Major membership problems: paypal not working and subscriptions not being activated on payment


I'd really appreciate some help as I'm having serious problems with the membership plugin.

Users are able to get through the paypal payment process but are seeing an error and getting charged twice.

What's worse, is that once they've paid their subscription isn't being activated in the plugin.

Their buddypress account is created fine but their subscription isn't assigned or activated.

I've had a look myself but really don't know what the problem is.


  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya howtogetcare,

    Yikes! That's no good. Can you give us some information (or post screenshots) of your setup? I haven't heard of someone experiencing this before. Do you have more than one payment gateway active at the moment?

    Also, Barry, the plugin developer for Membership is having a live chat tomorrow 10AM EST so if it's still an issue you might be able to speak with him directly at that time:

    We'll try to help ya get this sorted as quickly as possible.


  • Barry
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Users are able to get through the paypal payment process but are seeing an error and getting charged twice.

    Do you know what error they are getting? Can you login to your paypal account and see what the IPN log says - is it showing any errors ( )?

    Can you have a look at the HTML of the subscription form and let us know what it looks like (do a view source, zip it up and attach it to a reply here). What permalink settings do you have on your site?

    If you visit the URL (change to your sites domain):

    What do you get returned in your browser? If it isn't "Error: Missing POST variables. Identification is not possible" then can you try the solution here -

    We really need as much information as possible from you in order to help out, including (as @drmike keeps saying) a URL for the site that is having problems.

  • howtogetcare
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    WOW thanks for all your responses guys!

    The problem is on

    I'm using membership to allow people access to content and, after a specific period, permission to create their own blog using multisite.

    I'm also offering them access to certain plugins.

    I have one subscription with two membership levels, once that lasts for a month and the second which is serial renewal.

    I've been trying to find out what the paypal error is but I can't reproduce it myself and it seems to only be an intermittent problem.

    I've only had one person 100% confirm that they saw the error and he hasn't been able to specify exactly what it was.

    I'm pretty sure others are having problems as a high proportion have created their buddypress profile but not paid.

    I'm trying to contact them to find out if there was a problem but not had much luck yet.

    Some people have successfully paid now which is a relief.

    The server error log doesn't have anything in there from that domain.

    I created the php file at but it doesn't return anything in the browser, in fact it says the link appears to be broken.

    I've probably done it wrong lol, here's the code I wrote:

    if(class_exists('paypalexpress')) {
    $payment =& new paypalexpress();
    } else {
    echo "No class found - please check directory names";

    Also, do I need to turn on IPN in paypal and direct it to before this will work anyway?

    Here's the html for the subscription form:
    <form action="" name="signup_form" id="signup_form" class="standard-form" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">

    <h2>Create an Account</h2>

    <p>Registering for this site is easy, just fill in the fields below and we'll get a new account set up for you in no time.</p>

    <div class="register-section" id="basic-details-section">

    <h4>Account Details</h4>

    <label for="signup_username">Username (required)</label>
    <input type="text" name="signup_username" id="signup_username" value="" />

    <label for="signup_email">Email Address (required)</label>
    <input type="text" name="signup_email" id="signup_email" value="" />

    <label for="signup_password">Choose a Password (required)</label>
    <input type="password" name="signup_password" id="signup_password" value="" />

    <label for="signup_password_confirm">Confirm Password (required)</label>
    <input type="password" name="signup_password_confirm" id="signup_password_confirm" value="" />

    </div><!-- #basic-details-section -->

    <div class="register-section" id="profile-details-section">

    <h4>Profile Details</h4>

    <div class="editfield">

    <label for="field_1">Name (required)</label>
    <input type="text" name="field_1" id="field_1" value="" />

    <p class="description"></p>
    <input type="hidden" name="signup_profile_field_ids" id="signup_profile_field_ids" value="1" />

    </div><!-- #profile-details-section -->

    <div class="submit">
    <input type="submit"name="signup_submit" id="signup_submit" value="Sign Up →" />

    <input type="hidden" id="_wpnonce" name="_wpnonce" value="d7952abe8c" /><input type="hidden" name="_wp_http_referer" value="/profile-setup/" />

    <input type="hidden" name="action" value="validatepage1bp" />

    I'm only using the default paypal payment gateway.

    I'll try and get on the live chat if I can.

    Thank you very much for all your help!

  • Mason
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hiya howtogetcare,

    Can you confirm that the signups that haven't paid are using the accounts (or even trying to?). Do they look like possible spam accounts?

    I'll ask Barry and Aaron to come by and comment as to the paypal issues, as I'm not sure on that.


  • howtogetcare
    • WPMU DEV Initiate


    the ones who haven't paid are definitely genuine users, not spam.

    All of them except one have contacted me to ask why they can't log in.

    I'm very confused now because one signup this morning was able to pay fine and was added to his subscription correctly.

    Other than trying to sort out the IPN log, which I haven't been able to get to work yet, I haven't changed anything.

    I'm upgrading my paypal account so people can pay without logging into paypal just in case that is making the problem worse, don't see why it would though.

    Thank you very much for all your help.

    I look forward to hearing from Barry and Aaron.

  • Barry
    • DEV MAN’s Mascot

    Hi - ok it looks like your payment return is being found but the processing isn't right there. can you remove the extra dot in line 2 - it should be:

    The payment form should switch on the IPN for these payments in paypal - I can't see it in the html you posted (maybe bad formatting of the forum) but if you search for it should be in one of the hidden form fields.

  • afullerton
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hey Barry,

    I'm having a similar problem. Members are not being charged twice (As far as I'm aware, at least) but they are not be assigned to a subscription plan after paying. I've checked the the missing post variable thing in the other thread ( and am not sure where to go from there.

    Attached is copy of .csv from the paypal IPN system. I don't see anything out of the ordinary there.

    Thanks in advance!

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