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PayPal Experiences Hours-Long Outage Sunday Afternoon

PayPal was inaccessible for many users beginning shortly before 2 pm EST Sunday afternoon. Reports came flooding in to Twitter, Ecommerce EKG, the eBay boards, and on glitch-reporting sites indicating that the PayPal homepage was live, but attempts to login to the site timed out.

The problem lasted several hours. However, PayPal did not acknowledge the problem or respond to questions from users trying to login. The site came back about 3 hours after users began reporting the issue.

On IsItDownRightNow.com, people noted the lack of communication from PayPal, such as this user who wrote, “I have never seen PayPal this bad downtime as now. It does not have a warning or notice on its website for people to not attempt to login. I try to login it takes about a minute or two and sends me back to enter login info. Looks like a scam site. Very unprofessional.”

On eBay, sellers tried to figure out the cause of the problem, comparing notes in this thread.

It was apparent on Twitter that users were having problems. At about 1:45 the first reports came tweeting in. “@PayPal Login is not working, please fix the issue asap,” and “Fix your website @PayPal.” Others tweeted @AskPayPal, such as this tweet: “Sign in appears to be broken… anything you know about?”

While the tweets continued, there was no acknowledgement from PayPal – the Twitter account @AskPayPal usually responds to such reports. PayPal didn’t acknowledge or report the problem on its own site, on Twitter, or on Facebook, either.

“Is @PayPal running stupidly slow for anyone else? I can’t log in because it’s running so slow, it keeps saying timeout error.”

“Hey @PayPal, what’s up with the site? Seems no one can log in!”

People also reported the problem on DownDetector, reporting problems from all over the US and the world. Some users were having problems earlier in the day as well.

The only users who said they were able to access the site said they could do so only on their mobile devices.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.