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Paypal Grinds To A Halt 497

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-pal-to-pay dept.
BillBrasky writes "After a 'Monthly Software Update', it appears that PayPal started having problems. There were reports all weekend of troubles, and as of Monday night here, I can't access it at all (connection time out). One user even reported that his PayPal Debit card was getting refused!" A message on the site now says the site is expected to be back at 8:10 PM PDT, not long from now.
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Paypal Grinds To A Halt

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  • It says (Score:5, Funny)

    by phalse phace (454635) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:06PM (#10499965)
    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
    • Re:It says (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:00PM (#10500343) Homepage Journal
      Well, I got in. It looks like PayPal is responding, but REALLY slowly. A couple of points of interest:

      1. The front page is LOADED with new graphics and text.

      2. There's now a "Powered by Sun" icon on the site.

      What I'm wondering is if PayPal didn't overrun their bandwidth with new graphics and pages while simultaneously trying to upgrade the backend systems. The "intermittent problems" might have been caused by such an upgrade. Then Monday hits and they haven't completed upgrading/stress testing the system. What happens? Nose dive!

      If my theory is correct, we can expect the performance to slowly improve as PayPal gets more systems online. Also keep an eye on that front page to see if any sudden changes show up.
      • Re:It says (Score:5, Insightful)

        by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:58PM (#10500660)
        I'm wondering is if PayPal didn't overrun their bandwidth with new graphics and pages...

        I would hope we couldn't blame serving up static content as a cause; there are so many cache servers built for this task in 2004 that one would hope actual web servers never actually see these requests.

        If my theory is correct, we can expect the performance to slowly improve as PayPal gets more systems online

        Nah...if it's bandwidth-related, performance will take another hit as more systems come online and try to share a saturated pipe.

        However, if the problems WERE bandwidth related, it should be easy for eBay to diagnose; just take a meter reading of traffic before the crappy performance and another after. Likewise, it should be easy for eBay to diagnose server performance problems - just look for the spike.

        I think what is troubling to every PayPal user is not that PayPal/eBay is having problems, but that they appear to have no idea what is broken and no idea how to fix it.

      • by inKubus (199753) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @12:41AM (#10500821) Homepage Journal
        This morning I withdrew my $4.81 so I could get a pack of smokes and a cup-o-noodle.

        Guess they were depending on me to pay their internet bill!
    • Re:It says (Score:3, Funny)

      by pr0c (604875)
      Slashdotting PayPal before may have been impossible but with some problems already we can finish them off!
  • hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dougTheRug (649069) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499971) Homepage
    Maybe not the smartest place to have put my life savings?
    • Re:hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by joelanders (743036)
      Or you could claim that you had like a billion dollars in your account and it got erased...
    • Re:hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ProfaneBaby (821276)
      In all seriousness, for those of you not familiar with the problems, PayPal has a history of locking and seizing money on both sides of suspicious transactions. If someone uses a stolen credit card/account to pay you, and you don't get your money (all money, not just that transaction) out in time, you run the risk of losing all of it. Worse still, because they're "not a bank", they're not subject to the same laws as banks, and your chances of getting all of the money in the end are very, very slim.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499972)
    They have to deal with a slashdotting.
  • msnbc (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499973)
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6228586/

    msnbc also has an article about the outtages
  • by po_boy (69692) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499975) Homepage
    Get out your crystal balls. What effect do you think this will have on the share price of EBAY tomorrow? Will that constitute a buying or selling opportunity?
    • by Klar (522420) * <curchin.gmail@com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:10PM (#10500005) Homepage Journal
      Well, hardcore investors won't be able to do anything as all their money will be tied up on the paypal website.
  • by pirodude (54707) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499976) Homepage
    Yeah, so paypal.com is having issues loading. Makes sense to slashdot them too!
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:07PM (#10499977) Homepage Journal

    The first six or seven times I tried clicking through to this story slashdot told me "Nothing to see here. Move along." Problem in the subscription code?

    Anyway this was bound to happen sooner or later. There's frankly no way to test large-scale use of a resource like that because in order to REALLY test it you have to exchange a lot of data with assorted financial institutions which will probably not be very forgiving about something like that. Paypal's never given me any trouble whatsoever and I think that not being able to use it for a day or so is acceptable. Not being able to access debit card funds could be a serious blow to someone foolish enough to store a lot of money in paypal, but otherwise it should have little impact.

    • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:16PM (#10500058) Homepage Journal
      Their Dir of Ops gave the keynote at the USENIX Large Installation Systems Administration Conference last year. During the talk, he described how eBAy wants so much to use industry best practices, but given their enormous size and transaction volume, they end up being the ones who constantly push the envelope.

      After listening to the talk, one came away wondering how the site even worked at all. Every day, you are on the bleeding edge and every day if you have the slightest of hiccups, expect to have it covered in the Wall Street Journal the next day.

      I don't know what they paid that poor guy, but it isn't enough. I'm surprised he still has all his hair and it wasn't grey.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        One of my friends has interviewed at PayPal and Ebay for the SCM and Build Engineer role. Because of the merger, he interviewed with the same technical lead twice.

        A famous question is
        "How do you remove all of the directories named "TEST" from the repository?"

        Understanding best practices, the answer has always been
        "Can't we just hide them, version control is there for a reason?"

        The head of their team then explained
        "No, who would name anything TEST that they wanted to need"
        For the record he clarified that
    • by StudMuffin (167171) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:34PM (#10500173) Homepage
      Uhh, all I can say is that my business RELIES on paypal for payments, and today we have lost ALOT of business. At least $1700 in sales. Not being able to use it for a day or so is acceptable? Think outside the box. They are our primary credit card processor. Oh, btw - http://brain-station.com is our store.
      • by chegosaurus (98703) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @04:46AM (#10501533) Homepage
        > Think outside the box.

        Why must it be a box?
      • Uhh, all I can say is that my business RELIES on paypal for payments, and today we have lost ALOT of business.

        Uhh, that's your problem. Paypal has NEVER been reliable, and I *never* buy from any site/person/whatever that uses PayPal. You need to get a real credit card processor, and stop complaining. It's like complaining that you run a gravel hauling business, your Honda Civic that you used for hauling your trailer full of gravel broke down, and gosh darn it, it shouldn't! If your business RELIES o
  • by rel4x (783238) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:08PM (#10499981)
    ...most sites that rely on paypal (donations to stay up) don't really get donations anyways. Hard to bring a non-existant economic action to a halt ;-)
    hehe I'm a silly goose.
  • Woo hoo! (Score:2, Funny)

    by methangel (191461)
    This is Karma biting Paypal in the ass. Paypal, thanks for all of the overcharging and fee stacking ... bungholes.
  • Down for the count (Score:3, Informative)

    by uspsguy (541171) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:08PM (#10499989) Homepage
    I recieved a message that they were unavailable about 1 this afternoon. I was able to get back in a few minutes ago but it was majorly slow. Glad I didn't need to pay for anything today.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:09PM (#10499990)
    I just got an email from them asking me to verify my account information and it was working just fine!
  • by Thing I am (761900) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:09PM (#10499994) Journal
    The ones that tell me I need to log in to my account because of the possible security problem and the URL is to a server in Korea.
  • by LupusUF (512364) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:10PM (#10500002)
    This is just one of their ways of telling people they are not a bank. :)

    The next time they get into trouble for not following banking rules they can say

    "See, we're not a bank...banks don't crash"
    • Re:not a bank :) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inflex (123318) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:57PM (#10500322) Homepage Journal
      Humor aside, I have to say, banks do crash.

      I have a bank run ccard/merchant acceptance interface. About every week I get emails with statements like "Unscheduled down time" or "Delay in payment acceptance" etc. The key difference is that the banks are entirely accountable and the transactions do actually go through ultimately. Furthermore, you have the ability to phone them or visit them personally should you have any issues.

      Again, the key here is accountability.

      PLD.
  • by d3ity (800597) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:10PM (#10500006)
    How much negative feedback will be left on ebay due to user stupidity? The world wonders...
  • Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {gnauhc.mailliw}> on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:14PM (#10500043) Homepage
    PayPal reports problem. We slashdot them.

    I know we hate them and all, but why can't we take just a little bit of sympathy?

  • by aardwolf204 (630780) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:16PM (#10500054)


    Thats funny, I never had problems with my paypal account. I get emails all the time from them asking me to verify my account at secure websites like paypal.reallysecure.tk. Sometimes they even send me a utility, paypalbuddy.exe, to keep my computer secure. I feel a lot safer since I've installed paypalbuddy.exe, in fact I know that I'm safe because if I check my task manager I can see that paypalbuddy.exe is using 90% of my CPU to constantly encrypt my paypal traffic, even when I'm not at the computer! I forwarded this handy utility to my mother-in-law and she loves it too.

