Why Should Startups Avoid Stripe?

By Mark Gavalda Updated on October 02, 2018

Update: a few hours after this original blog post was published we were contacted by various people at Stripe and got our account reinstated. You can read more about that in the follow up post!

We have heard a lot about Stripe in the recent years but as a European company we couldn’t sign up for a long time, until they finally started accepting UK based companies. We have been a high volume PayPal user – both as a merchant and a buyer – since 2007, with over a million dollars traded on their platform. We had our fair share of disputes and long chats with the PayPal support team but there wasn’t anything unmanageable. There are two major problems with PayPal though: 1) their reputation, a lot of clients tell us that they would like to avoid paying with PayPal, at all costs 2) their API is a nightmare, it’s overcomplicated and lacks features that should be default in 2014. Long story short, we were excited to build out Kinsta’s credit card acceptance program with Stripe.

Recommending reading: Stripe vs. PayPal – Which Payment Gateway Should You Choose?

What is one of the most critical thing startups lack? Time.

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The signup process is easy, although you have to send in a lot of documents but that’s understandable. While you’re waiting for the confirmation of your live account, you can already start building your client for their API and they provide libraries for the most common languages, which are written based on modern programming standards and as a result of that they’re really easy to work with. That’s not a surprise, as Stripe was born out of frustration of the founding team with payment processors available in those days, they set out to disrupt the industry. And they did: the API doesn’t feel like it’s only an afterthought like it does with PayPal, it’s a real pleasure to work with.

Setting up and starting to receive payments with Stripe is easy.

Then the Problems Start

I can’t remember when was the last time we had to deal with a fraudulent payment online… maybe we’re lucky (or maybe PayPal’s fraud protection is not that bad after all). About a week after we started using Stripe (among PayPal and Bitcoin) on our site, the first scammer arrived. The funny thing is that he paid for the service (apparently with a stolen credit card) and never even used the service! A week after that payment was charged back and as it was already deemed suspicious by our team, we refunded it immediately.

Recommended reading: How to Prevent and Reduce Credit Card Fraud by 98% Using Stripe Radar

As the number of our transactions increased, so did the fraudulent activity. Again, it’s strange that except one person (who tried to use an account for email spamming, but he was caught and banned in no time) all the stolen credit card abusers just wanted to pay us the money and then do nothing, it just seems illogical to me. If they wanted to test a bunch of card numbers, they could’ve done it with a service that costs $1 or so, and if they wanted to use it for spamming or something else, why didn’t they at least try to do it?

Unfortunately, Stripe has a chargeback fee of $15 so we were losing money on each transaction that, in my opinion, should’ve been stopped by Stripe even before they happened. For example, there was a guy who used the same email address and tried cards from 3 different continents in a span of 15 minutes. Unless he’s the Flash, that’s not really possible and it’s a huge warning for all payment processors I know of, yet Stripe didn’t blink an eye.
As we were losing money and Stripe wasn’t providing any help to stop these whatsoever, we set out to find a company who specializes in online fraud prevention. Here are a couple of them that we heard good things about but didn’t have a chance to check them out yet: minFraud by MaxMind, Sift Science and Signifyd. They’re very affordable, even for a small business. I’m really not sure why Stripe doesn’t have a partnership with any of these companies, it seems like a no-brainer for me.

Before we could finish the implementation of any of the above-listed services, one night (and I’d like to underline the night part) we received an email from Stripe, out of the blue, that stated:


Thanks for signing up with Stripe! 

Unfortunately at this time we will need to stop offering service for kinsta.com. Currently Stripe can only support users with a low risk of customer disputes–after reviewing your submitted information and website, it does seem like your site presents a higher level of risk than we can currently support. Unfortunately we will be unable to accept any additional payments on your behalf.” And that was it.

Well that escalated quickly!

I’d like to emphasize that none of our legit users disputed anything, ever, only the stolen credit card owners requested a chargeback through their banks, which is what you’d expect. What I did not, however, expect from Stripe in any situation is that they’d just close down our account, in the middle of the night without fair notice. Or help. And that goes in the face of everything that we experienced with Stripe prior to that.

They could’ve given us advice on how to minimize frauds, what we could have changed in our form or anything. Plus a warning like “if this continues, we will have to suspend your account” a couple of weeks before the final decision would’ve been nice, too. On top of all that they’re not replying to inquiries about the issue. This is a perfect case study of how not to handle customer relations.

Is the problem with us? After searching on Google for a bit, it turns out that this is a rather usual way to do business at Stripe nowadays. See here, herehere and here. And if you need more, just do a search yourself and pay extra attention to the comment sections. Turns out we’re lucky, we have programmers and can move to another API in a short time. When everyday people who sell and ship tangible products get scammed, it can break their whole business and sometimes their lives too (as we’ve read in the topics linked above). To think that implementing a good fraud detection system could solve all this, yet they don’t do anything about it is mind-boggling.


Not long ago Stripe was just a startup happy for all new clients, set out to disrupt the way PayPal handled customer care and business in general. A few years in and they’ve become the same faceless enterprise. Even if it’s hard as you scale, you should never lose sight of your initial goals so that you can keep true to yourself and provide the value that users signed up for in the first place. This should be the most important takeaway for everyone dealing with customers, including Kinsta.

When you’re building a company that you’d like to last a long time, don’t forget that your current small clients (and I’m not arrogant enough to consider ourselves anything other than tiny in Stripe’s eyes) can grow huge in no time, after all this is the Internet we’re talking about! We’re living in the age of hyperscaling.

