Today I set my Royal Mail OBA file manifest going at around ~16:20, thinking there would be plenty of time before I have to set off to the post office (it's 5 mins away) for the last collection just after 17:00 . It's now about an hour after I started the filing process, post missed.
I've found that trying to file a manifest at anytime after 16:30 takes significantly longer than any other time in the day. As everyone is filing their manifests too.... Linnworks must understand this? Why isn't extra processing power being diverted to the filing process at peak times to speed this up??
I'm frustrated... at 16:30 I can check the OBA website and start creating a manual order with no problem at all. But instead:
- I've already pressed File Manifest - can't start a manual OBA order or i'll be double charged
- Got stuck at 'Requested'
- Waited far too long - 1 hour now, I'll update when it finally completes.
- Decided to find out if something is wrong on live chat at 16.57, told approximate wait time is 1min, got answered at 17.05
- Been told "PLease allow it some more time as in the evening in can get very busy with Royal Mail and filing takes longer"
- I've now missed the post for the day.
And I've paid an annual subscription to Linnworks for this, fantastic!
This is the first time I've missed the post because of this, it's certainly not the first time I've been waiting for significant periods of time for OBA manifests to file.
Anyone got any similar experiences?
Manifest finally filed at 18:03.
Support are saying the was an issue with the filing on their end. Other manifests processed at the same time also got stuck, they had to run some internal procedures to file them.
It took 1hr and 40 minutes for them to solve. Why not cancel the manifests if they got stuck, so we could just re-run? Or at least process them manually.
Problems like these just shouldn't occur.
Due to the high volumes of customers using the Royal Mail integration manifests are queued and processed in the order that they were requested to be filed. The purpose of this system is so that if there are any issues with services on either side of Royal Mail or Linnworks manifests are queued rather than just throwing an error and having to all manually be reset which delays the process further.
We are aware that this is causing issues with not being able to print the actual manifest documentation, this was at the request of Royal Mail to prevent fraud but due the the problems it causes for customers we are currently in the process of confirming with Royal Mail if we can allow customers to continue to print a manifest before its filed as before as this will stop this issue and allow you to continue your normal working practices.
So if the manifests are queued, does that mean anyone who filed a manifest after 16:20 got stuck behind me in the queue and were also unable to file their manifests?
That is correct. We upgraded our shipping server last week and I have made appropriate changes to the system to enable more manifest to be processed so you will see the performance/processing time improve.
Is there any news on this?? Royal Mail manifests are taking a ridiculously long time. We've started filing at 3.55pm and they are just about done by 5pm - too long. We lose an hours worth of packing orders. Come on Linnworks, this simply isn't good enough. Either better systems are required or you need to persuade Royal Mail to let us print them before filing.
Can we have an answer please??
We've been having the same problem- linnworks has been taking far too long to file, so we have to manually file manifests with RM then spend admin time to get the duplicate manifests credited back. We've had this problem in the past, seemed to be fixed for a while, then has been completely broken for the last week (not counting the day OBA was actually down). Core functionality being this flaky needs to be sorted out.
We had a response from tech support...
"Normally manifests are filed within a minute or two max. In the past couple of days there have been some slight issues with the API communication between Royal Mail and our end. This is being looked into and should be resolved within no time. "
Well it's a bit more than the last couple of days - at least a week.I agree Matt, it needs to be sorted. Quickly.
There has been a few issues with Royal Mail web services recently which seems to have now been resolved unfortunately this is out of our control but this has meant that the manifesting process has taken longer due to our services not being able to access OBA back-end.
We are closely monitoring these services and can confirm that now Royal Mail issues are resolved manifests will be processed as normal.
Thank you! We will see what happens this evening :)
I wanted to add this regarding your comments Either better systems are required or you need to persuade Royal Mail to let us print them before filing.
Customers file their manifest, the manifest is put into a queue of pending manifests to be filed to Royal Mail services. if the OBA services are offline it will hold the jobs until the services become available so that we can provide the sales order and manifest documentation to you for the collection. Part of this process is getting the sales order information back from their services which is used within the documentation if we cant get this then we are unable to provide the documentation.
Currently if OBA services are down you cant login to OBA via their website and also our system can not contact it to pass the manifest data, so whether your using our system or directly via OBA you still wont be able to file the manifest unless you use the emergency manifesting tools provided by Royal Mail but we are also aware that this can be unstable.
To resolve these issues we are currently in the process of working with Royal Mail to develop a solution to resolve these issues so that our customers are able to print manifests to allow their mail to be collected.
We will let you know once this becomes available in the next coming months.
The service is very stable these days, so it will take 5 minutes max to get your manifest filed.
Royal Mail maintenance windows are reported on our status page http://status.linnworks.com/
Maintenance works are usually performed on Sundays, and it is not recommended to file manifests during ongoing maintenance.