Massive amounts are withdrawn from Etsy sellers’ accounts and credit cards following Etsy error
A payment error from Etsy bill resulted in large amounts of money being withdrawn from several thousand sellers’ bank accounts and credit cards on the 15th of February. Etsy claims that the issue has now been resolved and that this was not the result of fraud or hacking.
But the headache isn’t over for the Etsy sellers affected by this – the 18th was a federal holiday in the United States, where Etsy is based, leading to many federal institutions and banks being closed. This could lead to a backlog when it comes to addressing the issue and refunding the accounts affected – there are still hundreds of posts in the Etsy forums requesting refunds.
Etsy sellers are required to keep payment details (with a valid debit or credit card) on file with Etsy in order to have an account. Complaints about this issue first began to pop up on Etsy’s Community Forums and on Twitter on the morning of the 15th, when sellers began to notice the money missing from their accounts. The amounts are withdrawn or charged reportedly range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds.
Shortly after the complaints began to surface, a representative from Etsy posted a short message in the Community Forums to attempt to address the issue, claiming that the company was “aware of a bill payment error affecting a small group of sellers which resulted in some cards being incorrectly charged”. They followed this up on the afternoon of the 16th with a longer message sent out to Etsy sellers. Etsy state that they have already refunded all incorrectly charged cards and accounts and intend to issue deposits today (19/02/2019).
Their second message reads as follows:
“An update on recent issues affecting payment accounts
On Friday, February 15, a bill payment error affected a small group of sellers which resulted in some cards being incorrectly charged. Sellers who were affected have been notified by email, or by Etsy Conversations, and the issue that caused this has since been resolved.
As part of fixing this issue, all incorrectly charged cards have been refunded. It may take several business days for the refunded amounts to clear and settle in card accounts. Also related to fixing the root problem, some sellers saw their scheduled deposit of funds returned to Etsy on Friday, February 15, and those deposits will now be sent on Tuesday, February 19.
For affected sellers, we are very sorry for the trouble or concern this may have caused. Our first priority has been to correct the issue. This was not a fraud issue, but instead, an error related to a site change which affects a small group of sellers and is unrelated to buyers’ purchases.
This is an issue we do not take lightly. We’ve assembled a Payments task force, including senior executives across Etsy, to address any concerns or troubles resulting from this error. We will refund any undue fees associated with this incorrect charge and change in deposit schedule. We don’t expect this error to impact additional sellers going forward.”
This explanation wasn’t enough to placate many of the Etsy sellers affected. There were further complaints about how Etsy handled the issue, saying that hourly updates should have been posted considering the magnitude of the problem. There were also complaints that Etsy had failed to address how it will compensate them for overdraft or late fees, considering just how much money was withdrawn from some accounts. As you can see in the quoted post above, Etsy did say that they will “refund any undue fees associated with this incorrect charge and change in deposit schedule”, but so far have provided no further details.