VirtueMart ‘Australia Post Shipping Module’ problems

posted in: VirtueMart | 5

VrtueMart the Joomla eCommerce component comes with an “Australia Post Shipping Module” which calculates the shipping costs using Australia post.

I contacted Australia Post this morning to find out the status of the “web service” that the shipping module uses, namely the “Delivery Rate Calculator“, and was told that this service was not supported by Australia Post.

My suspicions were first raised when I started to modify the VirtueMart shipping module, so that it could calculate the additional costs of registered post and delivery confirmation. I noticed that a number of links (e.g. the Terms and Conditions pages) for this service were broken. Also the main Australia Post website had no references to the “Delivery Rate Calculator” or the “eDeliver” service which the Delivery Rate Calculator was part of.

I thought it prudent to contact Australia Post to confirm the status of the web page (web service), and was surprised to be told that the “Delivery Rate Calculator” was “not supported”.

There does not seem to be a direct replacement for this page (web service). Australia Post does offer another system called “Click and send“, however this seems to be an integrated shipment booking and payment system, rather than a online delivery rate calculator, and it requires registration.

Australia Post has a fully featured postage calculator page, on both its “Personal” and “Business” pages, but this page is not a “web service” in the same manor as the Delivery Rate Calculator is (or was). The postage calculator does not have a published API and the results are returned as a page of HTML.

I have written some PHP code to interface with the new postage calculator, which I will put in a subsequent post. However my code can’t be used as a robust replacement for the Delivery Rate Calculator, because the API of the calculator is likely to change without notice, as is the format of the HTML output page.

5 Responses

  1. Richard
    |

    Was reading through the VirtueMart forum for some help with the Aus Post Module. We have been shipping products for about 8 months now through eParcel (Aus Post Registered Mail for clients on a contract) and normal post.
    My site is just new – 1 week old – but the post module is not going to work.
    The Aus Post Module does not give the same or even – in most cases- close to what we are actually being charged at the PO. The rates are high!
    I have a script that I have been using elsewhere to plug in postal charges based on item and customers post code. I don’t know how to plug it in to the site though!
    It will take a bit of patience to set up, or some ingenuity, but the script does a good job elsewhere.
    I would be happy to send you the script and maybe you could work it out? For everyone I mean………LOL
    Let me know!?
    thanks,
    Richard

  2. admin
    |

    Hi Richard,

    I’ll send you an email,so you can send me the script. As I’d be really interested to see how your script works.
    If I get it to work with VirtueMart, I’ll send you a copy, and possibly post it back to VirtueMart for inclusion in their modules section.

    Cheers

    Roger

  3. Danni
    |

    Thanks for this info Roger.
    Ive just about finished a site and now noticed some of the shipping rates are a lot higher than the Australia Post calcualtor. …which when searching for some info, lead me to this post.
    Cheers Dannielle

  4. Bruce D
    |

    Its a year later, and I have just attempted to use the auspost postage module on VM and it doesn’t work, nor can I find any interface in the system, so I cant alter it at all.

    If you do manage to get it working I am sure that you will have many people wanting to use it!

  5. admin
    |

    Hi Bruce,

    I’ve not looked at this for a while because the site I was writing, decided not to offer shipping.

    The module is editable, if you know PHP, but from what I recall the problem was not the module, it was the AusPost server, where it got its data from.

    If you’re a programmer, I could dig out the alternative module I started to write, but my module was reliant on the main AusPost website page design not changing, as it used their main site (which I thought would give a more correct answer)

    Cheers

    Roger