PayPal return activation failure

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

We have been using PayPal to accept payments on our site for several years. What has worked for years is that the PayPal IPN notification activates the purchase.

We recently moved hosting company and the IP has partially stopped working.

When PayPal first sends the IPN it shows the status as 200 in our PayPal account but the purchase does not activate.

But when we resend the IPN it does activate the purchase.

We feel they must be taking a different route back.


Question by:mytext
    LVL 107

    Accepted Solution

    This does not sound like a question with an answer -- it sounds more like a need for detailed, hands-on debugging.  You might want to hire a PayPal developer to dig into the issue.  Have a look at and you will find a thriving community.

    The IPN is difficult to debug because it is asynchronous and thus has no browser output.  However I had good luck by adding ob_start() to the top of the script and ob_get_contents() to the bottom of the script. Then I could just email the output buffer to myself.  It does not work for parse errors, but it let me see everything else, like undefined variables or warning messages.  You might want to try that and see if something interesting shows up in the email.

    HTH, ~Ray

    Author Comment

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for coming back to me. The script has worked for a number of years, so I feel messing with would just add to our issues. I have a sense it is somthing to do with the firwall etc.

    So I have rechecked the steps on:

    The site's developer is trying to find a solution, but no luck yet.

    II will pass on your comment to him.

    many thanks.


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