BrentNet: Shipping Case File 129261

Posted by Brent Owen on

This is a true story.  Names were changed to protect the innocent.

Case File – 129261

The order came in on Sept 16th, 6:55am.  I knew it would be trouble.  I couldn’t pronounce most of the address.  It was international. 

This was one of those odd cases where the label cost from the shop was significantly different than the shipping platform to the tune of about $30. In these situations, sometimes the shop label is high and the shipping platform is low.  Other times it’s the other way around.  The case of mismatching label costs is an on-going investigation which has yet to be resolved.  Needless to say, the label is processed from whichever has the best price and this time it’s from the shop. 

"Address could not be verified.  Address is invalid."

Is what the shop said when I tried to process the label.  An official investigation would have be launched.  Multiple iterations were attempted to no avail.  The customer would have to be contacted.  I sent the email with little hope but fortunately the customer, a Mr. Statler, was responsive.  Mr. Statler confirmed the address, which was, to my lasting regret, not helpful.  

I noticed in the footer on Mr. Statler’s email that the number he placed for the postal code was in fact a PO Box.  So I moved that to the Company field of the address and set about finding the Postal Code for Mr. Statler’s city.

Unbeknownst to me, the cities in the destination country can go by several names with multiple versions and spellings.  Despite finding several sources of information I could not find two with identical city names and postal codes.  This included both maps and postal code listings.  So I took my best guess.

I modified the address accordingly and, with the approval of Mr. Statler, tried to create the label. 

"Address could not be verified.  Address is invalid."

It was time to contact DHL, who was rather less responsive than Mr. Statler but did eventually respond to my inquiry.  It seemed that DHL does not deliver to such PO Box addresses.  Further detective work was needed. 

I eventually discovered that DHL did not accept the destination city as a valid city name, but a version of the city name as a suburb of a different city.  This was the final clue that I needed.  I went back and modified the address again and informed Mr. Statler.

The address was good.  Mr. Statler approved.  On Sept 20th DHL picked up the package consisting of 6 DMV removers.  

Case Closed.

Editor's note: We take shipping seriously. If Brent can't get to the bottom of it, no one can. Oh, and now I know why he was constantly on either Google Translate or Google Earth that week.


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