Hacker News

Stripe's API was down again

Hasn't hit their status page yet, but our error rates are spiked up again, and they just posted a tweet -> https://status.stripe.com/

5:35 Eastern -> Their status page has been updated

132 pointsklinskyc posted 12 days ago68 Comments
68 Comments:
tibbon said 12 days ago:

Stripe gets the front page because they are popular with developers, but I've dealt with so many other more-corporate payment processors that are absolutely awful for reliability. Rampant downtime, terrible support, terrible concurrency limits, failure to meet SLAs, terrible documentation (900 page specs that are impossible to read). They all think they are awesome, and yet can't go more than 48 hours without having some system degradation email sent out. I don't want to name them, but they are some of the worst businesses I've ever dealt with. They just want to sit there and collect huge amounts of money for helping you connect to Visa/Mastercard/etc, and do little else.

Rage. Stripe hitting a little downtime is nothing in comparison.

jchw said 12 days ago:

I have some experience with a Stripe competitor (may have predated Stripe by a bit) but their reliability was probably on par, more or less. Their API though... would’ve been worth a couple lost 9s for a better API. Polar opposite of Stripe on that front.

drspacemonkey said 12 days ago:

I dealt with one that seemed actively hostile. They would change their API without any advance warning at all. Data fields that we depended on would mysteriously vanish in the middle of the day, causing our entire system to grind to a halt until we put in a hotfix. Happened several times in the two years I worked on that project.

october_sky said 12 days ago:

Wow?! An API should be treated as a contract.. I hope you dropped them

drspacemonkey said 12 days ago:

It would have been nice if dropping them had been an option for me.

personomas said 12 days ago:

So far I've had great experiences with Stripe's support.

joemag said 12 days ago:

Agree. I once had to explain the concept of idempotemcy to a payment processor, whose APIs lacked it.

robbyt said 12 days ago:

If this is true, why not name them to help others?

MuffinFlavored said 12 days ago:

Let’s build an alternative that helps people connect to Visa/MasterCard

Oh wait... we can’t!

edwinwee said 12 days ago:

We're seeing a spike in error rates and we're working on a fix now. (We've updated our status page: https://twitter.com/stripestatus/status/1149065544399609856)

rglover said 12 days ago:

Kind of incredible that this is the first time I remember Stripe being down in a long, long time.

Serious kudos to their team and hope they get this resolved soon :)

civicsquid said 12 days ago:

I've seen a lot of comments like this on HN since earlier today regarding the Stripe API downtime. It's very positive and I'm glad to see it in response to an event that usually garners frustration.

Never used Stripe's API myself, but it sounds like they are vastly reliable beyond these blips.

jammygit said 12 days ago:

Out of curiosity, why is this downvoted?

dmlittle said 12 days ago:

It would be great if Stripe would offer an RSS feed for status updates in addition to twitter posts. A lot of other services have one and it's very convenient to subscribe to in Slack for updates. At my current company, for example, we have a #third-party-outages channel which we have all available third party services (GitHub, NPM, CircleCI, Slack [yes, it's meta], HackerOne, etc.) status page RSS feed notify in case of an outage.

harrygallagher4 said 12 days ago:

It wouldn't be perfect, but there are tons of services that can generate an RSS feed for a specific twitter user. It looks like @stripestatus only tweets when there's actually an issue (aside from updates on current issues)

annon said 12 days ago:

I do the same, you can use the slack twitter integration to post the stripe alerts.

jammygit said 12 days ago:

I didn’t realize you could use slack as an rss client

ComputerGuru said 12 days ago:

Via a bot.

jakecopp said 12 days ago:

I thought RSS requires polling - to get timely outage notifications does Slack hit all the RSS feeds every minute?

leesalminen said 12 days ago:

I’ve used StatusGator for this in the past with success.

eropple said 12 days ago:

StatusGator isn't granular enough. Having a service go yellow just because a totally different geographic region got sad is annoying.

procinct said 12 days ago:

https://status.stripe.com/

Edit: Actually looks like that page doesn't have an RSS feed, never mind

leesalminen said 12 days ago:

I don’t see an RSS feed option there?

procinct said 12 days ago:

You're right, looks like I was mistaken

dmlittle said 12 days ago:

I looked and triple checked before posting this to make sure I didn't accidentally miss it ;)

procinct said 12 days ago:

You're clearly more careful than I am :)

harrygallagher4 said 12 days ago:

