How to void authorized transaction in authorize.net gateway using ActiveMerchant
Goal: Only have successful purchases show up on a customer's billing statement. I don't want declined authorizations showing up on their billing statement (as seen in an online banking system) as pending. A customer often will accidentally input an incorrect billing address, for example, followed by a correct one. Together, the two attempts, one successful and one not both show up on their billing statement as pending prior to settlement. This can scare the customer as it looks potentially like they will be charged twice.
Details: When I do an AUTH_CAPTURE (via ActiveMerchant's purchase) or an AUTH (via ActiveMerchant's authorize) which is declined and subsequently want to void that authorization (via ActiveMerchant's void) so as not to have it appear on a customer's billing statement as pending (even though it will settle out after a few days), the gateway can't find the transaction to void using the authorization code returned from the authorization or capture method calls on the gateway.
This is specific to the authorize.net AIM gateway.
If I understand your question correctly, I'm not sure there is a way to do what you want.
This is a limitation of the gateway / merchant account system.
I just stayed at a hotel this past weekend, and when I checked in I was warned that an 'authorization charge' would appear on my card and then go away. The hotel situation is similar to what you are dealing with, and I don't think there is a way around it. Gas stations do it, restaurants, hotels, etc.
It's so common that I wouldn't worry about customers being alarmed. You might put a statement on your payment form saying something about an authorization charge - I've done that in the past on projects.
And for the auth.net specifics - I'm pretty sure you cannot void an auth, thus the error you are getting. The auth code returned is used later on to capture the amount, if needed.