Shopify INCORRECTLY rejecting UK Postal Code

Shopify INCORRECTLY rejecting UK Postal Code

Proudly
Tourist
10 0 3

It's happened a number of times now. When trying to enter address information, customers can't complete checkout because of error from Shopify: 

Enter a valid ZIP / postal code for United Kingdom

There is nothing wrong with the postcode, which can be validated with Royal Mail Postcode lookup.

Any help greatly appreciated!

 

Screenshot 2021-04-26 at 11.19.13.png

Replies 31 (31)

Proudly
Tourist
10 0 3

Is anyone from Shopify attending these forums - we are losing customers and orders because of this. Valid postcodes are being rejected. How can I solve this?

 

Thanks

saivismitha
Shopify Partner
138 7 32

Hi,
 Ask your customer the address which they are trying to give is verified by carrier service.
If it's not a verified account it may show an error.
Also, check the shipping zones set up in the Shopify store. 

Customer Success @ PluginHive
Shipping Automation | FedEx shipping | Multi-carrier shipping | Shipment Tracking | Australia Post shipping
Proudly
Tourist
10 0 3

This is resolved - Shopify changed definition of UK, and excluded Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, which now need to be added manually to shipping zones. AND then selected by customer from dropdown list (they are no longer part of the UK!!!!!) - an odd move from Shopify to say the least.

Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @Proudly,

Thanks for getting in touch. A change was recently made to the UK shipping zone, which now means rather than being a singular bloc, the zone can now be divided by the constituent countries of the UK—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—as well as the British Armed Forces. However, prior to this change, the crown dependencies of the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey were already listed as individual "countries" within Shopify and should not have been influenced by this change to the UK shipping zone.

I am pleased to hear that the issue is now resolved, but if you experience any further problems or have any questions, please let me know.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Proudly
Tourist
10 0 3

Hi @Victor, thanks for the info.

However your summary doesn't cover it.

Customers were previously able to use a Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man postcode under United Kingdom territory. Now their postcode won't be recognised until they select eg Isle of Man from dropdown list. This has led to an increase in customer confusion, and more customer service inquiries. Quite a big practical difference.

Hope this distinction might help other customers facing similar issues.

Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @Proudly,

Okay, thank you for clarifying this. I have passed your comments onto our development team who are continuing to work on this.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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AdiSalkic
Tourist
5 0 9

Hi there, we are having real issue with the JE, GY and IM postcodes not being recognized. Some of our best returning customers are from these areas and we are constantly dealing with a confusion, plus we were not notified of this important change so that we can act on it before the customers experienced the issue.

Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man are very much part of the UK and this kind of separatism does not align with our store's and customer's values. Our main marketing thing is that we ship to any postcode in the UK and at the moment we are not able to do that.

Please advise of a way and an approximate time this would be sorted out. Thanks

Proudly
Tourist
10 0 3

Hi @AdiSalkic,

add Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man to your shipping zones, they are separate entities now. The tricky bit is that customers now need to select their territory from the drop down box (they are not in UK - according to Shopify's new definitions). Bizarrely this is not the case for Scotland or Wales, even though these are now defined as different zones for postal costs...

Good old Brexit.

AdiSalkic
Tourist
5 0 9
That's exactly my point. Customers have to "acknowledge" that they are not
part of the UK by selecting a different country in the dropdown menu. Also,
those people do not have an instinct to do so as no other platform
separates like this and they are left confused. Some of them contacted us,
but we might have lost a lot and not really know.
Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @AdiSalkic,

Thanks for getting in touch. Prior to the UK shipping zone being split, the likes of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man were already listed as individual "countries" in the back end, although the feedback I have received here indicates they could previously check out when selecting the UK at check out and no longer can. I have communicated the issue you've cited here to our development team who continue to work on the roll out of this change. 

In the meantime, you can add Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to your shipping zone and set the same rates for these regions as you do for the rest of the UK. The customer will be required to select one of these three places as their "country" if they are based there but the shipping rates should still apply correctly.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

This is appalling. Loss of orders and annoyed customers. I know Shopify has always been North American centric, you wouldn't be listing Prince Edward Island as a separate country, but just a little bit of research would have prevented it. Problem is, knowing how slow Shopify can be on things like this I fear the worst. And the suggested work around is rubbish, no one but no one is going to go looking for Jersey or Isle of Man in the separate country list. 

Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @Nitsa and @AdiSalkic,

Thank you for your comments and your feedback. Prior to this change, we had received complaints from merchants that customers in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were able to pay cheaper shipping rates than they should have been as their postcodes would qualify them for rates listed in the UK shipping zone, as opposed to higher rates merchants had set specifically for shipping to these islands. The reasons you have listed for wanting this change reversed are valid, and I know other platforms and sites may list these areas as part of the United Kingdom even though this is not the case. There is not always a clear and obvious solution for how to split shipping zones, and the UK is not the only country where some of its regions or areas are split; as an example, the Åland Islands are listed as a separate region despite being part of Finland. These zones are not determined with a particular political stance in mind, we define these places as either a country or a region, and are instead set based on what we feel is best for our merchants.

