[ic] Problems: long winded explanation, and request for help.

Adam Lambert tech at khouse.org
Wed Dec 1 18:27:25 UTC 2010

    I keep getting a series of complaints from customers, along three
lines, that I think are all related.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to
duplicate any of the three problems for testing purposes, no matter how
or what I try.  I'm hoping I can put them out here, and someone on this
list will have some idea/have seen this before/can provide some clue for
me as to direction to go with this.  I am using Interchange 5.4.x.

Problem 1 (very common; 3 to 5 separate reports a week):   Internet
Explorer (all versions), users report that they click "Add to Cart", and
the browser will sit there forever (or until they close it) trying to
load the next page.   If I have the user re-set IE to factory defaults
(or re-install, or better yet: install firefox), they typically report
that the problem goes away.

Problem 2: (unheard of until approx 3 months ago, now a 2 or 3 times a
week complaint):  FireFox (version 3.6.x, possibly older ones too),
users click "Add to Cart", and it does the same as Internet Explorer,
EXCEPT, at the end of a very long wait, it gives the "The page is not
redirecting properly" error.  Mozilla.com's support pages indicate that
this is probably a disabled cookies issue; but I've had a couple of
users with this complaint who were savvy enough to provide some help,
who reported that they did in fact, have cookies enabled (and proved it
to me by e-mailing me a screen shot of their cookie settings).

Problem 3: (very common; 2 or 3 separate reports a week, 90% IE users,
but some FireFox users too):   In a custom page that does the following
code as the 1st line: "[if !session logged_in][bounce href="[area
index]"][/if]" -- users (as you might expect) sometimes get bounced to
the index page.    What you might not expect, is that they ARE logged
in.   I have thought for a long time that this was cookie related (I
could swear I had even duplicated it a time or two by turning off
cookies and testing); but I have just tested with both IE and FireFox
with cookies disabled (and browsers restarted in both cases), and my jaw
hit the floor to see that it worked just fine with both once I had gone
through the login process; no issues.

    So... does anyone have the slightest idea where I go from here?  
Seen this kind of thing before?  Know a fix?  If I assume (probably
correctly), that only about 5 or 10 percent of people with problems
bother to write in to complain (as opposed to just not ordering anything
and getting on with their life), a little guesti-math says we could be
loosing as many as 100 customers a week over these issues.   I realize
that broke/mis-configured web browsers are something outside of our
control -- but 95% of the complainers report that they have no other
known issues (ie: they don't experience problems with any other sites
that they visit).

    Oh, and one other possibly related thing.    The following two
examples yield two different results when adding items to cart with
cookies disabled.   I don't understand why.

Example 1:      
        <form action="[process-target]" method="post">
        <input type=hidden  name="mv_todo" value="refresh">
        <input type=hidden  name="mv_order_item"  value="ITEMSKU">
        <input type="image" border="0" src="addtocart.gif" width="160"

Example 2:


    If I add to cart using example 1, it takes me to basket.html and
shows me the item.  When I click the "checkout" button, it refreshes
basket.html, and shows nothing in the cart.  If I add to cart using
example 2, it will allow me to complete the full checkout process
without having cookies enabled if I was logged in to start with.  If I
was not logged in to start with, I am sent to the login page, and I have
a blank item in the cart with qty 1, by the time I reach checkout.html.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can lend.

Adam Lambert (adam at khouse.org)

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