Thanks for chipping in btrfld. There were maybe two things going on. One seemed to clear up while tech support was looking at it (or I was doing something wrong, so maybe that was a non-issue.)
The problem on the new site I was setting up seemed to be due to my using the dollar sign in the password. It works fine to use '$' for password protected directories, but not for this script. I'm guessing this remote stats access script, which is written in PHP, chokes on the dollar sign.
Yeah, I know $ denotes a variable in PHP, but I would have thought the authentication process was being handled by the same mechanism as protected directories, but apparently not. I changed the $ to S and it worked fine.