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November 02, 2016
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Refunded or Canceled orders showing as Unfulfilled

We use our unfulfilled tab to pack orders. The problem is that refunded and canceled orders show up under the unfulfilled tab even if I mark them as fulfilled in the bulk options. How can I get these orders out of the unfulfilled tab on the orders page?

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Replies
Nicholas O' Fegan Shopify Employee
Posts:
181
November 02, 2016

Hey Tyler,

Nick here from Shopify.

So going forward you're going to have to account for those orders that note that status now. If you cancel and order or refund it in future, make sure to hit fulfill before doing so to change the status. Once cancelled it will then keep the fulfilled status. If you do not hit the fulfill button on an order, then it is unfulfilled. As such, the behaviour you are seeing is expected, as the order is not fulfilled, and it never will be as you cancelled it before hitting fulfill.

Hope this helps.

Nicholas
Shopify Guru

Posts:
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March 08, 2017
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Nicholas,

Why would you have to fulfill an order before cancelling it?  This obvious a bad solution.  Olease add an option to delete the unfulfilled status for cancelled orders.

 

Steve

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June 04, 2017
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Agree with Steve - this is a ridiculous, sloppy non-solution. Please fix this glaring issue.

Posts:
591
June 05, 2017

One work around you can do:

-Open the 'Unfulfilled' tab

-Add a filter 'Status is open'

-Click 'Save this search' and give a name for this new tab

That will filter out cancelled and archived orders. As long as you archive refunded orders, those will be hidden.

If you need are more comprehensive solution, feel free to try my app Better Reports.

It can show you:

-Orders pending fulfillment

-Line items pending fulfillment

-The total quantity pending fulfilment for each variant, aggregated from all pending orders.

Zigmo Member
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Last edited July 14, 2017
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The work around that Clement suggested would not work for me or many others that use an API to connect orders to fulfillment centers.  They look at "Unfulfilled" orders and fulfill them.  I'll have to pay for customer development to make an exception for a dozen orders that I did not know to click "Fulfill" when canceling the order when I first opened my shop.   

 

This is sloppy not to allow these to be removed from "Unfulfilled".  There should be a "Fulfillment status" of  "Canceled"  or the fact that the order was not shipped on a canceled item is in a way "fulfilling" the promise and the order should be automatically moved to fulfilled. 

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591
July 14, 2017
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When using the api one should check if the cancelled_at field is not null to detect cancelled orders.

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July 27, 2017
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Providing a partial refund and then fulfilling the order shoudln't result in an order stuck as unfulfilled forever.

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July 28, 2017
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Sorry, but the behavior described is inaccurate. I marked a refunded order as fulfilled, then cancelled it. It now shows as unfulfilled, and there is no way to change that status. This is really bad design.

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August 06, 2017
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Agree with all of the above. We need the status to say Cancelled or Refunded, etc. Unfufilled may make sense to the programmer but not to the end user/seller. It's a true cause of confusion. Can you add this to the list of requests/fixes for the next update? It would be a great help. Thanks.

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August 14, 2017
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Having the same issue. Can't they put in a function to delete cancelled or refunded order on the back end? Doesn't seem like it would be a hard feature to add. 

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August 31, 2017
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Or add "Refunded" as a Fulfillment Status and remove the order from the Unfulfilled Count. Maybe you should add a Seller U/I Advocate to your dev team because this clunky at best and is problematic for those of us who need to provide sales reports to our management team ... simply telling our managers that they need to ignore 18 unfulfilled orders because they were cancellations but Shopify will always show them as unfulfilled, is not gonna cut it.

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Last edited September 05, 2017
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Come on dev team.  Your response can no longer be, "uhhhhh, sorry, but you will always have orders showing up as unfulfilled, forever.  We just can't figure this one out."

Sloppy, sloppy design.

This. Is. Unacceptable. 

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September 07, 2017
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Agreed.  This is a moronic design from a company that is generally quite decent.  

There are a few of these "you have got to be kidding me" items.  I can't modify an order once placed such as when a customer calls to ask for a different item?  "Sorry sir, I'll need to cancel and refund your entire order.  When you have a spare minute, could you please go through the entire checkout process again?".  Oh wait, here's that unfulfilled, cancelled order issue again....

