Patreon Apologizes for Unexpected Payment Declines

Patreon has apologized for an unexpected issue that caused patron’s payments to be declined. If your podcast has a Patreon, you may have gotten an email about this issue from Patreon. If you are a patron, you may have gotten an email to inform you that your payment was declined.

On August 2, 2018, Patreon posted a tweet on their verified Twitter account. It included a screenshot that said:

Hi everyone. As you know we’re noticing an unexpectedly high number of payment declines. We’re sorry for the frustration this has caused and we’re doing all we can to help creators get paid by working with our payment partners and continuing to retry payments. Some of these issues were caused by external forces, and others by our efforts to create a stable and global platform as we grow and invest in our capabilities.

To ensure payment goes through this month, you can let your patrons know they can update their payment method to a new card, PayPal, or call their bank to confirm the charge as non-fraud.

In its next two tweets, Patreon linked to articles. The first was to an article titled “How do I update my payment information”. The next tweet included a link to an article titled: “I have declined patrons! Will you charge them again?”

As you may have guessed, there were plenty of tweets posted by angry Patreon creators in response to this problem. Some pointed out that they lost patrons as a result of this issue – which means that they are literally losing money from a problem they did not cause. One person wanted to know what Patreon will do about the creator fees taken out of declined pledges.

Other Patreon users felt it was unfair of Patreon to expect creators to ask their patrons to update their payment information. In December of 2017, Patreon announced it was adding a service fee to Patreon’s pledges, and expected creators to explain the new service fees to their patrons. (Later, Patreon announced they would not institute an automatic service fee after all.)

There is another issue that people have been commenting about on Twitter. Some patrons think they have been charged by Patreon twice, as a result of Patreon retrying payments. Others have concerns that Pateon’s effort to retry payments could result in banks and credit card companies locking accounts for fear of fraud.