It’s also important that as a startup you provide multiple payment options for your clients. Not everyone likes PayPal but not everyone trusts online merchants with their credit cards – and then there are those who like to use Bitcoin. If you’re starting a business nowadays it’s better to be prepared for the “next big thing”. Bitcoin could be one of those.

Stripe Chosen One

We sincerely hope that Bitcoin (or something else based on the groundwork laid out by Bitcoin) will get mainstream in the coming years, it makes all this so simple (no disputes, no chargebacks, ridiculously low fees). For now though we’ll talk to a couple of other credit card processing companies (but we’re leaning towards Braintree) and update this post once we have a solution. Until then we can only advise you to stay away from Stripe, they’re not the great startup they once were.

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  1. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Chema November 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm


    I am one of the affected customers…API is awesome and you can be up and running in no time….but my experience so far terrible. I gave a second chance way too many times and had endless chats with them. They do not care about fraud. I asked to implement 3D secure but seems they do not want to hear about it at all.

    Braintree now belongs to paypal, so yes please update us once you are using them, I am really interested also. Our business is from UK too.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Mark Gavalda November 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Hey Chema,
      Yep I read your article. Did you switch on the address verification feature on Stripe? I was recommended to switch that on however I’m not sure how good that is outside the US & UK :-/
      Which company do you use now?
      Thanks for stopping by! Mark

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Chema November 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

        Nothing yet…stuck with paypal, but I think we will use bitcon (coinbase or bitpay seems the best option right now) but I need an alternative for card payments. I was thinking on Paymill, but they rejected my application since my company is in the UK and I am a resident on Spain…after loads of paper work…

        1. Gravatar for this comment's author
          Mark Gavalda November 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

          We’re using Coinbase for BTC payments, it’s great! However now that we have access to Stripe’s Bitcoin beta program too, I’ll have to check that out. Hopefully it integrates well with their CC payment processing solution.

          1. Gravatar for this comment's author
            Chema November 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

            sounds good I will check it , thanks!

        2. Gravatar for this comment's author
          Danilo Del Cadia March 8, 2017 at 9:16 am

          hi.so do i have a quick question.i’m from Italy, have my LTD in UK, and just a card where I can put my cash in UK.does stripe let me do that, or have to find another way?thanks for responding

          1. Gravatar for this comment's author
            Chema March 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

            you need a UK bank account

  2. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Brian Jackson November 12, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Wow that sucks Mark! I have used Stripe on a couple projects and fell in love with them. But then again I didn’t have to deal with support/fraud either. I will definitely double think about using Stripe in the future.

    I currently use Stripe integrated with Freshbooks for all of my invoicing. I wonder if Freshbooks and Stripe have a special fraud agreement? Because I would think Freshbooks is a pretty heavy user when it comes to processing Stripe transactions for small businesses.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Mark Gavalda November 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Brian, I assume that’s a completely different case as you only send the payment forms to those that you know… for us, however, it’s “wide open” for everyone and the feature that Stripe makes it so simple for people to pay unfortunately also helps scammers get through easily. We’ll figure something out though. Cheers!

    2. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Thomas Zickell March 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Stripe is excellent with any invoicing tool
      But a payment gateway is not the same thing and invoice sent to somebody know.
      Have you seen that FreshBooks is now offering their own payment system that competes with Stripe adding additional security and competing with stripe price wise it’s not bad. You might want to look into it. I love FreshBooks but Xero or Xero + Harvest I have found them to be fantastic.

      One thing that I have tried and it’s actually worked out really well he is using a WAF like Sucuri’s web firewall then blocking the ability for Proxy’s or to (I hate to say it but) block certain countries from filling out forms.

      I still use Neustar The price is low and it works beautifully. American Express also has a fantastic system.

      Can I ask how your systems been working it’s been in place for a while?
      All the best,

  3. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Tony Hayes November 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    i have had similar experiences but with paypal. it felt like they were trying to kill of my business.
    All that happened was one affiliate i had approved in digi results was fraudulent. Again, instead of trying to work with me they were just adamant that a guy selling “how to” seo courses was high risk.
    At that time i needed to have paypal, my products and affiliate sales were all coming via jvzoo and warrior plus and i had no option.
    Over the years it cost me 10,s of 1000’s of dollars, from using other peoples paypal accounts, being too worried to do heavyweight launches in case i lost another paypal account (and my business as a result), delays in doing product releases to my own list of subscribers, never contesting disputes no matter how wrong they were, and just trying to keep myself under the radar basically.
    Eventually, working with partners with long term high volume paypal accounts for major launches which cost me half my launch profits (well into 5 figures each time)
    Its disgusting, and the irony is that they actually said i was high risk as i am only selling online.
    Anyone know of any retail PayPal stores anywhere?
    But its time for a viable alternative, its 2014 and most affiliate and product launch platforms are still playing to the tune of PayPal, and unfortunately it seems stripe maybe going the same way.
    The financial institutions that should be helping business grow are dictating if that business can or not.
    And it all started with my first SEO course and being naive to not think anything would go wrong with approving affiliates inside established JV and product selling platforms.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Mark Gavalda November 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Hey Tony, I’m really sorry to hear that. We’ve been in the SEO business too but only doing service type of work for large(r) companies, in the 5 years we did that I think we only had a handful or transactions that PP investigated. Nothing serious though; although I’ve heard similar stories to yours a lot so I think we were just lucky to fly under the radar or something.
      These days I’m turning into a bitcoin evangelist because it’s a technology that solves all these problems in an elegant way. If only more people got involved it would become a viable alternative very soon. As you say it’s really time for a change, I don’t really care if it’s bitcoin or not, just let’s get rid of this stupid banking system and credit cards. :( Best wishes with your future endeavors!