    The only thing Paypal should really focus on now is training their likely outsourced software engineers in proper grammar. Samir is constantly sending me emails about my paypal account though for some reason he can never get some english phrases right. I guess its ok though, I cant expect the entire world to speak english, and I give him an E for effort, especially on those unique poems he attaches to the end of the emails...

    Shall I share...

    Capture the magic of the season,
    Sit down, relax, and have trust in us.
    The price of portability
    upon Real Girls Business?
    Thou must medicate thyself.


    Credit where credit is due, this spam poetry [sperare.com] site rocks
  • by dtfinch (661405) * on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:16PM (#10500055) Journal
    They're just getting ready to invoke line 4531 of the service agreement (that thing in the 5 line scrollbar you agreed to) which says that if they seize your account and all the money therein you agree to settle your case through binding arbitration via email.
  • by britneys 9th husband (741556) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:16PM (#10500059) Homepage Journal
    Paypal is used for most Ebay transactions, and according to Dick Cheney, Ebay is what's keeping our economy going. I'd say more, but I need to go to the store for canned food, plastic sheeting, and duct tape.
  • No monopolies (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    for infrastructure services such as PayPal, it is essential that we have competition and choices.

    this is a valid use of government regulatory powers: NO MONOPOLIES, EVER
  • Hypothesis (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gentlewhisper (759800) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:19PM (#10500086)
    It probably happened because this ebay seller was selling bootleg dvds and the FBI seized Paypal's servers :)
  • by Dr Cool (671556) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:21PM (#10500095) Homepage
    PayPal has been having significant outage problems for people all over the world since their major website update last Thursday. Many businesses that use PayPal for financial transactions (including my own) have seen business plummet because buyers can't use PayPal's services. Ebay's web forums are going crazy because many auction buyers can't pay.

    By the way, don't trust PayPal's message that the site might be available at any specific time. They've been giving specific times all day today but for the most part, it's inaccessible through any interface... web front-end, payment processing back-end, instant payment notifications, debit cards don't work, etc.

    You can read more about the trials and tribulations of this weekend's major outage from a developer's point of view at the PayPal Developer web forum [paypaldev.org]. There are a lot of unhappy campers there!

  • Um, yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SamMichaels (213605) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:22PM (#10500107)
    A service which houses 50 million people, has billions of dollars flow through it, and is the primary payment service for the largest auction site in the world? Sounds pretty newsworthy to me, people.

    Regardless, we accept Paypal payments for our business. Didn't work all weekend...and today I kept getting errors (I think it was 30004) telling me to "retry" or "return to main page". Took a few retries, but I did get stuff done....such as transfering money out for payroll on Friday. Auction and storefront sales were down from lack of a payment service though. Debit card had activity over the weekend, so that worked fine.
    • Re:Um, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chunkwhite86 (593696)
      Regardless, we accept Paypal payments for our business. Didn't work all weekend...and today I kept getting errors (I think it was 30004) telling me to "retry" or "return to main page". Took a few retries, but I did get stuff done....such as transfering money out for payroll on Friday. Auction and storefront sales were down from lack of a payment service though. Debit card had activity over the weekend, so that worked fine.

      You are a moron if you use paypal to run a business including the payroll, of all
      • Re:Um, yeah... (Score:3, Informative)

        by SamMichaels (213605)
        You are a moron if you use paypal to run a business including the payroll, of all things.

        Paypal doesn't run the business, the owner of the company runs the business. Paypal is just one of many payment options we give our customers...and since a large portion of sales come from eBay, people find Paypal very convenient.

        Payroll isn't run by Paypal...but in order to facilitate payroll, you must withdraw funds from Paypal. It doesn't automatically sweep into our local bank account like our Linkpoint/CSI ac
  • Priceless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by peu (163472) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:23PM (#10500108) Homepage
    from the msnbc article:

    "When folks go to use their PayPal debit cards, the payment is rejected, but the charge actually goes through and PayPal is deducting the amount from their account"

    • Re:Priceless (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SamBeckett (96685) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:51PM (#10500625)
      I've had this happen to an ATM card with a real bank.. The machine spits out an error receipt and no money. You try again, it still doesn't work. Oh, damn. What the hell, I'll come back in the morning.

      Come back in the morning, works fine. Two weeks later, have a negative balance because the 1st two transactions actually went through on their end.

