Paypal Pro: transaction refused because of of an invalid argument

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    Asked on September 12, 2014 at 01:36 PM

    Hi, not sure my question got posted an hour ago.

    We've been getting errors using PP Pro payment method. the eorr pops up, after the form is filled, and the CAPTCHA entered, but we don't get as far as the PayPal page.

    The regular PayPal plugin works, so I cloned the form and set it up for Pro.

    I saw some others who were having trouble with more than 127 characters, but I don't think that's what's going on here...

    Can you help?



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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 03:29 PM

    I see that you are having some sort of error with paypal pro which gives you a character length error?

    That usually happens if you are using a product description which is longer than 127 characters.

    I took a look at your paypal descriptions but from what I see on your clone they appear normal unless you had copied and pasted something longer in there?

    I'm going to take a little bit more time to try to see if I can replicate this issue using your form.


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 03:43 PM

    I had attempted to replicate the problem on my end but it appears to be working on my side so I'm not so sure that the description is the issue either as of right now.

    Was this only happening with the PayPal Option Selected or does it happen on the Credit Card Method as well?

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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 04:50 PM

    It seems to be triggering the error when I choose the 3rd item (1lb pure honey) and apply the "pickup" coupon.

    I haven't tested further down (the 1-1/2 or 2 lb), so I suspect it may just be that 1lb item.

    I'll look at that, if you can maybe see if there's something in there that's goofy.


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 05:07 PM

    It seems as though it might be the 'pickup' coupon. I'm getting the error almost everytime I use PP and that coupon.

    I better read more about offering a coupon for free shipping (pickup).


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 05:51 PM

    I did get one error so far but I am only able to replicate it when the "pickup" coupon is used. 

    It looks like you've introduced the wrong amount or input it incorrectly by accident.

    I see you've set the current discount value to "99999" and I think that's why since the discount is being thrown off. Or was this value intentional?

    You may want to take a look at this guide to get a better understanding of using coupons.


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 06:04 PM

    I thought I saw that somewhere, to enter the discount amout as 9999 when offering a free shipping coupon.

    Yes, I saw that number used in this page. Not sure why it isn't working with PayPal Pro


    I'll look at your guide, but I didn't see my answer as I scanned that page a moment ago.

    I have removed that 'pickup' coupon from my clone honey form.

    THis is weird.




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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 06:52 PM

    Yeah that's true our dev had implemented that ability to work around that whole problem. 

    Originally I thought it might be a problem because of the amount of 9's used but checking into it more it seems to be something else involved so I do apologize about that. I created a test with only a few 9's and a lot of 9's on two different coupons but it made no difference so I think we can probably rule that out of the cause.

    How about the error itself...

    Are you still seeing the 127 Character message as you first described?

    Or is it the one that I showed above possibly?


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 07:03 PM

    Thanks Kade.

    Yes the error you see is the error I see. I was only referring to the 127, since I thought that was the cause of the "totals of the cart item amounts...".

    So, yes We are having the same error. Sorry if I got us off-track even mentioning the 127. I thought I had pasted the error text. (I started a ticket, and pasted the error in that one, but it somehow didn't save. Sorry).

    Does that "total of the cart item..." error give us a clue?

    I even deleted that 'pickup' coupon, created a new one, called it pickups with an 's', made the discount amount 9999$ on shipping, but it still errors.

    I don't know where to look at Paypal for any error logs.

    thanks so much for your help and patience.


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    Answered on September 12, 2014 at 07:43 PM

    I think I may have found the problem...

    I believe it is happening because you've set your "9999" Coupon to work on SHIPPING within your products listing.

    Normally when you set it up it's set to be product specific so that generates a strike through for whatever products you are offering certain products for free. Whereas when set to shipping it gets a little more finicky otherwise it doesn't work.

    When I checked your shipping I found that in your shipping doesn't appear to be configured correctly since I found this was linked after not being applied correctly which was resulting in an Invalid Argument.

    I notice this was because the First amount was higher over the Per Item amount so it wasn't discounting it properly. Try putting your shipping costs the other way around with the higher cost per item on the right for each additional item vs that of the first price then see if it works. 

    Please let us know if you are still having any problems with this.




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    Answered on September 13, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    OK, Sorry for the confusion.

    This error is definitely coming back from PayPal Pro, I guess but I'm not sure why the item amounts aren't adding up.

    The PP error "help" gives mew this "If you receive this error, be sure the total of the payment detail item parameters, such as ItemTotal, HandlingTotal, TaxTotal, and so forth add up to the order total."

    Why wouldn't the cart add up the totals correctly when we use this free shipping coupon method?

    Thanks for any more guidance. The free shipping coupon (with the 9999) works with standard PayPal button, not the Pro API.




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    Answered on September 13, 2014 at 01:39 PM

    This is probably a limit to Paypal Pro API. I have forwarded this to our developers. They should be able to advise us what's causing it to work with Paypal Standard, but not with Paypal Pro.

    Thank you!

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    Answered on September 20, 2014 at 02:01 PM


    We apologize for the long wait. I would like to let you know that this is now fixed. Can you please try again and let us know if anything unexpected happens?


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    Answered on September 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM
    The form gets past the errors, and looks like it's going to work!
    Thanks for working through that one.
    Sent from my iPad
    (Hug your kids)
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    Answered on September 22, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Hello Rickvv,

    On behalf of my colleague, you are welcome.

    Do get back to is if you have any questions.

    Thank you!