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Error 81002 during checkout + PaypalExpress

Posted: February 22, 2018 at 4:29 am


MINTvision

February 22, 2018 at 4:29 am

Dear Eventespresso Team,

We are working with EventEspresso Version 4.9.57 and the plugin Calendar (EE 4.3+) Version 3.2.11.p.

We set up everything we need so far, but we cannot complete the checkout process with Paypal Express. This is the first message we receive:

1. After clicking ‘Finalize Registration’, you will be forwarded to PayPal website to Login and make your payment.

Once we click on the ‘finalize registration’ button the following message appears:

2. It appears the Off Site Payment Method was not configured properly. Please try again or contact…

In the eventespresso logs we can see the following error code:
“81002; Unspecified Method”

We did set up a classic API with PayPal in the Classic (NVP/SOAP) standard. We also tried to use a sandbox API, but the error messages remain the same.

We checked our server requirements with the “Event Espresso Requirements” Plugin and we passed(!) the test with the following two minor warnings:

– Some recommended Apache modules appear to be missing from your installation. This may be because of your PHP configuration or because they have not been enabled in your Apache configuration. While this may not cause any obvious errors, some features may not work correctly. Please contact your webhost about activating additional Apache modules or upgrading Apache. View installed Apache modules.
– Your site may be vulnerable to spam registrations without the Apache module mod_security active on your server. We recommend enabling reCAPTCHA on the Event Espresso General Settings page to avoid spam registrations. View installed Apache modules.

Please note that we are happy to try things out, but we are not developers, which is why we would require a very detailed answer with specific steps as to how we can solve this.

We look forward to your solution to this.

Thanks and best regards,
Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

February 22, 2018 at 5:39 am

Hi Gaby,

Firstly, thank you for the details post, it helps 🙂

We did set up a classic API with PayPal in the Classic (NVP/SOAP) standard. We also tried to use a sandbox API, but the error messages remain the same.

Just to confirm, you know those are different credentials for a different account when using sandbox? And the payment method in EE would need to be set to Debug mode to connect to sandbox.

In one tab, if you go to Event Espresso -> Payment Methods -> Logs and note the most recent log entry there (this is just so you know how many log entries you have in the next step).

In another tab, register onto an event and try to use PayPal Express so you get the error.

Switch back to the other tab, how many log entries were created with that last payment attempt?

Open the new log entries and you are looking for one that looks something like this – http://take.ms/qb0bY

If you can find it, is METHOD set to SetExpressCheckout?


MINTvision

February 22, 2018 at 6:49 am

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your quick response. I have to admit the sandbox issue is a bit confusing to us. We set up a test account to avoid having to pay real amounts, but we did not even get to that step yet – both with and without the debug mode on. We also tried it with “real” API credentials before, but we did not get any further either.

Right now we are testing with sandbox in the debug mode, but we can switch back to “real” APIs as well and test with 1 cent amounts if you think this would create fewer problems.

I tried to register for an event via PayPal Express and checked the error messages as you suggested. It seems as if after each transaction the same error gets logged twice, with the same content, as you can see from the following two screenshots:

https://www.dropbox.com/preview/_public/Screen%20Shot%202018-02-22%20at%2014.26.58.png?share=1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/okh7it0dpm8p0m0/Screen%20Shot%202018-02-22%20at%2014.22.26.png?dl=0

Our screenshots look different from yours, maybe due to our German dashboard settings? It seems as if the method is set to “PayPal Express”, right next to the error code number.


Tony

  • Support Staff

February 22, 2018 at 10:40 am

Right now we are testing with sandbox in the debug mode, but we can switch back to “real” APIs as well and test with 1 cent amounts if you think this would create fewer problems.

I don’t think it will, as long as you have a sandbox account and your using the credentials for that sandbox account when the payment method is in debug mode, that should be fine. I just want to make sure that you know it’s not the same account or API details as your live account when you use Debug mode on PayPal.

(We’ve had users use their ‘live’ credentials, enable Debug mode to find it doesn’t work and then spiral from there, when it was simply the wrong account for sandbox)

If you already know that, that’s fine.

I tried to register for an event via PayPal Express and checked the error messages as you suggested. It seems as if after each transaction the same error gets logged twice, with the same content, as you can see from the following two screenshots:

I can’t see the second screenshot, but this…

Our screenshots look different from yours, maybe due to our German dashboard settings? It seems as if the method is set to “PayPal Express”, right next to the error code number.

