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USPS Shipping, sometimes shipping is not applied at checkout.


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Hello again everyone, it's been a while since I've posted here.

I'm not looking for code advice here, I'm just trying to get some thoughts to maybe help me come up with new ideas to figure out how this is happening.

I've got an OSC site that we've been using for years, and I'm quite familiar with it. Just recently, we had several customers call, saying that during checkout they were getting a never ending loading message. I was able to confirm this. At the time, I had OnePageCheckout installed. I've been thinking of removing that add on for a while, and this seemed to be the time. I just turned it off in the admin area, and went about getting the default OSC checkout looking and working how I like it. 

I tested with my local OSC install, made backups, and pushed the changes live. Everything has been working well, except on a seemingly random occasion, someone manages to place an order without shipping being applied, and I can't seem to duplicate it. 

I've had three other people try to get through the checkout without paying shipping, but nobody has been able to do it, myself included. We only ship USPS, and use PayPal for our checkout. The shipping isn't mentioned at all on the invoice. It's not being marked as "free", it's just not on the invoice, and it's not charged to the customer. We've tested purchasing the exact same item, same options, using the address that was supplied by the customer, and it will not let us complete the order without paying shipping. I thought maybe it was a malformed address, but in that case, it still won't let you past the shipping screen until you put in something valid. I've checked the customer's address in the database, and I don't find anything out of order. I also looked for odd characters in each of the address fields, everything seems fine.

In between these couple oddball orders are other similar orders that are processed just fine. Fortunately, we don't sell boat anchors, so the loss on the shipping isn't too big of a problem, but I do need to solve it.

Thanks for reading, I'm interested in your theories. :)

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I had that problem using Paypal Express with my fedex module.  Don't have the problem with Paypal Standard.  Maybe give that a try.  If I use a fixed shipping rate, it Express works.  My items need dimensional support, so the fedex module is more iimportant.  No problems in years using Paypal Standard.

I'm not really a dog.

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Hello, thanks for the comment.

I managed to band-aid the problem, but it's not truly solved. We managed to get it to happen on an iPod, and one PC running Chrome, but only once. I still can't get it to happen on my PC, even after clearing cache and cookies, and trying several browsers. I've found that even though the session shows shipping has been selected, $order->info['shipping_method'] contains nothing when the problem happens. As a quick fix, I added a check on that variable, and if it's blank, it redirects you back to checkout_shipping.php where you can make your selection again, and it works fine. I haven't figured out why this happens in the first place, especially since it's so difficult to reproduce.

It doesn't appear that this has to do with PayPal. The checkout just skips the shipping altogether. It's not shown in the admin area, the email that's sent to the customer, my copy, or on PayPal.

I've got a few more hours into it, and I'm still just left scratching my head. I can't find any pattern to it so far. Some sales it works fine, others it doesn't, and I've still been unable to predictably cause it to happen myself. Every order I place, live or sandbox shop applies shipping as expected, and I can't find a way around it, yet several more orders came in over the last couple days with no shipping. We'll see if my band-aid at least stops the issue until I can solve the root of the problem.


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