Pro Site not upgraded after payment received

I just noticed an issue that appears to have occurred out of the blue, since otherwise Pro Sites seems to be functioning properly and has been for quite some time. Below is some information I hope will help resolve the issue. Please advise of any other details I can provide to help troubleshoot. Thank you in advance for any help.

We have a member site that was originally registered 2012/06/02. Today (12/14/12) we received a Paypal payment and notification for a Pro Site level upgrade. We did NOT, however, receive an automatic payment profile notification. No subscription was created, nor was the site upgraded (ads removed, plugins activated, upload space increased, etc.). The Supporter Upgrade page for the site indicates no current Pro Site level. Other Admin notes follow...

Manage Pro Sites Management:
Manage Site : Adventures of Lupedog (Blog ID: 1932)
"Adventures of Lupedog" has never been a Pro Site.

Account History:
2012-12-14 5:13:06 pm Payment receipt email sent to
2012-12-14 5:13:05 pm PayPal IPN "Completed" received: $25.00 express_checkout payment received, transaction ID 8TJ76364CM2030113
2012-12-14 5:12:56 pm User creating new subscription via PayPal Express: PayPal returned an error*:
*No error message included!?

IPN Forwarder Log Entry:
[2012-12-14 17:13:05] Successfuly sent to transaction_subject=Tripawds+Supporter%3A+%2425.00+USD+every+12+months&payment_date=09%3A12%3A44+Dec+14%2C+2012+PST&txn_type=express_checkout&last_name=NameChanged&residence_country=US&item_name=Tripawds+Supporter%3A+%2425.00+USD+every+12+months&payment_gross=25.00&mc_currency=USD&payment_type=instant&protection_eligibility=Ineligible&verify_sign=A9W18EQFIAn9xP.78mk-bcorkj4ZA6EzQIglFDPPsAf8WEwkwWCSEc6w&payer_status=unverified&tax=0.00&

  • jcnjr

    No Bad Behavior plugin, or anything like that. No new plugins recently and nothing has changed on the site.

    What do you mean by "it" was sent but not received? To clarify, we received a Paypal payment, but no subscription was created.

    Any advice for resolving the issue and ensuring it doesn't happen again is greatly appreciated.

    For the site in question, I considered manually extending the Pro Site level, but this will obviously not auto-renew and I wanted to check in here for direction before I did that.

    What else can I do to help troubleshoot?

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for the additional input which is certainly giving me a clearer vision of what is happening there.

    The first thing I would do there is upgrade to the newest version of Pro Sites 3.3.3 and continue to work forward from there.

    I considered manually extending the Pro Site level, but this will obviously not auto-renew and I wanted to check in here for direction before I did that.

    Personally I would indeed do this so that the client does not think there is anything going on there. Their PayPal subscription should continue to pay and try to sync the date to when the PayPal payment came.

    Please advise and we will continue moving forward on this issue.

    Looking forward to hearing from you in any event and have a GREAT weekend!

    Cheers, Joe

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for the additional input and yes you are right for that specific member the transaction has been completed and I finally get it you are talking about the subscription on your side was not created? But obviously on PayPal's side it was or you would not have received payment.

    What is the payment cycle? i.e. Monthly?

    2012-12-14 5:12:56 pm User creating new subscription via PayPal Express: PayPal returned an error*:
    *No error message included!?

    Now this is also a bizarre occurrence as well and do not want to dismiss it in case we request lead developer help on this issue.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • jcnjr

    the subscription on your side was not created? But obviously on PayPal's side it was or you would not have received payment.

    Incorrect. The first payment was received, but no subscription was created. My recurring payments dashboard at Paypal includes no new subscription even though I received the first payment. That is the odd behavior I have been trying to explain all along.

    Normally, we receive two notifications from Paypal, one for the first payment "You have received a subscription payment" and another regarding the new subscription, "You have a new automatic payment profile for x".

    This instance is the first time ever that we only received the one payment and notification, with no subscription creation/notice. Clearly something went awry and I need to ensure it doesn't happen again. Any suggestions? Anyone?

    Is there anyway to manually fire off the IPN again (or whatever) to create the subscription without bothering the user, considering their first payment already went through?

    I have manually extended the site for a year because the user selected a 12month payment cycle.

    The notice of the Paypal "error" without any error message on the Pro Sites admin page is indeed a bizarre occurrence and so I'm really hoping somebody can ping Aaron to help us look into this.

    For the record our network did used to run the Supporter plugin, but we have never had an issue like this since upgrading to Pro Sites when it was first released.

    I also notice the following message on the Pro Sites admin page, though we always update the legacy gateway in our root to maintain support of our older Supporter sites.:

    Subscriber Information:
    This site is using an older gateway so their information is not accessible until the next payment comes through.

    I just noticed that for the Pro Site subscription we received just prior to this trouble one, a subscription was successfully created and the Subscriber information section includes the expected details.

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    And the plot thickens on this issue.

    So I have testing of your site and the first thing I get upon confirming the link sent in my email is this warning:

    Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/tripawds/public_html/wp-includes/ms-settings.php on line 111

    Screen shot below.

    As I dig in as an FYI I found a typo on your subscription page in the free offer section ommunity should be community or at least I believe that is what you intended :wink:

    In the last screen shot below the subscription was indeed made as shown, screen shot taken form my PayPal account.

