Intermittent lost PayPal payment notifications


Q: When my clients pay with PayPal, it usually works, but occasionally iPanel/iHost does not record a payment. Why is this, and how do I fix this?


In recent years this problem is much less common, but in the past PayPal occasionally had significant problems with its IPN system and the result has been that IPN notifications will occasionally not be sent by PayPal.

Since those notifications are not sent by PayPal, there is of course no way for iPanel/iHost to receive them, and thus iPanel/iHost never credits your clients' accounts for the payment (nor provisions the hosting accounts they ordered).

In the May, 2008 issue of their DevTalk newsletter, PayPal recommended that instead of relying solely on IPN, developers should also add support to their products for periodically polling PayPal's servers and checking for missed payments as a workaround. While an arguably better solution would be for PayPal to fix the IPN system, this workaround does indeed provide a clumsy but effective way to ensure that payments are never missed.

This option is now available. In order to use it, you must enable API access in your PayPal account settings. This will provide you an API username, password, and signature, which you must setup in iPanel/iHost by clicking Configuration, Configure payment gateways, and filling out the fields under the PayPal section.

Once you've configured these items, iPanel/iHost will periodically (once every four hours) poll PayPal's servers, check for missed payments, and credit your users' accounts as needed.

IMPORTANT: This article only applies to you if you are only missing some (not all) of your PayPal payments in iPanel/iHost. If you are not receiving notification of any of your payments, it's likely that IPN is simply turned off in your PayPal account, or that you've got multiple addresses configured in your PayPal account and you've configured iPanel/iHost to use a different one than PayPal is reporting.