Getting Fucked by Stripe

At Edoceo we’ve been using Stripe for a very long time (2, maybe 3 years) without issue. Part of that may have been because our volume of CC payments was so very low. For our little spin-off projects we’ve mostly used PayPal and using Stripe for consulting invoicing was dumb – most clients there paid via wire.

A few months ago we started using Stripe as they payment gateway for our marijuana regulatory compliance software: WeedTraQR – which is sold as a SaaS model.  They have just kicked us off are giving us five days. You’ve seen this warning, Stripe has threatened other Start-Ups.  So we were sort of prepared.  Here is the message we got – it’s the same copy they send to everyone.

Hi David,

Thanks for signing up with Stripe!

Unfortunately, we will need to stop offering service for 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.

That said, we understand that there may be some work involved with moving your business away from Stripe, and we’re happy to help out with this process by giving you 5 days to switch to a new provider. After that, you won’t be able to accept additional charges on your account, but we will continue making transfers to your bank account until you receive all of your funds1.

We’re sorry that we can’t offer ongoing service, and we wish you the best of luck with your business.




Why were were booted from Stripe?  Is it because we are in the marijuana industry?  We don’t sell pot, we sell software. They made no mention of this. We have zero customer disputes over our entire history.  In point of fact this is not even a customer dispute!  We were only trying a partial refund.

We moved a customer from one subscription plan to a less expensive plan.  Internally Stripe handles all this magic, crediting the customers account and pro-rating the next subscription.  This doesn’t issue an actual refund to the customer – it’s just an accounting trick inside of Stripe – they keep the money the whole time.  Neither Edoceo (or WeedTraQR) not the Customer has access to these funds (about $600) until the next subscription cycle.  I had simply inquired about how to issue and ACTUAL REFUND for the difference rather than leave the funds un-allocated in Stripes pocket.

It’s pretty clear to me, if you use Stripe and then have ANY normal business issues they get ready to boot you.  If you want to issue an actual refund for the difference between two subscription plans and not use their pro-rated magic it’s also a red flag.  Even when it’s not a customer dispute.  Maybe Stripe makes money on the arbitrage and actually REFUNDING will threaten their business model.

Anyway, fuck Stripe.  They can shove the five day window up their ass; we’ll be moving on to providers. I’ll be encouraging the other start-ups I advise to make a contengency plan and/or begin migration process right now.