In one of our Magento stores we were receiving orders with payment method 'Zero subtotal checkout' or as it says in the order grid 'No payment information required'. But actually the orders had a subtotal larger than zero, order amounts were up to € 500,-.

In the logs, we found these orders were pushed to Paypal somehow, but were never paid.

After some digging we found out what was happening.

In the checkout, open up your browser code inspector and change the input for for example Paypal:

<input id="p_method_paypal_standard" value="paypal_standard" name="payment[method]" title="PayPal" class="radio validate-one-required-by-name" type="radio">


<input id="free-payment-method" value="free" name="payment[method]" title="PayPal" class="free validation-passed" type="radio" checked="checked">

Then click Finish Order, you'll end up at Paypal, you just close that screen. The order is already in Magento with status No payment information required, and in our case Processing, which normally is the sign for 'OK, let's ship this'.

So we thought of the following solutions:

  • Disable the payment method Zero Subtotal Checkout. But we need to have the Zero subtotal checkout payment enabled, because we use store credit and some coupon codes with 100% discount, so it's necessary to have this one enabled.
  • Set the New Order status to Pending. This prevents the order from being shipped, but of course this also goes for orders that are legitimate.

For now we have chosen the latter.

What would be a better solution? Can this be prevented somehow, while maintaing the Zero Subtotal Checkout functionality?

  • Is it onestepcheckout related issue?
    – mageUz
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


I'm sorry that I can't comment on it [I don't have enough rep]. Are you sure, that hack works?

because, zero subtotal checkout won't work with subtotal greater than zero (it is coded like that).

so if, it is happening, you must have made changes to that functionality, which sets grand total to zero, but not in the quote object exactly.

i.e. either your customization or any other custom extension modified the grand total in a way that it should not be done.

  • Thanks, what is 'won't work'? Will it throw an error? Just to be clear: I don't see the method itself in the list of available payment methods. By changing the HTML input, Magento 'thinks' it's Paypal, because I'm redirected to Paypal, but in the backend the order is processed as Zero subtotal checkout, without any errors. I'll check with a clean install if I can reproduce there.
    – pitmeister
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 11:56
  • @pitmeister: "won't work" is zero subtotal checkout will not be an option at all. and since you try to hack it by modifying the html, magento won't simply accept it. I tried the same with a fresh installation and magento throwed an alert saying "payment method not available" [zero-subtotal checkout is enabled]. It throwed that message because subtotal was not zero.
    – Shathish
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:14

There is never been such situation with standard Magento configuration, maybe your magento core or payment methods code was changed, or you are using non-standard 3rd party extension. First of all free payment method is used when quote grand total equal 0. See /app/code/core/Mage/Payment/Model/Method/Free.php

protected $_code = 'free';

 * Check whether method is available
 * @param Mage_Sales_Model_Quote|null $quote
 * @return bool
public function isAvailable($quote = null)
    return parent::isAvailable($quote) && !empty($quote)
        && Mage::app()->getStore()->roundPrice($quote->getGrandTotal()) == 0;

Second you can choose "pending" order status via payment config. Go to admin->system->config->payment methods and open "Zero Subtotal Checkout" method. Change "new order status" to "Pending" and save.

  • Thanks, I don't have any overrides or core changes in this class. Although we do use the Onestepcheckout, I'll check if I can reproduce it on a clean install. I already have it set to Pending in config, so no more unpaid orders get shipped.
    – pitmeister
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 11:51
  • Ok, confirmed that indeed it won't work in default onepage checkout. So beware: onestepcheckout won't throw an error!
    – pitmeister
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:06
  • @pitmeister: pls confirm what extension is that, so I won't use it anywhere. Thanks!
    – Shathish
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:19

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