About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.


 

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14 comments

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  1. Steve Cormier

    Worst Customer service ever. No Phone number. Under no circumstances, you should use them. We were prompted to use them thru our on line store Big Commerce. Wost mistake EVER. They have accepted to credit card charges for a total of $1160.00 and for some reason, don’t have the ability to get our account set up.

    TOTAL RIP OFF—–STAY AWAY FROM STRIPE

  2. rick

    Refused to service our card business because they dont like weapons. We sell mace and pepper spray along with other self defense products. See e mail from them below…….

    Thanks for signing up with Stripe!

    Unfortunately, we will not be able to help out with payments for bodyguardsecurityproducts.com, as the site is in violation of our Terms of Service, section B.5 (“Prohibited Businesses”). Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for weapons — which includes pepper spray — as described here: https://stripe.com/terms#prohibited-businesses

    These restrictions come from our banking partners, and so sadly we have no flexibility here. It’s frustrating for us to have to turn away businesses, but in this case our hands are tied.

    I’m sorry we won’t be able to help beyond this point; please let me know if you have any questions.

    Best,
    Les

  3. Brian

    Do not I repeat do not sign up for Shopify Payments aka STRIPE. It is a scam as others are stating. Avoid at all costs. Use another credit card processor.

    I was using North American Bancard as my processor for 15 years prior to starting a small subsidiary website @ shopify.com. I never had 1 problem in 15 years with NAB. My credit card payments were always deposited in a timely manner, and the correct amount was deposited and I never had my money held or had any charge-back issues, not once.

    Well, after using STRIPE for 1 week, I have encountered 3 major problems that I never encountered with any prior processor going back to 1996.

    1) my 2nd sale for $1100 is being held for 60 days, they are stating it is fraudulent. I have provided them with information stating it is not…so far I have not received any timely response concerning this matter.

    2) my 2nd payout to my bank account was the incorrect payout amount, and was incorrectly itemized
    in my Shopify “dashboard” which shows you everything related to your shopify.com hosted website including individual sales.

    3) my 3rd and 4th sale occurred on 2/21 and 2/22, the money was deposited on 2/28 = 6-7 days later. This is not acceptable. This could be a big reason on its own not to sign up for STRIPE.

    The customer service for Shopify and Stripe sucks to say the least. No one seems to know anything or is of any help. It’s always “someone else is working on it” or “so and so will get back to you” or “it’s been kicked up to another department for review” etc etc

    I have provided Shopify with detailed information on all of the above issues and have not received any positive response or a solution, as of today 3/2/14

    After 10 days I have deactivated STRIPE. I repeat to all who read this. Do not sign up for any of the 3 programs offered by Shopify and use STRIPE for your credit card processing. Pay the $79 for the Pro level and pay a 1% service fee or pay the $179 Unlimited fee and use another processor at 0% service fee, but do not sign up for STRIPE. I am saving you time, money and aggravation.

    After I signed up to use Shopify as web host in early January I started using Paypal Payments Pro to handle my processing and that worked flawless, not one problem, 5 Star rating. You receive your money instantly in your account. You do not have to wait 1 week to receive your money as with STRIPE. I am switching back to Paypal Payments Pro or another processor like NAB to handle all my credit card sales at my Shopify website.

  4. Joanie

    So far not too good. I glad I am testing my site before going live. There are server issues and no support.
    I wish I had taken the time to read reviews before I agreed to using Stripe for my web based business. Good thing is I can still change providers.

  5. Daniel Cooper

    Had 20,000 waiting in an account and stripe completely refunded all of my customers without even speaking to me! What kind of bs is that????

    NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE STRIPE!!!!!!! it’s a scam!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Olya

    This company is FRAUD. This is my letter to them, I hope you will understand everything from it:

    Stripe Team,

    First of all, I’m very disappointed in your customer service. You do not stand behind your customers. You are not replying in time. You were lying about the status of my account by saying that you want to transfer me the money back.

    Second,you closed out the dispute without even considering the documentation (Customer’s signature upon receiving my product). Nothing was explained to me.

    Third, I consider your company as a Fraud and I’m not allow you to deal with my financial institution & my funds. I don’t owe you any money.

    Forth, 80% of reviews that I have read about your company indicate that you are “fraud”. I’m going to post my reviews about your company and share my experience as well.

