International Customer Error

dspencerdspencer Member
in Bugs & Feature Requests edited April 2008
International customers are not able to process orders with foxycart. They are receiving the following message:

Try AgainError: This store has not been setup correctly to calculate shipping to this location. We apologize for the inconvenience. The store owner has been notified of this error.

Is there something we should be doing to address this problem?
Comments
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Make sure that you have an appropriate international shipping option (or two) checked. Also, you'll need to do the testing yourself, as our shipping options currently aren't "smart" enough to know limitations of specific methods. Some international shipping methods might not work if you select a package as opposed to a letter, or etc.

    We recommend checking at least two options, preferably from different carriers, if you can. This will add a little bit of redundancy in case your carrier of choice goes down for a bit (which has happened in the past).

    If that doesn't help, or you feel like it's a bug, let us know and we'll take a look.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    I'd recommend selecting a lot of options. The logic behind which options are available for specific countries, weights, dimensions, etc can be really detailed and are specific to each shipping method. The worse case would be to loose a sale because of a lack of shipping options. The more options you have selected, the more chance a specific country will be supported.
  • bushybushy Member
    edited April 2008
    What Brett said...you need to make sure that at least one viable (viable being the key word) is available to your customers. Keep in mind things like weight limits. For example, USPS Priority Mail International only delivers items up to 13 ounces in weight. So an order for half a pound of goods will go through fine, but an order for one pound will fail. Visit the sites of the shipping methods you're offering to see what weight and size packages they accept, what countries they deliver to (or don't) and whether there are certain types of addresses (for example, PO boxes) that they won't deliver to. You have to do this investigation yourself. As a fall-back, you can direct international customers who are having trouble selecting a shipping option to your Contact form so you can work out special arrangements.

    Oh, btw, the blurb about "The store owner has been notified" is just boilerplate far as I can tell. There's no notification.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    The notification is in the error log, which we do plan on extending to allow notifications by email and RSS, but for now it's just notification there. Sorry if that's misleading.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Bushy, we were under the impression those types of business decisions would be determined by each individual store owner. We don't have a way to determine what a store is planning on selling until the moment a product is sent to FoxyCart. At that point, we can only go by the methods that have been previously setup in the store admin.

    My opinion would be to check all of them. The shipping rate calculator will filter out invalid options for you automatically based on the information sent to it and since the cost of shipping is passed through to the customer, I don't see the benefit of not providing a lot of options to the customer.

    Using your example above, you'd just have to check Priority Mail as well as many other options. For each transaction where Priority is invalid, it won't even show up to the customer. Does that sound right?
  • bushybushy Member
    Luke, yup, I agree (mostly). 100% agree that it's the merchant's responsibility to exercise due diligence by researching shipping options and selecting a range that covers their expected customers' needs without returning an error. There is always going to be the possibility of an order that errors out all shipping options (like 300 mohair sweaters over-nighted to Zimbagwe) so I think it's a good idea (for the merchant) to always provide customers with a clear way to contact them directly for orders that can't be processed due to a lack of viable shipping options. In that event hopefully something can be worked out via direct correspondence. There's no way I can see code-wise that you guys at FoxyCart can bullet-proof a merchant with poorly-selected shipping options. My advice to the merchants (based on my admittedly limited knowledge of shipping--especially international) is to research thoroughly and then test. And then test some more. And then when you're just about to throw up, test some more. One of the few bright spots for US merchants given the low state of the US dollar is that their goods are more affordable abroad. So international e-commerce for US merchants is suddenly a area of great concern (even given the great expense due to rising fuel costs and the uncertainty that has always attended international shipping).

    The one place I might disagree with you (but it's for the merchant to decide) would be taking a "check all available international shipping options and let the customer decide" approach. Once you get past the USPS, shipping prices for international orders escalate radically. A $20 USPS International First Class Mail order to France might be $60 sent via UPS. That extra $40 may be money well spent for orders that go missing. But, I don't know, having been a customer myself many times dramatic variances in the cost of shipping options spook me. And leave me uncertain as to whether I even want to take the risk at all. If I go for the lower rate, does that mean I might never get my order? If I go for the higher rate, does that mean if the the order would have gotten here fine via the cheaper method I've just thrown my money away? International shipping, man, there's some black box voodoo going on there.
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