Three payments for the same e-mail client

A customer made a purchase and failed, then made 2 more purchases with the same email.

All these 3 purchases are active, I don’t understand why the system is charging twice for the same email.

Any suggestions to fix this?


Does it happen often? Which platform? Stripe or PayPal?

Very rarely it happens, sometimes when a user modifies a subscription, I make the necessary adjustments manually and, at least on Stripe, I can assign a credit to the subscriber, so I don’t have to lose the fees.

When it’s via PayPal I usually get into some sort of agreement with the user as well.

Oh, and on Stripe, if the failed ones are still pending, you can cancel the subscriptions linked to the still failed payments, that way you solve the problem quickly and the linked invoices are voided.

I have this same issue and it happens quite frequently. I have viewed some of the sessions on microsoft clarity and can see that:

  1. The customer attempts to sign up for a subscription. We include a 7 day free trial but card details are required at the point of sign up

  2. Customer sees two simultaneous error messages:

  • at the top pf the checkout form they see ‘Action Required - Secure authorization’
  • underneath the strip box they see ‘We are unable to authenticate your payment method. Please choose a different payment method and try again’
  1. However a subscription has been created in stripe. Unless cancelled the customer will be charged in 7 days but from the customer perspective, the sign up attempt fails

  2. In many cases the customer makes continued attempts, and so creating multiple stripe subscriptions

  3. Sometimes one of those is authorised and the customer continues, other times they give up

  4. In 7 days time the customer is then charged for all attempted subscriptions

Any help with this would be appreciated. It’s been a persistent issue now for a couple of months. Thanks

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Just giving this a bump as the issue remains… subscriptions are created successfully but the customers sees a subscription failed method, and so goes on to make multiple attempts with the same issue. So we end up with customers with 3+ live and successful subscriptions but the customer believing they do not have access…

Anyone have any advice?

I deal with those manually :grimacing:

I do one-time payments and usually refund for accidental double-purchases and lose the cc fees. It’s tough if any platform (including Woo) allows for non-logged-in purchases and then ties them to email addresses. If someone’s logged-in I give them a warning that they are logged-in and if they are purchasing for someone else the should log out to create a new account, but it’s not flawless. I do manual work to fix those, but sometimes ppl still confuse the sales page for the members page and buy again when logged out. I thought I solved it on a Woo site, but when I didn’t get a sale in a couple days I realized the error in my code and haven’t fixed it yet. If I do I’ll try to write it for s2 and send it to @clavaque

Thanks for the responses. It’s a real pain to be honest as the customer gets a message:

‘we are unable to authenticate your payment method. Please choose a different payment method and try again’

When in fact the subscription went through fine. Why does this happen and can this be resolved?@clavaque

It occurs on c.5% of subscriptions on my site and leads to disputes when customers see the double/triple charge. It’s certainly making me think about migrating away from s2. Thanks

oh. wow. that can’t be fun.

A while back when I had a completely different concern w/ s2 and was thinking about migrating I wrote this to convert a s2 csv export into a Woo/Memberships import, but I only took care of one-time payments and access lengths and nothing to do with Subscriptions because that was my requirement. Plus it’s a little old now, but it might be a good starting point. It’s in JavaScript because I prefer it to PHP.

Thanks bopters! Yeah we keep having this same issue - we had a couple again today, so I think it’s sadly time for us to move away from s2, after 7 years or so!

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I’ve been on s2 on a site for longer than that, but I’ve never done recurring. My concern back then was taxes, but the laws in the jurisdiction ended up working for the volume of that site so I never moved. @clavaque was very familiar with my concern at the time.