Sometimes when you place an order at Paradoxplaza you may experience a "Payment: REFUSED" error message resulting in your order not going through. Unfortunately the message is tremendously vague and doesn't actually provide any useful information that can be used to troubleshot the cause. I'd like to take a moment and explain a little bit more about this error and hopefully share some insight that can help you in the future.
What causes the error in the first place?
A whole bunch of things actually but the most common causes have been identified as:
- Using a VPN or other tool to mask/change your IP
Quite a common problem, many customers who use laptops for work tend to have a VPN running and most of the time not even thinking about it.
- Incorrectly entering details
Another very common cause. A single digit will cause the payment to be refused and your account to be put on a "cooldown" (more on that below).
- Not filling out all the details
For some payment methods (PayPal in particular) not filling out all the details can cause it to be refused as the payment looks like a fraudulent transaction.
- Banks not allowing international payments
More often than not banks have an anti-fraud system in place preventing users from making purchases from out of country vendors.
- Trying multiple payment methods
This only happens after the payment has been refused once. We often see customers try again with another card, another method etc but they will all be refused due to the "cooldown" (more on that below).
"What is this "cooldown" period you keep mentioning?"
After a payment is refused your account enters a "cooldown" period. This is a security feature put in place by our payment provider as a way to prevent fraud by denying any future payment attempts regardless of payment method for several hours.
"Well darn it, my payment got refused, can you remove the "cooldown" so I can try again?"
Sadly no, the feature is built into the system and we cannot tinker with it.
"So.... how long do I wait?"
This is a tricky one as it depends on several factors such as number of attempts, location, payment type etc but we recommend you wait for 24 hours after your last payment refused error message.
"This can't be right, my card works with other online vendors!"
I understand that and I'm not surprised. There are dozens of payment providers used by online vendors and not all of them work the same. This is why, for example, a payment could go through perfectly on Steam but get refused on Paradoxplaza. Another reason for this is that many online vendors have payment affiliates in countries around the world which means that an international payment actually gets paid domestically and then we get the money sent via our affiliate. Paradox doesn't have this.
"Well alright then, how do I prevent this from happening in the first place?"
There are a few things you should make sure of before placing an order:
- Disable your VPN
- Double and triple check the details you entered
- Fill out all the details
- Make sure your bank allows international payments
- Make sure you are using a card from the country you are in
We strongly recommend that you call your bank and ask them for information pertaining to international online payments should your payment be refused. They may have a security feature that you have not been informed of and this could be the cause for the refusal. Only after you've spoken with your bank and confirmed that the card is acceptable to use online should you attempt a purchase as you will otherwise be stuck in a continuous loop of payment refused error messages.
As time goes by and questions arise I'll update this short FAQ but as long as you follow the steps above you shouldn't have any problems with your payments.