Paddle May Block Your Account

Paddle.com is a convenient service that handles customer payments for you. They take care of VAT, card charge retries and currency conversions. And it works well too, until they ban you.

“That sounds like a bad joke”

You can find a few horror stories about Paddle on the internet. One ex-customer writes on Product Hunt:

Go for Stipe or Paypal. Never trust Paddle.com

They suspended our account without any notice, just before reaching the payout limit. The reason they said is “Unsupported product”.

We’d Skype meeting with their team member and have clearly explained what we do and what we sell.

Poor support too. Rarely respond, even after days!

We lost all our customers and payments. Never trust paddle.com. I would say it’s a fraud company!

Can you verify your product before?

They have the right to choose who they do business with. The financial world is full of fraud and rigid rules, as a small company they prefer to play it safe. Asking them if your product is acceptable before signing up seems like a good idea, right? A user on Indie Hackers says no:

In my experience using paddle for draftss.com, we tried moving to Paddle last month and received a confirmation from their support team that we can start using paddle for our services and start billing the customers instantaneously and there was no need of any further verification. Everything was proper and started billing our customers. We added the products successfully and sent it to few of our clients. After receiving paid subscribers, almost after 10-12 days later the subscriptions were cancelled stating that Design falls under Human services, which they do not allow on their platform. This comes after confirmation from the paddle support team even before signing up for Paddle. We’re glad that we didn’t move all our customers in a single go.

Are you safe if your product is on the safe list?

It turns out that no, even if you’re 100% sure you’re on the safe list they can still ban you. A maker on Indie Hackers writes:

This week though just before the paid launch, they’ve silently closed my account with no notice, and now (a few days later) they’ve sent a very short email saying my activity is ‘not suitable’, and they won’t be discussing or doing anything about this.

Update: they’ve sent me an email after hassling them a lot, and this was ‘due to a technical error’.

Great for now I guess, but holy shit you can’t just shut down people’s businesses with no notice, by accident. This is crazy.

Can I sleep safe at night?

I asked support to verify my product, which they did - they said it’s OK. I received a few payments so far, so the first wire transfer is safely behind me. But their list of acceptable business is eerily (and silently) evolving every time I check it.

Am I a “business opportunities” product? A “marketing service”? If I send my client a notification am I a “phone service”? If I link to user generated content, am I now an “age restricted product”? And in which jurisdiction? Is my service “unfair” as determined by one or more of the mysterious Card Networks? Am I infringing upon the terms and conditions of any third party? Who will judge that? If I write “read your customer’s minds” am I now a “digital service associated with clairvoyance”? If one of my products breaks the rules will all my subscriptions be cancelled?

I’m uncertain whether or not they will block me and there doesn’t seem anything that I can do about it.

Solution

If that makes you uneasy either talk to them to get your own account manager or switch to a different product.

See also