      It's a royal PITA to find the right people to talk to, the right forms to fill out
  • This is why.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BobSutan (467781) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:26PM (#10500127)
    "One user even reported that his PayPal Debit card was getting refused!"

    This is why real banking institutions have such stringent operational guidelines set down my the federal government in regards to information systems. This should serve as a hearty wake-up call to a great many people that have fallen under the impression that Paypal is a "real" bank, when in fact they are not.
  • PayPal 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday October 11, 2004 @10:39PM (#10500207)

    1) As soon as someone pays you, move ALL the money out of your PayPal account.

    2) To pay someone else, have payment go directly from your associated checking account. There is no need to carry a positive balance on PayPal.

    3) Don't get the goddamn DEBIT card.

    BTW, it's 8:37PT and it took almost 3 minutes to sign on. My guess is that PayPal will be hiring soon.

    • by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:49AM (#10501047)
      if you blow your credit _really_ badly (ex., if you're a man and you divorice a woman), you're probably screwed for the next 10 years. So much so that you get stuck with services like paypal for a debit/credit card. What paypal's doing (and what they've always done) is take advange of people who aren't in a position to use a normal, legitimate business. This is why they get away with the shit they do. If you're using paypay, you probably don't have a heck of a lot of (better) alternatives.
  • by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart AT gmail DOT com> on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:05PM (#10500383)
    Though a lot of posts on here are along the lines of "see...haha...paypal is not a bank!!" I for one am grateful that it isn't.

    There are a lot of people, for a variety of reasons, who have been screwed out of getting a bank account from a regular bank. Because of negative reporting on chex systems, they can't get a regular checking account at all.

    In tandem with a savings account (which you *can* sometimes get even with a bad chexsystems report) and a paypal account, you have essentially the same services of a checking account.

    I for one got screwed by my bank (5/3rd) after fraud hit my account and they refused to take responsibility for some items. Thanks to paypal I still can have checking account like abilities until I sue my bank.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:09PM (#10500412)
    PayPal is slow right now, almost as if a gaggle of geeks where checking to see if it realy was down. However, everything seems to be working.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:10PM (#10500426) Homepage
    In Europe, PayPal is regulated as an Electronic Money Institution [eu.int]. This is just enough regulation to insure there are assets behind the issuer and you can get your money out.

    In the US, New York State and Louisiana have imposed some regulatory requirements on PayPal.

    If you lost money with Paypal between 1999 and 2003, there's a class action settlement. [settlement...yments.com]

  • I'm assuming they have the same towering intellects that managed to break graphic upload functionality for all non-IE browsers no less than THREE TIMES working on Paypal now. That was very frustrating for Mac and Linux users. Even worse was the fact that they didn't announce any of these changes in advance, didn't have a fallback when they didn't work, and didn't bother to make an announcement as to what was wrong even after they knew there was a problem, leading to hundreds of frustrated forum posts, and probably hundreds of thousands of hacked off users.

    eBay doesn't seem to have learned anything from these debacles, and continues to roll out unnecessary updates with inadequate testing, resulting in previously solid functionality breaking down. Whoever is in charge of update testing over there should be sacked.

  • by halo1982 (679554) * on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:20PM (#10500486) Homepage Journal
    I was finally able to send money about 30 minutes ago, but now I have several people sending me money orders I do not want. Bah! I hate Paypal.
  • TILT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:31PM (#10500541) Homepage Journal
    Yet another reason this unregulated global banking monopoly has to get some competition, immediately. The ecommerce world cannot afford to rely on this single point of failure, either accidentally or at their discretion.
  • by coene (554338) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:44PM (#10500591)
    For those who say "if its already slow, dont slashdot it!", seems you over estimate the slashdot effect. Slashdot links may take a normal web host down, but anyone with an infrastructure built to serve a lot of traffic shouldn't even notice it.

    A site I run has been linked by Slashdot many times - aside from the number of referrals in web logs and perhaps a few mbit spike in traffic, you wouldn't know it even occured.

    PayPal is having much larger issues. I've experienced the same types of problems when doing larger upgrades - it's usually a single piece of code that went unchecked, and the odd user(s) that actually get caught in an untested (or improperly tested) segment of code are throwing the system for a loop.

    Or, just bad performance planning. I'm not surprised - these things have to happen every now and then, they're quite unavoidable when you're dealing with often changes to an infrastructure with that many _DYNAMIC_ users, and so much _DYNAMIC_ data.

