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Five days of Etsy payment processing outages have merchants flipping

TechCrunch TechCrunch 5/07/2016 John Mannes

Those hoping to snag some handmade July 4th cookies and home-made vegan sunblock might have woken up to an empty stomach and sunburn after a serious payment processing outage on e-commerce site Etsy.

Over the last five days, a large number of Etsy transactions have been disrupted by “third party” payment processing outages. As of 6pm PST July 5th, over 4,000 messages of frustration have been posted in the company’s Bugs Community Forum. 

After the Direct Checkout outage, many merchants were left with their hands in their laps explaining delays to buyers. The outage is especially tough for sellers who have to face angry customers. It’s all too easy for an unhappy buyer to blame the seller in a negative review for an outage out of their control.

Etsy’s first response came two hours after the first report on their forum. The company confirmed the outage but didn’t provide any details.

The issues seem to have started just after 2pm on July 1st. Reddit and Twitter have been active with users’ complaints. This is the third time this year the company has struggled with payment processing infrastructure.

The company’s last official communication occurred at 2pm on July 5th. Etsy is struggling to catch up with previously delayed payments and new orders are still being impacted.

“We recommend that you wait until these orders are confirmed to ship your item,” said Bill Massie, an engineer on the Payments Team in the most recent forum post.

Some angry users have been quick to blame payment processor Worldpay. Braintree, which has reported on previous outages of Worldpay, has not reported a Worldpay outage in July.

The outage doesn’t seem to be affecting anyone who used PayPal for payment processing.

We have reached out to Etsy and Worldpay for comment. This post will be updated as more information comes in.

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