With your first screenshot leads me to believe your in the wrong place and you are viewing the transaction.

When you go to Event Espresso -> Payment methods -> Logs.

Click on the log entry ID number (this – http://take.ms/vdpfk), not the ‘View XXXX’ link as that takes you to the transaction the log is for.

If you are unsure I’ll take a quick look over your payment method logs if you can send me temp login details using this form:

https://eventespresso.com/send-login-details/


MINTvision

February 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

Dear Tony – I sent you the login details – thank you very much! Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

February 27, 2018 at 5:02 am

Ok, I logged into your site and check over all of the logs, they match the logs from one of my test sites so EE is sending all of the correct information over.

I then copied your PayPal Express login credentials to one of my test sites and ran through a registration there without any issues so its an issue specific to your site/server.

It’s possible this is plugin/theme conflict so I’d recommend running through the first 3 troubleshooting steps here:

https://eventespresso.com/wiki/troubleshooting-checklist/


MINTvision

February 27, 2018 at 7:20 am

Dear Tony,

I did check the first three steps, as well as the debug mode (step four) and nothing seems to provide the solution. We do use EventEspresso’s Version 4.9.57. The theme does not seem to be the problem, as the same error message appears when we deactivate the theme and test it with Twenty Seventeen instead. Also deactivating the plugins does not make a difference.

I am not sure how to find out what javascript version we are using, we do work with the latest wordpress system though.

Please let us know what we can do now – we would appreciate it if you could just make EventEspresso work somehow, as our client already paid for the plugin and we spent a lot of time on trying to make it work, which is really disappointing and frustrating.

Best regards,
Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

February 27, 2018 at 10:32 am

As much as I’d love to be able to do that, this doesn’t seem to be a problem with Event Espresso itself (all of my test sites work and we’ve had no other reports of this) so I can’t just ‘make Event Espresso work somehow’, as there’s no indication of what the problem is to fix.

I suspect it’s either a plugin conflict (which you’ve apparently ruled out) or a server config issue which is beyond our scope to support (although we’ll help if we can), the point being that this isn’t simply a case of ‘EE needs fixing’ as everything works exactly as it should for myself and others using EE with PayPal Express. There’s something on your site/server causing an issue with the connection but right now I don’t know what that is.

I’d recommend contacting both your host to have them confirm nothing is blocking the connection, or altering the POST request to PayPal AND also create a ticket with PayPal themselves and have them check their end to see if they can provide any further information on why the requests are being considered invalid on their end.

If either of them can provide details on what the problem is I’m more than happy to investigate further but currently I can’t see any issues on EE’s side.


MINTvision

March 2, 2018 at 6:31 am

Dear Tony,

We have talked to our hosting provider who provided us with an expert who got access to the site and looked at everything as you did. They mention that they are used to clients with PaypalExpress and that this should not be a problem here. They tested our PayPal settings and did not find any problems with the sandbox account. They tweaked different server settings for our site to see EventEspresso’s reaction. To sum it all up, we were asked to contact you again so you can take another look at EventEspresso’s settings and potential bugs.

We did check the server requirements before we bought EventEspresso with this tool that EventEspresso itself recommends: https://eventespresso.com/wiki/espresso-requirements-check/

I also went through this list of requirements, and can’t seem to find a problem: https://eventespresso.com/requirements/

Our server runs on Linux and Apache, which is where you say that the plugin runs “very well”?

If you think that this is server related, please let us know what other requirements you need to make EventEspresso work. We will gladly ask our hosting provider to make the according changes.

If you like, you can deactivate all plugins and switch the theme to TwentySeventeen yourself – the error stays the same, which is why I am pretty certain that we can rule out any plugin or theme conflicts.

We are at our wits’ end. We will need your input here please.

Best regards

Gaby


Josh

  • Support Staff

March 2, 2018 at 6:40 am

Hi Gaby,

Did you contact PayPal? They may be able to check their logs which should shed light on what’s causing the issue.


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

Hi Gaby,

I just wanted to check in and see if you got any further with this?

Did you contact PayPal and if so did that provide any further details?