That all said, I appreciate the points you have made here and have communicated them directly to our development team. If any further changes are made with regards to these shipping areas I'll be sure to inform you here.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

 

Thank you for your reply. I understand the point that is being made that merchants were complaining that customers from Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were able to qualify for cheaper rates than had been set specifically for shipping to these islands. My complaint is not the fact that you have implemented this new system, but how it has been implemented. It's a half baked solution that throws up as many problems as it solves and certainly has had no input from anyone that understands the complexities of shipping in the UK. Those same merchants that have problems with the Isle of Man and Channel Islands will still have problems with postcodes in the Scottish islands and also the Highlands of Scotland and these encompass far larger populations than the Isle of Man or Channel Islands. Whereas the Royal Mail in the UK has flat shipping rates to all of these areas including the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, courier companies not only have different rates to the Isle of Man and Channel Islands but also to the Scottish islands and the Highlands of Scotland. This is not dissimilar to how FedEx or UPS operate in North America with remote destination surcharges.

I would have liked to attach a screen grab of the drop down menu from the U.K.'s largest courier comparison site, Parcel2Go, however as we are unable to post images here so I will just have to type it instead. This is how it looks:

UK - Mainland
(then drop down)
Northern Ireland
Scottish Highlands and Islands
Channel Islands
Guernsey
Isle of Man
Jersey

Note the difference between their drop down menu and the one that Shopify has implemented. Crucially, we have UK-Mainland and then Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man etc. That is a system that works both for customer and merchant. If you are resident in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man or any of the other places I have mentioned this is a very familiar menu If you are a merchant it allows you to easily set shipping rates. What Shopify has implemented is unique, and I don't mean that in a good way.

I have been around Shopify for a long time and I have no confidence whatsoever in this being rectified any time soon. It's certainly going to cause me lost sales and create poor customer experiences so I will be voting with my feet I'm afraid.

 

 

Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @Nitsa,

Thanks for getting in touch with your feedback. All of the comments we've received here are being communicated to our development team working on this, and there may be more changes to how the UK zone is split in the near future. I cannot make any promises at this time but there is a recognition that the way it has been done is not the optimal, but a decision was made to make this initial change even if it's not perfect. I understand your frustration with the situation and I will seek to provide any updates if and when they come.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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PositivePolly
Visitor
1 0 1

Hello @Victor,

 

Can you please let me know if there is any further development on this? As previously mentioned the separatism caused by this is far from ideal. Additionally, if I - the shop owner - wasn't aware that a customer would need to change their country so that shipping address would be accepted then how can I expect my customers to know to change their country for the order to be approved?

 

This could be easily resolved by having a specific error message for those entering JE, GY and IM postcodes with the Country/region of United Kingdom. This message would read something along the lines of 'Please use the Country/region selection to choose the relevant UK Crown Dependency' rather than saying 'Enter a valid ZIP / Postal code for United Kingdom'. This would then avoid confusion and prevent customers repeatedly trying to enter their postcode which is accepted as a UK postcode on almost every other website. 

 

Thanks, 

Rebecca 

Victor
Shopify Staff
2571 236 545

Hi @PositivePolly,

Thank you for getting in touch. As far as I am aware, this is still be looked at and worked on by our development team who helped with the initial roll out of this feature, and feedback shared in this thread has been passed onto them for their consideration. I will be sure to do the same with the comments you've shared above.

For the time being, I would recommend providing a note on your shipping or FAQs page that merchants in the Channel Islands will need to select their region from the drop-down rather than selecting the United Kingdom. As mentioned above, this change was made as some merchants had complained about merchants in the Channel Islands being able to benefit from more favourable shipping costs by selecting the UK zone, so I do not anticipate this change being reverted. That said, I can see why creating an automated error message to notify customers in these areas at checkout would be beneficial, so I will pass that suggestion onto our development team.

Kind regards,

Victor | Shopify Social Care

Victor | Social Care @ Shopify 
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alexmantle
Visitor
1 0 0

Three years after the original post, residents of JSY, GSY, and IOM are still facing significant hurdles when trying to use the majority of Shopify-based websites. Despite numerous attempts, I've encountered persistent challenges in placing orders, having to clarify to online retailers that shipments can indeed be sent to our locations, much like they can be sent to the UK.

The initial explanation for restricting access was to address shipping charge discrepancies. However, it's crucial to highlight that this change has not only affected our ability to make purchases but has also led to additional complications, such as being consistently charged VAT that isn't legally required. This shift has also impacted businesses offering "Free worldwide shipping."

It's disheartening to note that major courier services like UPS, DHL, FEDEX, DPD, Evri, and others have no issues delivering to our addresses. Yet, the ongoing lack of a functional solution from Shopify has resulted in residents having to spend an exorbitant amount of time corresponding with online retailers just to complete a simple transaction.

