Happy New Year! A huge thanks to those of you that responded to my last e-mail and subscribed to the Rugged Routes YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/Ruggedroutesmaps?sub_confirmation=1 )
The 2023 Shift:
Over the years I have provided product to many many wonderful long time customers that have thanked me many times for providing shipping to our nearest neighbors such as Canada. However, I’m needing to change the way that international orders are handled and will no longer be able to ship directly over the border. This is a change that I have put off for too many years and am finally flipping the switch. Here is how we got here: Only in the US do we have the most stringent anti-fraud mechanisms for e-commerce. The front line of defense uses a system that verifies your billing address with your card issuing bank. This system is well supported in the US but is very hit and miss in Canada, and even further less supported further away. The banks that aren’t supporting this system are leaving many cardholders and vendors vulnerable. In the event that a card is stolen and used online, the banks refund the cardholder (who should absolutely get their money back) but end up yanking the funds back from the merchant (such as myself) who is now left empty handed as the theif has often recieved the the product by the time the cardholder has made a claim and any awareness has been brought to the situation. Whew! What a mess.
In response to these type of situations, I have been turning the dials on the anti-fraud mechanisms for a while and am now at a point where every international order is flagged as fraud which needs to be manually reviewed. This hasn’t been graceful or without hesitation on every single internatioanl order. I have aquired quite the trained eye for suspicious transactions after being in ecommerce for the last 19 years. Transactions still slip through on occastion causing the whole transaction to backfire.
In addition to battling theives, the slowing of Nissan parts demand has kept most Nissan items in remote warehosues that handle much of my shipping for me. However, they are not equipped to ship internationally. Therefore, items need to get brought in and reshipped which add extra cost on my end, a longer wait time for both you and I and promotes a less organized confetti scheduleing affecting my ability to focus on larger projects.
So, for a more reliable, streamlined and expedited process, all international shipments will need to be shipped to a shipping forwarder. International customers will need to make their bank aware of the shipping forwarders address ahead of time and make sure that the card that you are using is from an issuing bank that supprts AVS.
I know this process has a few extra steps but is the best thing that I can do given the situation. This is a subject that I revisit at the beginning of every year and have held off making these changes for atleast 3 – 4 years. Unfortunately the time has come. I hope you understand.
My Goals for 2023 are similar to those of 2022, primarily centering around offroad navigation but with a few prolonged ostacles removed. I finally have a new line on chips for a long term solution to my chip shortage issue and plenty of SD cards for making maps. However, I had a lot of custom map projects that made doing bigger things challenging. So, custom map ordering will be on hold until this summer so I can wrap up a lot of loose ends from last year and finally release some long awaited products.
For more info, visit https://ruggedroutes.com subscribe on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/Ruggedroutesmaps?sub_confirmation=1 ) or even just give Rugged Routes a follow on Instragram (https://www.instagram.com/ruggedroutes/?hl=en)
As always, Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded e-mail updates. I realize I could have given a shorter explanation to the changes I’m making, but as someone who has perpetually asked the question “Why?” every time I come accross a road closed sign or a newely closed obstacle on the trail, I felt compelled to give you the the full scoop.