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Etsy Creates Task Force to Address Payment Failures

Etsy’s reputation is taking a bruising due to a payments processing technical disaster that is being blamed on its third-party partner Worldpay. Etsy sellers are concerned that their reputations are also being harmed as customers have experienced myriad problems that sellers have been helpless to fix, including some cases of duplicate charges to buyers’ accounts.

After a stressful weekend for buyers and sellers alike, Etsy announced on Monday it was creating a Task Force to focus on rectifying all issues associated with the Worldpay outage.

The task force is comprised of people from all members and community teams,including support, forums, troubleshooting, account management, social, etc.. They are working closely with the Payments team to help rectify residual issues stemming from the Worldpay outage.

Etsy had actually experienced a similar incident with Worldpay in February, but not to the extent as the problems currently ongoing that began on July 1st.

Beginning that Friday, sellers had to wait hours or days for payments to be processed. Two weeks later, problems with refunds continued.

That’s when another major problem hit – on July 14th, some Etsy buyers found they were being charged a second time for purchases they’d already paid for. Complicating matters was the fact Etsy appeared slow to initially recognize the nature of the problem.

Citing a report in the Financial Times, FinanceMagnates.com said a recent software update caused an overload of error messages on one of Worldpay’s servers. “The server has consequently been taken offline and the outstanding payments are being reconciled manually until the server is back up and running.”

TechCrunch wrote about the issue on Tuesday and wrote, “At this point, it almost seems irresponsible for Etsy to continue to use Worldpay for processing.”

Here’s the announcement Etsy made on Monday, July 18 that hints at the frustration the company must be experiencing in dealing with Worldpay:

“We’d like to take a moment to thank you for your patience during this ongoing payments processing issue. This is the longest payments outage we’ve seen to date and we know it’s been extremely frustrating.

“We’ve been working closely with our processor, Worldpay, to investigate and resolve the issue, and have made some significant changes. Last week, we instituted a few new processes to improve the resiliency of our platform, and since then new payments have been processing without delays. However, Worldpay has still not fully resolved the technical issue they are experiencing and, as a result, some new residual issues have arisen affecting some members of our community.

“Our core priority is to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Given this priority, we’ve designated a special payments task force to address any inquiries from members related to payments issues. The payments task force will be focused on rectifying all issues associated with the Worldpay outage.

“One of the issues that we’re actively addressing is duplicate charges for purchases and/or bill payments. We are issuing refunds to buyers and sellers that were incorrectly charged twice. Affected members will receive an email with more details and should receive a credit for the duplicate payment in 3-5 days.

“If you or one of your buyers experience issues resulting from duplicate charges, we recommend you write into Etsy Support with the details and any supporting documentation, and our task force will do their best to follow up with you directly as soon as possible.

“Thank you again for all of your patience during this frustrating time. We value you being a part of the Etsy community.”

Sellers continue to vent their frustration on this thread on the Etsy discussion boards.

Another issue sellers are dealing with also relates to the initial Worldpay problems: their Etsy invoices. Some believe they are being charged too early for July invoices, but it appears there is some confusion over how Etsy is handling refunds due to the Worldpay issues – more information is available on this thread.

On Wednesday evening (July 20 at 5:50 pm ET), Etsy posted another update that indicated some progress. The post started out with some good news: “We have received word from Worldpay that they have made significant progress on the technical issue they’ve been experiencing and they expect to see full resolution soon.”

And Etsy provided some FAQs, including information about duplicate payments: “Due to the issues with Worldpay’s gateway, some payments were incorrectly processed twice at the end of last week. Etsy has processed refunds for all of the buyers and sellers affected by this issue. Impacted members should receive a credit to the card they used to make the purchase in the next two to four business days.”

You can follow the issue on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

UpdateEtsy issued another update on 7/22/16 about the Worldpay payment processing breakdown, which you can read on the Etsy announcement board.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.


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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/.