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Cricital problem with PayPal Instant Payment Notifications (IPN)

Posted: September 22, 2021 at 11:56 am


khuber

September 22, 2021 at 11:56 am

We are having issues with Instant Payment Notifications (IPN)
The CC gets charged when the customers are purchasing the products, but the notification returns as failed.
We set up PayPal account based on the articles, but getting issues still

PAYPAL status INCOMPLETE but actually fully paid
https://eventespresso.com/search-results/?q=PAYPAL+status+

https://www.screencast.com/t/Yu3ca5t3


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 22, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Hi there,

So your using PayPal Standard within Event Espresso?
ed
We deprecated PayPal standard a while ago due to reliability issues with PayPals IPN’s (on their servers), it no longer shows on new installs of EE4, only installs that have previously entered credentials for it.

Your currently showing as being rate limited in your screenshot, that may not be the case for your server itself but in any case I recommend switching away from PayPal Standard to use PayPal Express. It uses the same PayPal account type but different credentials from your account, see here:

https://eventespresso.com/wiki/paypal-express-payment-gateway/#locate


khuber

September 23, 2021 at 5:23 am

We’ve been using PayPal Pro.
But ok, we will attempt to switch to PayPal Express.

Can you please explain the relationship between what we are seeing in the PayPal screen regarding the rate limit and our server? What can the problem be caused by and how to fix it?


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 23, 2021 at 5:39 am

We’ve been using PayPal Pro.

PayPal doesn’t use IPN’s at all, it uses direct POST to communicate with PayPal.

Where do you see the notifications failed?

Can you please explain the relationship between what we are seeing in the PayPal screen regarding the rate limit and our server? What can the problem be caused by and how to fix it?

Rate limiting is a value set on PayPal’s servers which basically means they will return an error if you send too many requests to their server within a certain amount of time. How many requests that is and the timeframe involved only PayPal knows 🙂

So for example, if you send 20 requests to PayPal in 5 seconds, they may rate limit you and simply return an error from requests based on your IP/User etc for a specific time period.

(Note that again, I’m completely making up the values in the above as I don’t know what limits they set on their servers)

You can’t really fix it yourself and need to wait for the expiration time on the rate limiting.

I replied above to your support thread before the support token arrived on our system, I haven’t yet redeemed it but can log in and investigate the specific requests for PayPal to see what they show if preferred?


khuber

September 23, 2021 at 8:05 am

Tony
Our primary goal is to find out why the payments on the site are not getting confirmed even though user’s CCs are getting charged.

If you need, please log into the website and debug as necessary.


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 23, 2021 at 9:24 am

Hmmm, what’s happening is the database is returning an empty error when EE tries to log the PayPal response in the wp_esp_log, which then throws an exception and prevents the page from continuing onto the thank you page.

I disabled the log entries to see if this was an issue specific to the logs but then you get the same error on the wp_esp_payment table when EE tries to update the payment object.

I assume PayPal Pro previously worked as expected? Any recent server side changes?


khuber

September 23, 2021 at 9:39 am

Correct, PayPal worked as expected until the day before yesterday.
There were no significant server-side changes other than regular bi-weekly plugin updates. But those were not done recently.


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 23, 2021 at 10:03 am

Ok, I think I found the problem.

The event title used styled around SPSL which then broken when encoded to add to the database.

I’ve updated the event to use "SPSL" vs “SPSL” and now I’m not getting any errors/exceptions when attempting to make a payment.

Can you test a payment to confirm? Or wait for another registration to come in and see if that works.


khuber

September 23, 2021 at 11:06 am

Thank you, Tony
I believe the issue is fixed for now.
We will be in touch if we notice this in the future.


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 23, 2021 at 12:21 pm

You’re most welcome, I’m glad that worked.


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 23, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Just so you know, to troubleshoot this I installed a custom functions plugin to hold a debug function I could use on the site and also enabled WP_DEBUG to view any errors.

I’ve just removed the plugin and removed the additional code used for WP_DEBUG.

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