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Chris Cardell

PayPal coders get sloppy with IPN

PayPal is now so big they often seem out of touch with their members. With a member base of over 150 million its amazing that PayPal hasn’t advanced more over such a long period of time, they have seem contented with being adequate.

PayPal has been slow to react to an IPN (instant payment notification) problem created by themselves on a small update by their developers. IPN is basically the way in which online stores can process orders automatically, because the IPN for a large amount of businesses has failed this means that these businesses are having to process thousands of orders manually and losing trust from their customers as their promise of instant processing is not met.

Over at the PayPal Developer Community Forum Anthony James exclaimed,

“All payments through IPN’s are failing now for non-USD transactions.
This is confirmed on 3 websites.
The last 400 transactions processed this evening which were not in USD have all failed ‘INVALID’.
PAYPAL.. wake up please, and solve this issue now!”

An hour later moderator Danny B responded,

“Sorry for the delay on updating this thread.
We are aware that some merchants are currently reporting INVALID IPN responses for a large amount of transactions.
Our technical teams are working diligently to resolve the issue. We will provide updates until the issue is resolved.”

Original complaints that were sent were said not to be acknowledged for over 24 hours. It boggles the mind how PayPal didn’t have a roll-back plan, how was this problem allowed to continue for so long?
Over at The Register an anonymous commenter states,

“Anybody who has had to deal with PayPal outside of making or receiving a payment will find they are a law unto themselves. I wont say anything apart from. Search in a search engine for PayPal and any other negative term and you will find lots of sites that existing solely to warn people about pay pal.

Makes for interesting readings!”

We have had some bad experiences with PayPal, however they remain the leader in payment processing for e-commerce sites and it will remain that way for months if not years before competitors like Google Checkout take a decent share of the market.

This isn’t the first time PayPal has dropped the ball, recently they were ridiculed for poor security allowing hackers to generate convincing spoof pages allowing them to steal users secure information. This certainly won’t be the last of their problems. Its simple, PayPal needs to get a grip, they are too greater part of the internet to become careless.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 18th, 2008 at 11:56 pm GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  • linux guru

    i don’t know, it has paypal written all over it.

  • blingit

    didnt realise paypal had that many members, how big are they?

  • DoesWhat

    Their the 856th most visited site according to Alexa, however I don’t know how accurate that is as nearly all of the site is SSL secured. However they are the number 1 for online payment system for e-commerce sites.

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