  4. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Thomas Zickell December 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Hi Mark,

    First let me apologize for this long post. Hopefully there something in here useful to you That’s useful to you.

    I Have dealt with stripe and in the beginning like you said they were hard to get a hold of but very nice about any incidents only three have ever occurred. you might want to check out square up they have a system identical costs to stripe in many ways however there is more user-friendly. 2checkout is similar as well but I would put yourself with Accertify Inc it combines all the tools that you are talking about and more and it works it’s backed by American Express a company that does not leave you stranded.

    Like yourself because of the seriousness of a chargeback over three companies we have implemented a system built just to prevent fraud by American Express Using neustar with Accertify Inc.

    The amount of people that are doing malicious things like you described and are finally being caught by we’ve actually prosecuted the people doing the theft. I’m not saying this is what you want to do for work but at least it gives them something to think about.

    http://www.accertify.com/Partners/Service-Providers/ people things they have caught since getting larger is amazing used in conjunction with http://www.neustar.biz/resources/resource-category?category=fraud_detection last but not least in this will probably put too many URLs in my reply but card not present is a fantastic source for secure payment options now you can put these on top of Stripe, 2Co, and obviously stripes business model caught on they just took another 7 million in financing on December 4 http://www.cnp-solutions.com/fraud–risk-mitigation.html

    last but not least because stripe is now the guys who are funding Facebook and Apple Pay the not care about the little guy let’s face it they really don’t. I’m not knocking them for anything other than the way that they have changed their behavior towards smaller customers than Fortune 100’s.

    The proof is right here stripe is no longer considered a tool for a medium form small business like you said there are too big and they do offer an awesome tools that but with the amount of money coming in They’re probably not even making choices that are anything like what they were making two years ago.

    Check this out

    Stripe’s total funding to about $200 million and a valuation of $3.57 billion.
    “The new round of funding comes after a busy summer and fall in which Stripe partnered with three of Silicon Valley’s most famous tech companies: Facebook, Twitter and Apple. Stripe is powering the new “Buy” buttons for the social media companies and is processing in-app payments for Apple’s new mobile payment service, Apple Pay.”

    All the best,


    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Chema December 20, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I agree….have same feeling, we are small business they dont mind about us. What do you recommend? braintree? 2co?

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Thomas Zickell December 20, 2014 at 9:07 am

        Honestly I would go away from Braintree there just like PayPal. I would pick 2Co or SquareUp but not without more security measures to keep your company from being used as it is for chargebacks. I like square up there really competitive I would take a look at them.

        All the best,

        1. Gravatar for this comment's author
          Chema December 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

          Actually with paypal I’m really happy…

          To keep using stripe I am considering this fraud prevention tools:


          Easy to integrate and for free if you dont have high volume.

  5. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Chema May 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm


    It’s been a while but I have implemented an anti fraud system:


  6. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Rosevelle Baylan June 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    im on the same boat,.one dispute after another and I even have the “Decline if CVC and/or address or zipcode fails” yet Stripe still let those orders come through. I stopped using Stripe and is looking for an alternative, currently only using Paypal.

  7. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Harold July 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you very much for this post my friend!

  8. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Paul October 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Ok , so Stripe.com – what is going on here?

    We have used Paypal for 5 years , not a single dime lost in disputed charges etc. We have Stripe.com for a significantly shorter time and within weeks of using them we receive “Disputes” for goods shipped with tracking. Then it was ok , and now recently disputes have arrived again.

    When Stripe email us about a “DISPUTE” – we respond with tracking details , at which point they take back all of the money + $25 dispute fee , and they keep all of the fees also?

    At this point it’s a waiting game and we’re told that our payment being returned to us is dependent UPON THE CARDHOLDER’S BANK?

    Excuse me if i’m wrong here , but surely the CARDHOLDER’S BANK is always going to favour their own customer which means you’ll lose out of pocket even when you’ve shipped the item with evidence provided etc.

    We received one dispute > provided evidence of shipment delivery >> STRIPE EMAIL US “YOU HAVE LOST THIS CASE”.
    We received another dispute > provided evidence of shipment delivery >> STRIPE EMAIL US “YOU HAVE LOST THIS CASE”.

    Is Stripe.com a company to be completely avoided or am I missing something here?

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Chema October 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      We have a dispute open right now and have the feeling that is going to end up the same way as yours. Customer with product and we losing the money + the product + the fee from stripe…. terrible.

      With Paypal never had this EVER.

  9. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Dan November 7, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Stripe is pretty dirty. They let fraudulent transactions through and you ship the item and get the chargeback. And you lose all the money plus fees plus 2.9% transaction fee on the disputed amount! So you end up losing way more than you ever received. Insane. Stay away.

  10. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Imran December 16, 2015 at 2:05 am

    stripe is fraudulent company, they stuck your money for no reason, i will never suggest anyone to use this worst service, also their support is world’s worst support, they don’t reply emails and they don’t have phone support.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Clockad October 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

      I totally agree Stripe is definitely fraudulent. After viewing a video on YouTube of someone bragging how good Stripe was, I was really convinced it was a good option.

