[thelist] Recurring Donations

Judah McAuley judah at wiredotter.com
Wed Jul 8 00:03:43 CDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 12:44 PM, Bob Meetin<bobm at dottedi.biz> wrote:
> Authorize.net - I use them on several websites and have been satisfied
> with their tech support.  they helped me better understand the auth
> process. The "token" sounds doable.

A couple of caveats about Authorize.net from someone who has been
beating his head against his desk recently...

One time payments are straight forward and pretty easy. No troubles
there. Except sometimes in the merchant setup. It took a month solid
of back and forth to get one company set up. Authorize.net said
everything was good. When we actually tried it live mode, every
transaction failed. Turns out that they had not actually set up the
merchant account on their side at all and did not have the correct
information. So all transactions failed with a "General Error" which
didn't even exist in their documention. None of that showed up in Test
Mode and it took a couple more weeks to get it all ironed out.

Then there are recurring payments or subscriptions in the
authorize.net terminology. You can't test them. The Developer Account
you can get will allow you to test various successes/failures, which
is great for one time payments. But you can't specify a post back url
because it is a globally shared account. So if you set up a
subscription, subsequent payments would never be sent back to you. In
a real merchant account in Test Mode, you can specify a post back url
but the payments aren't processed because it is in Test Mode so the
post back never gets triggered. Not that they tell you that, oh no,
that would be too simple. Oh and I just found out the hard way the
other day that they don't support a post back to an https url in spite
of letting you specify one in the setup. And that "we don't support a
post back to https" occurred after they tried posting 5 times,
generating an unknown 500 IIS error, then mysteriously no longer even
attempting to post back to us. Why did it try 5 times then stop? They
don't know. They just say they don't support it.

My way past experience with authorize.net says that once you get it
working, it is pretty solid. But this most recent iteration of work
with them, which includes my first time doing recurring payments,
makes me want to strangle each and ever employee of that company

Just an venting fyi.


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