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#1 05-06-2015 17:41:08

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Check out problem with USPS

If I purchase a 50 bag of fertilizer and ship it to myself, the shopping cart presents the correct shipping options with FedEx Home delivery being the least expensive shipping method.   If I change the shipping address to somewhere on the east coast, two flat rate USPS shipping options show up and neither will hold a 50 lb bag of fertilizer.   The shopping cart performed correctly when displaying the valid shipping options when shipping to myself.   Why does it not work correctly when going from my location to the east coast?   For some people, the cart presents the shipping options correctly and for others it does not.   

I hate to shut the USPS shipping options off because then a product that ships for much less would have a very high shipping cost that would be way out of what would be practical and virtually no one would purchase our smaller and lighter products with ultra high shipping rates being imposed.

Domestic mail USPS shipping has been a major lingering problem with this shopping cart.

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#2 05-07-2015 06:04:01

webmaster
Administrator
From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
Website

Re: Check out problem with USPS

We have seen some strange rating with USPS since they published the V4 update in September 2014.  Exactly what you're describing.  Services coming back for one zip, but not for another.  According to USPS the API is working correctly, and the services returned are the only services available.  The store software simply picks up whatever services are returned, and if you have them enabled, uses them.  If the services are not returned, the software can't do much about it.


Nick Hendler

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#3 05-07-2015 07:03:00

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Check out problem with USPS

I decided to put a description on the check out that the shopping cart does not work properly for USPS shipping options.  I am also having to update product display names to indicate what kind of shipping is appropriate for each product.   If the customer choses an inappropriate shipping container for their product, we will adjust the shipping to go out in an appropriate sized container and that will result in some cases in a higher shipping cost.   I also am asking customers to call us if they have questions.   

As far as domestic US Mail is concerned, this shopping cart doesn't even present all the options... such as regional boxes which we commonly use for a lot of our shipping.   We are constantly having to adjust the US Mail shipping because the cart doesn't handle US Mail shipping correctly.    We buy all our postage online and get discounts for the postage on behalf of customer orders.   This shopping cart doesn't support any of that processing.    I don't care who's fault this is.   What I need is a shopping cart that works for the US Mail shipping options.  We are constantly having to manually adjust the shipping for almost every order that comes through this shopping cart.   It is a very rare event where this shopping cart actually calculates the correct shipping for customer orders.

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#4 05-13-2015 03:52:38

webmaster
Administrator
From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
Website

Re: Check out problem with USPS

You have been using our software for nearly a decade.  I believe you have a successful business that has produced online revenue through our software during that timeframe.  You wouldn't still be here if it weren't running properly.  You have been on this forum for years with very detailed issues concerning USPS shipping and multiple times have posted very detailed and well thought out explanations of issues, proposed solutions, UPS documentation, etc.  You know your stuff.  You know USPS better than we do.

With all that said, why, in the past decade, have you never contacted our custom shop and laid out exactly what your needs are, and asked for a quote on a custom implementation?  You're way beyond what an out of the box user needs, or you need help configuring a few custom scripts that leverage USPS.  Either way we can help.  Just a thought.  You're a valued client.  I don't see why we don't build a custom solution for your seemingly complex setup.


Nick Hendler

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#5 05-13-2015 14:40:21

ThomasGiannou
Member
Registered: 02-10-2007
Posts: 184

Re: Check out problem with USPS

It's true, I am still here using your shopping cart.  And it is also true that the USPS domestic mail functions haven't been working.   And even though we get frustrated with it from time to time and have to constantly make changes to the shipping methods,  We are staying with the shopping cart you have put together.  I can't say I know USPS better than you do.   But I do know the last time I looked at the USPS functionality via a trace, I could see it was going to be quite a chore to keep up with that system.   

They have since added Priority Mail Regional Box A, Box B, and Box C into the mix.   You can't get those boxes at any post office.   They are free, and you have to have them sent to you.   Also, you can't buy the postage for those boxes at any post office.   You have to purchase the postage on line and print it and affix it to their boxes.   

For the other USPS shipping options you can buy the postage at a post office, but it is better if the postage is purchased on line because they give discounts to reduce the postage if we purchase it online.   Those discounts lower the shipping cost for the customer.   