MINTvision

March 14, 2018 at 3:32 am

Dear Tony and Josh –

Thank you for asking. The client forwarded this problem to PayPal on our behalf, via Email, as we are not authorised to contact PayPal directly. We are waiting to hear back from the client who went on a holiday. I am guessing that PayPal did not send a helpful response, as the client would have forwarded it to us. Unfortunately, we cannot bill the client now, as everything is up in the air and we were unable to complete the project. I can’t see how PayPal will be able to help us, as we set up the sandbox API correctly, which you as well as the hosting provider confirmed with us. The hosting provider was pointing us to the settings of the EventEspresso plugin after we contacted him. And I am guessing PayPal will do the same…while we are caught in the middle of this.

We are totally frustrated with this project…

So if you can find another solution that would be much appreciated.

Best regards,

Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 14, 2018 at 4:10 am

I’m sorry your frsutrated but as far as I can tell, this is a server config issue. Everything in the payment logs look correct up until the point that the request is made to PayPal.

I can’t see how PayPal will be able to help us, as we set up the sandbox API correctly, which you as well as the hosting provider confirmed with us.

The error your getting is from PayPal, so they should at least be able to identify why that error is being thrown, right now everything in the logs looks correct.

The error happens if you use the wrong method on the request to PayPal (For example using GET rather than POST) or if your request is completely messed up. If that was the case for EE then it would effect every user of EE and not just yourself.

This is the code use to send the request to PayPal:

$request_response = wp_remote_post(
    $this->_base_gateway_url,
    array(
        'method'      => 'POST',
        'timeout'     => 45,
        'httpversion' => '1.1',
        'cookies'     => array(),
        'headers'     => array(),
        'body'        => http_build_query($dtls),
    )
);

wp_remote_post() uses a POST request, and the details logged just before that log entry look correct as far as I can tell.

The hosting provider was pointing us to the settings of the EventEspresso plugin after we contacted him. And I am guessing PayPal will do the same…while we are caught in the middle of this.

There are no settings within Event Espresso that will do the above, even if your credentials are completely wrong you’d get a different error than the above.

If you’re ok with me doing so, I can clone your site to one of the servers I use for testing and run a test there?


MINTvision

March 14, 2018 at 4:24 am

Dear Tony – anything you can do to help would be much appreciated – please free free to clone the site or anything else you see fit. Should we finally hear back from PayPal, I will definitely mention the code you gave me…but as I mentioned we are still waiting to hear back from them unfortunately.

Best regards
Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 14, 2018 at 6:33 am

Hi Gaby,

So I cloned the site using the Duplicator plugin for speed (Note that we don’t usually clone sites to provide support, this is to simply to help narrow down the problem).

The clone of the site is an exact copy of yours, all plugins enabled, all settings exactly as they were on your live site other than a migration of the domain used.

I first imported the site locally and without changing anything other than the dates in use on the event (as they are now expired) made a payment using PayPal Express – http://take.ms/YtXdo

A view from within the EE Transaction – http://take.ms/TLcPt

Then I imported the site onto a live server, again this site is an exact clone with exactly the same settings/plugins etc as your site, the only difference being the migration of the domain. There’s nothing special about this server, it’s a cheap shared hosting package I use for testing EE as some users may use shared servers.

Again, without changing anything other than the dates I made a payment – http://take.ms/QHSyP

In short, there is something on your server causing problems with the connection to PayPal. It is not Event Espresso or any of the plugins/themes on the site but is something your host needs to investigate further and fix, or you could set up the site on another host and you’ll likely find EE just works.

I’m sorry I can’t provide any additional details on what the problem is as we don’t have any other details, no error in the log or any real clue as to what it is. It could be a mod_sec rule the host has set up or some other form of security, it could even be that PayPal is blocking the connection from that server for some reason but I’m just guessing, it’s something your host needs to investigate if you are required to use that server.


MINTvision

March 14, 2018 at 7:12 am

Dear Tony –

Thank you very much for your efforts. We contacted our hosting provider right away. Should they nevertheless not be able to help us…what hosting providers are you suggesting we should use? We would like to avoid another problem once we switch providers…

In Germany, clients are often concerned to use hosting providers that are not in Europe…do you have any suggestions for us based on your experience with other clients?

Best regards,
Gaby


MINTvision

March 14, 2018 at 8:24 am

Dear Tony

The hosting provider is telling us that you should let us know what specific server settings you need…and that this falls under your support.