Out of seven attempted orders with shopify base sites this week, not a single one could be finalized. As we find ourselves in 2024, this predicament prompts me to revisit a three-year-old thread, questioning the apparent difficulty in ordering items.

This post serves as both an expression of frustration and a call to Shopify for a swift resolution. It's not just an inconvenience for us as customers; it's also a significant hindrance to businesses aiming to broaden their reach.

I implore Shopify to take immediate action to rectify this ongoing issue and provide a smoother experience for all users, regardless of their location.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

AdiSalkic
Tourist
5 0 9

I've managed to set up as explained, but the issue lies in what @Nitsa pointed out as well. No one here would instinctively search for a different country to UK (like Isle of Man). UK is hit very hard by all sorts of separatism and my store promotes family values and unity through food, so separating the customers in this odd way looks very bad and intentional. Trust me, no customer is interested in hearing how our store provider has made a mistake etc etc, they just do not want to be confused and this has brought down the Ux significantly.

I really hope Shopify is being made aware of how impactful this new set up actually is on shopper's psychology. I am truly disappointed by whomever thought this was acceptable.

Drivex
Visitor
1 0 0

This is just our case, after following up with a specific customer, we found that Postcode located in Warrington city in England. And the system kept rejecting the postcode.

More than 3% of customers whom reached checkout had the same issue and just left ( not everyone ready to waste time for support ) and we're keeping losing tens of orders everyday. + more customer service required ..... HELP SOS !!!!!!!! 

Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

@Drivex Think something else might be going on here. I suspect you are not UK based ? It's not a city and I send many packages to postcodes in that area  without a problem. If you let me know postcode I will try to help.

 

Lionfish
Tourist
3 0 2

This is fascinating - we are seeing the same issue for postcodes in Germany - not all, but certain postcodes which we know to be valid, as we are using an address validation service as well are being rejected. Interestingly, if we retype the postcode into the postcode field, exactly as it was previously, it then works.

Can't be sure if this is the same issue or a different vein but it seems odd that this would only start happening in the last 2-3 weeks without some underlying change from Shopify which they think is not going to affect people but actually has a huge knock-on effect.

Any ideas @Shopify ?

misstic
Visitor
3 0 0

I tried to order items yesterday, and it wouldn't accept my postcode, mainland uk....when I emailed for help, I was told to use paypal which I have never used, how many customers are going elsewhere.

Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

You need to be taking this up with the website you tried to purchase from. But if it was them that you emailed, then the advice to use PayPal solves nothing. In truth, a lot of websites are not even aware that this is happening. Should not be rejecting mainland postcodes, which postcode was it ?

 

misstic
Visitor
3 0 0

It was ka18 post code...It was the helpline in the website I was trying to purchase from, I was told that I must use the post code that my card was registered to.....it was the same postcode...

Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

That's a different matter to this subject. The order is being rejected because the shipping address and the card details don't match. If you put your address in exactly the way it is formatted in your bank or credit card statement account there is no reason why it won't work.

misstic
Visitor
3 0 0

the details were exactly the same, I tried it twice, I had no problem with the other site I used, I only have one post code. I've never had this problem before with any website I've used

Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

In that case only the website can help you,  if they can't be bothered then shop somewhere else, I know I would.

reponestrength
Tourist
5 0 6

I have a customer from Isle of Man who was able to place an order, but I keep getting DHL errors when I go to purchase the label. I've tried multiple addresses from this customer and they don't work. It seems as if DHL simply doesn't recognize Isle of Man addresses or something. If I enter United Kingdom as the country it doesn't give me any address warnings, but I'm very hesitant to do this as the customer is insistent they use DHL all the time. Is this a shopify issue?

Nitsa
Pathfinder
83 0 39

Maybe, maybe not but why purchase a label from Shopify ? Try Parcel2Go or one of the other providers, cheaper.

Lionfish
Tourist
3 0 2

For reasons best known to themselves, shopify have set IOM as a separate geographical entity within the UK for shipping. Same applies to Channel Islands UK as well. If the merchant hasn’t set shipping availability and rates for these additional territories then because shopify also doesn’t allow postcode / address lookup for UK it will allow the order to process but probably not see it as a valid territory for shipping afterwards. 

it could also be the merchant has deliberately not included IOM as a shipping territory (which has its own country selector last time I checked, but still doesn’t correlate a postcode with that territory because it doesn’t do address validation anymore) because of higher shipping costs on larger items, then again, you wouldn’t be able to ship to that location. 

DominikDS01
Visitor
1 0 0

I have the same problem but the customer lives in Plymouth - which is in the UK. The postal code get´s rejected i have no idea how many customers i have lost already because of this problem. Could there be another reason? It cannot be that the credit card has an different adress because you have to enter the delivery details before the payment details and the postal code get´s rejected anyways.