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tmeister

USPS rate increase may 12 2008

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I haven't been able to find information about this on the forums (maybe my search ability is questionable). Will the upcoming USPS rate increase require any upgrades or changes for osCommerce installations to continue working properly?

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I haven't been able to find information about this on the forums (maybe my search ability is questionable). Will the upcoming USPS rate increase require any upgrades or changes for osCommerce installations to continue working properly?

 

Is that a no?

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The lack of response is probably more like a "I don't know." I am also wondering what impact it will have.

 

I just got back from a meeting at the local USPS Business Center. They basically talked about the new rates and the new two-level rate system - Commercial and Retail. If you go through the USPS website to purchase postage, you will pay the Commercial rate. The Commercial rate will be slightly less than the new Retail rate but will still be an increase over the current rates.

 

In addition to the rate increase, they also mentioned that there will be some changes to the USPS website. For example, they said that both the Commercial and Retail rates will be shown on the website. However, they didn't know what other changes would be.

 

Unfortunately, I think that we will just have to wait until Monday to find out what impact the changes will have. That's the bad part . . . having to try to fix something that is broken rather than being proactive.

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Thinking a little more about it, there are really two concerns. One is whether the changes to the USPS site will render useless the USPS label function in the OSC admin. And, second, assuming that the data feed for USPS rates still works on Monday, is whether Commerial or Retail rates will appear in shipping cost calculation.

 

I wonder if there could somehow be an option to calculate shipping or either the Commercial or Retail rates. In that way, store owners who would like a little extra margin could use the Retail rates to calculate shipping costs and the store owners who would like to offer their customers the lowest shipping rates could use the Commercial rates.

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I just received an email for the USPS with the following:

 

Dear customer,

 

On May 12, 2008 several APIs will be altered in response to the USPS Price Change (<
). While the APIs listed below will remain structurally and syntactically backward compatible, data changes are possibly substantial enough to affect some integrators. Please contact icustomercare@usps.com <mailto:icustomercare@usps.com> (1-800-344-7779) with any specific schema or enumeration questions.

 

Please review the attached document for detailed overview.

 

<<Webtools May 12 Price change.doc>>

 

USPS Internet Customer Care Center

icustomercare@usps.com

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If you compare the before and after XML code changes they provide in the detailed document, you can see changes marked in green. So there looks like there are some change to both domestic and International that perhaps we have to make. Someone who knows this API needs to advise.


Kym

Projects Director @ ozEworks.com

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It appears that the introduction of to the new USPS API has little effect. The USPS even states "While the APIs listed below will remain structurally and syntactically backward compatible, data changes are possibly substantial enough to affect some integrators. "

 

The email from USPS states that "Most impacted will be the integrators using RateV2." The USPS.php file in includes/modules/shipping is still using the original API (RateRequest). The new API is Rate V3. So, as long as the USPS still offers/supports the original API that OSC still uses, I guess everything will be OK.

 

However, one important point . . . starting May 12, the USPS will offer two rates - Commercial and Retail. (Commercial are available to those who use their online service. Reatil rates apply to those who go to the post office to purchase postage.) Since there was only one rate at the time of the original API, OSC returns the Retail or high rate, not the Commerical rate.

 

Does anyone know how to use the new API (Rate V3) in order to access the Commercial rate?

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Anyone having any problems with this module today?

 

The only available option for international is priority, now, which is more expensive than the other previously-offered option, first class.

 

The site is using version 2.7. Maybe I should upgrade.

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No problems.

 

Just remember that the Rate Request API used by OSC reports the Retail, not Commercial, rates. I would assume that the new Rate Request API (RateV3) includes both Retail and Commercial rates.

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The only available option for international is priority, now, which is more expensive than the other previously-offered option, first class.

 

The site is using version 2.7. Maybe I should upgrade.

 

tmeister, are you sure that First Class rates are not available? I recall in the dcumentation the USPS emailed that they were making some changes. Could it be that the data is no longer compatiable with the Rate request API being used by OSC? (I don't use First Class, nor do I know what the heck I'm talking about when it comes to API.)

 

From the USPS:

 

IntlRate: Besides the price differences, the former First Class Mail International (FCMI) with Service ID=”3” is replaced with up to three nodes: FCMI Letter ID=”13”, FCMI Flat ID=”14”, and FCMI Parcel ID=”15”. In addition, currency values are returned in a two-decimal-place fixed format (was inconsistent before).

 

 

Additionally, there are a few subtle differences in First Class Mail International nodes returned for IntlRate:

 

• Hyphen in name. Was “First-Class” but now will be “First Class” as shown.

• MaxWeight in pounds. Previously, all nodes returned <MaxWeight/> in pounds except for First Class Mail which was in ounces. Now, they are all in pounds including FCMI.

• We already mentioned that the The currency values will be formatted to two decimal places.

• There are various changes to the text within <MaxDimensions/> and <SvcDescription/> as appropriate for the new shapes.

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