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PayPal Instant Payment Notification — Gateway Variable Dump

Posted: September 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm


September 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm

We tried to give a refund to someone who had registered for one of our teleclasses through Event Espresso on our WordPress site. After completing the refund process from within PayPal, we received a WordPress generated email with the subject “PayPal Instant Payment Notification — Gateway Variable Dump.” Then in the body of the email it says “An instant payment notification failed from “persons email address, date, and time.”

Can anyone tell me why this is happening? And, what we need to do to fix it?

Thank you 😉 D

Sidney Harrell

September 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm

You can comment out line 48 of gateways/paypal/paypal_ipn.php
Basically, if an ipn message comes in from paypal that is not updating a payment status to “Completed”, then it sends the admin a message. Usually this is a notification of a payment failure, but it also includes ipn messages like refunds issued.


September 24, 2012 at 7:54 am

I’m not understanding what commenting-out line 48 of that php-file is doing. Would you explain a little more about why I would do that?

I went back and looked at that WP email again to make sense of it. I wonder why that first line of the body of the email began with “An instant payment notification failed . . . ” and then further down in the body (along with the whole list of field-names with associated field-content) the Payment_Status field does say “Refunded.”

More clarification for understanding would be very appreciated. Thank you so much.

Chris Reynolds

  • Support Staff

September 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Basically, there are two types of transactions as far as this email is concerned: Successful payments, and unsuccessful payments. Right now the paypal_ipn.php file is written such that a refund is processed the same way as an unsuccessful payment, which triggers an email with debugging information to try to determine why the payment failed. This is being addressed in an update.


September 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Got it. So, if I understand correctly, a future update will remedy the wording of the email so we will be able to tell whether the refund was “successful” or “unsuccessful.” Am I correct?

Thank you.

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