At 11:00 AM EST today, the FreshBooks/PayPal payment gateway integration stopped working. As a result, no one could accept payment through PayPal using FreshBooks. As of 4:30 PM EST, service has been restored and payments are being processed as expected.
WHAT HAPPENED TO CAUSE THIS
At first the teams at FreshBooks and PayPal thought it was a technical issue, but soon discovered that the FreshBooks PayPal account had been accidentally shut down due to a court order unrelated to FreshBooks.
As it turns out, the State of New York issued a court order to PayPal to close any accounts associated with the defendant’s account, and presumably all the business services in use by that party whether online or off.
FreshBooks is fortunate to have a long relationship with PayPal and key contacts there. The court order was very strict and restrictive, and as a result, PayPal was not able to relax the court order on our behalf and restore our service without permission from the plaintiff.
I am pleased to report that what may have normally taken days and weeks was resolved in hours. Thanks are in order for the folks at PayPal, the law firm Davis Wright and Tremaine who is representing the plaintiff who swiftly fielded our call about the court order and reinstated our service with PayPal, and the FreshBookers who serve you every day.
We don’t want this to ever happen again. Once we have dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s on behalf of the customers impacted by this outage, we will be looking into what FreshBooks can do to ensure that you – our customers who we are obsessed with executing extraordinary experiences for every day – are not impacted by this kind of act. Given the power of a court order, covering this scenario will be a challenge, but we are going to explore things.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through this issue over the last five hours, and if you were gravely inconvenienced by this outage, please contact us and we will do our best to make things right.