Troubleshooting payment gateway issues

Problem statement

In some regions you will have users complain from time to time about not being able to open the payment gateway pages, i.e. PayPal, to perform an online payment to gain hotspot access. The issue is usually not constant but intermittent and thus hard to reproduce. Please note that this issue can occur on any payment gateway and is not limited to PayPal.

Background

The issue is that a hotspot blocks any user who is not logged in and authorised to browse the Internet from accessing any page. This means a user who is not logged in cannot access any payment gateway page either. However, without access to the payment gateway pages, access to the Internet cannot be purchased. To overcome this ‘chicken or egg’ problem, it is possible to declare some exceptions, so the user can access certain web pages like those of a payment gateway provider, even without being logged in to the hotspot and authorised. The issue is that the pages required to perform the payment transaction on a payment gateway change from time to time without notice, can be different depending on region, mode of payment (credit card or account based purchase), ISP provider, and in some cases even time of day. This means exceptions that work for most hotspots out there, may not work for your hotspot.

Solution

To overcome this issue, we have to extend the list of exceptions that suit your situation at your hotspot. Which web page or IP address has to be added to the exception list is something we cannot determine for you, as we cannot be connected to your hotspot from outside (i.e. we access your router through the Internet). To test the hotspot however, you have to be on the ‘inside’ of your hotspot network, that is to say you have to be connected to the hotspot without being logged in yet. We therefore need us to help you in determining the missing pages and IP addresses that need to be added to the exception list.

To do that you will either need Google Chrome, Firefox plus Plug-in Firebug, or Internet Explorer v11 or later. We show some Google Chrome pictures as an example, as it runs on both Windows or Linux.

Open the developer tools and choose the Network tab, then press to the ‘Buy Now’ button and proceed to the payment gateway that you want to test. In most cases the status for each element you download will either be 200 or 304. Both are OK.

 

It is only when you get a status failed (highlighted by Chrome in red) that you need to take note of the failed URL and send it through to us. Better still, make a screen print and send it to us via our support pages by raising a ticket or sending an email (with screen prints as attachments) to ‘help @chillifire.net’. Note that there can be many more than one failed line. We need to get them all.

Thank You

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