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11 months ago
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Agree with all of the above... any plan for a fix yet?

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11 months ago
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Similar situation here. We refunded fully the purchase & it continues to be marked as "unfulfilled". Tried cancelling the order & archiving it - to no avail. This order is unnecessarily cluttering up our "orders" page. There needs to be an elegant solution to this common problem. 

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11 months ago
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+1 here.

I really like Shopify, but I'm starting to get really concerned about certain things that should be very simple to address, taking them 6 months or often longer to even acknowledge.

Look at this thread - it's an issue. And this isn't the only thing, there's several things that are obviously "bad practice", and you can mention them to Shopify, but days, weeks, months go by, like it doesn't matter. And along the way you get offers of paid solutions - hey, I respect value-added 100%, but not on things that should be first-level offerings. It's sort of insulting.

I'm a programmer; Shopify, there's no way this is difficult.

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11 months ago

It would appear they are choosing to just turn a blind eye to the issue....

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8 months ago

I am having this issue as well...Oddly, some of the orders that I refund become red with the dollar amount crossed out.  They still show as unfufilled but at least the red and crossed out dollar amount provides a visual cue.

I have no idea why some of my refunded orders did this....the ones I have done recently have not.

 

 

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8 months ago
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I think if you archive it after you cancel it then it will go away.

Christine Member
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8 months ago
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Shopify folks, please add a few business people to your development group.  These work-arounds are totally unacceptable in a business environment; we need clean and defensible transaction history.  No one should have to reconcile activity in their head when viewing a dashboard or a report.  If Shopify is to scale with the growth of online businesses, it must take this next step quickly.  This is your customers' life blood.

Nicholas O' Fegan Shopify Employee
Posts:
181
Last edited 8 months ago

Looking to update this soon guys! We'll have some more info on why this is the way it is.

Nicholas O' Fegan Shopify Employee
Posts:
181
8 months ago

Hey guys,

Nick here, the original Shopify responder on this post. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you on this one:

Firstly, I can totally empathise with the frustration a lot of you here are showing. It's understandable, as the unfulfilled reporting message is somewhat glaring and sticks out in your admin, and may not accurately reflect how many of you feel instances like these should be handled by the platform. As such, your feelings on the matter are warranted, which is why I've decided to post in response.

There's one thing I want you to keep in mind when thinking about this: What "State" is the order actually in, and how should fulfillment be shown as a result?

When an order is received by a merchant, it goes through several stages. The order is made, payment accepted, fulfillment initiated, and the the product delivered as a result of that fulfillment. In this, we have four stages to which I'll refer to two of for the rest of this post. In your admin, they are Payment status, and Fulfillment status:


Payment is obviously one which can have many varying reports, and it's not the topic of this post, so I'll leave that one alone, although it's worth noting that the state of payment will often inform how you are feeling about the fulfillment status.

By that, I mean that the issues you are facing above occur mostly with order's payments that are cancelled, refunded, partially refunded and adjusted in some form.

To illustrate my point, I'm going to speak about what stage of fulfilment an order is actually in for the above payment statuses, and what stage they are not in, which informs the reporting for fulfillment you are all worried about.

If an order is refunded: 

This means that the payment has been returned to the customer, and we'll assume fulfils has not been hit, as then the reporting would say fulfilled. If you refund an entire order, without having sent products already, then that order, is unfulfilled. Nothing has been sent. There is nothing to send, as it's been cancelled. As such, it is listed, correctly, as unfulfilled. The easy fix for this is when refunding an order, to fulfil it, which will get rid of the reporting, and then not fulfil it in actuality. This will mean you will not see unfulfilled in the orders page for that order. More on this workaround later.

If an order is partially refunded:

The above remains true. Hit fulfil on what parts of the order are to be refunded, but do not actually send them. This type of order is also not ever going to be wholly fulfilled, as there's a return, however if you don't want to see fulfilled, hit fulfil and don't do it really.

If an order is cancelled:

This triggers a refund, as such the first example holds true here also.