      A few weeks after using stripe, Stripe informed me that I could no longer using my account with them. They kept my money and pretended that they would deposit it into my account, each time the date arrive to deposit my funds, they would change the date to a further date.

      They have blocked me from speaking with someone to resolve the matter quickly. All I can do is write to them via emails, and nothing is being resolved. It is 15 days now they have my money, and they are doing everything to keep it for themselves.

      PEOPLE BE AWARE, Stripe can start very nice, but one day they will seized your money by closing your account, when your account is closed, you will no longer have access to their chart services to resolve the matter of getting paid. This is a premeditated plan to take moneys not belonging to them.

      I am confident that one day, Stripe will mess with the wrong person who will put them out of business forever. SHANE on STRIPE I do not recommend their service.

      If you are using Stripe and nothing has gone wrong yet, please get out quick before they close your account, keep all your money, and block you from their chart contact option.

  11. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Scott Rogers December 16, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Stripe is unfortunately ruining my life my business, my
    employees, and Christmas for their kids.

    We have been running various websites for many years and have always
    used traditional merchant accounts.
    Unfortunately, we run many websites, and with traditional merchant
    accounts the processors want an account for each site and business. When you have 15 sites, having 15 merchant
    accounts in nearly impossible to manage and we found ourselves creating more
    problems trying to manage each one vs finding a processor like stripe that we
    could create sub accounts or something of the sort and be up and running with
    each new website we launched in hours or less.
    We were finally making progress and excited to begin using stripe. Money was flowing, deposits were coming,
    orders were being shipped, chargebacks were low and next to nothing. Refunds, were only our own transactions that
    we were testing our sites with.

    Things were good as all stories start out in the beginning. Unfortunately that lasted just a short while.
    We began to slowly receive notifications for each account one by one over time
    with each notification having different reasons. None of this made sense to us, we were
    shipping orders, refunds were low, sites were doing good, chargebacks were next
    to nothing, and everything was in place.
    The relationship should be perfect match and fit.

    Recently as each account was being shut down, they were starting
    to place holds, change deposits to 7 days, then no deposits, and a constant
    loop of scheduling transfers that never happened. You can’t reach them, explain, discuss, or
    anything. I have managed to get some email
    responses here and there with very little information flowing, we are left with
    no choice but to share our story and hopefully avoid this happening to

    We now have around $15,000 tied up with stripe. That is a lot of money, and we are 9 days
    away from Christmas, we have employees to pay this week, they have Christmas to
    buy for their kids, travels to see family, all to be destroyed over Stripe and
    their lack of willingness to work with their supporters. I was a big fan, loved their concept and ease
    to do business. I was like in my head,
    saying Finally a company that gets it and if for the small businesses out
    there. I love Stripe.

    That is all being erased with the stress and frustrations they
    have caused on our business and our personal lives. We need our cash flow and rely on it to
    operate. They never inquired to see if
    our orders were fulfilled, customers happy, or anything just shut us down with
    no information or reasons that we could maybe provide documents, information to
    satisfy their concerns. While I realize
    businesses like theirs have to manage risk, I respect that, but did they reach
    out, inquire, or anything? NO. Worst of all, CHRISTMAS IS RUINED for many!

    I also realize there is lots of fraud out there, they have to
    take preventative measures, but don’t hurt the good guys, or penalize the ones
    who run a legitimate operation.

    As we are respected in our industry already which is internet marketing, It
    is not difficult to prove that a company who by procedure does not communicate
    by telephone with people, and has more negative press than a presidential
    nominee already ( as we learned in doing diligence on this issue ) is engaged
    in unreasonable business practices and unfairness to its clients. We will show
    this. Sorry your “Hands are tied”. We were hoping for a more
    favorable response as my concern is for the survival of our small business and
    my staff and their families.

    This is December 16th today. We will not be able to pay our
    employees for Christmas without our money. We have been effectively shut down by
    Stripes actions. Our business will be entirely shut down until we can reapply,
    open new merchant accounts and go through the painstaking process of
    integrating the new processors etc to our websites. Stripe didn’t provide a
    shred of evidence of chargebacks, or what risk level they speak of. Please
    define how you qualify “Higher than normal risk”. Because form the
    outside, it looks like you are using MY employee’s paychecks, to fund their
    company. However; we can absolutely prove we have shipped and continue to ship
    products. We can absolutely prove any chargebacks or disputes are handled by
    our accounting staff, we can absolutely prove that the level or
    “risk” you assess, is probably not based on anything specific to our
    industry or actual performance.

    Stay clear of Stripe if you want to avoid things like the above,
    shame on me for taking a chance with a company that does not provide phone
    support or publish a phone number at all.

    Scott Rogers


  12. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Val Kitty February 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Stripe, Beantream, PayPal… all garbage services, ALL OF THEM. Pathetic industry. Tried them all, all suck. Square is so scammy that have not bothered. Moneris has BAD reviews, and so does everything else. Essentially, called my bank and even they HAVE to use a payment processor. Like wtf.

  13. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Bodo Malo November 11, 2016 at 6:41 am

    How is your experiene with Braintree – or what CC company are you using now?

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson November 11, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Hi, here is our follow up to this post: https://kinsta.com/blog/how-we-got-our-stripe-account-back/ They owned up to their mistake and we have been happy to work with Stripe since then.