Ran into this one in the wild when it happened, before stripe status had even tweeted about it. I was trying to order doordash and got a "Could not deserialize JSON object" error when adding a credit card. Hope this is fixed soon, the girlfriend and I are very hungry :(

Edit: update if anyone cared, API seems back up and we have ordered food! :)

egty said 12 days ago:

I care! What did y'all get? Was it tasty?

aldoushuxley001 said 12 days ago:

I was rooting for you the whole time

dang said 12 days ago:

The thread from earlier today is https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20403774.

cristea said 12 days ago:

The last error message on their credit cards endpoint reads «This API method has been temporarily disabled due to exceptionally high traffic». It might be a DDoS attack.

edwinwee said 12 days ago:

We're investigating what happened, but we know this wasn't a DDoS attack.

gr2020 said 12 days ago:

Ya - I'm seeing the same thing on the customer endpoint.

slics said 12 days ago:

Is it due to another Fiber Cut somewhere? Recently almost the entire east coast was down due to fiber damage. I guess the cloud services are as good as the wires that run in the ground.

jxramos said 12 days ago:

grounding the cloud!

jasonb05 said 12 days ago:

Bad day to launch my new GAN book. damn it!

how_77462348 said 12 days ago:

I was able to still get through and get it.

jasonb05 said 12 days ago:

Thanks!

sauldcosta said 12 days ago:

We were literally just about to deploy an updated pricing model when our test suite started failing when using Stripe's API.

sauldcosta said 12 days ago:

Yep, definitely is. Have been getting 503s for the last 15 minutes.

paulmendoza said 12 days ago:

Second time today. This has been a painful day. That uptime percentage is really ticking down fast. The developer/test mode APIs also seem to be down now as well.

duxup said 12 days ago:

Anyone have any good advice on storing a failed transaction and retrying later?

Is that even feasible with Stripe?

Obviously there would be security considerations.

ComputerGuru said 12 days ago:

The real solution is to never rely on one party. We fall back to another payment processor after using a heuristic to see if the error isn’t one that makes sense. If it’s a problem with the payment card, it’ll fail again, no harm done. If it’s a problem with the provider, it’ll go through.

(We wrote a payments abstraction library easy enough to (partially or fully) fill for any payment provider’s core functionality, so it’s literally just a couple more lines of code at the call site. It took several rewrites to get the abstraction to cover all the oddities each time we added a new provider implementation, though!)

maxgashkov said 12 days ago:

But for that you have to touch CC info directly with all the risks and compliance bullshit.

dangrossman said 12 days ago:

You can use a third party vault to collect and store CC info without it touching your servers. I use Spreedly. I can then charge any of the stored cards with any of like 45 different payment gateways, including Stripe. Keeping your own billing systems online when one of your gateways is down is one of the use cases. This has worked great for the past 7 or so years I've been using them. It might become more difficult with PSD2 SCA however...

athrun said 12 days ago:

what happens when the vault goes down?

dangrossman said 12 days ago:

That happens much less often than payment gateways going down. Spreedly's service is at least an order of magnitude less complex than running a payment processing company. However, you can have resilience against that situation by having a backup integration with one of your payment gateways directly. Spreedly will gladly collect a customer's credit card for you, save it in their vault, AND save it in your Stripe account, and any other gateways you work with. So, without having touched any CC info yourself, you can tell Spreedly to charge a customer via Stripe, or you can directly tell Stripe to charge that same card.

duxup said 12 days ago:

Thank you.

jijji said 12 days ago:

have your script test for your own network possibly being down, then if it gets a bad response, put the transaction in a queue to be retried later

fbelzile said 12 days ago:

It looks like it's up again for me.

pgm8705 said 12 days ago:

I've had transactions getting through every once in a while but most are not.

foobiekr said 12 days ago:

SAAS: if one transaction gets through, it’s not “down” or “unavailable”, it’s “elevated error rates.”

said 12 days ago:
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francocorrea said 12 days ago:

F

dang said 12 days ago:

Please don't do this here.

cristea said 12 days ago:

F

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francocorrea said 12 days ago:

F

bxio said 12 days ago:

F

said 12 days ago:
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leesalminen said 12 days ago:

What’s all this about? Honest question

realPubkey said 12 days ago:

It's a meme from a computer game where, at a funeral, you have to press F to pay respect

leesalminen said 12 days ago:

Shows how cool I am ;) Thanks!

said 12 days ago:
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said 12 days ago:
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pay_respects said 12 days ago:

To pay respects!