UPS data issues

I've discovered something this week that I'm working on fixing. What I discovered is this: real-time lookups aren't a good thing.

For years now, we've done real-time lookups whenever someone adds a product to their cart and enters a zip code. This allows us to not worry about rate changes and focus on the products.

But what it's also meant is we're leaving money on the table. A quick test over the past few days has shown that nearly 10% of the time, UPS's servers aren't returning data. That doesn't seem good to me.

There are days where our customer service reps complain about shipping rates taking a long time to load. Those are the times I knew about. But the 10% figure is even without taking the "Nothing returned" into account - this is just "Something useless returned".

So, as a fix, I've queried enough to get all the rates now, and I'm rewriting our shipping calculations to run entirely without querying their servers. We'll just keep it all local.


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