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How do I take Phone Orders in my Zen Cart?

Every couple of months someone asks me how to take phone orders with their Zen Cart. Here is a process that has worked well for many of my clients.

Relevance: Zen Cart™ 1.3.0 - 1.3.9, 1.5.x.

Installation Instructions:

  1. Install the mod Encrypted Master Password. This gives you a single password for all customer accounts.
  2. When someone calls for a telephone order:
    1. If they have an email address, create an account for them as usual with their email address.
    2. If they do NOT have an email address, simply enter their-name@your-domain.com. Please see notes below about this.
    For instance, for me, it would be thatsoftwareguy@your-domain.com.
  3. Enter their order.
  4. Log out.
  5. The next time they call, login using their email and the master password.
  6. If they get an email address at some point, you can hand the account over to them by logging in as them and going to My Account > View Account Information, and changing their email address from their-name@your-domain.com to their new email address. You should then click "Change my account password" and change their password.
The most practical payment module will be a credit card module (either the default one or one which integrates with your gateway, such as Authorize.net or Cybersource). However, if you want to offer PayPal or Google Wallet transactions for phone orders, one way to do it is to install my Invoice contribution, and use this as the payment method. You can then keep the order in a Pending state until they send you the funds. In the case of Google Wallet , you will be required to send them an invoice. For PayPal, the invoice is optional, since they can simply send you funds without an invoice.

If you are taking phone orders and creating accounts a lot, you may wish to purchase my Customer Password Edit mod, which makes it possible to modify passwords from the admin panel.

Another variant of these steps that some stores use is not to use a Master Password, but rather to simply use the same password for all phone accounts. This may be desired if telephone order processing is done by a third party, and you wish to limit the number of accounts they can access.

Notes on Creating Email Addresses

Simply fabricating an email address such as their-name@your-domain.com will work if your-domain.com has a catch-all email address; otherwise, email to this (non existent) address will bounce and affect your deliverability. If you do not have the ability to create a catch-all email address to handle these emails, you may want to consider modifying your Zen Cart installation to not send mail to these addresses. Please contact me if this is something you need help with.