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Stamps.com Averts Disaster after Glitch Wipes Out Some Accounts

A small number of online sellers are reporting that Stamps.com experienced an issue on Tuesday night in which it accidentally shut down some users’ accounts. Customers who were impacted were initially told their history was lost forever, but later received good news that their accounts had been restored.

Explained one seller in a post on the eBay discussion boards, “Since the accounts were closed and not “frozen”, it can’t be restored as the postal meter was closed as well. Meaning I as to many others have lost history of information we saved from years of using the program.”

A reader told EcommerceBytes Stamps.com gave them a “90 day” promotion for a new account, “though the email I just received only says 2 months…”

Among the ramifications facing users who believed they permanently lost their USPS history through the glitch: they would be unable to request refunds.

An even bigger problem, the reader explained: “If one of my hundreds of buyers made a claim against me on any of my eCommerce sites, I couldn’t provide a receipt (screenshot) as I can’t access the account.”

Another problem: some sellers rely on postage providers for expense reports to use in filing taxes.

The reader updated us later on Wednesday with the news that his account had been restored after all. Stamps.com found a way to reverse the issue for everyone, he said. “My new account has been closed and the free 90 days was moved to my old account. Seems everything has turned out alright…for now.”

It seems worth finding a way to export records from postage providers to have on hand should such an incident occur in the future. In fact, the incident is a reminder to back up files on all services and on your own systems as well.

We have an inquiry in to Stamps.com requesting more information about the incident and how many sellers were impacted.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.