    If you are not agree I will take a legal action against your company. I can easily proof that I’m right. My customer did received my product, signed upon receiving my goods, etc.

    Thank you for understanding.

  7. Scott

    Very disappointed in Stripe’s customer service. They do not stand behind their customers but rather the consumer when it comes to disputed charges. They closed out the dispute without even considering the documentation (signature from UPS) Will be looking for a new gateway.

  8. Meredith

    I’ve had a merchant account for years, with not so much as a single problem. I’m now trying to consolidate all my processing under one umbrella that will work with my main site as well as Shopify. Our processor of choice is taking a while to get going, so I decided to try Stripe as a stop-gap. It was easy enough to install, and the customer service folks assured me via email that we could authorize-only. I did a test-run, charging my own card for a small sale, and unfortunately, just as Sierra said, the sale was captured. I talked to Shopify support, and they verified that my settings are correct, but told me that Stripe had something set on the backend that they could see set to capture, and he (the Shopify rep) was quite concerned. I emailed Stripe and asked for help, but have heard nothing back after three follow-up attempts. Indeed, this feels quite ominous to me. Having just gone through a “real” merchant account application, this was too easy, and while I should pass with flying colors, the fact that they’re capturing when they assured me they wouldn’t, and now basically “not answering the phone” is highly concerning. y new store isn’t open yet, and I think I’ll keep it that way until the real processor is up and running. This isn’t worth the risk.

    *****Before I even got to actually post this, I heard back from Stripe…. it seems they say that SHOPIFY does not support authorize only.. that’s right, they’re blaming the problem on Shopify. They told me:

    “I’m afraid that doing this via Shopify would not be possible, as it is not currently supported by that platform.

    It sounds like in your case you would want to go ahead and capture those funds before your work on the custom piece is completed, and then make sure that your customer is well informed of the timeframe that it will take for you to complete and ship the piece.”

    Yup, Stripe encouraged me to circumvent Visa/MC rules. I also quite plainly TOLD Stripe that I was on Shopify when I asked them about authorize only in the first place, so this is really interesting. I forward this entire email to my support guy at Shopify – he was not amused. Well, I won’t be using Stripe. Too bad, they were a nice interim solution.

  9. Sierra

    I am a single mother of 4 children that decided to use my last $2000 to start a business online. I am not able to get a job due to many factors, and I have a business with fantastic potential. Well, that all fell apart when I decided to try using Stripe, who took $450 of my $2000 and ruined my business before it could even get off the ground.

    I was reluctant to try Stripe payment processing because of all of the negative reviews I have read. Let me tell you, if you are considering opening an account with Stripe, please believe that they will most likely rip you off, lie to you about account status, and take your money. This is a new company in the financial world that clearly is trying to lure customers in with promises of instant approval, only to take your money and close your account with no warning. And if you are an honest business person who ships orders quickly like me, then you will also be out for the cost of the product you shipped to your customers.

    So here are the details of my story to back up my claims:
    March 1, 2013 –
    I sign up for Stripe and provide standard information. Confirm email address. Because of the bad reviews I have read I decide to wait a few days before implementing Stripe.

    March 4, 2013 –
    I send follow up email:
    Hello there,
    I signed up last week and I wanted to check to see if the account was fully active and ready to begin processing payments. Can you please tell me if I am fully approved? The account is under sixxxx@xxxxxxxx.com.

    Stripe response from same day (from Naomi):
    Your account is fully active from the time you activate it so you’re good to go with us :-)
    All the best,
    -Naomi

    I reply the same day to double check because of the bad reviews I have read. I wanted to make certain that I could begin charging customers. I write:
    Thanks but I thought there was an underwriting process..? I just want to make sure there will not be any issues once we start charging out customers because I have read some bad reviews and it spooked me a little bit. Thanks for the quick response by the way!

    Stripe response same day (from Naomi):
    No problem :-)
    We reserve the right to review your account at any time, but you can take payments immediately once you activate your account:
    https://support.stripe.com/questions/what-do-i-need-to-do-to-start-running-real-transactions

    If you click the link you will also read Stripe claim:
    It takes just a few minutes to activate your account by providing some basic information about you and your business. Once you’ve activated your account, you can begin running real charges immediately.