  14. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Sunshine Compua February 28, 2017 at 7:43 am

    You should avoid Stripe at all costs. They are the biggest scam artists around! First, they promote fraud and will hold you accountable for their lack of security features. Before starting Stripe, be very wary about this company and what you sell. If you sell any type of electronics you will be shut down immediately. Its not listed on their list of companies they dont accept, but after a few months they will shut you down immediately for selling any type of electronics online. These scam artists will approve you and then say ok you setup for 2 day deposits. Within the first few orders they will send you a BS email saying “oh your high risk – we’re moving you up to 7 day before you can even touch your money.” As far as fraud, LAUGHABLE – we quested this company 20 times and each time got a different BS answer. STRIPES FRAUD DETECTION IS NOT EXISTIANT AND THEY PROMOTE FRAUD. When you take a credit card order, you must always make sure to ship to the credit card billable address or else you will lose any charge backs for non receipt of merchandise. WITH STRIPE HERE COMES THE FRAUD! STRIPE DOES WANT YOU TO REJECT ORDERS THAT DONT HAVE A CREDIT CARDS BILLABLE ADDRESS. Which means ever single stolen credit card will go through. Meaning that you have to go into your Stripe account and immediately check every single transaction to make sure the credit cards billable address was verified. If not every single transaction goes through. When Stripe was grilled for weeks they gave every single lying answer imaginable. Only the zip code is validated not the most important feature the address. So in any charge back they keep the $15 fee. And they do nothing whatsoever to protect the seller. THE GAME STRIPE PLAYS. When they shut you down, they wont say STRIPE WE SHUT YOU DOWN, they give another lying answer saying the customer that just purchased an item from you 5 seconds ago called them and said the transaction wasnt authorized. Again another lie by Stripe. How would the customer know you use Stripe, how could the customer contact Stripe immediatlely after a purchase, reality is they didnt. They will say that just to close your account and hold your funds. And here comes th bigger game by these scumbags. You log in and they say in 2 days you get the money, when the 2nd day rolls around, mysteriously another 24 hours rolls around and it keeps on repeating it. You cant refund a customer. So legally if Stripe has the funds and you have no ability to refund the money, Stripe is legally responsible for the chargeback because your not paid, so your under no legal obligation to ship anything. Check your credit report and if these aholes put anything on it sue them. Most importantly, there is now way to contact Stripe. They hide behind emails and 75% they dont return emails. All their phone numbers are recordings that you cant reach anyone nor leave a message. These scam artists hide behind an email system, lie to your face, steal your money, promote fraud, the works. Just make sure you have a real processing company not some wanna be as a back up. Stripe does not care about sellers truefully.

  15. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Bodo Malo March 2, 2017 at 6:54 am

    I am using stripe since 2 months, no chargeback or dispute so far. They have a fraud technology called “Radar” since October 2016, it would block payments like you mentioned (3 continents). I have set the level of risk filters very tense, so you can not even pay at the moment if you are on vacation in another country. I also allow only 1 transaction per day per card/user/ip. Seems to work fine.

  16. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Robert Pitard March 4, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Hi Mark, I like this article…but am a bit concerned as to the date structure around it. It shows that the article was updated as of July 2016, but has comments listed from two (2) years ago. I’m presuming that the bulk of the information is from 2014? With that said, one must to assume that now that it is March of 2017, that…this scenario may no longer be valid. None-the-less, anyone considering present day PAYMENT PROCESSING must certainly consider scenarios like these. Even though API’s have made this super easy, there is still a lot of mystery based around all of this, that one needs to solve prior to committing to any particular vendor. The number one consideration is Security and Risk Management. With this big boy payment processing companies, such as “PayPal & Stripe” making plenty of money by skimming off the top via their industry standard (2.9% + .30 per transaction)…IMO they should consider themselves damn lucky, especially this day and age)…as it’s simply a cash cow for them. Process the funds and settle. The landscape is always changing in this sector. The way money is moving into the digital plan, with security getting better and better every day…couple that with mass consumer acceptance…and you have a winning solution on your hands. RGP-

  17. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Bernie Madrid March 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Yeah sheesh Freshbooks had a small bug with an Overseas client. Had to use “stripe gateway” BIGGEST MISTAKE.

  18. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Shan G MojoMedia March 23, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    i just got stung by stripe today… some one signed up and kept paying for 5 moths and then disputed by saying they dont recognise the charge and stripe immediately decided on there favour.. now i have a massive negative balance on my stripe and they are about to take money out of my account instead of depositing it. HORRIBLE

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      tomzur March 24, 2017 at 3:38 am

      There is a good chance these signups were fraud and someone used stolen credit cards. Did you check these transactions? Stripe has a good filtering system called Radar where you can implement special rules to block suspicious payments.

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Shan G MojoMedia March 24, 2017 at 4:01 am

        no i did not. New to stripe and new to selling online all together. But still i find it crazy that some one can do this. In theory any one who has purchased any thing from me via stripe can just say they dont recognise the transaction on the card statement and get a full refund immediately. there has to be a fail safe for sellers

  19. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Olivia Sandberg September 21, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I was considering Stripe, but after reading this article I am confused.. I don’t want a payment service provider that will ruin my business. I’d rather use a service which is not that overrated. I was suggested Cardinity .com, but I am not sure yet because it is not very well-known. It seems reliable and cost-effective, but I will check what benefits it offers and then decide.

