How to avoid duplicate credit card charges

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If you're using the X-Charge or Cayan software for credit card processing through Campground Master, there is a timing condition that can cause charges to be processed twice while Campground Master thinks it was only processed once.  More specifically, if you get a "Timed-out" message in Campground Master when processing a card, it's possible that the charge has already cone through.


There are a couple ways to avoid this problem:


1. The most foolproof way to prevent this is to tell X-Charge or Cayan to NOT allow duplicate transactions -- in the X-Charge Server, go to Setup, click the Credit Cards section, and UNCHECK the box for Allowing duplicate transactions.  Of course this makes it more difficult to enter the payments needed in some cases, as mentioned in the previous article.  Nevertheless, we recommend this to prevent double-charging your customers -- use one of the other ways mentioned previously to handle multiple charges on reservations when needed.


2. If you can't use the method above, then you need to make sure that Campground Master will never time out before the credit card processing software gives up.  Make sure the Dial Attempts is set to only 1 in the X-Charge server, for instance (see Setup, Credit Cards, Connections.).  Also increase the Timeout in Campground Master to a larger number (see Maintenance, Credit Card Processing Setup).  If you continue to see timeouts, keep increasing the timeout value.


So what if you get a time-out anyway, or if when you do retry it returns an error that it's a duplicate charge?


First verify in the processing software that the charge is there.  Then to enter the charge in Campground Master without attempting to process it again, disable the Credit Card Processing function temporarily (uncheck the "Enabled" box in the setup), enter the payment, and then re-enable Credit Card Processing.



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