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  • Problems with USPS International Rates

    So I discovered a glitch in the shipping rates sometimes displayed for our international customers. We sell items of varying size, from tiny to quite large, and this is where the problem comes in.

    A customer from Canada ordered one large item (not huge, but too large for Express Mail Int'l, but OK for Priority Int'l) and two small items which could be shipped via either service. The large item is set up as "ships by itself." The customer was returned options for both Express and Priority. But the Express option was almost $30 less than the Priority option, which would seem backwards, right? Well the problem is that the Express rate was only for the two small items while the Priority rate was actually for two boxes and all items. Nowhere did anything display to explain to the customer that one of the rates was for only part of their order. Of course the customer chose the faster, cheaper shipping. Which meant I had to contact them to explain the problem, tell them the order could not ship Express, adjust the charges, etc.

    This was not an isolated incident either. I had a customer in Ireland attempt to checkout with one large and two small items. The large one was too large to ship via USPS at all and we don't have UPS Int'l set up. The customer was given a priority mail int'l rate of $50 - which was for the two small items only AND the $15 handling charge we have set up on the large item for domestic shipping. True shipping for this order via UPS would have been well over $200.

    We've only been with 3D Cart for a little over a month and we're in our off season (Halloween business). If we're seeing this crop up now, I'm sure it's only going to get worse as we get busier.

    I contacted tech support and explained the situation. I also told them I ran some tests with similar types of products for domestic shipping and this does not occur. If multiple products are eligible for different shipping services, only the services that will accept ALL products are displayed (as you'd expect). As for why it happens on international orders, I don't know. Tech support doesn't know either and suggested I try to contact USPS. I'm sure that will be easy!

    I can't be the only person who's run into this problem, can I? Does anyone else ship items of varying size internationally? Have you figured out any solution?

    Thanks!
    Nancy

  • #2
    We had a similar situation and tech support was nice enough to investigate the XML file that is sent to the courier service and the rates that is sent back to 3D; and it turned out to be the 3D is sending the correct information but courier/postal service is not sending the correct information back.

    Make sure you USPS is set up correctly.
    Elegant Weddings +
    www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
    www.elegantweddingsplus.com

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    • #3
      are your customers getting shipping rates from canada? mine are not i wrote 3dcart and was told its because of the postal strike. i have a lot of business to canada any help is appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thought the postal strike in Canada was resolved by a "forced back to work" from the government. We also send a lot to Canada.

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        • #5
          Shipping rates to Canada seem to work fine via Canada Post and others like UPS FEDEx etc....
          Elegant Weddings +
          www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
          www.elegantweddingsplus.com

          Comment


          • #6
            This does not sound like USPS issue because on the 3dcart end 3dcart should not request or display the rate yet for some reason 3dcart is displaying the rate. You should try support again, even if it is a USPS issue it is something that would affect all 3dcart customers so it is something 3dcart should look into.
            Nathan
            www.YourCableStore.com

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            • #7
              I figured it was a 3D Cart issue as well, but after a few back and forth tickets with tech support they tell me USPS should not be sending back the rate at all. I was told 3D does not ever filter info from the shipping providers, they send the info out, they get the rate back, and that's what they display. They suggested I send USPS a copy of the XML file (which I don't believe I have access to... or if I do, I don't know where) and ask them why they're sending back the rate for a service when part of the order can't be shipped by that method. I agree that this must effect other 3D customers as well, so I was surprised by the apparent lack of interest by tech support to look into it.

              I also suggested to tech support that they examine the XML file to compare that to a domestic order, which does work properly, rather than my having to start from scratch on the issue with USPS. At least if we knew what was different about the two files, it might make it easier to approach USPS. I have yet to hear back from tech support. If I can't get my own tech support to pursue it, how can I get USPS to look into it for me??

              Comment


              • #8
                Elegant Weddings... you said make sure your USPS is set up correctly... as far as I know it is. It works fine for everything else. Did tech support advise you that there was a problem in how it was set up and could you fix it? Did you try to follow up with USPS (or whichever carrier the problem was with)?

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                • #9
                  my issue was when the total package weight exceeded 13lbs, the postal service was sending back the cost for approximately 1-2lbs.

                  Your issue is similar but not exactly the same, perhaps tech support can re-create the issue that you are having and take a look at the XML file to see if proper information is there.
                  If the proper values for size weight etc are sent to USPS and not getting the expected rate, then this means something to do with USPS and will need to followup with USPS tech support.

                  You can determine the expected rate by going to the USPS site and doing a rate calculation for the desired size, weight and destination.
                  Elegant Weddings +
                  www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
                  www.elegantweddingsplus.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ElegantWeddings View Post
                    my issue was when the total package weight exceeded 13lbs, the postal service was sending back the cost for approximately 1-2lbs.

                    Your issue is similar but not exactly the same, perhaps tech support can re-create the issue that you are having and take a look at the XML file to see if proper information is there.
                    If the proper values for size weight etc are sent to USPS and not getting the expected rate, then this means something to do with USPS and will need to followup with USPS tech support.

                    You can determine the expected rate by going to the USPS site and doing a rate calculation for the desired size, weight and destination.
                    I have talked to tech support a few times, given them the exact items that will reproduce the issue (just as an example) and I don't know if they've checked the XML or not. I got the impression more that they felt it wasn't necessary... if my info on the box size is correct which it is, then they send it out and get back the rate and display it. 3D says basically they have nothing to do with it beyond that. I will try to find the right people at USPS to talk to. Maybe I'll have more luck.

                    Nancy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NancyC View Post
                      3D says basically they have nothing to do with it beyond that.
                      Nancy
                      That is correct, after that it is beyond the scope of 3D if the correct information is sent to USPS.

                      However, I got the help from 3D level 2 support, Jeff M. He was very thorough in investigating my issue and didn't give me 'Canned' answers.
                      Elegant Weddings +
                      www.elegantweddingsplus.ca
                      www.elegantweddingsplus.com

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                      • #12
                        I've been dealing with Jeff M. also. Thanks for your replies. If I get anywhere with USPS, I will post an update here.

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                        • #13
                          So I finally got around to emailing USPS. It was as big of a pain as I expected it to be. They say it's not their problem, it's 3DCart's. Pretty much what I thought they'd say. But after repeated emails trying to get them to commit to something I got this info:

                          "When the request is made for shipping multiple packages, each box should be designated as its own Package ( package 1, package 2 etc.). Each Package ID will receive its own rates in the Return Response. In order to verify that the information is set up correctly on your website so that we can ensure the appropriate information is being transmitted back to you please contact 3D Cart as we are not able to offer technical support for this programming on your personal site."

                          So... to me this sounds like there should be some sort of filter on 3DCart's end to not show this rate if it only applies to half the order. If there are two packages and only one rate returned, it should just eliminate the rate altogether.

                          I will pass this info along to 3D tech support and see if it goes anywhere.

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