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Paypal processing IPN payments with trial periods early

Posted on

I've run a subscription based site using the Wishlist Member plugin in Wordpress and have done for the last two years or so without any issues at all.  Subscriptions are handled by the user clicking a HTML button on my site which is linked to the Paypal Payment Standard cart.


Normally my subscribers signup and get a free trial before being charged.  This is specified in the subscription setup as 1 day but in practice the duration has been closer to 48 hours because Paypal always used to offer 1 day starting at midnight from the end of the day that the subscriber signed up.  So, if someone signed up today (Wednesday) they would get charged on Friday morning.


However, since July 4th I no longer emails telling me that I have a new subscriber.  Instead I get an email telling that I have a new automatic payment profile for a user.  And they are now charged at the end of the trial period which can be as little as 15 hours after signing up.  My definition of a day is 24 hours ...


I'm puzzled why such a change would be pushed out without any warning or notification by Paypal and I'm dismayed that Paypal have changed the way that the trial period is handled.  This has lead to a lot of ill-feeling towards my site and I've received many emails from disgruntled customers thinking that I'm "ripping them off" by charging them early.


So, when was this change rolled out ?  Or is it a bug in the way that IPN's are handled ?  Is it a temporary or is this a permanent "feature" that we have to deal with ?


For the record I've made no changes to the set up on my site since it was first set up over two years ago so it's not a case that I've changed something.

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