the_plan: (Why Me?)
[personal profile] the_plan
And probably someday I'll learn something about it.... but the amount of effort required to learn the particular itty bitty bit of code I need ... is disproportionate to the effort it'll save by having it.

Spent all day buggering around with Canada Post's website trying to work out simple tables for shipping costs. Eventually we'll add a nice little shopping cart to the site - but right now that's a bit more trouble than it's worth. *sigh* So the plan was - now that we've worked out packaging and weights for the glassware for http://www.cafenewf.ca I'd do a nice simple chart for the website for shipping and handling costs. Surprisingly US was easier - there's only 51 states - and they all fit into one of 7 shipping regions. Working that out was fine. I got a nice chart - look up the state, see your shipping region code letter, go to the chart and see how much the glassware you want to order will cost to ship. Unfortunately Canada - while there are only 7 shipping region rate codes that apply they're based on postal code, not provinces. Makes sense, every province has remote regions that cost more to ship to. So having gone through it all, found the rate codes, found the pricing tables for those codes, worked out the fuel surcharges, and the applicable taxes.... there's just no way to nicely incorporate it into the website. Sure I can work out a nice table for the 7 shipping regions. But there's no nice way to look up what code applies to the customer's postal code. I have a lovely comma separated values list - and turning that into a widget where customer plugs in the first 3 digits of their postal code, and it then tells them you're in rate A or rate G which they could then just look at the chart.......

Yeah, it's a simple goofy widget of code. Piece of piss for a first year programming student. Which I'm not. Honestly you'd think Canada Post would already have this code written (and they do - you can look up any parcel rate for anywhere on THEIR web site (that's how I've been manually quoting). However, they don't seem to have any information on such a nifty little piece of code, or even a nice little widget button the small business owner could add to their website that would use their own code and website to give our consumers the information they require. Maybe if I call their 'Business Sales Rep' office they could point me in the direction of something simple to make our little lives a little easier and more expedient. You'd think they'd have it in the Small Business 'Online Business Centre', where all the other little helpful tools like printing out one's own shipping / stamp / postage - self shipping options and tools are.

For now I guess we can post the little US and International charts, but Canadian customers will have to email us for a shipping quote.... and THAT makes me feel stupid.
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July 2011

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