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I have a problem where customers who already have an account re-register at the checkout.

The customer fills out their details, pays and then the site gives an error saying duplicate email (but we've taken your money anyway!)

How can I get Magento to check that the email isn't already registered before they complete checkout. In Magento 2 this is automatic, but in Magento 1?

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As Fra-H said, you are using a bugged checkout process. Either you have made some incorrect changes in the default checkout process or you are using some custom extension which is doing it wrong. Now you can do it in two ways:

  • Remove the changes you have made in core Magento checkout process by uploading Magento checkout files from fresh downloaded Magento or disable custom checkout extension.
  • Call a custom javascript function on click of "Continue" button (if you are using default Magento checkout process) or on blur (mouse out) event (if you are using any custom checkout process), which will send an Ajax request to a controller's action where you can check the existence of customer's email address and stop further checkout process.
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You are using a bugged custom checkout. In Magento 1 standard the checkout is stepped: first you register (or fail in it), then you can choose how to pay. So your solutions are to disable that plugin or to debug and fix it. If you choose the second solution, you should check for its controller's action and see where and how it is capturing the money before registering the customer.

  • Really?? I'm pretty sure I have no extensions related to the checkout and other sites have the same process. Step 1 is choose method and then you enter details in following steps. – William Oakley Apr 11 '18 at 10:17
  • @WilliamOakley In step 1 (checkout method) you have three options: register and checkout, checkout as guest (you cannot register here), or login. If you chose "register and checkout", you will register on step 2 Billing Informations, and may have the "already registered" error. The money is taken after step 5 (choose payment method). You can see a sample installation here: special-promotions-new.demo.amasty.com/special-promotions-new – Fra H Apr 11 '18 at 15:02

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