Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What An Ordeal This Has Been!

I'm not one to complain, but I have to tell you that it's been a long two days.

You see, all of a sudden the "Instant Download E-Patterns" that are linked to my PayPal account stopped working properly. This problem was occurring on my Linda Walsh Originals website as well as some of the other websites where I sell some of my patterns.

During some routine maintenance of my Linda Walsh Originals website I decided to check my "Instant Download E-Patterns" to see if they were working. Lo and behold they weren't. YIKES!!!!!!

Through further testing I discovered they weren't working anywhere. YIKES!!!

All of a sudden they're not working anywhere. YIKES!!!!! What's up with that?
So, I started wracking my brain trying to figure out why it wouldn't work. Through trial and error with buying my own patterns on various websites I pinned it down to a problem just with the "Instant Download E-Patterns" and PayPal.

You see, the link to download Instant E-Patterns is triggered once payment has been made to PayPal. My downloads weren't getting triggered and were in a PayPal page loop.

In other words, they weren't going anywhere but back to the beginning of the PayPal cycle. A loop that went nowhere but back to the beginning. YIKES!!!!!!!

So, I decided to call PayPal for help. I talked to a rep who filed a support ticket. He was very nice and said, "Hmmmmmm sounds familiar, but I don't know what the problem is. There is no known resolution posted that I can see. I'll have to take it to the engineers. It might take a week to get it resolved but I'll get back to you within 48 hours to let you know."

He tested my website and said - you're right - you're in a loop. He then asked me to email the link code that I was using for the "Buy Now" Instant Download E-Patterns that I was using which I did. After that I got a confirmation email from him telling me what my support ticket number was blah, blah, blah..., that I could watch the progress by going to such and such support area, and they would get back to me within one business day.

Well, if you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know that I love research and can probably gather that I'm not one to sit idly buy waiting for someone to come up with a solution. I decided to do my own investigating.

Through many hours and two days of investigating I finally discovered that one of my PayPal accounts was working and would trigger the download and the other wasn't. So, I decided to do a split screen comparison line by line and category by category. I, of course, thought my two accounts were set-up the same. Au Contraire!!!!!!

Guess again. They weren't.

On one of my accounts I had previously been using the PayPal Virtual Terminal which features "Risk Controls." But, I had removed it the first part of this year. After clicking through all the menu's I found a setting deep within the Risk Controls that was creating the problem. There is a box in the "Payment Receiving Preferences" to indicate whether or not PayPal should "Allow my Risk Controls to override the following preferences." It was not checked so I thought it wasn't on. Au Contraire!!!!!!

It might have looked like it had no bearing on it, BUT IT DID!

Through further research into the "Risk Controls" settings I determined that there was an indicator that was on that was causing the problem. I changed the setting, then I bought another pattern from myself and it worked fine.

I tested a few more links, blogs, and websites and they all worked fine. OH MY GOODNESS - IT'S WORKING NOW!!!!!!

I almost fell off my chair. IT'S WORKING!!!!! IT'S WORKING!!!!!
You must be thinking, "What's wrong with you that something like that could make you so elated?" Well, if you've ever felt the frustration of working on the computer and having something suddenly stop working out of the blue and you have no idea why - you'll understand.

Now, I want you to know that I haven't changed a thing on the "Risk Controls" on my account at PayPal since I removed the Virtual Terminal at the beginning of the year. Plus, since then I've sold "Instant Download E-Patterns" on my both my website and other websites where I sell patterns. They have all processed just fine.

Then, BOOM!!!!!! All of a sudden they just stop working??????

That tells me that somebody at PayPal changed something somewhere along the way and my downloads just stopped working.

So, yesterday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. I was elated to say the least as I had solved the fiasco. I still hadn't heard from PayPal, but THE GOOD NEWS was I didn't need then anymore as I had solved the problem.

I decided to have dinner and when I came up to check my email later on I found an email from PayPal that was sent at 5:11 P.M. The email basically said that the engineers had told the rep that I should check my "RISK Controls" settings!!!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

They said the error like the loop I described was probably caused by the "Risk Controls." NO KIDDING!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOL
I had a good laugh and patted myself on the back for finding the solution. PayPal had been true to their word and did get back to me within one business day and, had I not already found the solution, would have provided me with it.

So, why an I telling you this story? Because I know there are a lot of pattern designers who sell "Instant Download E-Patterns" and other businesses selling e-products. If you use PayPal you might want to fully test ordering one of your own e-products to make sure it's still working and goes through the whole complete process.

Prior to this debacle, I deemed everything to be okay with my upload after getting the first "Enter Payment Information" PayPal screen. As this fiasco proved, that's not the criteria to use any more. I got the first and second PayPal screens but the "Risk Controls" prevented it from going further which caused the loop back to the first PayPal screen again. So, in the future I will have to completely test the whole process and actually buy one of my own patterns.

So, if your customers are suddenly not getting their e-product instant downloads or getting a PayPal loop your might want to check your PayPal settings.

For my customers who may or may not have had a problem buying my "Instant Download E-Patterns" I sincerely apologize.

It's always FUN AND GAMES in cyberland. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Now I can laugh about it. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

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