    Regardless, it's a growing pain. I've been through a few of these on a 150 GB database with 2 MM users and 15 servers. PayPal is a lot larger, and they surely have much more difficult problems. Hell, if they have to do something such as change the way a single piece of data is stored, that means a lot of downtime (or slowtime) processing!

    I'm sure they'll sort it out, unfortunately lots of people are losing lots of business in the process.
  • Troubling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suwain_2 (260792) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:46PM (#10500601) Journal
    Is anyone else profoundly bothered by this?

    PayPal, which must deal handle millions of dollars a day, just goes down entirely. My real problem, though, is that they are not a real bank. (At least last time I checked) they are not FDIC Insured or anything. They could just never come back, and there's really not much anyone could do.

    Not that I expect them to run off with my money. But in situations such as, say, the whole site going down, I like to know my money's in something that's insured.
    • by JavaRob (28971) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @12:57AM (#10500865) Homepage Journal
      If you use their money market account option, your money isn't insured... but if you just have a regular PayPal balance, it actually is FDIC insured... in a way. Basically, they keep your money in a pooled account in a real bank, and you get "pass-through" FDIC insurance because of that, up to $100K.

      They explain this in detail in a link off the homepage. [paypal.com]

      It's not as good as putting your money in a bank (because your protection in case of PayPal's insolvency doesn't seem totally assured, just in the case of the *bank's* insolvency), but it's not totally unprotected.
  • Ahem... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Monday October 11, 2004 @11:50PM (#10500619) Journal
    It's not a bank, people!

    Others have said similar, I merely divert your attention to http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com]....
  • Just My Luck (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anime Man (20993) * on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @12:00AM (#10500671)
    My luck never fails me. Today I ran out of clicks, hits, or whatever Slashdot calls there subscription "points". I also ran out on another website I "subscribe" to so I figured kill two birds with one stone.

    So what do I do, I re-subscribe through paypal today and I did notice it was going a tad slow, but I didn't worry too much.

    To be honest I thought it was a recent FW upgrade on my router I did the night before acting up. I reflashed back a version and everything seemed ok.

    Anyways the issue: I was wondering why my subscription to Slashdot still wasn't showing up. My other subscription was paid within the same minute as the slashdot one, and it went through fine. Weird. As of 9:55pm PST it still hasn't "gone through" (BTW I am confident that it will be fixed and I know it's not Slashdot's fault)

    After finding out about the problem, I can only wonder if the Slashdot payment will even go through. My real concern is my bank account being screwed up, I don't want to be billed for $5 in an endless loop.
  • by wishlish (581421) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @12:36AM (#10500799) Homepage
    Went to a Wawa (it's a Philly area convenience store) to buy a sandwich for me and my wife. Total was $11, I have $15 in the account from an eBay auction I sold last week.

    Selected debit- transaction denied. Selected debit again- transaction denied. Selected credit- this time it went through. (Otherwise I was just going to pay cash.)

    When I checked my account when I got home, the balance was negative- they double-debited the transaction.

    Now, I'm not worried- even my bank has made an error or two like this, and a call to customer service tomorrow should clear things up. And even if it doesn't, it's $11.

    But I do feel very bad tonight for people depending on the money in that account. They're in a lot of trouble tonight.
  • by ErichTheWebGuy (745925) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:50AM (#10501053) Homepage
    I just read the "Jobs at PayPal" page... Some of the more interesting new openings that have been updated today:

    Director, Software Infrastructure Architecture
    Senior Software QA Engineer
    Staff Software Engineer

    Sounds to me like they're cleaning house after this one :)
  • Possible Cause (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msaulters (130992) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @01:50AM (#10501054) Homepage
    I heard a news item the other day on the radio that banks all around the country are about to begin using a new system for verification of checks and that customers could no longer count on 'floating' of check for two or three days. I'd be willing to bet PayPal was upgrading their software to support this. It's estimated this change will put $2 billion more into the banking industry each year, largely in the form of fees on bounced checks and overdraft charges. There may be more such failures in the next few weeks.
    • The "Check 21" Law (Score:5, Informative)

      by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:01AM (#10501772) Homepage

      This is the "Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act", commonly known as "Check 21". Basically it allows a bank anywhere along the path from where the check is first deposited, to its arrival for payment at your bank, to replace the paper check with a front and back image scan. The law provides that your copy of this substituted check must be treated like an original check for the purpose of things like using it as a receipt to show you paid. For example, if your landlord failed to record the fact that you paid the rent, but deposited your check anyway, the law requires this substitute check image (printed back to you by your bank) be accepted as proof the check was deposited just as the original would be.