  20. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Uncurly.comDIYBrazilianKeratin October 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Wow, good to see this and a few other warning reviews right as we were about to make the switch from PayPal (we DETEST their inconvenient new interface). Guess we’ll endure PayPal a while longer.

  21. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Nic November 30, 2017 at 7:04 am

    It’s unbelievable. The customer reached out to us that they mistakenly issued a dispute and we submitted all evidence including their statement that they withdraw the dispute. Even then If we loose the case, then I seriously doubt what goes behind the scene between STRIPE and these banks.
    We are moving back to Paypal as well.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brenna March 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

      I had this SAME thing happen. The customer openly admitted it was a mistake, had all evidence and they decided in their favor. $500 worth of jewelry. STRIPE HAS COST ME THOUSANDS.

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        JF May 13, 2018 at 7:06 pm

        Same here, received charge-back code “cardholder don’t recognize transaction”. The customer admitted he filed the charge-back by mistake, so I sent every single evidence to stripe : all checks passed, IP address for downloads matching the home address, I even sent them the conversation with the customer saying he purchased the product himself and made the charge-back by mistake and saying he needed to call off the charge-back. Dispute lost, support tells me that I lost because I needed to provide proof that the charge-back was already cancelled! stripe is now disconnected from my store. I processed way more transactions with paypal and only this one time I called, saying I had evidence the person was trying to fraud, not even showing them what it was, and they unfroze the funds and cancelled the charge-back. Paypal has a bad rep but this just showed me they probably aren’t that bad after all

  22. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Vp November 30, 2017 at 8:16 am

    They are just animals. Suddenly they closed our account and refunded all the transactions we ever had! We wrote 2 times to the support, three days are gone and still no answer.

    Now we are going back to PayPal and we have to ask 300 payers to pay again for the service. I still can’t believe it happened.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Vp December 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

      Still waiting for an answer from them. As today we lost 20.000 euros. We don’t know if we will be able to get in touch with every customer and have them to pay again.

  23. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Clint Morgan December 11, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Great article, thanks for posting. I was rejected by Stripe today because they deemed my business to be MLM. Which it is not. I have a unique news website with an affiliate program (going live with both in January 2018).

    I simply need a way to accept initial payments, charge monthly subscriptions ($5) and pay affiliates for their referrals. Does anyone know of a good provider for these needs?

  24. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Justin December 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I have been hit by Stripe yesterday. I run a small business out of New Zealand and the attraction was Stripe support NZD through my Weebly account. Yesterday I got an email saying I was being terminated for illegal activity, high risk or fraudulent activity. I have NEVER had a dispute in the twelve months I have used them nor has there ever been any illegal or fraudulent activity on my behalf. I keep getting the same rhetoric and a link to their T’s&C’s. In their latest email they bizarrely linked me to a blog that was written in August 2016 as their legal argument. So as a legit business that has never had any kind of problem, they are now crippling my company by turning me off for a reason only they know about AND they are retaining my money until March next year. They say they have performed “complicated algorithm tests on my website” but they refuse to provide me with the outcome of those tests because they are to complicated for me to understand. I even got onto their IT IRC channel and asked them about the “complicated algorithm tests” but they clammed up and pointed me back to Wyatt the customer services genius. It is completely illegal to terminate and retain money with no just cause. As much as I signed up to their terms and conditions, they have to abide by them also. Unfortunately two weeks out from Xmas I am left with cash I now cannot touch and a store that only accepts Paypal…I have so many built up expletives I want to vent here but in the vein of professionalism, I shall go outside and provide that spectacle to my neighbours…If there is an ANTI Stripe site anywhere, let me know so I can sign up

  25. Gravatar for this comment's author
    mariconasso January 10, 2018 at 8:06 am

    This article is full of nonsense. It’s not stripe’s fault if you don’t know how to use their brilliant radar thing to fight against fraud. Often people wants to accept payments at all costs and, of course, a lot of fraud happens.

    In any case, comparing paypal with stripe is absolutely idiotic. Nothing to do and stripe is not miles but light-years ahead.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson January 10, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Thanks for the comment, however, this post was written before Stripe radar existed. In fact, we have an awesome post coming out about how to use it soon. Stripe has definitely made improvements over the years.

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Ameelia Collins March 13, 2018 at 3:31 am

        We had hundreds of cases where we submitted all proof and evidence but in 99% cases, we loose the dispute with Stripe and on contrary, not a single dispute we lost on Paypal. Stripe has under-the-table alliances with the banks. They will never look for your interest because they know that their target market is stupid and lazy.

        And just to clear your doubt, been using Stripe Radar for last 6 months for our SaaS based B2B with monthly reoccurring revenue over $100K and for the above case, it’s useless.

        So yes, agree that Radar may send an alert to watch a payment but it’s not trustworthy as many a times it’s a false alarm.

        Stripe could be good for a startup whose making a little money here and there but if you are scaling up, then Stripe is not the company to trust. Finally, after having dealt with customer service at Stripe multiple times, I’ve not shame in saying that they are rude, snobby bastards.

