Manually Managing Memberships in Protected Content

I had an incorrect IPN URL in my paypal account and this seemed to be causing members to "expire" because when a payment (paypalstandard) was made, the IPN was wrong and thus not inform the site the user should remain active. Members who had funds paid through paypal then had no access to the site. As a solution, I would have to manually add them to the appropriate membership. I now have the proper URL set up in my IPN settings and it seems that these members are now being charged on both their initial setup AND when they were manually added. So my question is is this what is supposed to be happening? So when I manually add someone to a membership who is set up as a recurring payee, is this supposed to charge them monthly as well? Is this why they are all being double invoiced and double paying? What should I do to fix this?

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hey @EZMoney,

    Hope you're doing well today :slight_smile:

    Having users paying two subscriptions certainly isn't a good thing.
    But since your initial issue with the IPN it's possible that they will be billed twice because you have added them to two memberships.
    Let me flag this thread to our second level support dev guys so they can give us some info on what is the best way to resolve this.

    Best regards,

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi @EZMoney,

    Sorry, I thought from your first post that you added your existing members again manually and that they are paying two memberships now.

    I'm still not sure what exactly is the issue now and what are you trying to accomplish (sorry!), could you elaborate it a bit more please?
    What is the current status of your members that registered before IPN was configured?

    Looking forward to your answer.

    Best regards,

  • EZMoney

    - Jan 1: Member signs up ( no IPN setup)
    - IPN failed - 404 error
    - Feb 1: Paypal dedcuts the fee from member's account
    - IPN Failed - assuming because on origination there was none set up
    - Since IPN Failed, the plugin does not receive the notification and thus members status is "expired"
    - Feb 4th: Member contacts us because he paid but has no access
    - I remove his membership in Admin, then add him manually to the membership to achieve an "active" status
    - Feb 20th added IPN to paypal
    - March 1 member is auto billed from paypal
    - March 4th member is auto billed from paypal

    Member is now being double billed.

    So the question is, I need confirmation that applying a membership manually will cause a new agreement between paypal and the member? If so, how can I fix this? If I cancel their recurring payment on paypal, it also sends the "canceled" message to the website now that the IPN is fixed.

  • Thomas

    Hello EZmoney,

    Hope your day is going good.
    I am no developer and do not work for or on behalf of WPMUdev. Just a member. However, i think i may be able to offer some insight. I kind of had the same issue, and it was nothing to really do with yoursite or plugins or anything.... It is possible that this is a paypal thing... not really an issue on paypal side..... I believe that your customers/members will have to correct this themselves by contacting their financial institute to "STOP PAYMENTS" to your site.... YOU would want to make sure you inform them on which account to stop payments to. You may FIRST have to rename the subscription invoice name/number or whatever you use for paypal to identify the subscription. Paypal will continue to bill recurring payments and i have been told by paypal the only way to stop that is if the customer stops it with their financial institute. You may want to get ready to offer a free month for the issues after set everything straight..... I hope this information was helpful to you...if not, im sorry it wasn't.

  • Thomas

    OUCH!!! ... :slight_smile:

    Hello EZmoney,

    I'm sorry my information was of no value to you. My intentions was sincere, and i was speaking solely as a community member and from a previous, similar experience i encountered with "PayPal". Didn't mean to add to your frustration, my "bandaid" solution was intended to be helpful. Also - bandaids/bandages are very useful in preventing an infection (couldve been all your members affected by your error) of a womb. However, you do realize that according to your post, this is an issue "You" caused ( "I had an incorrect IPN URL in my paypal account and this seemed to be causing members to "expire" ) on a third party (PayPal) site. You really may want to contact paypal for extra assistance as this seems to be an issue with "recurring payments" and not the membership plugin itself.

    Another of my Thoughts

    "EZMoney" and loyal customers/members is the manifestation of great business practices. Bite the bullet and give an incentive to re-register.

  • EZMoney

    I was not taking a shot at you Thomas. The reason the IPN was incorrect was due to a change in the pluging back in December and for some reason the developers of the plugin claim that URL change to the IPN should not affect the functionality. I have another post involving this issue but it appears the issue is the plugin itself. For instance, another issue the plugin has (a bug) is it allows members who are currently active to re-pay for the same membership which I am now finding a handful of users have successfully done. Originally I set up the membership to have the users renew themselves. I then changed the payment settings from paypal_single to paypal_standard. So users who were used to renewing themselves went in and paid again for the same membership thus causing 2 and 3 payment agreements between them and paypal. So now payments are being made multiple times for a singe user. If I cancel one of these agreements, it cancels their membership on the site even though the other payment agreements are still active. Which then makes a vicious cycle of them having a payment deducted but still no access. Then they think they need to manually pay so they do and they it creates a second payment agreement.

    The coupon addon would be great if I can cancel all their current memberhsip agreements and offer a first month free but the coupon addon applies the coupon to every payment, not just the initial one.

    The free trial addon may have worked, but again all that does is offer a free month, then forces them to re-register after that.

    Nevertheless, this whole experience with this plugin has been a constant issue one after another.

  • EZMoney

    Can someone explain how I can cancel a membership in my paypal account without it affecting their membership status on the website? It seems I have a handful of members who registered, but did not instantly gain access to the site, so they went and paid again. This caused multiple recurring payment agreements between them and paypal. It appears if I cancel one of them through paypal, it signals to the site they canceled (even though they still have another payment agreement active). This is NOT good for my members. I would like a solution that does not require canceling all agreements and forcing the member to re-register. Assistance Please?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello EZMoney,

    I hope you're well today and I'm very sorry for what happened here!

    As my colleague @Predrag Dubajic said, this has been forwarded to the plugin's developer and I hope he'll come up with an "easy-to-apply" solution.

    At the moment though, I don't think there's any "one-click" fix available. This is quite an uncommon issue and although I do agree that asking your members to deal directly with their financial institution is not a good option, some interaction would be required.

    Having said that, I can think of another workflow here. This is what I would most likely do personally in such a case:

    1. Inform members that there be some changes made, so they don't have to worry about their memberships
    2. Cancel the troublesome membership (so it would not exist anymore).
    3. Create new one with exactly the same capabiliteis
    4. Move all users from that canceled one to the new one
    5. Make a refund via PayPal for those double-charged.
    6. Get in touch with PayPal to explain the situation and require their assistance to make sure that they won't charge users any more for this non-existent membership

    I do realize and understand that this is not the best way out of this situation but I hope this is at least "an option" here, for the time being. Despite that, the developer has been notified about this and has been also informed that this is an urgent issue that requires his attention asap.

    Kind regards,

  • Hoang Ngo

    Hi EZMoney,

    I hope you are well today.

    After read all the responses here, I think the main reason is the delay of IPN request from PayPal to your site, and this is not something a plugin can managed.

    In this case, I think we will need to let users know, sometimes they will need to wait longer for the membership to be initiated so they aren't going purchase it again.

    For updating the text, you can use Poedit or our Ultimate Branding's Network wide text change module, to search the string and replace it.

    Best regards,

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