Now, there is another very good reason why you should not do the above hacky workaround to remove all unfulfilled reporting messages from the admin. It's very simple, and it has to do with your reporting, both to gain insight in general from reports, with respect to inventory management, consistent reporting of returns, and accurate fulfilment reporting.

If you mark orders that have not been actually fulfilled as fulfilled, IE mark orders which should not be fulfilled (Returns, partials, cancellations), as there is nothing to fulfil, you are not accurately reflecting the state of the order, and this inaccuracy will have to be manually accounted for anyway, as many of you have noted.

Here's an example: 
John has 10 orders. 8 are fine, but 2 are cancelled. John fulfils the orders, all of them, but refunds the two that aren't valid, and doesn't actually send the items, in the way I've mentioned above. This will get rid of the unfulfilled reporting in the orders section. As such, John's store will report incorrect fulfillment, as the platform will understand 10 order have been fulfilled, while only 8 have actually been paid for. This will create problems.

The above workaround also adds extra steps, which is annoying, and as mentioned, it will also mess up reporting. This is why there has been no changes to the way we show these orders: Because it is correct. If an order is cancelled, partially refunded, or entirely, then either a part or all of that order, is going to be forever unfulfilled. Like a dream that was never realised, a beautiful product order from your store that can't be paid for, it will never change from the state it is in, as by it's nature, it cannot, without messing up other areas of the store, as it should. The reporting you are seeing, with refunded, cancelled orders showing as unfulfilled, is showing correctly, as that is what those orders are, cancelled, refunded, yet still all unfulfilled orders.

When we take this perspective, we can see that despite the fact that it may not look great on your orders page for some, and not match exactly with how some think it should work, this is the way it is supposed to work, and it is accurately reflecting the state of fulfillment for those orders.

Furthermore, I’ve seen some of you have posted about issues with third party fulfillment services: This is expected when dealing with alternately designed and intended systems. They do not fit together as easily as we would wish. Another mismatch often quoted to me in the same frame of mind is the difference between how Shopify’s analytics work and show data, compared to data shown in google analytics! The simple fact is: They are not the same, are designed, constructed, and intended differently, so any similarity between the two is down to the data being the same or chance. You will always likely have to undertake some work at some stage to get two distinct systems to work together. It’s also the case that many third party services have absolutely no issues with this. As Clement noted above, when using the api one should check if the cancelled_at field is not null to detect cancelled orders, not use the fulfilment variable, the cancelled_at field just needs to be checked first.

In conclusion: This way of reporting fulfilment status is, in no particular order, likely to make your orders page look cluttered, but have your store reporting correctly, it may result in some issues with third party API’s, however they can be accounted for on the third party end.

Regards,

Nicholas 

Shopify

Christine Member
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Last edited 8 months ago
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Nick,

Thank you for your time and for addressing our concerns.  That said, this is a pretty extensive and intricate rationale for the system simply not working as it should.  Some of us are overseeing the Shopify process, and not actively involved in executing the transactions.  We want to see the volume and size of transactions, and know at a glance whether our people are keeping up with website traffic.  I don't want someone sending me filtered reports, I want to see the activity in real time whenever I choose to look at it.  It is extremely inefficient for us to open up different transactions to figure out whether they are labeled unfulfilled because they were refunded, or unfulfilled because they haven't been processed.  The "Partially Refunded" unfulfilleds are the worst of all.  I shouldn't have to read individual emails to figure out what is going on.  This is a typical and very standard business process, and should be binary.  It's done or it's not.  I hope that Shopify will rectify it quickly because clearly it is causing great heartache for businesses accustomed to transacting business normally.  If the "Unfulfilled" label is problematic for you, perhaps you can devise another category for these transactions that indicates they don't require action.

Thank you again,

Christine

Posts:
6
7 months ago

Ditto! The refunded and cancelled order should automatically change the unfulfilled status so we're not always second-guessing the status from here into eternity. Why so difficult?

Needless to say, this is really unfulfilling for me too.

