Technical Issues Bring Down PayPal

Jeff Berg
SAN FRANCISCO — Internet payment service PayPal has been experiencing severe technical glitches since late last week due to “unforeseen problems” with a new code upgrade, the company said Tuesday.

Ping requests to the eBay subsidiary’s website received 100 percent packet loss, and reports of PayPal debit cards being rejected at ATMs and stores across the country have been widely reported over the Internet. PayPal accounts and log-ins have also been affected by the problems.

According to PayPal, the problems also include an inability to pay for eBay auctions and use the PayPal shipping functionality.

“This really sucks!!” wrote one user on eBay’s Paypal forums yesterday. “I have all my eBay money in my [PayPal] account. I just paid my mortgage so this is all the money I have right now!!! I need my money! I have been trying to access my account for days now. This is ridiculous.”

Another PayPal user said that he was arrested at a restaurant and charged with attempted petty theft after his PayPal debit card was declined.

PayPal, in both written and oral statements made over the last several days, said technicians are currently working to correct the problem.

“Everyone is working fast and furiously to get it all fixed,” said PayPal spokesperson Amanda Pires.

“We haven’t found the ultimate cause,” said Pires. “But we have all resources dedicated to getting it fixed as soon as possible.”

According to PayPal, the problems were due to several new unspecified features added to the PayPal backend.

“The code worked well when tested and during the first hours of launch,” said the company in a statement released on the eBay website. “Unfortunately, problems handling peak levels of traffic developed later in the day that created intermittent availability and errors for members.”

The company also assured users that PayPal account data and personal information has not been compromised by the current problems.

During reports issued for the end of the second quarter, PayPal stated that it handled more than 50 million total accounts and processed roughly $4.4 billion accounts in the most recent three-month period.