We did check our server settings with your recommended plugin before buying EventEspresso.

What other hosting settings do you get with the other hosting providers you use that we might not get right now? Host Europe is one of the biggest providers we have here in Germany – I am not sure what other provider would work for us (apart from the fact that we bought a year contract with them for this project). Right now we do not even know what to ask them for when it comes to server settings.

Could you please give us some alternative server settings that we can mention to them?

Also, I am confused about the PayPal error that you referred to earlier. Does this error not happen anymore under the new server settings in your testing environment?

Best regards,

Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 14, 2018 at 3:56 pm

The hosting provider is telling us that you should let us know what specific server settings you need…and that this falls under your support.

We don’t have any specific server settings needed for this as far as I am aware, we’ve certainly not needed to alter any settings previously for PayPal Express to work.

We did check our server settings with your recommended plugin before buying EventEspresso.

The requirements plugin can only check for known issues and this is not a known issue.

What other hosting settings do you get with the other hosting providers you use that we might not get right now? Host Europe is one of the biggest providers we have here in Germany – I am not sure what other provider would work for us (apart from the fact that we bought a year contract with them for this project).

To name some we’ve heard of other using using, Siteground, Bluehost, WPEngine, GoDaddy, 1&1, A small orange, Hostgator, A2, DreamHost, Digital Ocean.

Right now we do not even know what to ask them for when it comes to server settings.

Could you please give us some alternative server settings that we can mention to them?

That’s the problem, we don’t have any specific requirements for this so I have no idea what server settings would need to be changed.

Also, I am confused about the PayPal error that you referred to earlier.

I’m sorry but I’m not sure I understand this?

Does this error not happen anymore under the new server settings in your testing environment?

No, on my test sites (which are almost identical clones of your site on different servers) I don’t run into the problem at all. PayPal Express just works.

Its not server settings that I’m changing, I’m setting the clone sites up on default hosting packages.


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 14, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I had already typed out the above but then start doing some more investigating so left the reply in and will post this, I’ve now found the problem.

On your server your PHP configuration settings uses & amp; (minus the space) for the arg_separator.output value, see – http://take.ms/ASCVp
(I’ve blurred a lot of the output because its unrelated and should not be public but thats from your phpinfo)

So with the code I posted above:

$request_response = wp_remote_post(
    $this->_base_gateway_url,
    array(
        'method'      => 'POST',
        'timeout'     => 45,
        'httpversion' => '1.1',
        'cookies'     => array(),
        'headers'     => array(),
        'body'        => http_build_query($dtls),
    )
);

http_build_query($dtls) is using your server default arg_separator.output value to separate each of the request parameters sent to PayPal Express.

Which means the values are being passed to PayPal as something like:

VERSION=200.0& amp;USER=some_user& amp;SIGNATURE=some_signature_value...

When PayPal is expecting:

VERSION=200.0&USER=some_user&SIGNATURE=some_signature_value...

Your host can set the value of arg_separator.output to & and the PayPal Express connection should then work.


MINTvision

March 16, 2018 at 4:04 am

Dear Tony – only thanks to your specifications, we were able to make the PayPal Express function work. Host Europe implemented what you suggested and it works, finally!

So Host Europe definitely is not a recommendation for your other clients – we will try to switch our hosting for future projects. We heard good things about this German provider: http://www.all-inkl.com – hopefully they will provide better services.

Thank you very much for your outstanding support!

Best regards,

Gaby


Tony

  • Support Staff

March 16, 2018 at 4:17 am

Hi Gaby,

I’m glad its working for you now.

Before we come down to hard on ‘Host Europe’ this is a fairly obscure issue and was really difficult to track down, but essentially due to Host Europe using a non-default/standard value for arg_separator.output and that’s a setting out of many so isn’t easily identified.

I found some other reports of people using this config and then backtracking due to issues, here is an example:

https://github.com/owncloud/core/issues/14782

Now that we know about this we can try and add some code within EE to work around it so that even if other hosts use the above setup, PayPal Express should continue to work.

Anyway, I’m glad this is now working for you. If you run into any further problems please do let us know.


MINTvision

March 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

Thank you Tony – your support is really excellent!

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Updated by  MINTvision 6 months, 1 week ago ago

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