We recently had a WooCommerce Support customer ask how they can add an additional item to one of their customers’ orders through their WooCommerce store. The original order had already been placed and payment was taken. The customer then called and asked for an additional item to be added. The issues our customer was trying to solve were:
- How to charge their customer for the additional item and
- How to avoid a second shipping charge if they placed it themselves.
We haven’t come across this request so we did little digging. The two questions I wanted to answer were:
- Was this even possible?
- If it were possible, is it the right thing to do?
Is it possible to add an item to an existing order and charge the customer for the new item?
If there was an extension available to solve such a problem, the first place I look is on WooCommerce.com. Searching the store turned up zilch, even with a few different search queries.
A quick Gooogle search returned results for manually managing orders. And programmatically inserting items into orders, this specific problem does not seem to be addressed.
As a final hail mary, I started a chat with a WooCommerce.com support rep and asked them if they thought it was possible. Here’s the meat of that conversation:
The best option would just be for the customer to place a new order and then you will need to update any combined shipping information for them. Or just ship two orders. It’s not possible to update an order that is already paid for like this without a lot of trouble. In the end, these are the best options to continue.
Is it ethical to add an item to an order in this way?
My original thought was that even if it were possible to manage an order in this way, would it be the right way thing to do? Charging a customer’s credit card without them actually clicking the button or giving explicit permission is not the way to build trust with customers, and may even run into legal issues. And since WooCommerce support agrees with that assessment, we have our answer:
Is it possible to add an item to a WooCommerce order – and charge the extra? No, it is not.
The right thing to do is have them order again and work out a refund on shipping later.