wrong costs for UPS live shipping rates


I'm having a problem where the shipping costs that are being calculated through the live shipping rates are not the same as the ones that are actually being billed to the customer. They are a few dollars lower, so my client ends up always eating the cost difference. The amount is always different (not the same value).

We're using the UPS live rates with customer packaging and suggested retail rates, with only the "ground" option selected.

I've tried setting different settings but it's always the same.

I think it's a bug, but if I'm missing something then please move this to the help forum.
Anyway, I really need a solution for this, the client is not happy.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi @Orthias.
    There are a variety of reasons that the returned rates can be off, but if it's relatively consistent, we'd recommend adding a handling fee at the category level. You could also experiment with a different option for the container and (more importantly) the drop type, if you haven't yet.

    Give that a shot and let us know if it helps. So sorry for the issues.
  • OrthiasOrthias Member
    edited May 2015
    Hi @brett,

    I have already tried switching the drop type and packaging, but they seem to have no influence on the shipping cost whatsoever, it doesn't change but stays exactly the same for a given weight + zip code combination.

    The differences are not constant in amount but seem to be around 10% more.

    For example, on one order the shipping cost was listed as $18.49 and the actual cost was $20.33 ($1.84 difference, which is $18.49 + 10%).

    On another order, the listed cost was $38.75 and the actual cost was $43.04 ($4.29 difference, which is $39.75 + 11% - approximately).

    I can't make out a clear pattern here.

    The client would prefer not to add a handling fee as that might look like they are asking for more money for themselves when the truth is they are being charged more by UPS.

    But shouldn't changing the shipping options (drop type and packaging) affect the live shipping cost output?

  • OrthiasOrthias Member
    edited May 2015
    Update: I tried switching the options again, and the only one that actually did not throw a shipping calculation error and showed a different value for shipping cost was the "On Call Air" shipping option. It did present a value of $45 for the second order above (the one that should have been $43.04 - so, close enough) but also it presented a value of $25 for the first order, which is almost $5 over what it actually costs - so it's not good.

    The package is 34 lbs in weight so the only type of packaging that does not throw an error is the "customer packaging" option - for some reason the rest would throw an error saying that the store is not set up correctly to calculate shipping between those two locations with that weight.

    Any thoughts?
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Hi @Orthias. We'll take a look and get back to you.
  • fc_adamfc_adam FoxyCart Team

    As a quick aside to start off - if your client added a handling fee, the customer wouldn't know that there has been an additional fee added as we add those onto the shipping results displayed. So for example, if a shipping rate is $5 and there is a $2 handling fee, the customer would see that rate displayed as $7.

    Could you please try disabling the entered UPS account details for the shipping settings and see if the rates are closer to what you're expecting?
  • JBurnsJBurns Member

    Not sure if you've resolved this, but for my UPS live rates the most accurate seemed to be daily pickup - even though we don't use it, we drop off. However, we have seen three things that sometimes throw our rates off. (1) We set the rate based on the company field, but that presumes all addresses with the company field are business addresses. That is not always the case. If it's a residential address the actual UPS rate is higher. But doesn't sound like that's your issue. (2) The second issue is getting the total order weight correct taking into account the packaging. Make sure the packaging isn't pushing the weight to the next billing weight (turning a 1 pound sale into a 2 pound shipment). (3) A third item that could impact rates is the package size. Live rates looks at weight only. But when IPS calculates the rate if the package size is large relative to the weight the rate will go up. We sometimes have a 2 pound package that bills at 4 pounds because the package size is large. You might have the client compare the actual and billed weights to make sure this isn't the problem. If the package size is pushing the billed weight up the easiest fix might be to change the item weight going to foxycart so it matches the weight UPS actually bills for.

    Hope that helps.

  • Sorry for the slow update on this. Your tip did the trick, as soon as I removed the customer's UPS account info and switched to Daily Pickup, the rates being shown started to match the ones that were actually being billed.

    I realize this has nothing to do with FoxyCart and is a problem with the UPS service providing the estimates, and I've made sure to let the client know that in detail (it was a bit hard to get the idea across at first).

    Thanks for all your help!
  • fc_jedfc_jed FoxyCart Team
    That's great to hear @Orthias! Let us know if we could help you with anything else.
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