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Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - February 26 2003 :  12:03:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I have been using vpasp for 2 years now and have often been contacted by customers that have added items to the shopping cart just fine, but when attempting to check out they got a message indicating that their shopping cart was empty. (Sessions timing out is not the issue here.)

I have discoved that the problem occurs when a customer has their browser settings set to not accept any cookies. I have just tested the latest vpasp demo on this site with my browser set up like this and the problem occurred for me as well just a few minutes ago.

Is there any way around this? I am losing customers because of this and would like to hear from other customers or vpasp support with a solution.

Thanks in advance.

VP-ASP Expert

542 Posts

Posted - February 26 2003 :  13:58:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Without cookies enabled, the session variables that the cart relies on, do not work. No cookie, no workie! In researching this item, I found that VPASP does indeed have a warning message about cookies. It is found in shopemptycart.asp. Without cookies enabled, nothing can be added to the cart as such easy to detect if cookies on.

One thing I have noticed is that security software may change the level to something that doesn't allow cookies. This may be without the customers knowledge that such was being done. By adding instructions to the above file's message, you could instruct the customer how to check and change the settings. Will post this as soon as I find it again.

Edited by - superal on February 27 2003 15:15:58
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VP-ASP Expert

542 Posts

Posted - February 27 2003 :  15:33:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well that was easy. One should put a line about what the cookie actually does. http://www.ozbytes.net.au/cookies.html

Great for ALL the cookies settings

Talks about Opera

Some others

Just some ideas.

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VP-ASP Super User

302 Posts

Posted - April 16 2003 :  08:23:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wonder if this is the same problem ?
With my site I can add items to cart no problem but when I try to go to checkout it reports "Shopping cart is empty". If I open up cookies everything works fine .. put cookies to Medium or medium High and it fails in the manner described

So whats my point eh ?

1 .. with cookies blocked its still allowing items into cart .. just not taking them forward to checkout ?

2. the message thats showing up is "Shopping cart is empty" but the message that is within shopemptycart.asp is a lot more verbose so it seems this message is not coming from shopemptycart.asp ............so where is it coming from and why?

anyhelp appreciated


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VP-ASP Expert

542 Posts

Posted - April 16 2003 :  12:32:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
VPASP puts cart items into a session variable that is an array. This way any following page can access the variable and work with its contents. What is happening on addtocart is the array is being built. It is set to a session variable which your comp will not accept. On checkout, the next page is shopcustomer. It goes to look at the session variable with the cart items list and finds nothing. (GetSess("CartCount") = 0 OR GetSess("CartCount") = "" ) This triggers an error message (Langerror01) and redirects to shoperror with the message in tow. All happens around line 300 in Sub SetupCustomer.

I have my security on medium with cookies. Works perfectly.

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Mark Priest
VP-ASP Expert

United Kingdom
573 Posts

Posted - April 17 2003 :  22:45:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Blame Norton!!!!


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working hard
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - April 22 2003 :  16:09:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I would like to know how other shopping cart software gets around this problem? Surely something can be done?

I know I've lost customers because they don't accept cookies


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VP-ASP Expert

542 Posts

Posted - April 22 2003 :  21:21:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use lots of Norton products , Antivirus, firewall, Utilities. All resident and no interference. But a combination of other software and Nortons might be doing it and in the setup of Nortons something is different. I know that I usually disable my antivirus proggy if installing another. Sometimes the new one puts up a fuss otherwise.

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Starting Member

United Kingdom
37 Posts

Posted - April 29 2003 :  16:20:15  Show Profile  Visit uksports's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The problem is worse with IE6 due to the P3P implementation - to get round it, you need to add a P3P policy to your website and a compact p3P statement to shoppageheader.

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VP-ASP Super User

302 Posts

Posted - June 12 2003 :  22:16:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

OK my error message on for this problem is "shopping cart is empty"
however I HAVE CUSTOMISED THIS MESSAGE AND it should be as this ...

LangError01="Shopping cart is empty <br> If you Did not expect this or are having trouble adding to your cart <br> then the most likely reason for this is your machine is not accepting Cookies <br> Please see our FAQ for further details"

As explained my new message is not showing up so where on earth is it pulling the error message from

ALSO the cart comes with its own message for cookie problems but the cart is not using it , ive turned up the privacy setting on three computers and all I ever get is a Simple "shopping cart is empty"
message which tells customer nothing

Any further suggestions

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Starting Member

10 Posts

Posted - August 16 2003 :  16:22:12  Show Profile  Visit henrynelson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
OK, UKSports, please help us here.

I know that we need to put a privacy policy on the site to get the default privacy settings on IE6 to work.

HOW do we do this? I think that since we are all using the same software, that vpasp could give us a policy document that will work for all of us.

Can you post the specifics of your solution please?