      Banks are not required to do the image scan of checks, but they are allowed to do so. Banks are required to accept the image scan in place of those checks when the image scan gets done. If PayPal is allowing you to write checks against your account (but they would BE a bank if this happens, I'd think), they would have to update their software by October 28 to comply. More likely, if "Check 21" is an issue here, is that they may be adding some software to allow them to image scan checks made as payment to them. But the more they do like this, the closer they become to being a real bank.

      When an image scan is done, the check can be processed much faster because it can now be sent to the account holder bank electronically. This is where the "float" many people depend on can start to disappear. OTOH, your bank may be able to get funds into your account for checks paid to you that you deposit equally faster. There is a possibility that PayPal was doing things that depend on the "float". Many business and people have been doing that for years. Practices will now have to change.

      For more information:

  • Paypal Sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by smutt (35184) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @02:17AM (#10501130)
    Read all about it here [paypalsucks.com]

    The site that scared me enough to take all my money out of paypal and never use it again. They're not a real bank and they're not held up to the same standard as real banks. Just read some of the horror stories in their forums.

    --Smutt
  • Alternatives?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @02:51AM (#10501209) Homepage Journal
    You see, PayPal sucks and all that (what with them freezing accounts all over the place), but what are the alternatives?

    Really. For an individual or small business, you don't want high setup or monthly fees, and if you look in that league, who can beat PayPal in terms of transaction fees and ease of use?

    I'd genuinly like to know.
  • by FooBarWidget (556006) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @03:44AM (#10501320)
    Paypal isn't exactly known as the most reliable company. But are there any better alternatives out there, that have a good reputation? Are there any similar companies that also accept money from Asia countries (such as Malaysia and Phillippines), and don't charge $30 to transfer to an international bank account (I live in Europe, not US)?
  • by puzzled (12525) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @05:24AM (#10501638) Journal

    Paypal recently relocated their stuff to Omaha, Nebraska. Why Omaha? Something like 60% of all VISA/MC transactions pass through First Data's bunker at 72nd and Pacific and a good portion of the other 40% goes through First National Bank's facilities downtown.

    A fellow who used to work for me spent less than three months at Paypal as a Windows server admin. I forget the exact details but he said they wanted him to complete something like thirty projects a quarter and his impression was that eight projects of the sort they were asking would be a reasonable schedule.

    I have heard that Paypal is pretty much a madhouse. Omaha isn't big enough to have a huge pool of IT talent and if they're grinding people into the dirt word will get around quickly. I predict you'll see lots of monster.com job posts for them as they poison their reputation here.

  • by zerofoo (262795) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @06:58AM (#10502027)
    I called paypal customer service last week complaining about the REALLY poor performance of the site. The wonderfully helpful DOLT on the other end said that the site gets really busy during the weekend and that slows things down.

    Bullsh*t.

    How can Ebay build a site that handles millions of transactions, and has great uptime and speed, yet their subsidiary - suck so bad?

    -ted
  • Steps to upgrade (Score:3, Informative)

    by RedLaggedTeut (216304) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @07:50AM (#10502369) Homepage Journal
    1. write ultra-scalable jsp application

    2. It is too slow. Add a separate database server.

    3. Still to slow. Add several http web application servers.

    4. Add synchronization talk between web application servers to make sure no two different servers talk to one customer.

    5. Add synchronization talk between database servers to make sure they all use the same database.

    6. Release to public.

    7. Something doesn't work. Switch on debug output and logging to full level.

    8. Watch as all servers talk to each other over the underdimensioned intranet connections:
    "Hey buddy, I feel so bad, so much load could you do this for me?"
    "I'm sorry I've got too much work myself, but here, have some debug output."

    9. Watch the intrusion detection system randomly switch off nodes because they showed unnormal traffic patterns.

    10. get mentioned on slashdot. There's no such thing as bad publicity!
  • by augustz (18082) on Tuesday October 12, 2004 @09:46AM (#10503278) Homepage
    I noticed they've added a powered by sun graphic at the bottom of their page, which is loading INCREDIBLY slowly.

    Coincidence, or did the sun manage to melt them, putting the bomb in dot com?

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar

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