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Payment status randomly stuck: "processing"

  1. HI, our store is collecting orders just fine, mostly. We're seeing users with records saying "processing" 1 or 2 or 3 times and then a successful order. it's happening fairly regularly. But, since orders are going through, I know it works, but can't see any reason why orders aren't going through and there's no log file, from what I can tell. and it appears to be completely random. I did try entering a bad CAPTCHA and that caused it too, but I also know that people are entering the CAPTCHA correctly. It looks like it could be operator error, but I sort of doubt it as it's happening more than I typically see operator error. Anyone have any other thoughts or things to look for?

    Thank you!!


    Posted 11 years ago on Friday November 30, 2012 | Permalink
  2. Which payment processor are you using? If its PayPal, can you check the IPN history there to see if they are having trouble communicating with your server?

    Posted 11 years ago on Saturday December 1, 2012 | Permalink
  3. Hi Chris, thanks for the reply. I checked IPN logs and there are no failed attempts in there. Only successful ones. So, it would seem that the failures aren't being recorded by PayPal?


    Posted 11 years ago on Saturday December 1, 2012 | Permalink
  4. If they are showing successful at PayPal., I would try resending and see if they make it. I do not trust the IPN to be 100% reliable and always log in to see if payment is there before assuming the visitor abandoned their purchase. Resending the notification for the transactions which still show 'processing' usually takes care of the problem.

    If some IPN are working for you, then IPN is configured correctly, and it's just some miscommunication between PayPal and your server.

    Posted 11 years ago on Saturday December 1, 2012 | Permalink
  5. Let me clarify. Only successful transactions show in Paypal. The ones marked by Gravity Forms as "processing" do NOT show up in PayPal. Then a customer will try 1 or 2 or 3 more times and sometimes it will finally work. Only the successful one shows up. There's no way to then "resend the notification".

    As to you saying that IPN is not 100% reliable... Do you think that maybe that's something you should tell people before they spend $200 on it? And maybe a little better error descriptions and tracking?


    I really need to figure this out...



    Posted 11 years ago on Monday December 3, 2012 | Permalink
  6. The IPN not being reliable is between PayPal and your server, not Gravity Forms. If Gravity Forms receives the message from PayPal, Gravity Forms will do its job and update the status. Additional logging or error tracking on the part of Gravity Forms would not help, as the IPN is not making it from PayPal to your site in the first place. There would be nothing to log.

    However, regarding your comment about successful transactions being the only ones that show up in PayPal. If the customer abandons the transaction for some reason and does not complete payment at PayPal, you will have an entry marked "processing" and no payment at PayPal.

    When following up on orders which are 'processing', I typically check PayPal for a transaction, and if there is one, I resend the IPN from the IPN history, since for some reason the IPN never arrived at my site. If there is no transaction, I follow up with the person who submitted the form and ask what happened. Sometimes the could not log in to PayPal. Sometimes they walked away from the computer and their kids opened a new page. Sometimes they send me the transaction receipt from PayPal and then I can look at PayPal again and see what I missed the first time around.

    We do have a logging add-on for internal use which I can share with you. However, if the entry is making it to your site, but there is no transaction at PayPal, I don't believe the log will help you. It will show a successful form entry. Please send me an email at and I can send you the add-on.

    Posted 11 years ago on Monday December 3, 2012 | Permalink
  7. Chris, thanks for the reply. Sorry for sounding a but snarky, but it's a little frustrating.

    Essentially, your saying that the site isn't communicating with PayPal or the user abandons their transaction. I don't think the latter is the case as we have several users who have 4-5 transactions showing "Processing" and then finally one that is complete. So, I can see that they're trying several times before it's successful. I've had people looking to make sure the CAPTCHA is correct and form is filled out correctly.

    I guess it would be nice to have the forms wait for the IPN from PayPal and if it doesn't get it, then that would be good to know in maybe a "Having trouble connecting to PayPal, please try again" message...

    Thanks again for helping to think through this.


    Posted 11 years ago on Monday December 3, 2012 | Permalink
  8. It is frustrating. I've had egg on my face more than once when asking a customer about their payment, only for them to send me their PayPal confirmation. Then I realized it WAS in PayPal and when I resent the IPN, it updated the status at my site. Sometimes though, the IPN still does not arrive, and I have to manually enter the payment details.

    The PayPal Pro add-on will work like that, wait for a response from PayPal before continuing, but the Standard add-on is basically done when the transaction is sent to PayPal. It's really 3 separate pieces at that point: 1) Gravity Forms collects data and sends a one way request to PayPal. 2) PayPal has to do its thing and send an IPN when its done. 3) Gravity Forms listens for that response and updates the entries when the correct information comes through.

    I can send you the logging add on if you like. Maybe it will help us see something. if you want it, send me an email at and reference this topic.

    Web server logs might help too, showing when PayPal tried to access that IPN page, or if there is a firewall or other security block on the URL or IP address.

    Posted 11 years ago on Tuesday December 4, 2012 | Permalink
  9. Thanks Chris, I just sent you an email. And, I am using the pro version.

    Posted 11 years ago on Tuesday December 4, 2012 | Permalink
  10. With the Pro version, the logging add-on might help you, since everything needs to happen on your site.

    Posted 11 years ago on Tuesday December 4, 2012 | Permalink
  11. Moved to PayPal forum.

    Posted 11 years ago on Tuesday December 4, 2012 | Permalink