I am really getting tired of emailing instructions to frustrated customers about how to adjust their privacy settings just to buy my stuff. I bet for every email I get, 100 more give up and go somewhere else

Henry Nelson

[email protected]
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Starting Member

United Kingdom
37 Posts

Posted - August 17 2003 :  05:17:28  Show Profile  Visit uksports's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are two ways of doing it, cheap and not so cheap depending on how confident you are!

Do a Google search for P3P editor and you will find adverts for companies that for a fee will create your privacy policy for you - the downside being that whilst you may be totally honest about your privacy policies, this in turn can create a privacy policy that causes more problems to IE6 (and 7 for those who have 2003 server)than not having a policy at all, and until you have read and learnt about it, you will not be able to spot the snags so I would recommend putting aside some time and learning about the subject.

There are a number of free P3P policy editors around, with the IBM one that comes up on the first page of the above search the most popular.

One thing to understand however is that Microsofts implementation of P3P is there own interpretation, so you have to make work arounds for it to be acceptable.

In very short terms, what you need to do is

1. Create a folder in the root of your domain called W3C

In that folder you create two documents using the P3P editor called p3p.xml and policy.xml - the contents of these files will vary with your own privacy policies so I can't tell what to put in them.

2. In shoppage_header (or whatever you call it) create your compact policy (again, read up on P3P to see what this is) and implement it on the very first line as follows


This is the one in use on one of our sites and is specific to that site so do not just copy it and use it - although no legislation exists at the moment for enforcement of privacy declarations, the US and European Union are not far off it and a false declaration will I guess lead to prosecution.

Now, here's the catch - the way IE6 implements P3P means that you have to lie on one important area of the compact policy for IE6 to accept it and not block use of your site completely - test it all out for yourself and you will see where the problem lies.

To test the first part (W3C folder), go to your site in IE6 before you have implemented the policy, and use the privacy controls (Tools, Internet Options, Privacy) and set the slide to high.

When you view your site, you should get an eye symbol with a red stop sign appear at the bottom of your browser - click it and it will give you a list of items that have been blocked by IE6 - select one, and press summary - this should say that there is no privacy policy in place for the site. Also, your VPASP cart will not allow you to add items to the cart or view multiple pages that have been generated by a search.

Now, implement the first part of the policy (w3c folder bit) and do the same test - there will still be the same eye and stop symbol (because you haven't a compact policy in place yet), but when you select an item and press summary, if you have done it right, you
should be able to read your sites privacy policy.

Now do the second bit and add the compact policy to shoppage_header (this will be based on your own policy) and then run the same test - if everything is working right, even with the privacy slider set to high, the eye and red symbol should not appear and your VPASP cart should work fully - which means that provided the user hasn't set the browser not to accept any cookies, or firewall etc, then your customers should be okay.

Other things to remember - if you use items on the page that are from other domains (images, banner adverts etc.) they can really screw everything up so additional work may be needed there.

Also, if you have multiple domain names pointing to one site, depending on how you have this set up, this can also cause problems because the privacy policy is related to a single domain - what you may need to do is implement some code to do a 302 redirect to the main domain

In the short run, that is how P3P works - it really wasn't an issue until IE6 appeared, but now that IE6 is utterly dominant (86.5% across our sites) then a lack of a P3P policy means that you will be losing alot of customers otherwise.

Hope that helps

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Senior Member

United Kingdom
1898 Posts

Posted - December 04 2003 :  07:24:09  Show Profile  Visit devshb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I had a similar problem and ended up creating a javascript function which checks for cookies being enabled, which then redirects to a new page that explains all about cookies and gives instructions on how to enable them. Of course, this only works if javascript is enabled, and you use this at your own risk !....

1) create a file in the vp-asp directory called "cookiecheck.js", and paste the following code into it:
var cookiesEnabled = false;
function FuCheckCookiesEnabled()
document.cookie = "Enabled=true";
var cookieValid = document.cookie;
if (cookieValid.indexOf("Enabled=true") != -1)

2) In shopaddtocart.asp, inside the DisplayForm() function, just before [arrCart = GetSessA("CartArray")] (ie after it checks for errors), add the following lines:
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript" SRC="cookiecheck.js"></SCRIPT>

3) Create a new file in the vp-asp directory called cookiesoff.asp, with the following text:

<!-- #include file="shop$db.asp" -->
<!--#include file="shoppage_header.htm" -->

Your cookies are disabled, blah blah blah, this is where you put all your explanations about why you use cookies and how to enable them.

<!--#include file="shoppage_trailer.htm" -->

This way, whenever anyone tries adding something to their cart and they don't have cookies enabled then they'll get redirected to the "your cookies are disabled" page.

That's a freebie for the good of humanity !

Bespoke code, anyone ? very cheap !
If anyone wants some, you can find me at [email protected]

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