        1. Gravatar for this comment's author
          Scott Porter June 5, 2018 at 5:22 am

          Stripe commit fraud in that they collude with banks … They don’t allow sufficient time for banks to respond to disputes so they get to keep the $25 dispute fee.
          Their website also tricks you into entering a website During signup … Unbeknownst to you though, this website detail you enter is what your charge appears as on your customers statement. If like me you don’t actually have a website you’re in for chargeback trouble in the very near future. I did find the option elsewhere on their site to correct this when my customer who created the dispute communicated with me.
          Regardless of them advising their bank immediately of their error and in spite of insurmountable evidence submitted by me immediately, Stripe eventual response was dispute lost.
          I emailed them that they should enjoy the last $25 they’ll ever get from me and that they’ll be duly reported to the appropriate authorities. I was not bluffing though.
          Avoid Stripe … They’re obviously not happy with making a mere 1.9% and are more reliant on the lucrative chargeback fees.
          Corporate Criminals must be stopped

  26. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Ray January 10, 2018 at 10:09 am

    18 months later, I got this email :

    Hi Raymond,
    We’re incredibly sorry for the trouble with your Stripe account!
    It looks like some activity on your account was misidentified as fraudulent, causing potential charge declines and the cancellation of your account. This was a mistake on our end, so we’ve gone ahead and re-enabled your account.
    We sincerely apologize for any frustration this caused—we take these problems very seriously. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there’s any way we can be of help.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Tom January 11, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hello Ray,

      18 months is a lot of time, but at least they followed up and now you know that the mistake was on their end.

  27. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Joakim Iversen March 3, 2018 at 2:49 am

    I am a medical doctor and used Stripe for subscription plans (membership arrangement at my clinic) and administrative services to be paid up front. I had an excellent record (no chargebacks, no disputes, steady growth). Suddenly they notify me that my account will be closed in a few days, claiming I run an online pharmacy! Upon receiving information stating otherwise, they still proceed to shut down the account. As a consequence I will suffer significant economic losses (income from subscription plans). Stripe is in my opinion not a reliable business partner.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      David Chalmers March 8, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      We run a telehealth service for medical providers and use Stripe for subscription plans. We have been a stripe customer for 4 years. No charge backs, no disputes. We have nothing to do with pharmaceuticals.

      2 days ago we were told our account would be cancelled in 5 days because “we are unable to accept payments for pharmacies, pharmaceuticals, and related products (such as telemedicine practices that dispense pharmaceuticals, etc.)”.

      5 days notice! Our business will be severely disrupted while we scramble to come up with an alternative and lose access to all our subscription credit cards. We get no response to email and they refuse to talk about it over chat. I agree, Stripe is not a reliable business partner and clearly does not care about their customers ability to continue doing business.

  28. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Cheryl March 4, 2018 at 6:54 am

    So I have a small business . I lose business as people think they need to have a Paypal account in order to pay but don’t realize they can use credit card instead of PP acct. I want customers to be able to stay on website and pay. Small business. Suggestions for any system?

  29. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Ameelia Collins March 13, 2018 at 2:44 am

    So frustrated with Stripe and totally agree with all above comments, BrainTree/Paypal is far better and will always support it’s customers.

  30. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Sam April 3, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Same thing here. Just received an email saying that we are at a “higher risk level” for customer complaints and that they will close the account in 5 days. We had 0 disputes and 0 chargebacks but somehow they decided we were not deem of Stripe. I cannot believe I’m saying that but, yes, it does seem that Stripe is even worse than PayPal.
    I’m really looking for the days where we will get rid of these greedy faceless corporate middlemen and adopt Bitcoin and crypto as the main way of payment.

  31. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Mark Hocker April 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Very frustrated with Stripe. Someone fraudulently established an account in my organization’s name. Have been trying to get the matter resolved for two months now. Not able to talk with anyone on the phone and the email support has been next to worthless. One would think they would want to actively work with a company to resolve matters like this. Not Stripe.

  32. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Jamie May 14, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    This is the worst processor ever!
    I asked them to approve website before opening account. Got approval moved away and paid freelancer to do it.

    Just 1 test transaction and it got blocked.. for selling coffee beans.
    They are totally insane

  33. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Charles May 15, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this post, I received the same email this morning. Did they end up telling you any reason as why you were originally flagged by their system to trigger being high risk in the first place?

    And I was wondering how you could resolve it with them, I know that they reached out to you, did you have to show them anything or were they willing to reinstate your account at the point of you reaching out?

    Thank you

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson May 21, 2018 at 12:55 am

      Hey Charles, this post was originally written in 2014. Here is our follow up post: https://kinsta.com/blog/how-we-got-our-stripe-account-back/

      Stripe has gotten a lot better about these things. We haven’t had any issues since. We recommend simply reaching out to their support team and they should be able to help.

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Bob July 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

        BS – They are withholding $15,000 of my money right now, due to 1 customer filing a bunch of chargebacks.

        More than that, you can’t seem to win a chargeback with Stripe, while we won >95% of them with Authorize.net.

        Stripe is awful with no customer service.

        1. Gravatar for this comment's author
          Brian Jackson October 10, 2018 at 6:43 pm

          Hey Bob! Hopefully, you got our issue resolved, but Stripe now offers 24×7 support over email, phone, and chat. We have been very happy with Stripe for the past couple years and they are a critical part of our business. I also recommend checking out their new improved Stripe Radar features: https://kinsta.com/blog/credit-card-fraud-stripe/

  34. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Clare June 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Hi Mark,

    I’m sorry to hear this happened to you!

    However, please don’t go to Braintree.

    They processed thousands of stolen credit card fraudulent transactions on my site, over a 72 hour period back in March. 80% they rejected. 20% they processed. All had the same name and IP address and the same ‘failed fraud check’ markers in the transaction detail.

    So it was gross negligence for them to process the 20%.

