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Unpaid approved Registrations

Posted: November 9, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Matt Shane

November 9, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Hi there –

I have limited registrations for classes. I have unpaid registrations marked as INCOMPLETE and the user takes up a registered spot in the class. This obviously creates a problem with class space. I would like the classes by default to have paid spots marked approved automatically and take up a spot in the class. How can I achieve this? Not sure why unpaid or incomplete registrations would be allowed to take up a reserved spot. It defeats the purpose. Please let me know.




  • Support Staff

November 10, 2020 at 2:56 am

Hi Matt,

I would like the classes by default to have paid spots marked approved automatically and take up a spot in the class. How can I achieve this?

That happens automatically by default when the transaction is paid in full the registrations linked to that transaction switch over to be ‘Approved’. Approved registrations are the registrations counted towards the sold values, with the exception of ‘reserved’ tickets (more on this shortly).

Not sure why unpaid or incomplete registrations would be allowed to take up a reserved spot. It defeats the purpose.

Registrations with a status of Pending Payment (which is what they will be by default) so not apply to the sold values, but they do ‘reserve’ a spot for the duration of their session which again by default is 1 hour until they are release again.

I’m not sure what you feel this defeats the purpose of but to explain the reason behind the system, when you submit a ticket on the ticket selector it is placed into a reserve and we do this to prevent overselling. Let’s say User A selects a ticket and takes a few minutes to add their details and get to the payment options, in the meantime User B submits the same ticket and has autofill, so makes it through to the payment options either before or at the same time as User A. Both pay for the registration using an online payment method like Stripe, you had 1 spot reminding on that ticket so which one do we now honour?

Without a reservation system, the above happens a lot and we saw it happen on multiple occasions before we added that system, it still isn’t perfect but it reduces the above dramatically.

So, having explained the above, how long has that ticket been in reserve?


  • Support Staff

November 10, 2020 at 2:58 am

Actually, I made a quick assumption above in that I’m assuming you actually mean reserved tickets when you may have set your Default Registration Status to ‘Approved’ meaning all registrations are automatically Approved and apply to the sold values.

Is that the set up you are using? If so, switch the Default Registration Status option back to ‘Pending Payment’, registrations that pay in full will automatically be marked Approved.

Matt Shane

November 10, 2020 at 10:31 am

Hi Tony –

The status doesn’t change and the reserved spot is kept preventing others from registering for open spots. Our class sizes are limited due to the pandemic and we get a lot of people wanting to register for 15-20 open spots. But unapproved attempts – I dont know if they are abandoned carts or declined payments (we use PayPal) shouldn’t take up class sizes. We get emails complaining the class is sold out and when we look on the backend we actually see 2-3 what should be open spots taken up by unapproved attempts with 0 payment made. – That is why it doesn’t make sense. If the payment doesn’t go through the reserved spot shouldn’t be taken. A failed payment should mean nothing to the system other than that – it failed.



  • Support Staff

November 10, 2020 at 11:33 am

The status doesn’t change

Which status doesn’t change and from what?

Matt Shane

November 10, 2020 at 11:36 am

sorry for confusion. status means – keeping the registration spot. it doesn’t release it. I just want approved registrations that take up roster spots to be from successful processed payments. Thats it. I dont care or need to know the reasoning. We have batches of students that try to register when we put out a marketing blast. So first come first serve and the successful payments take up a limited active roster spot.


  • Support Staff

November 11, 2020 at 3:02 am

You can’t disable the reservation system but if they aren’t releasing it could mean there is an issue with WP_Crons running on the site.

You can check using

In Tools -> Cron Events do you have a bunch of AHEE__EE_Cron_Tasks__expired_transaction_check jobs waiting to run?

Or does it display any warnings/notices at the top of that page with regards to WP_Cron?

Matt Shane

November 11, 2020 at 11:36 am

Hi Tony –

I dont want to disable the reservation system. I simply want paid registrations to be marked approved and unpaid registrations not to take up a reserved class spot until payment is confirmed.

Thats it.



  • Support Staff

November 12, 2020 at 6:03 am

That happens by default when using a Default Registration Status (DRS for short) of ‘Pending Payment’ (which is the default value used by Event Espresso).

Registrations are marked as approved when payment is made in full.

Registrations remain at Pending Payment when the registration is not paid in full.

Only registrations that are Approved count towards the sold values for an event with the exception of the reservation system also hooking into the available numbers.

So if you are using a DRS of Pending Payment already and places are remaining reserved after their session has expired there is an issue with the reservation system/WP_Cron.

Matt Shane

November 12, 2020 at 6:30 am

ok great thanks. We dont want that. We have classes limited to 15 spots and when we do an email blast we have more than that try to immediately sign up. So holding reserved spots as pending for any amount of time wont work. Is the answer to set the DRS to approved? thanks


  • Support Staff

November 12, 2020 at 7:50 am

There is no option within Event Espresso to not reserve spots and if you could disable the reservation system I’m 99% certain you will oversell that event by at least 1 registration, more if you’re sending that email to large numbers. Sending mass emails and having many users hitting the event all at once to pay is what highlighted the issue back before we added that system into EE.

The only change you can make within the reservation system is to change the duration of the user’s session, that will reduce how long the tickets are served for but you are already running into issues with tickets not ‘releasing’ it may not help.

This snippet changes the session lifespan:

You can add that to a custom functions plugin, we have some documentation on creating one here:

That snippet uses 30 minutes but if you want less just change line 4. Note that it is not just ‘reserved’ time, its the user’s session time so if you set it to something really short users will select tickets and by the time they’ve input their registration details it may time out and they lose it all again before they even get to the payment options.

Is the answer to set the DRS to approved?

No, the DRS applies at the end of the checkout.

DRS – Pending Payment
Means you want registrations that have not paid to not apply to the sold values, in effect, it’s saying “When a user finalizes a registration, check the payment amount with the amount due if there is any remaining do not approve”.

DRS – Approved
Means you want all finalized registrations to be approved and apply to the sold values regardless of their payment status, so in effect stating “When a user finalizes a registration, approve them regardless of payment status and we’ll sort that later”. Say you had an Invoice and Stripe payment option and you want the Invoice payments to take a space to prevent overselling, you can use the above.

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