Posts:
52
5 months ago

we just need MORE STATUS states ...seriously,

 

Canceled Closed Refunded...all seem like no brainers! Big commerce gives us TONS! You should be in the market to make those changes 

 

This cannot be that HARD to give us! 

fullfilment status:

Amy McWilliams - Shopify Partner www.rockrosedesigns.com Shopify - Wordpress - Big Commerce
Posts:
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5 months ago

Your total "logical" explanation ignores the most fundamental logic of all - its so obvious that even a child would tell you = you don't mark something filled if you didn't really fill it! 

This is the worst example of someone not listening to problems but explaining why their system works the way they want it to work - the mistake you're making is YOU ARE NOT THE CUSTOMER - we are! Learn that or you can find out the hard way that you don't have any.  

My suggestion is simply remove the "unfulfilled" status from "new orders" because it's confusing everyday to look at the shop and see orders but not know if those are new refunds that were not marked "fulfilled" before refunding or actual new orders. 

Lastly - the most obvious problem is that you can't just automatically have the system mark the order as "fulfilled" when any of these actions occur: "refund, partical refund, or cancelled". 

 

Steven R Member
Posts:
1
5 months ago

This is Madness. Why would I mark an order fulfilled if it was cancelled or refunded and how would it then NOT be fulfilled by our 3PL???

I really am at a loss as to how to remove cancelled and refunded orders from the unfulfilled status

 

 

Posts:
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4 months ago

Nick,

Thanks for taking the time to reply...

My suggestion is "unfilfulled" is a problem for many people so how about just removing it?

Thanks for your help,

Bob

Simona Member
Posts:
12
4 months ago

I, too, am joining the frustrated group.  Customer cancelled.  Refunded order 100%, voided it.  It's sitting there, "unfullfilled" with the glaring orange, mocking me.  It's also included in my total open orders count - the little green number above "orders" in the menu on the left?  Very frustrating.  Filtering it from display is one thing, a workaround.  Getting rid of it in the status is another issue altogether?

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4 months ago

can you let us reset so we can do that on the old ones

Oxedy Member oxedy.com
Posts:
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Last edited 3 months ago

Nick,

Despite the illogical workaround to mark canceled / refunded orders fullfilled, I agree with you that canceled / refunded orders are in fact 'unfullfilled'. However, there is one piece of logic that is inarguably incorrect. On the admin home page, we receive a message like the one shown below saying "X orders to fullfill".

This is clearly a flaw, because canceled orders should not be fullfilled.

I do not expect you to change your definition of unfullfilled, but I do expect this logic to be updated so canceled orders are not included in this reporting.

Please listen to your customers and fix obvious mistakes.

Screen shot 2018 06 10 at 8.08.41 pm thumb
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3 months ago

The problem really, philosophically, is that we the users have a need ( which is knowing what our pending obligations are) and are using something that Shopify is techinically intends for something else.

So who's "right"? Well, Shopify is of course, but that's NOT how business works. It's also not how personal relationships work either. It's actually self-absorbed thinking. To a business owner, orders that "have not been fulfillled" is a trivial piece of information, probably best used for a report and ongoing evaluative data. It's probably important in Shopify's mind, but not to a business owner's day-to-day need. That "fifth column" on the Orders page - "Fullfillment status" - just screams out to be used as "what do I need to do further" when actually it's just a piece of factual data. It's theoretical, not pragmatic - and business operations are wholly pragmatic, not theoretical.

I agree most with Amy McWilliams answer, in that we need more fulfilllment status entries so we can use that "fifth column" the way we elect to - not the way Shopify wants us to. To be frank, Shopify is not listening to the customer's need here, and the confusion is Shopify's conflating that with what "Fulfillment status" means in their mind. Shopify;s response is hollow - what to be a good-GREAT business? Be customer-centered - if the customer is telling you "I need something" - DO IT before the day ends, no later. To define what the customer needs on your terms - the height of ignorance, guys.

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3 months ago

Oh, gosh, another thing... the spam we get every day of new fake customers that we have to purge on a every day basis. For me, I get on a every day basis, about 10 "new" customers that always have the same same surname as first name, so every day I delete them. This is the default behavior when someone starts using Shopify. Again, that's a really lousy way to present how your business looks from Day One. Currently I know of no direct solution other than buying an added App that is overkill for the simple problem that exists.

