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Etsy CEO Speaks to Sellers about July’s Payment Processing Crisis

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson wrote a letter to sellers who were impacted by the payment-processing problem the marketplace experienced last month. Those buyers and sellers who had been hoping for some form of compensation for the disruption and three weeks of angst are apparently out of luck.

Dickerson addressed the issue on Tuesday in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, and his post to users appeared on the Etsy announcement board on Thursday.

“From July 1st through 24th Etsy’s payments processor Worldpay experienced a long, frustrating service disruption,” he explained. “As a result of this outage, many Etsy sellers were unable to fulfill their obligations to buyers in a timely manner, leaving those buyers with a less than optimal shopping experience.”

Dickerson apologized, stating he understood that sellers depend on Etsy’s platform to grow their businesses and build positive relationships with buyers, and he said he was committed to doing better in the future.

He went on to explain what happened, what Etsy did to address the issue, and what it is doing to prevent this from happening again. One interesting excerpt from his explanation:

“While Worldpay attempted to identify and resolve the issue, our team determined that we could not wait for a fix, so we acted quickly to mitigate the issue. We architected a new payments process to allow for orders to complete even as Worldpay’s outage persisted, and implemented it within two days. While it doesn’t make things better for members who were impacted, I am thankful that we were able to limit a large majority of the user-facing issues that could have stemmed from this outage. Had we not proactively engineered a workaround leveraging the flexible infrastructure we have built over the past several years, what was for most members several days of processing delays would have been a 24-day ordeal of exponentially greater magnitude to us and our community.”

He acknowledged that the solution did not fix everything, however – “because Worldpay was still experiencing an outage, our community encountered residual issues, primarily with refund processing. (Because we ultimately do not control the last step in refunds, our technical solution did not resolve those delays.)”

He went on to explain how Etsy communicated with members during the crisis, and he said the company had already begun to add redundancy and resiliency to its platform.

You can read the full post on the Etsy announcement board.

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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/.