Shopping Cart Problem Caused by Microsoft

    Fixed: I think I have fixed this problem, NO thanks to Microsoft who has still given me NO HELP. Unfortunately, the fix caused the loss of the menu that used to be on the right side of the window. I will try to find a solution that will allow me to return the menu to the pages. This problem cost me about 21 hours. Microsoft sucks.

    SYMPTOM of problem: After placing an item in the shopping cart, the cart says that it is empty and the item is missing. OR, after placing an item in the cart and then going back and placing a second item in the cart, the first item is gone and only the second item remains.

    CAUSE: Microsoft wants the privacy policy implemented on all web sites their way. The problem is I have a Unix server and every time it tried to follow their instruction to implement it globally on my Unix server, it would crash my server. The other way to implement the privacy policy is to add code to each page, which I have done (all 750 pages); and it still doesn't work. I believe my "Privacy Policy" is done correctly. But Microsoft Internet Explorer (7 and 8, IE6 worked fine) seems to ignore my "Privacy Policy" and the default IE privacy setting (Medium) creates a cookie that can not be updated. Since the only reason for having a cookie to to hold information (in this case, the items added to the shopping cart), it causes this problem. I call it broken cookies. What is really bad about this is it DOES NOT prevent the cookies you Don't Want from being created, but it does keep the ones you do want from working!

    Privacy Concerns: I have a complete Privacy Policy on all my web sites. They were created with a Privacy Policy generator from IBM. W3C, the Privacy Standards organization, has a Privacy Policy Validator on their web site, and it says that my Privacy Policy is correct. Just so you know, we only use any personal information that you give us to complete your order or contact you if we have questions or a problem with that order. After the order is completed, we destroy the information.

    What I have tried to do: I have researched the problem over the internet. I have applied everything that I even thought would fix the problem. I have called Microsoft Support and, as of 11/10/09, have spent 6 hours on the phone with them getting the run around, disconnected, sent to to the wrong support level and basically getting nowhere.

    SOLUTION: There are three (3):

   Go to Internet Explorer and do the following:

  1. Click on the "Tools" option. It will give you a list of options,
  2. Click on "Internet Options",
  3. Click the "Privacy" tab in the "Internet Options" screen,
  4. Drop the slider down one notch, from Medium to Low,
  5. Click "Apply" and then "OK"

    This should fix the problem and should not cause any other problems. The cookies you don't want still get created on you computer with the "Medium" setting and you should use a program such as Spybot or Ad-Aware to remove them periodically anyway. So the low setting should not make a difference, even if you don't clean up unwanted cookies. The cookies from my site will only last for 3 days and will then go away. If you are concerned about this lower setting, you can go back and change it back to "Medium" after you are done with your shopping; although I have found that to be unnecessary.


    Go directly to our Shopping Cart server before you add anything to the Shopping Cart. The address is This is a Mirror (duplicate) copy of the site.


    Use another browser (non Microsoft) such as Mozilla Firefox. It can be found at: Other browsers may also work correctly, but I haven't tried them.


    You can add us to your list of sites (this is the hard way), by:

  1. Going to "Tools"
  2. Then "Internet Options"
  3. Then to "Privacy"
  4. In the "Privacy" window click the "Sites" button (just under the slider)
  5. In the "Address of website:" enter "". Do not include the " but do include the http://.
  6. Click the "Allow" button
  7. Click "OK" to exit this window
  8. Click "OK" again to exit the "Internet Options" window

 Shopping Cart Problem Caused by AOL 

    SYMPTOM of problem: Someone else's address information is in the Shipping/Billing page. This DOES NOT involve credit card information.

    CAUSE: AOL issues you a new IP address every time you sign on and releases it as soon as you sign off (AOL is the ONLY ISP that I know of that does this. All others link the IP address to your computer, usually for 2 weeks, long past the time our cookie is deleted). Since the IP address is the physical address of your computer (such as street address for your house or phone number for you phone), if you log on and get the IP address of some else who has shopped on my site in the last 3 days, the shopping cart will use the shipping information that they entered. THIS ONLY involves the address information and NOT any credit card information. Credit card information is handled separately by the secure processing of my server and is not saved for any future use.

    SOLUTION: Delete the existing information and replace it with your information. You could also disallow cookies and my server will handle the saved information differently, instead of attaching it to your computer IP address; but this is over-kill.

    Call AOL and complain about this. The way they are doing this creates a privacy issue, not just on my web site, but on any web site that saves information.