    At this point I feel that enough time has gone by, with assurances from the staff that I can begin charging customers.
    March 5, 2013 – First succesful order charged using Stripe. I notice that Stripe automatically charges the customer instead of ‘Authorizing’ and then later capturing the funds. I am ‘by the book’ and am concerned so I again reach out to Stripe:

    I do have a question though because I see that the customer was charged right away. I double checked our shop setting in Shopify admin and we have the option checked to “Authorize Only”. We do not want to actually charge the customer until the product ships which is best practice. I do not see any settings in the Stripe admin to change this. Any ideas…?

    Stripe response:
    Stripe doesn’t actually allow authorizations so that setting in Shopify won’t work with us.

    Hmmm, okay this sounds kind of strange and phishy to me…. I wonder why….

    There would be two more orders to go through for a total of $450. I purchase the products from my suppliers to fulfill the orders. I am trusting at this point that I will see my money from Stripe in 7 days (as they promise).

    March 5 & 6, 2013 – All 3 orders were shipped to customers and are in various stages of delivery. Customers are provided tracking numbers, everything seems good, until…

    Received email from Stripe (from Lucy) -
    Unfortunately we won’t be able to help out with payments for openboxsavings.com, as our banking partners prohibit us from helping with payments associated with a business we’ve had to reject previously.
    Sadly we have no flexibility here. It’s frustrating for us to have to turn away businesses, but in this case our hands our tied.

    Weird. I think that maybe they accidentally sent me this email or just made a mistake.
    So I reply:
    I never applied before, what do you mean?

    Stripe reply (from Maria):
    Thanks for your email and I am sorry about this situation.
    Unfortunately, you account was associated with several we have previously had to reject in one or more ways. This might not be 100% accurate, but our banking partners require that we follow these security procedures. You will have to find another way in which to accept payments from your users.
    All the best, good luck on your business,

    I like the part where she says “This might not be 100% accurate” and how I am wished “All the best, good luck on your business”. I can’t help but think she is writing that in a sarcastic tone because she knows that luck is the only thing that can save me at this point.

    My response (to Maria) –
    What about the few charges that were made and the balance in the account? I have already paid for the goods and shipped the orders (I have tracking numbers if you need).

    Response (from Maria) –
    I am sorry for the trouble, but you will have to find alternative forms of payment from those customers. There is nothing we can do.
    All the best,

    Okay wonderful, so first you cancel my account after I made certain the account was okay to begin charging customers. I don’t have any alternative payment methods except if the customer mails me a check. I am sure they are going to get right on that (after they have already received their product). And wouldn’t that sound incredibly “scammy” for me to contact my customers and ask for a check? I give that about a 1:1000 chance of actually getting paid.

    My reply:
    What?! You mean you are keeping my money? You have got to be kidding me!!

    Response (from Maria) –
    Thank you for your email and sorry for the confusion.
    We are not keeping your money. We are refunding each payment to your customers.
    All the best, good luck on your business,

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to inform your clients in the first “our hands are tied” email to explain that the customers are being refunded? I mean, do I really need to inquire about this and dig up the information. At this point time is of the essence because if what Stripe says is true and they are refunding my customers, then I am now up against the clock to try and locate these shipments before they get delivered.

    They also do not acknowledge the fact that I have tracking numbers, nor do they seem to care. I still have no idea how I am going to handle this situation and my choices are to either have the product delivered and beg for a check to be sent in the mail, or try to stop the shipment before delivery, then make arrangements to ship the product back to the supplier. In this case, the customer will not receive their merchandise, and unlike Stripe, I care. So I guess my only option is to let the product deliver and hope to get paid.

    My response:
    “So will they have already seen the refund on their statement? Because obviously they are not going to pay me with any other method if the charges are still showing on their statements. Do you have proof that the refunds have happened.

    Your process is completely backwards and Stripe is causing unecessary problems. You should never tell someone that they are approved and good to start charging, wait until charges are made, and then cancel/refund orders when goods have already been shipped. Clearly it is an attempt to lure in honest business people with an ‘instant approval’ which really is not instant. I double checked before starting to charge customers with your company and was reassured.

    Don’t tell vendors they are approved if they are not. You really have no clue on your side how much havoc this creates.”

    Do I get a response? Nope.

