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 ASP (Windows server) versions
 A bit of insurance confusion
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ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/12/2020 :  13:31:44  
Using version 7.1.7 but not sure if it was working before or not.

Using USPS for shipping.
My intent:
Add $0.50 for handling charge (covers box, etc).
Handling charge percentage is left at zero.
I need to charge insurance but not USPS insurance. Want to charge 2.25% with $0.60 min domestic and $0.90 min foreign.

Before - I had shipment insurance to "Automatically add insurance" for both domestic and foreign.
Under that - I had percentage set to 2.25% with no minimum (will be changing that when I figure this out).

Going to USPS.com and getting advertised postal rates from their website, I get $7.85 to ship 1.1lb item to myself.
When I add the item to my website, it comes up with $7.85 to ship to myself plus $0.50 = $8.35. So the postage and handling charge is working properly.

No insurance is added - ever. I have it set to automatically add insurance, I get nothing. I vary the 2.25 up and down, nothing. I added in $1 for minimum, nothing. I changed stting to "Don't add insurance", no change.

So how does insurance work?

ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2020 :  19:45:08  
Seriously?
Has anybody else tried charging external insurance for USPS shipments?

ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2020 :  21:57:49  
OK - I was wrong about the website getting postage rates correct. Something has changed here since moving to version 7.1.7. What my website USPS charges pre-7.1.7 were quite close to expected values but now all first class items have increased substantially and are all considerably overpriced.

One small package weighs 0.555lbs (I sure wish USPS would go metric!).
Going to USPS website - retail price for shipping should be: 5.35 plus 0.50 handling or 5.85 (no added USPS insurance). Instead, it charged 7.23. I have no idea as to how it derived that value. If it charged USPS insurance, it would be 8.05. If it charged calculated insurance value at 2.25%, it would be 5.96 (order was valued at website's minimum value). None of these match what was actually charged to the customer.

I have to assume the website used 0.555 lbs but since it doesn't show final calculated weight anywhere on admin page so this cannot be verified.
For verification purposes - it sure would would be nice if the order admin page would show separate entries for:
1 Calculated (final used for shipping) weight
2 USPS provided shipping value
3 Insurance charge (if separate)
4 Handling charge

Also the shipping methods list for USPS could use a bit of updating. Seems that ECT list hasn't been refreshed in quite awhile and doesn't match by description what is really offered any longer.

Vince
Administrator

39056 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2020 :  00:21:05  
Hi ekrzycki
I tried recreating your scenario with a package of 0.555 lbs going from 90210 to 11735 and get for instance...
First-Class Mail $5.66
Retail Ground $8.95
And this is exactly the same as I get from the USPS website.
If I set the insurance in the cart to automatic then I do get insurance added but what it is doing is adding the actual insurance rates that USPS return, and this is mentioned in the admin main settings page...
quote:
If not using an online shipping rates service (or in some Free Shipping scenarios) please enter the default for insurance
Maybe there is a case then for bypassing the actual USPS rates, but it was assumed that was a feature to get insurance rates directly from the carrier.
With insurance in the cart I get...
First-Class Mail $7.86
Retail Ground $11.15
Can you let me know the ZIPs and weights for your test case and what you get in the cart / what you get from USPS and I'll see what I get.
I see what you are saying re the actual weight used in the calculations but a lot of the time that information isn't actually available. And especially so if you mix items of different weights.

quote:
Also the shipping methods list for USPS could use a bit of updating. Seems that ECT list hasn't been refreshed in quite awhile
They were refreshed quite recently but if you think there are errors, could you maybe list them in a different thread?

Vince

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ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2020 :  20:24:18  
For me -- from 68116 to 24055.
0.555 lbs.
Online price is $5.40
Handling charge = $0.50
Expected value = $5.90
Website created price is $7.73 including the $0.50 handling.
This was a real easy one to calculate because the order was small with low item count and a light weight. The weight was based on what I have for initialpackweight=0.35. Item weight = 0.205 (based on individual item weight * number of items). Total weight= 0.555.

I have "don't add insurance" selected by assuming this applied to USPS insurance which I did not want. And I have to assume admin page "If not using an online shipping rates service (or in some Free Shipping scenarios) please enter the default for insurance" means to fill in the lines below with desired insurance values which is set to 2.25 for percentage rate and 0.60 for minimum. The version 7.0 user's guide doesn't seem to mention insurance at all. When I varied the insurance methods and the insurance rates - nothing ever seemed to change and I kept getting the same overall shipping rate back regardless of insurance selection.
The $0.60 minimum I was using was based on old U-Pic values which have gone up but I haven't yet taken the time to update rates on website. U-Pic was available to everybody using Endicia Dazzle for shipping but has been replaced by 'Parcel Insurance Plan' or PIP. I think this change occurred due to Stamps.com taking over endicia and Stamps.com uses PIP(?). Regardless - still FAR cheaper than USPS insurance rates.

Note that this is a recent change. When I upgraded to version 7.1.7 at end of December is when the shipping rates dramatically increased. Prior to that - I was getting charged values that were quite close to actual values.

I'm currently so backed up on orders that I had to turn off the website's checkout function. I'll have to play around with this again after things get turned on again.


Vince
Administrator

39056 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2020 :  01:33:40  
Hi Ekrzycki
If I recreate your shipment but set the Domestic Shipments Insurance: to "Don't add..." then I get
$5.35
If I change that to automatically add insurance then I get...
$7.55
...which sounds correct for the minimum. We really didn't think that there was going to be a need for overriding the carriers insurance cost but maybe what I should do is add a flag to use the percentage / minimum settings even for the online carriers.

Vince

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ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2020 :  22:25:00  
Haven't been able to try it yet.
But it sounds like the insurance costs - percentage and minimum aren't intended to work when USPS shipping method is selected.
What are the odds of getting this added in for those of us that use separate shipping insurance companies?

Vince
Administrator

39056 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2020 :  03:51:15  
Hi Ekrzycki
I've made the changes for this but have added it to the Beta for now as I can't release a regular updater. You can get a copy in the normal way if you follow this link...
https://www.ecommercetemplates.com/updaters.asp?betas=true

Vince

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ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2020 :  21:42:59  
Would like to try that but one more question --
Since this is still beta, I don't want to update entire website to a beta version. I am currently at 7.1.7 as of 3Jan2020.
To try this - can I get by with only updating USPSshipping.asp, incmain.asp and inccart.asp?


Vince
Administrator

39056 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2020 :  01:12:46  
Hi Ekrzycki
Yes, that would do it for this change I believe. But you would have to run the updatestore.asp script as well or you would get errors.

Vince

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ekrzycki
Advanced Member

USA
290 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2020 :  13:28:19  
Closing the loop on this one.
Ever since the update (7.1.8) where the option to use 3rd party postal insurance with both percentage of total with minimum charge has been added - this has been working perfectly!

Thank you Vince!

Vince
Administrator

39056 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2020 :  00:34:34  
And thank you for letting us know, Ekrzycki! I'm glad it's all working now.

Vince

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