Customer enters city. "City and region lookup by postal code" changes it to wrong city.

This is happening more and more.

My store has "Enable city and region lookup by postal code" enabled.

My customer enters their address at checkout. Then some address correction system substitutes a nearby but WRONG city.

The following substitutions have happened:
Providence, RI was changed to PAWTUCKET (caused a lost package)
Bangalore, KA, India was changed to CARMELRAM (Customer caught the change and notified me)
La Jolla, CA, USA was changed to SAN DIEGO
Canoga Park, CA, USA was changed to LOS ANGELES
Rancho Palos Verdes changed to LOS ANGELES

Often, these substituted US addresses are not recognized by the USPS postal address lookup.
Comments
  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team
    Hi Cliff,

    Thanks for posting - I'm sorry to hear you've experienced issues with the address autocomplete on the checkout impacting shipments to your customers.

    For our address autocomplete in the US, we make use of our default tax database to return the city/state results for a given postcode. Sometimes there is disconnect between the cities that a tax covers though, and the specific cities that USPS accept for the shipping address. Generally in these situations there are multiple options available in the city/state dropdown that the customer is able to choose between, but the database we're using doesn't know which is USPS's preferred address from the options available that would allow us to order them as such. It currently then relies on the customer selecting the correct option from the autocompleted result after they enter their postcode.

    For the India address - that appears to be an issue with the postcode lookup service we use for addresses outside the US - it appears to only return Carmelram for that specific postcode. We'll pass those details on to their support team for them to review and correct.

    Going back to the US addresses - we're looking at switching the address lookup to use an approach more specifically suited for shipping address lookups. I'll add some notes from your experiences to that discussion too.

    For now, while introducing a little extra work for your customers, you could turn off the postcode lookup functionality, meaning that the customer would enter their full address as they prefer it. You could also look at the Crafty Clicks integration snippet if you wanted to switch to a different autocomplete approach too.
  • This holiday season, we saw five problems due to Foxycart Address Autocomple. These resulted in delayed, mis-delivered, and returned packages. A typical tracking report from the US Post looks like:

    "Your item was forwarded to a different address at 11:47 am on December 28, 2018 in ROCHESTER, NY. This was because the address or ZIP Code on the label was incorrect."

    (this one happened because Address Autocomplete substituted "Brighton" when the customer entered "Rochester")

    For others who have this problem, our workaround is to check the ship-to address from Foxycart against Google Maps and also US Post address databank. Sigh...

  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team
    @CliffS,

    Thanks for the update, I'm sorry that it's been such a persisting issue for you.

    To clarify the experience for the user, taking the transaction you detailed as an example, the customer didn't actually enter "Rochester" while they were checking out and it was swapped to Brighton. What would have happened is the customer simply entered their postcode, and the city was automatically set to Brighton through the autocomplete. Rochester is an option in the autocomplete too for the customer to select, but Brighton is the defaulted option. Both options are appearing for the customer, as within our tax database that postcode is associated with both Rochester and Brighton.

    As I mentioned above, we are looking at options to improve our autocomplete approach for the US - but in the meantime, if you turn off the autocomplete functionality in your store's configuration, it will prevent this from being an issue, as the customer will manually enter their city and state. You can turn that off by unchecking the "Enable city and region lookup by postal code" option on the "configuration" page of your store's Foxy administration. This will just add a little bit of extra work for the user, but will remove the possibility of the customer missing that the default autocompleted result isn't the correct city for them. If you wanted to maintain an autocomplete approach, you could also look at the Crafty Clicks autocomplete snippet too.
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