I'm putting this complaint on this thread to again show that Shopify - in certain areas - has a blind spot that they need to serve the customer when it is logical and reasonable to do so, and in these areas it's pretty obvious that it is.

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2 months ago

Hey Shopify!

This issue is one that is so obviously a bug/feature that slipped through testing & QA. 

It is so blindingly obvious that the store mamager (me) should be able to control the order status and select any tag I like for any order I like. It's MY store!!

Your replies to all these CUSTOMERS of yours in this thread, smack of an organisation that just can't be arsed. 

Whether you fix this issue via product support or product marketing - just fix it!!

Why dont you invest the approximately 2 person days of developer effort to modify your code to allow any order to be tagged as any status of the store managers's choosing. Why on earth is that an issue???

Example: A customer ordered something from me via my online store. He came in to my high street store to collect it. Whilst he was waiting, he voluntered to bleed the radiators in the shop as they were clanging and banging like sh*thouse doors. l was grateful for this and as a result of his kind efforts, I decided NOT to charge for his order which he took it away FOC. It is sat there in my list of orders as unfulflled for eternity. 

So tell me again Mr Nicholas O' Fegan why you're so much cleverer than the rest of us and why you won't just fix what is such an easy fix issue.

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2 months ago

Adding my voice to this one.  I need to know what orders I have outstanding to deal with on a daily basis.  A refunded order should not count as an unfulfilled order.  If the customer has said they want a refund, then refunding it is fulfilling the requirements of that order.  It shouldn't then be marked as unfulfilled and giving me a notification that there is an order to deal with.   And fulfilling the order before refunding it is just confusing for the customer.  They're going to get an email saying we've sent it when we haven't, followed by a refund notification.  They don't need the fulfillment email.  And that workaround, doesn't help me now that I've already refunded an order without fulfilling it.  I've tried archiving it but that doesn't seem to do anything other than apply and archived tag to it.

It's clearly not working for people as it stands and needs to be revisited.

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2 months ago

Also adding my voice to this ticket which has more than year and half to fix.

 

/Beshr

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Last edited 2 months ago

Created an eCommerce University account just to comment on this post.

There are at least 3 locations where these refunded, unfulfilled orders are presented as work that still needs to be done. 

  • Shopify Admin - next to orders in the blue bubble 
  • Shopify Mobile - "X orders to fulfill" on home page 
  • Shopify Mobile - as an unread notification on the app icon 

If you pride yourself on good shop management, seeing this is like a slap in the face and my shop OCD can't take it.

If all items in an order have either been shipped or refunded, then there's nothing left to do on the order and it should NOT appear in any of these places.

You need to give us the ability to screen these types of orders out so we can get a clear picture of the orders that need actual fulfillment.

I have plenty of examples of this in my shop if you need actual data when coming up with a solution.  Please contact me.

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2 months ago
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Adding my name to the list of disgruntled users.

I strongly agree with Dana. If fulfillment is going to be used for orders that were not physically shipped, you need to add another metric that allows us to see what orders need to be shipped. Currently, the only way I know how to do that is with fulfilled vs. unfulfilled and clearly that is how Shopify wants us to use it if you reference the three areas Dana mentioned above. If that is mandatory for something on your (Shopify's) end, then you HAVE to add a new variable that lets the users know whether they have orders that need to be addressed or not. 

I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but I am so tired of looking at Shopify and seeing that I have something to do (according to the app and the orders page) that I'm seriously considering switching services. I don't know what else your customers are supposed to do when there is no other feature currently available that readily shows them what (if anything) needs to be done.

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2 months ago

Also Nick, why would you suggest to mark the order fulfilled before refunding it, then say in another post that it is used for other purposes and should not be marked fulfilled if you didn't ship anything. This really does need to get addressed properly.

