Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

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compunerdy
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Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by compunerdy » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:04 am

Been getting errors since about 10pm last night that the server cannot connect to USPS. When this happens it throws a server error during checkout.. we should probably have it setup to not throw a server error and display a more user friendly error. If I switch to the USPS test server it displays rates fine.

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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by Katie » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:21 am

If I switch to the USPS test server it displays rates fine.
That was smart. We had someone we were helping with this issue, and I wish I had thought of that. She only uses USPS shipping, so there was nothing to fall back to.

I'm not sure the best way to handle the problem of a gateway becoming non-responsive. A more friendly error message is a good starting point.
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compunerdy
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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by compunerdy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:10 am

USPS having issues again today.. so what is the difference between the USPS test and live server?

Would be nice if it is possible to push through a fix so we can display a user friendly error when this happens.

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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by Katie » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:37 am

so what is the difference between the USPS test and live server?
They are the same except when USPS upgrades/changes their API. In that case, they will usually roll out any changes to the test server first. In the case of the live server being unavailable, I think that using the test server as a backup is a perfectly good solution.
Would be nice if it is possible to push through a fix so we can display a user friendly error when this happens.
It might not be as easy as you think. The trouble is really dealing with how to interpret a long delay from the outside server. In some cases, the page just hangs waiting for a response. So, if we just go ahead and assume that the delay is from one of the providers, we have to actually wait until there is an error message before we can read that error and put one in of our own. It gets complicated when we have service for tax, shipping, and payments. The problem could exist for any one of them.

IMO, a major player like USPS should be help accountable for their service by providing backup/fail-over servers so this doesn't happen.

I'm not sure how to best handle the situation. I suppose that offering two shipping providers would certainly be one solution. Especially if USPS continues to have problems.
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compunerdy
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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by compunerdy » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:22 am

Even if we have 2 options it gives the server error and does not display the other option.

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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by Katie » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:47 am

There must be a better way to deal with these USPS servers issues. I'm going to open a bug report and see if the dev team has a solution.

Ref. AC8-2988
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Re: Anyone else having a issue with USPS live rates today?

Post by rmaweb » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:21 am

I got fed up with the USPS rates not always showing for my customers last year. I switched over to having table rates based on order value for domestic shipping like some others in my industry have done, and for international shipping, I created the zones and table rates on weight for the USPS international options. It took me a full day of work to create the international rates (while still answering the phone and responding to emails), but it paid off with not having as many dropped baskets and support emails.

I printed out the relevant pages from this pdf http://pe.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/dmm ... ice123.pdf and created my international zones/rates from there. The only trouble is that when the Post Office changes rates/services in January, I have to set aside time to update the whole thing.
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