And then there is the issue of insurance.   If the dollar value of what is being shipped is below a certain threshold, then the insurance is free.   If the dollar value is above that threshold, then there is an additional charge for insurance.   It would be nice if we provided an option to the customer to check so as to signify they want their shipment insured.

And then there are also weight thresholds where above a certain weight, certain USPS shipping options can not be used.   

Some of our items can be shipped in USPS flat rate Priority Mail Envelopes.   So there probably has to be a sizing algorithm that has to be used to make sure the item will fit in a priority envelope if one or two of an item is ordered.   

I think a lot of this variability can be "table driven" so when the USPS changes the rules or adds some other "shipping option" their shipping options might be accommodated simply by filling out table entries.   

This whole process has not gotten simpler over time.  It has gotten more complicated as the USPS adds more ways to ship items.   

As for contacting your custom shop, I believe I did at one time but then shortly after doing that you came out with a new round of "adjustments" to the USPS shipping.  I never heard back from anyone at Kryptronic after that and I didn't pursue it.   

I think a better solution would be to have the cart changed so it can handle the complexities of the USPS system.   It looks like I'm going to have to do some traces and see what is going on with the details under the covers so to speak and to see what the USPS is sending back to your programs.   I'll then have to look at what they are expecting a program to do and how they are tagging everything so a program can pick it out of their data stream.   

They have an online system where everyone can purchase postage for all their shipping options.   They also have specifications about how their API works.   And then they have the actual data stream that your programs send out and the data stream they will return to your program via their API.   The last time I looked at this, I saw that the names of everything just didn't match up very well.   There were names in their specs that didn't match up with names in their data streams returned from their API.   What I found is that when you look at their online system and you look at the data details for the various shipping options you could figure out what they were sending in that API data stream.   

I thought, "How in the world is Kryptronic Softare keeping this convoluted mess straight?"   The API specifications were saying one thing.   The actual API data stream didn't match up with the API specifications.   And you had to use their online postage click and ship system in order to figure out what the heck that API data stream really meant.   So part of the time, you have to act like you are purchasing postage on line to see what they are displaying for different examples.   Then you had to do that through what you select through the shopping cart.   And then you have to look at the API data stream going out and coming in and look at their API specifications and then check out the numbers you are seeing displayed on their online click and print postage system.  And then you have to figure out what all that data meant in the API data stream being sent back to your programs.    And then you have to figure out what your program is actually doing.   I thought, what a convoluted bunch of crap!   And I wondered if anyone at the USPS API software development even knew what was going on with this system.   When I saw the USPS programmers making changes to their online system (click and print application) and how they screwed that up, it was obvious that some of that stuff reflected just how screwed up that USPS system really is.   Some of it reflected bad programming / testing practices.   And some of it reflected inexperienced programmers / analysts / management.  This is reflective of contract programmers or outsourcing at work. 

So, with all that said, I hope the USPS folks have made some advances in cleaning up their rat nest.   The only way of really knowing that is to go back in and look at all the details.   This particular project is going to require a lot of systems analysis work in order to define exactly what has to be done to interface with their API and get all the options in place.   Right now, I'm tied up in some tasks that are far more important than these problems.

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#6 05-18-2015 06:15:22

webmaster
Administrator
From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
Website

Re: Check out problem with USPS

I think you hit the nail on the head there.  The USPS documentation does not match the API.  Don't read it, or even consider it at all, unless you're looking for an API node you want to send that's not being sent currently.  The best way to debug USPS is to run a few tests realtime and see what is being sent and coming back.  I find the best way to do this is as follows:

(1) Edit the file {private}/apps/ecom/ECOM_Ship/ext/usps.php.  Assuming you're debugging domestic shipments, at line 244, in the 'Handles shipments bound for the US' section, right after the lines:

Code:

$result = $this->CORE_Remote->exec(array('url'  => $rate_url,
                                         'type' => 'POST',
                                         'mode' => 'HTTP',
                                         'data' => $postdata));

if (($this->IsError($result)) || (empty($result))) {return array();}

Add the following, obviously replacing 'your-superuser-email-address-here':

Code:

if ($this->globals('core_user.id') == 'your-superuser-email-address-here') {

     $eol = $this->globals('core.eol');

     print '<pre>' . $eol;
     print 'SENT TO USPS:' . $eol . $eol;
     print_r($this->CORE_XML->parse($xml));
     print 'RECEIVED FROM USPS:' . $eol . $eol;
     print_r($this->CORE_XML->parse($result));
     print '</pre>' . $eol;

} // End of if statement.