    Now I think by going through the process I found the subscription creation issue.

    On the PayPal payment screen it asks about allowing tripawds to have recurring payments or not and if memory server me one must check mark this or it is the opposite that one can un-check mark this.

    This would explain the entire problem or incident you seen and I wish I got a screen shot of that part but unfortunately I did not - but I can assure you that is indeed where the problem is at - the specific member either did not check mark to allow recurring or they unchecked it.

    I indeed had the option to pay but not allow the subscription while going through the PayPal process.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • jcnjr

    Hi Joe, first, thanks for the spell check!

    Second, any suggestions for addressing the PHP error? This is the first I have seen that and it has never been reported. Could the Nelo theme be throwing this? I'm updating to WP3.5 today and hoping the upgrade will resolve that.

    Many thanks for the testing you did, I'll gladly rebate your payment now. But I'm hoping Aaron can still chime in here or you guys might consider what I feel may be a new bug or design flaw. Why are Pro Site level features not being extended if payment is received?

    If you have indeed identified the cause of the issue I reported here, it seems as though the Pro Site level should be extended upon payment, but just not auto-renew if the user does not opt to create a subscription. Right?

    I understand the plugin is subscription based, but if the user is presented the option to not subscribe at Paypal, but he still wants to pay for the initial period, then the level should be extended for that period. Right?

    Does anybody know if this option is new on the Paypal side? Is there any way for the plugin to at least auto-check the option on by default when redirecting the user to Paypal?

    With our user base, it's hard to believe his is the first time this has happened in over three years. So I wonder if the opt out/in option is something new at Paypal and if there is any way the plugin can control it.

    We're clearly getting somewhere but still lots of questions...

    Thanks again!

  • jcnjr

    My preliminary research indicates this option to confirm recurring payments upon checkout may indeed be new at Paypal.

    Previously, subscribers were always opted-in automatically. Now it appears they must confirm the subscription by checking the box to opt-in.

    Paypal has just updated their user agreement again on December 03, and there is much discussion online about other actions they are taking to ebb the flow of suits regarding opt in/out of recurring payments.

    I'm hoping someone here can investigate this further and play along nice with any new rules or checkout functions so the plugin will continue to work as expected.

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for all the input and yes this definitely needs further digging into as it is clear this can be a nightmare for all folks involved.

    However, I do have a relevant and important question before proceeding to call Aaron in on the ticket.

    Are you using PayPal Pro?

    Using PayPal Express I have not YET see this issue and I am now wondering if it is indeed gateway specific. Of course in any event it stills needs to be dealt with but knowing your gateway selection should indeed help Aaron to possibly come up with a solution.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for the updated information.

    Yes the recurring item is an in your face option though I do prefer the old way much more and I am happy to see that another subscriber has seen it as well and did the right thing.

    You make want to run a test just to get the screen shot about it and put some wording on your subscribe page.

    Thanks for looking into this. We are using the Paypal Express/Pro gateway but do not have Paypal Pro enabled.

    I am using the PayPal Express option as well.

    Unfortunately there is nothing we (WPMU DEV) can do about this since this is a PayPal move- though I do think a bad move but they obviously have still gone through with it.

    Cheers, Joe

  • jcnjr

    Thanks again, Joe. I guess we'll just have to see if the issue continues to be a problem with people not selecting the subscription box.

    I still feel, however, that the Pro Site level should be extended upon initial payment regardless of whether or not the user selects to create a subscription upon checkout. After all, they are paying for the initial period, so any Pro Site features/functionality should be extended for that time frame.

    Anyway, I wonder if Paypal has already reverted to auto opt-in since I started this discussion. I just took your advice and tested the checkout procedure with the hopes of showing a screenshot on our checkout page, but I was never presented with an option to allow recurring payments like you described. At what point did you find the check box to opt-in for the recurring payment?

    I was only taken to two screens at Paypal to complete my payment. You will see on the second one there is no check box, only a statement regarding the subscription...

    Looking forward to some final feedback before marking this as resolved.

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for the screen shots and yes it appears that they have indeed reverted back - thank goodness - because it would certainly cause all kinds of issues down the road for all kinds of software venders.

    On your second screen shot or bottom screen shot, this is where it said the message where one needed to manually tick the option and also I see now they have an agree and continue button.

    That is certainly better then the alternative that they were offering prior to this.

    Hopefully thy will settle on something soon so that us vendors know how to deal with the system.

    Please keep me appraised if everything returns to normal with your site in the past couple days and the next couple of days if you will.

    Looking forward to hearing from you in any event.

    Cheers, Joe

  • aecnu

    Greetings jcnjr,

    Thank you for your additional input which is absolutely appreciated.

    Usually we mark the ticket as resolved after we have given a straight answer or solution that should have resolved the issue - but that is not always the case that it is indeed resolved and I was doing a follow up with you to make sure :slight_smile:

    To allow members to mark tickets as resolved and stop clogging up the ticket system is a losing proposition, right at this very moment we have 1650+ tickets older then three days waiting on member responses.

    My work protocol is an effort to try to keep tickets from getting past me and to help the members that I am working with on a ticket in the best way I can within the confines of the system.

    Have a GREAT holiday season and happy to see that everything is good on your side.

    Cheers, Joe

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