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 USPS International Delays- How to Alert Customers?
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Advanced Member

389 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2021 :  15:00:35  
Because of USPS management problems and COVID customs delays, international deliveries from our US facility are taking up to 3 months (!) in many cases.

The paperwork to file USPS inquiries has been exhausting, and we're getting chargebacks from overseas buyers who seem to think it's our fault.

Currently upon receipt of every overseas order we call the buyer, explain those long delivery times, and suggest we void the order if the customer can't wait at least 90 days for delivery.

I'd prefer to let overseas customers know of these issues before they complete the order, but I could not find a way in the shipping admin to populate a "Please contact us before ordering" message when someone chooses USPS international delivery.

Can anyone think of a way to do this, without disabling international shipping altogether?

We'd prefer not to place a warning on our website for everyone to see, as this issue only impacts a small percentage of customers.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.

- Paul D.

Advanced Member

389 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2021 :  17:24:28  
Folks, until now we've enabled both Priority Mail International and Express Mail International in the Shipping admin for customers outside the USA.

Nearly all of our customers outside the USA choose Priority Mail International because of the lower cost.

Does any US merchant on this Forum have much recent experience with higher-cost Express Mail International?

If so, please let us know whether you're getting the same frequent delays and lost items as we're seeing now with Priority Mail International.

Assuming merchants are having better luck with Express Mail International, it seems like it might be a good idea to enable only this higher-cost option.

Thanks in advance for any comments on this.

- Paul D.

ECT Moderator

9360 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2021 :  20:21:06  
Hi Paul, You can display a message on the different checkout steps, for instance...

for .php
$xxCoStp1="Checkout Message Step 1";
$xxCoStp2="Checkout Message Step 2";
$xxCoStp3="Checkout Message Step 3";

for .asp it would be
xxCoStp1="Checkout Message Step 1"
xxCoStp2="Checkout Message Step 2"
xxCoStp3="Checkout Message Step 3"

I will say that after many years of offering US Postal shipping, we quit completely about a month ago.
We cannot get them to consistently pickup shipments and they are completely losing shipment at a rate we've never seen before.
It was terrible during the holidays, but we thought it would get better after, but it's just gone downhill. We're tired of customers calling and blaming us, and telling us they will never buy from us again. All over USPS issues. :(

My message on checkout says the following - NOTE- We are currently NOT offering US Postal shipping services due to ongoing issues. Additionally due to COVID-19 all shipping carriers have experienced occasional delays. While delivery times are returning to normal, some delays are unavoidable and beyond our control. Please allow extra time beyond the expected delivery dates. Shipping carriers have suspended guarantees for delivery dates.

Good luck with them, but until they fix things, we will stay away.


Advanced Member

389 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2021 :  03:24:15  
Thanks for this, Dave!
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