(2) Add an item you would like to test to your cart and turn on the Shipping Estimator function (under Store > Component > Settings) if it's not already on.  Get a shipping estimate.  Your output will contain all the sent and received data for the shipment.  Any time a re-rate occurs (quantity change, item add/delete, etc), you'll get new results.

This will at least get you seeing what's happening and from there perhaps we can work on including more to the API calls, or using more from the results.  You'll see currently the software loops through the results array and picks up on MailService, Rate and CommercialRate (if included).  That's as fancy as it gets.


Nick Hendler

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#7 06-12-2015 21:49:23

polarize
Member
Registered: 11-15-2004
Posts: 277

Re: Check out problem with USPS

I wonder if a work around could be on the product record level with webmaster controlled options in Delivery that will allow a "product based" shipping to be included in alongside "real time" or "custom script" rates as an opt-in choose rather than either-or.  There have been many times I would have liked to include a flat shipping option that would stack in monetary order inside the list of other options for the customer to choose from.  This could be helpful for us using flat rate shipping boxes to places like Alaska, Hawaii, APO/FPO, and US Territories. 

Giving the customer the option to choose between a real time rate and a flat rate would substantially improve sales in my opinion.  Is there a way for us to do this to show the rates?


Using Kryptronic K9! smile
Previous Versions:
ClickCartPro 8
ClickCartPro 7
ClickCartPro 6
ClickCartPro 5.1

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#8 06-15-2015 09:43:39

webmaster
Administrator
From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
Website

Re: Check out problem with USPS

You can do this, but it's done differently than you're thinking.  Set up a custom shipping script, and assign all products to it.  In that custom script, use realtime options (examples out here on the forum) and append flat-rate charges too.  If you need help with this, we can quote you and get it done through the custom shop.


Nick Hendler

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#9 06-23-2015 23:48:56

polarize
Member
Registered: 11-15-2004
Posts: 277

Re: Check out problem with USPS

Is it possible to have the custom script pull realtime rates based on product weight, zips, and dims contained in the product record as well as information contained in the product based shipping in the same product record so we can set flat rates up for an individual product along with the resulted realtime rates returned by assigning this script?

I would like to see the rate control for product based shipping to be in the individual product record and the custom script to extract it from there alongside realtime rates.  Can you clarify if we are thinking the same thing here? 

Example Below......

Standard shipping $9.83
UPS Ground $10.09
USPS Priority Mail $12.67
Alaska, Hawaii, APO/FPO, U.S. Territories $17.56

The example would say that the "Standard Shipping" and "Alaska, Hawaii, APO/FPO, U.S. Territories" information would come from the product based shipping field in this individual product record and the "UPS Ground" and "USPS Priority Mail" rates are realtime from the script based on zip to zip, weights, dimensions.


Using Kryptronic K9! smile
Previous Versions:
ClickCartPro 8
ClickCartPro 7
ClickCartPro 6
ClickCartPro 5.1

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#10 06-25-2015 12:44:43

polarize
Member
Registered: 11-15-2004
Posts: 277

Re: Check out problem with USPS

Hello Nick,

I sent you a support ticket to look at this.

Thanks smile


Using Kryptronic K9! smile
Previous Versions:
ClickCartPro 8
ClickCartPro 7
ClickCartPro 6
ClickCartPro 5.1

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#11 06-26-2015 06:15:02

webmaster
Administrator
From: York, PA
Registered: 04-20-2001
Posts: 19557
Website

Re: Check out problem with USPS

OK.  I'll address it via the ticket system.  Hope to see you soon adding V9 to your signature.


Nick Hendler

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#12 07-10-2015 10:34:04

polarize
Member
Registered: 11-15-2004
Posts: 277

Re: Check out problem with USPS

You bet I will smile


Using Kryptronic K9! smile
Previous Versions:
ClickCartPro 8
ClickCartPro 7
ClickCartPro 6
ClickCartPro 5.1

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