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Must give up PayPal

PayPal IPN



6:25 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


we sell subscriptions. As long as I was selling goods, I never had one problem with PayPal, not even one. However, selling subscriptions, we got a whole array of problems.

1) Support guys give to you two different IPN codes, both of them launching _compilation_ errors.
2) Support guys say go to this link, the link does not exist anymore.
3) Support guys say use the sandbox, when in the sandbox I make a button page, appears the message we are currently not supporting this feature (or so) etc...
4) Firewall: we just can't get it right. My server administrator even tried to open all his prots and allow whatever from both paypal and sandbox and belahost, we still could not get any IPN feedback right.

Now, I fully agree that maybe we are just hopeless dumb. But after all I have 10 years of experience with webpages and my server administrator has 20 with web servers. We do NOT contend that many others IPN settings may be working quite smoothly with PayPal. We only say, in our case, with a competence after all not at the level of the teenager with his or her first webpage, we just can't get it right, and if it has to be so complicated, we are cforced to switch to somewhere else.

Has anyone any good hint for ecommerce webservices that:

1) cover as many countries as possible
2) they are not start ups - we need reliability you see
3) the do provide you with non conflicting support both for firewall and script set up. After all, we 're going to give to them a percentage on every transaction.

I like PayPal, that's why it was our first choice, but in this case, we just can't put the issue straight. After 2 months, time to think we'd look elsehwere.

I am sure this question has been answered already, but it is after all in the physiology of forums that you perform forum searches, but you also give a try to a dedicated answer to an old riddle.

thank you


7:13 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

a bonafide merchant account should solve your problem.


5:25 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i do not trust PayPal


10:24 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

'bonafide merchant account'

Any link where I can find a description about what it is, and if there are online services that offer it? Maybe we have a language barrier (english not my native lang) because I just can't figure out what it is exactly. I'm trying a search on Google of course, but maybe you have a more direct or competent link to some company experienced in this.

Thank you

The Contractor

11:09 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

you would need a merchant account and payment gateway. Merchant account can be had from your bank or other providor. Payment gateway can be had through various channels. Do a search for those terms including the country or other locality where you reside.


11:34 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

because I just can't figure out what it is exactly.

For example....

Cardservice International {Linkpoint) is a merchant account provider.

You will also need a gateway that will function as your shopping cart. There are 100's of them out there. Some more functional than others. You will have to search around for one that will best suit your needs. Most Merchant Account Providers will have a list of Gateway Providers that will support their system.

The Contractor

4:09 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You will also need a gateway that will function as your shopping cart.

Actually, your shopping cart script passes information to your payment gateway during checkout process. (I'm sure that's what you meant - just didn't want them to think the payment gateway is their shopping cart)


6:01 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not sure why you're having so much trouble; I implemented PayPal IPN functionality on my web site last night in about 3 hours. First time I've ever used the PayPal sandbox but didn't have any problems with it at all - tried several kinds of payments (credit card, eCheck, etc.) to verify that I got all the proper notifications. Will take the whole thing live over the weekend and am looking forward to easing the burden of keeping track of my PayPal payments.

There's nothing magic about the IPN stuff from PayPal - if the web page you're asking them to post the notification to is visible on the public internet, PayPal can see it and will hit it with a notification shortly after every payment transaction. If the page you want to use is on a test server behind a locked-down firewall, it should be obvious that it's not going to work, as PayPal can't see it.

Parsing the form variables is not magic either - it's no different than any other form you've ever dealt with.

Stick with it - you may have gotten some misleading information from the support folks, but that's hardly a reason to abandon PayPal. You really ought to be able to complete the integration just by reading the documentation and using the sample code provided.


6:24 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Alberto

I hope this is not a red herring for you, but the first time I had what looked like firewall issues with IPN, was when the server I was using went from .net 1.1 to .net 2.0

The default settings at that time, inhibit the microsoft classes used by the IPN scripts written in ASP.net 1.1

If you're on a unix server , ignore this completely for tis meaningless for you,

Good luck


7:15 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The default settings at that time, inhibit the microsoft classes used by the IPN scripts written in ASP.net 1.1

Ah! Well my scripts are in PHP not ASP, but do you mean an ASP setting may cause problems to _all_ scripts communicating with a Paypal ipn? I assume you mean this issue _might_ affect also a PHP script running on a Microsoft server with ASP 2, yes?

So, aside from how good or bad a Microsoft server can be (we are beyond this), does this mean that an ASP net or an IIS 5 updated to the last version is bound to have issues with IPN?

By the way I take this chance to thank all those who are responding. I am reading all your posts. I also understand that Paypal IPN works for most of you, and I regret that in our case it doesn't. Unfortunately, we still get issues here, and believe me we are not so dumb after all: not worst than an average Paypal user, this is why we too are so surprised.

Now, this ASP thing... Server admin has been great with me, he has worked with me for 5 hours in a row till midnight for free in order to try set up IPN. I can't go there and say "Microsoft is evil" :-)

What you'd suggest to verify if that's a ASP issue, what type of changes you did in order to make IPN work on an IIS 5 asp 2 server? That's the problem indeed: we can't eliminate options and reach the culprit (this is why paypal guys unaccurate codes "annoyed" me so much).


10:01 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Please note the following

1, I use asp.net

2, The only solution acceptable to my host was to revert to single asp 3.0 classic file as the ipn handler

3, the above is unsuitable for you, i think

4, if its a windows server, and if the .net 2.0 fromework has indeed been loaded on it

a, The problem for me, based on error messages an research was that .net 2.0 greatly increases the security settings of a windows server, thereby preventing most "active" "write" traffic, except those that have been explicitly permitted by the admin

b, Speak to you hosts support people an convince them to create a rule or what ever its now called explicitly permitting traffic to an from paypal

I am afraid that paypal support at the developers couldn't help me, and it was eventually my hosts support team who provided the asp 3.0 script solution,

I am too small a customer to persuade a giant company like my host to change policy

ultimately, paypal & microsoft will solve this cause they must

As I said earlier, this may all be meaningless in your case

.net 2.0 is very , very good, its just that anti hacking measures are getting in the way and its too new for there to be enough knowledge about it everywhere


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