Sometime around May 16 a bug appeared in PayPal’s subscription payments page that stops people from paying if they live in a different country than the site collecting the money. The original complaint and discussion about it are here. More discussion here.
We’ve been hearing about it for a few days now, but bugs generally aren’t big news and we don’t cover them except in unusual circumstances.
Here’s what makes this different – it’s been going on for nearly ten days now, and the bug appears to be nothing more than a small issue with a drop down menu (see video above). A couple of days ago PayPal took the time to note the bug, but still no fix. People are starting to get really angry about it.
It appears that they simply aren’t storing the value of the country when a user changes it, a very simple thing to change, perhaps a single line of code. In fact, it probably took them longer to write the blog post noting the bug than it would have taken to simply fix it. The most likely explanation for the ridiculous amount of time it has taken to fix it: it’s probably stuck in a bug queue, and has to wait its turn. Meanwhile, PayPal merchants are losing money.
One merchant comment sort of says it all:
It’s staggering that PayPal has not fixed this most basic payment issue immediately. I contacted support when I received the first customer complaint about five days ago and PayPal support already knew about the error but could not provide an estimated time to fix it. Clearly PayPal cannot be relied upon to provide a stable payments system.