[ic] Authorize.net occassional charge errors

Jonathan Clark jonc at webmaint.com
Tue Jan 31 06:22:54 EST 2006

> Occasionally, maybe 1/50 I get
> Authorizenet error: . Please call in your order or try again.
> which seems to indicate the post to authorizenet succeeded. 
> but nothing came back.  The card IS being charged in these cases.
> Someone named Ed wrote below, but I am using non-threaded 
> PERL and am wondering what else it might be or how I can diagnose.

We set up an email facility for the merchant to email them with every charge
failure. Obviously this includes people whos cards are declined etc. but it
does mean the merchant sees whenever there is a payment provider problem.
This is easy to set up by adding some code in log_transaction.

We deal with one payment service provider where we get 'null responses'
varying between 1 in 4,000 to sometimes 1 in 50. This is when they say their
system is operating normally. The procedure for the merchant is to check the
transaction with the PSP to see if it has gone through and refund it if it
has. This avoids annoyed customers when they receive their credit card

The last documentation I read from a PSP said they would respond within two
seconds under normal conditions, and timeout after 20 if they were unable to
contact the aquiring bank. I read that as meaning you should really be
waiting 20 seconds to see if there is going to be a response.

In your case I would say that the statistic is abnormal and possibly due to
a timeout waiting for the response. You do have PERL_SIGNALS=unsafe set in
interchange's environment?


Jonathan Clark
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