago

    It didn’t just effect ebay we lost all our payments on our websites and for us this wasn’t fixed until around 9.30pm! No help from paypal what so ever!

  • Chris
    5 years ago

    Buyer paid for a single item 3 times

    We noticed straight away and manually refunded 2 of the 3 payments at about 11am yesterday

    Posted the item yesterday afternoon.

    Awoke this morning to find PayPal had reversed/refunded the buyer for the 3rd payment early this morning leaving us with no payment what so ever.

    1st call to PayPal – CS stated to ask buyer to send payment through again and there was nothing else they could do. I wasn’t happy with this!

    2nd call to PayPal – CS stated that I hadn’t refunded the correct transactions .. how was I to know which 2 of the 3 I should have refunded??? But this time they did offer to send an email to buyer explaining what had happened and also copy me in. I reeived the PayPal email but alas they got the email message wrong by stating that they had paid only twice, seller had manually refunded one and PayPal had refunded the other.

    3rd call to PayPal – Explained to another CS person that their email was wrong so she sent another to the buyer correctly stating that they had paid 3 times, the seller had manually refunded 2 of them and PayPal had refunded the 3rd.

    So I have already sent an item to the buyer and currently have no payment. Lets see what happens!

  • JIM
    5 years ago

    Have refunded duplicate payments but still charged 20p per transaction fee by PayPal , am awaiting reply from them

  • Rich
    5 years ago

    I had one customer pay me 5 times, a substantial transaction too. So I refunded 4 of them. Then last night he paid again.
    One women got stressed out and must have mailed me 3 or 4 times basically not listening to any answer I gave.
    A Russian customer paid twice and asked for one to be refunded which is what I did, and then Paypal reversed the remaining transaction.
    It doesn’t take much to cause chaos!!
    But I always send from the Paypal ledger anyway, so I simply postponed processing for 24 hours and went back to it today. No one is getting one for free that’s for sure.

  • Darren
    5 years ago

    ebay just seems to be full of bugs nowadays. Its not good for business. It just eats into time…time is money ebay.

  • JD
    5 years ago

    There is a UK General Announcement. Headed:

    ‘Continuing seller difficulties ….. ‘

    Blerdy sellers have always been difficult!

  • Tony
    5 years ago

    This is scary for other reasons too – if it can happen to PayPal, it can happen to any financial institution.

    But the take-home messages for me are a) Withdraw your money from PayPal as often as possible – perhaps once or twice per day depending on your turnover; b) remove alternative funding (including your bank details immediately after making a withdrawal) so they can’t steal money from you; c) if something like this happens again, wait until the dust settles before manually refunding anyone.

    • Clarky
      5 years ago

      Be very wary of taking money out 2 times a day, you may find yourself with a rolling reserve as it could be perceived as dodgy behavior

    • Tony
      5 years ago

      Actually, that’s a very good point, thanks for raising that one. I have noticed the beginnings of that, in that my first withdrawal of the day goes through fast but the nest one gets a 24-hour hold. Seems we’re not allowed to access our own money!

      But yes, the take-home message is to withdraw funds once per day.

  • duncan
    5 years ago

    We have been affected by this so called ‘glitch’ twice this week. The first time PayPal tried to take a £1300 payment 15 times so we ended that day with a negative balance of over £19500. After four phone calls to PayPal it was eventually rectified although our eBay fees were postponed and a few other minor issues. There has now been a further glitch on Friday and we’re currently £9000 in the red even though we should in fact have a £3000 balance. Paypal have been nothing short of useless when taking to their customer services and they fail to see that if this problem isn’t rectified early this week our company could very well go to the wall.

Recent Comments

2 hours ago
Northumbrian: this delivery of letters to everyone means nothing royal mail also used stage...
2 hours ago
BigRich: So the overtime that's done regularly ... is that at normal pay, or at a...
2 hours ago
Debbie: In my office you have to look on the floor for a rubber band there’s...
3 hours ago
alan paterson: @ Gary Harber - that was quite a rant Gary.......and a bit off topic. Dan's...