    So, if any others have a similar experience then I recommend writing about it. I am leaving my contact information for an attorney who is investigating a class action lawsuit against Stripe. These business practices are detrimental to small businesses like myself. As I mentioned in the beginning, I had only a couple thousand dollars to try and get this business going. I feel like it coould have provided enough money for my entire family to get by. But now, I have had 25% of this money taken from me, and have also spent 2 days trying to rectify this mess. I don’t know if my business will make it now, because I need to pay my supplier for the goods before I ship products out.

    In my opinion the root cause of all of this is that Stripe is trying to gain business from Paypal. They are trying to streamline the setup proccess and make it faster than Paypal. In my case, Stripe is pre-integrated with Shopify and the setup process was very simple. But, this is a deceitful advertising and business practice that Stripe is doing. They are willing to wreak havoc after the fact and cancel customers if it means that they can quickly sign up thousands of unsuspecting new customers.

    My final email to Stripe:
    As I mentioned before I will be posting on the websites I mentioned and will certainly email you links once posted. I will also place comments on blogs with this same topic and attach myself to any civil or class action lawsuit (believe me it is coming if there isn’t one already). Shame on your company for poor business practices, you are truly showing that you are rookies in the world of financial business practices. As you can read, I am well spoken and will share my story with the world. I hope to pursuade as many people as I possibly can to not use your services and I truly hope that can translate into thousands of dollars in lost business for Stripe.

    Thank you,
    Stripe Enemy #1

    If Stripe were a responsible business, then they would take your application, process it for however long it takes (3-5 days maybe?) and then give you a response. But because they are greedy and sneaky, they tell you that your account is “fully active from the time you activate”. For me this was March 1, 2013. I am just thankful that I was smart enough to trust the other reviewers out there to not jump in so fast. If I had starying charging my customers right away, then Stripe would have taken all $2000 from me and I would be completely broke and shut down for good.
    If you are a lawyer who is considering legal action against Stripe, then please contact me at modernfurnoc@gmail.com. If this email address can not be posted, then reply to me in the comment section and I will find you.

  10. Tommy

    I should also mention that the system we use (WHMCS) also has a type of anti-fraud plugin (MaxMind which is free), it helps block fraud which is very common now a days, PayPal, for example, has fraud prevention built in and was built for E-Bay when they first started and best for shipping goods like you do Harry… Stripe seems to be geared toward web businesses such as web hosting providers, membership sites, etc. … While we have very few problems with PayPal fraud, customers can still open PayPal disputes which we almost always loose because they require a shipping confirmation but since we deal in digital goods there is no shipping label.

    It’s now been several months and Stripe is still doing great, no problems and payments still come in like clock work., always on the 6th day unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, in that case we get them on that Monday

  11. Tommy

    Stripe is great, clients never leave the website, does single and recurring, they claim to send out payments every 7 days but I always get my payments a day early, very simple and very fair fees. My Auto DJ is a SHOUTcast and Web Hosting provider, so we don’t deal in shipping goods Harry, but I am so sorry about what happened, I have had nightmares with other processors so I have been there many times but so far Stripe is working out great! When clients get their credit card statements the charge is listed as MYAUTODJ, with other processors such as PayPal (who we also love :), the charge on their CC bill is listed as PAYPAL, somethins the client can forget what it was for and open a dispute — not the case with Strip! We use WHMCS as our client & billing manager, and use the Stripe gateway, check out the order process, https://shoutaccount.com/cart.php — works seamless!

  12. Harry Harbach

    First transaction on shopify. Payment received via stripe and I was told to ship. I validated my account and shipped my package. Then I received an email that stated that they could no longer do business with me because I’m reselling name brand electronics. Fair enough, I”m okay with that.

    Then a few minutes later I get a message that they wont be able to transfer my funds because the successful transaction was likely done with a stolen credit card.

    Okay…. well that’s interesting and there is insurance to protect the consumer so I assume I’ll be made whole as well. So I try emailing back to discuss with swipe….. nothing….. So, I go to their site and look for the customer service line….. nothing…. now I’m feeling like I’ve been scammed….

    So…. I send another email to their only contact information available… nothing….

    I would recommend going another route if your a small business.

  13. Shari Kunz

    We did not receive our scheduled transfer from Stripe.com today. To say the least, we are extremely concerned. This throws up red flags.

    1. Phillip Parker

      Hi Shari,

      I would appreciate it if you keep us updated on the progress of your situation.

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