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Cookie Value Won't Change

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#1 WSO


    HR 3

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  • Location:Dallas, Texas

Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:38 PM

Hi All,

I'm pulling my hair out over this one, so any thoughts at all are very appreciated.

I have written an application for a customer that allows their customers to place online orders on their web site. I've written it in classic ASP, and use a cookie to keep track of their order number, and have written several similar systems in the past. I have one thing that is causing me problems here, however. Since this is a wholesaler that dropships, their customers often place several orders in a row. When they make their final submission of the order, I finish writing the information I need to a table and then simply reset their cookie to "", and also give it an expiration date of yesterday. My customer does their own billing, so there is no credit card gateway or anything. Everything usually works fine.

But for about 3% of their customers, their order number cookie does not get reset. So when they go to start a new order, the system thinks it's just adding to the original order. I don't understand why the cookie gets reset for 97% of the users, but not for just a handful. I also keep their username as a cookie and when they log off, that cookie DOES get reset to "" properly. But no matter what, they keep the same order number regardless of how many times they submit an order for processing, which should set their cookie back to null.

It's hard for me to debug this since I cannot recreate it at my office or at any other PC I have access to. The cookie always gets set to null fine for me. I've talked to a couple of the users on the phone to see if they see anything strange, but they don't. Of course, it's difficult to debug using someone over the phone--especially when they don't consider it their problem (which it isn't!).

I've checked, and they mostly use Internet Explorer, but one customer used version 6, one used version 7, and one used verison 8. I have many other users using the same browsers without issue.

I read some articles that made me wonder if their ISP or a proxy were caching pages and returning a "cached" cookie. Is that a possibility? I've been logging their IP address, and looking that up, but don't see any consistencies there either. One looked like they might be using their "real job" network, which could certainly indicate a proxy server. One was on one of the cable providers, and I hear they're more likely to cache pages. But one was SBCGlobal, which is also what I use, and as I've said, everything works fine for me (along with the vast majority of other users).

I'm a self-taught programmer, so I don't really understand the low-level actions in how cookie values are passed to and from the server. I'm at a loss here.

Does anyone have any thoughts?


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