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Topic
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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:
182
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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11 months ago
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Agree with Steve - this is a ridiculous, sloppy non-solution. Please fix this glaring issue.

Posts:
491
11 months ago

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 10 months ago
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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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10 months ago
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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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9 months ago
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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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9 months ago
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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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9 months ago
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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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8 months ago
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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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8 months ago
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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 8 months ago
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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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8 months ago
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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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6 months ago
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Agree with all of the above... any plan for a fix yet?

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6 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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6 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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6 months ago

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

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3 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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3 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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3 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:
182
Last edited 3 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:
182
3 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 3 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:
5
2 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
10 days 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