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Last edited 2 months ago

He is 100% right. a canceled order should not show fulfilled. BUT it should NOT show that  it needs to be shipped either. It shoud be canceled status neither fullfulled or not fulfilled. But it should not show up as having to fulfill it on your platform or through the api

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2 months ago

I spent a few hours digging into the orders schema.  Long story short, if you use the 'Archive' functionality properly, then you can filter out these orders by using Order Status='Open'.

It's not intuitive at all, and you have to browser refresh your page to see the Open Orders # go down (or pull to refresh in the app), but it works.

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about 2 months ago
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Adding myself to this, I hope it gets fixed soon. Its so obvious that trying to justify it (although i appreciate the effort), shows a massive distance between developers and buisness people.

 

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about 1 month ago
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just happened to me,

Refunded and the orange 'unfulfilled' is staring at me, can't this complete order get it's own section tab. A Refunded tab or a Cancelled tab would be great next to the current Unfulfilled/Partially Fulfilled where these orders can be stored

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about 1 month ago
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I'll go ahead and put my name on this as well. We have potentially found an app that can hide these orders for us, but as others have said, there is a pretty clear fundemental misunderstanding of how unfulfilled orders function. 

If an order is cancelled, it is no longer unfulfilled because there is no longer an order to fulfill, it has been cancelled. I understand the logic behind keeping track of canceled orders, that's important and, I understand that the importance of distinguishing an order that has been fulfilled and canceled and an order that has been canceled before fulfillment.

The problem lies with shopify telling me that I have orders that need to be fulfilled, despite the fact that they were cancelled. There needs to be a way to tell shopify that a canceled order no longer needs to be fulfilled, because, no matter what logic you use, Nick, a canceled order does not need to be fulfilled.

It's absolutely crazy how entrenched shopify is on this issue. I understand that it may not be the easiest thing to fix, but I don't think that's a valid excuse at this point. Just archive them or something, there's a notification every time I log in telling me I have X number of unfulfilled orders and that notification is absolutely usless if its not accurate. 

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21 days ago

+1

20 years in e-commerce and never seen such an logical and yet entirely WRONG answer to a process that is clearly not fit for use in the hands of the end user. And I have seem some crazy stuff over the years...


ScottyDog

daniel Member
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1
19 days ago

This is all like too obvious. Not sure why so much pushback and tortured logic from Shopify support on such a simple issue. Yes shopify, you are correct: by definition cancelled orders are Unfulfilled. Nothing to fulfill if order cancelled. So far, so good. But , also by plain logic any order marked as "unfulfilled" the expectation is that order needs to be worked to get it in transit, on the way, delivered to customer. While it may be true that a cancelled order is unfulfilled, it is also true a cancelled order will NEVER be fulfilled. Why include an old, dead, cancelled order on the list of orders that need attention to service our buyers? How does it make sense to clutter up my To Do list with old dead/cancelled orders when I need to focus maximum attention and effort on orders pending shippment, action required, get off your rear end and get those orders on the truck for delivery.  

Same as mentioned in previous post why so much reluctance by Shopify to simply add more order status options? Every other eCommerce site/marketplace includes a status of "Order Cancelled" vs "Order Fulfilled" vs "Order Pending Fulfillment." If a cancelled order WILL never and CAN never be fulfilled why whould it appear permanent on the "unfulfilled" list which logically assumes some action required on a transaction already cancelled, reversed, killed and complete. Sounds like we shouting into the wind here. Shopify all about excuses and no action. Disappointing, but pretty much what we' we come to expect. More of the same. Good reminder we need to seek out an eCommerce platform based on standard business logic. 

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13 days ago

DAMMIT!!  I just cancelled and refunded an order without FULFILLING IT first. See how backwards this is Shopify??

Now it's hanging out there, with the rest of them. It shows up on my phone app, on my dashboard... SO freakin' annoying!!

Um. The first post on this thread is from November 2, 2016. It's coming up to our 2nd "Unfulfilling Anniversary!!" Yay?

Great to know we are being listen too! What is the point of this forum then??

This is very unfulfilling...

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12 days ago

Nick, Shopify team, your response to this obvious issue is unacceptable and absurd. Fix it! 

Christine Member
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4
12 days ago

I suspect there's been no Shopify employee on this thread in over a year.