    They then refused to refund the transactions for me. I had to do it manually. But they locked my account for 3+ weeks, making it impossible for me to do so.

    Of course, the chargebacks poured in. Even after spending days, manually refunding each transaction, they’re still arriving. And so are the fees. £000s.

    I have refused to pay, since their gross negligence renders the term in our contract saying I have to invalid and unfair, under UK law (I’m with PayPal and Braintree UK).

    They have frozen my businesses’ PAYPAL account and CLOSED my Braintree account, effectively closing down my business. They did this last week, without warning and without telling me they had done it. And they are threatening USA court action for debt recovery, unless I pay the chargeback fees that they made it impossible for me to avoid.

    They have refused all of my requests over the past 8 weeks to raise this as a formal complaint and have refused me access to their appeals process. This is a clear breach of the UK’s FCA terms.

    I can’t get an email address to resolve this and when they email me it’s from a ‘no reply’ email. I have to phone them and each call takes up to an hour, starting from scratch with an entry-level call handler and making zero progress.

    In the meantime, I can’t pay my virtual team or my suppliers, which will close down my business very soon, and any payments I receive are being impounded against my company’s ‘debt’. They are still accepting payments on my behalf – no surprise there.

    My new shopping cart system (funnily enough, I’m never trusting the old one again) said they won’t let people link with Braintree because they are so bad at handling and preventing fraud.

    So please don’t go to Braintree.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson July 30, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Hey Clare!
      This was originally written back in 2014 and you can check out how we recovered our Stripe account here: https://kinsta.com/blog/how-we-got-our-stripe-account-back/

      In fact, we’ve been able to reduce our credit card fraud by 98% using Stripe’s new Radar feature: https://kinsta.com/blog/credit-card-fraud-stripe/

  35. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Jimmy Archeo June 28, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I am one of the safest businesses on the web, but Braintree declined me. I begin to think they just looking to justify the “power” given to them. And you know what? I will just accept cash and the heck with the credit card corporations, who rob us anyway.

  36. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Arthur July 7, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Perhaps Stripe makes their money on the $25 dispute fees? Paypal has nonsense going on too. For example someone pays me $0.00 (creepy?) so I “refund” the ZERO amount to avoid any “creepy innovative chargebacks” amnd guess what? I must spend $0.05 to do that somehow!? Paypal refuses to refund the 5c to me. Paypal is corrupt. Here’s another example: Someone keeps on sending me $1 and within seconds they submit a chargeback! Within hours I refund it, but it«s too late! If not my frustration and energy spent fighting such creepy transaction I would be losing $20 for each “chargeback” to Paypal, who allegedly submits such creepy fraud via “associates” and makes money on chargeback fees! Imagine if you owned Paypal Inc. and sent $1 to a million users and submitted chargebacks and made $20 million in chargeback fees right away! Also, there are shady sellers at Paypal, who never ship goods and never respond emails, but when you place a chargeback for say $10 of the tiny purchase Paypal refunds your money, but sometimes keeps the fees! But the worst part is still to come: then months and years later I check the non-shipping seller’s account by sending them $1 and…. they are stil operating! So Paypal never closes such accounts as they profit from such fraud in huge numbers but yu never know about it, because allegedly Paypal probably does this to people who they may think are too busy or are too dumb to investigate.

  37. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Michael Anthony McDonald July 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    I will have to agree from experience. This payment method has proven to be a hackers dream. We lost over 3k usd since subscribing to this platform and with no support. We have have had zero problems with paypal but since trying stripe we have lost over 3k in money with ZERO support. We have cancelled and we suggest that you stay away from this platform.

  38. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Everett Graves August 9, 2018 at 8:12 am

    This *exact* issue is happening with us right now! We moved to Braintree to keep our site up in the meantime, but Stripe customer service is being ZERO help and just keeps reiterating the same thing despite the explanation, I almost feel like I am emailing a bot.

    We *just* started using Stripe, scammers came, charged back $10k for multiple Xbox shipments, and then Stripe cut us off even though the sample was minimal and a totally anomaly.

    Who did you talk to at Stripe? I’d like to get this resolved and your help would be much appreciated. Nice product here at Kinsta by the way.

  39. Gravatar for this comment's author
    John September 12, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    We’ve been using Stripe for 8 months now, and I’m going through similar phenomenon as the OP – beside card testers, most scammers purchase the multiple subscriptions of the service (we sell virtual numbers, so they buy several of them) with the same credit card, without using the numbers at all. Very similar to what the OP described. Anyone have any idea whats the benefit of this conduct?

    There amount of fraud activity really surprised us, and without usage we couldn’t really fight the chargebacks. We’re looking nowadays for fraud prevention that fits our small-medium business volume, as obviously Stripe’s Radar is missing many transactions, including obvious “I’m from Nigeria, but I buy with a US credit card” kind of charges. At the very least we expected such charges to come up for review.

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Tom September 13, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Hi John,

      I’m sorry to hear this happened to you! A few months ago we wrote a detailed post about Radar and how it can help you to lower the number of fraud signups. Here is the link https://kinsta.com/blog/credit-card-fraud-stripe/
      The “I’m from Nigeria, but I buy with a US credit card” issue can be easily detected and blocked if you create a custom rule in Radar:

      :card_country: = ‘NG’ AND :ip_country:!= ‘NG


      :card_country: = ‘NG’ AND :ip_country: = ‘US”

      Also, you can block an entire country if you think all the signups are fraudulent.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions!

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