This is certainly a common problem that seem to be to occur often. Many people ask myself this question and until recently I had no good answer. Why will web hosting accounts get charged twice? read this post here
When an order is done, or a recurring service is being billed, an invoice is sent to the customer with payment details. A great invoice could be a simple e-mail instructing the client to pay cash to the hosts PayPal account via the PayPal interface, or a repayment button on an monthly bill which links directly to the PayPal page.
Once the client makes the payment, the host automatically (or manually, depending on whether or not a billing system is used) register the payment and the service is lengthened to the new credited date.
Which means this seems clear, what might be wrong with this? Well, there are three parties involved.
you: The host, which directs the invoice, waits for and register payment, thus extending the service.
2: The client, which gets the invoice besides making the payment.
3: PayPal, who transfers the paid amount from the paying customer (the client) to the receiver (the host), and then, if the web host has this set up, send payment notification to the host.
Note that the host cannot fee or bill the customer. The PayPal system does not work this way. It will always be the client who starts payment.
In the above scenerio, it is very possible that the host simply will not check its PayPal balance, thus never with the knowledge that the payment is received. But this does not bring about double charge. Keep in mind the host cannot in any way draw money from the clients PayPal account. The host will likely send invoice reminders, and suspend accounts in most detrimental case.
So when will the problems start?
The big issue is the PayPal subscription feature. The ongoing feature was developed for folks that makes regular PayPal obligations to other people or companies. Perfectly suited for recurring amounts, such as web hosting. The PayPal subscription is also begun by the client, not the host, and it can only be abolished by the client. With some billing systems, the host can not even see that a PayPal subscription is in place, nor view the date on which the next repayment will be received.
Each time a payment is made with PayPal, the payer is given a subscription choice. If a subscription is made, PayPal will transfer the total amount every month on the date that the primary payment was performed. A lot of hosts provide two PayPal buttons on the account or e-mail, one for the normal PayPal repayment, and one for the PayPal subscription option.
Inside the PayPal subscription circumstance, it is PayPal who transfers the funds in line with the payers wishes. The number is merely acquiring the money.
Right now we have two parties in charge of shifting payments. The client making PayPal payments manually, or PayPal making the repayments regurlarly in line with the clients wants.
With PayPal subscriptions, the invoice gets obsolete. The sum is always the same every time, and PayPal transfers it to the host without conversation from the customer. But again, the host might not exactly know that the client utilizes a PayPal subscription to pay the invoice. Some kinds suspend sites pretty quickly on non-payment, and warns the client a few days before the credited date that it is time to pay the bill.
The client gets the invoice reminders, considering that its overdue, or forgetting about the PayPal subscription, and pays it. A few days later, PayPal makes the copy according the subscription, and so the host is paid twice.
This has recently been the case in 4 out of five times when someone has came up up to me with this problem. It’s not the host who charges the client twice, the the customer who pays the host twice.
There is another feature that complicates things even more. Keep in mind that the PayPal registration payments are made automatically monthly on the same date that the first repayment was done? Then consider what happens if the first payment was made past due.