This post is not meant for the general audience of my blog. It’s a comment I posted on Facebook in response to a post in Pakistani Startups group — reposted here for more visibility and such.
🤔 C’mon guys! You’re a bunch of crazy founders. Build a solution for this problem. Engineers are problem solvers. Here let me help.
1. Make an API that can reduce this in an exponential manner with time. Call that API a #CODAbuser Blacklist.
2. Make sure you call and confirm the order. The address could be fake but the phone number is not.
3. When you get #CODAbuse keep data on who abused you and then integrate that data with your eCommerce like WooCommerce (pretty easy to do that), — to not send orders to #CODAbusers
4. How? — Start keeping a simple JSON file on Azure/AWS/GCP that contains this info based on priority. 1) Phone # (Confirmed abuser as 99% of them will use their original phone numbers so phone # has the highest priority in your graph) then 2) Item that was ordered (to help decide which categories and items are more prone to #CODAbuse but with normal priority coz it could be a fake selection) and finally 3) address (#CODAbuser might have listed fake address so this should have the least priority in your graph)
5. Whenever you confirm your order, be very nice and kindly share with them on phone that you get #CODAbuse so you’re verifying that this is actually what they ordered — coz if they return that for no obvious reason then you people will be forced to put them in a #CODAbuse blacklist and no online store will entertain their orders from then on. (be very cautious on this, it’s better to get some sort of legislation support here to share with your customers a law instead of your rule. Make sure you use the right words and not offend anyone) — E.g. get PTA to sign on it or something, and tell the customer that if they did #CODAbuse they’ll be reported to PTA
6. If someone from the same address tries to order, your integration makes a simple HTTP request to an online serverless function to see if that address/phone is in the #CODAbuse list and then that customer gets a notice about why you can’t deliver to that address/phone and you get them to pay advance or explain the situation with care and make them give you more proof like CNIC # etc.
7. One party can start keeping this info (which should always be kept private) — this party can be funded by all the eCommerce stores who want to use their integration on a monthly basis like we do in DevOps/Open Source community — or you can build this integration into a paid product and make a deal like — this service is free but anytime it saves an eCommerce store from potential #CODAbuser you get paid a pre-decided fee
8. As far as the cost of this setup is involved a good developer can code this API, Node.js backend, NGINX reverse-proxied rate limited access to a Virtual Machine or a serverless function over Azure/AWS/GCP + integration with WooCommerce in say about 20 to 50 hours
9. Once built, as a serverless function (1 Million executions are free per month at most providers and then $0.20 per million executions, $0.000016/GB-s — I estimate if you get a load of 100 eCommerce stores that make 100k orders in a day — you’ll still be able to keep the overall cost less than $40/$50 a month which will be a bargain)
10. Also, make it easy for businesses to report a #CODAbuser so you get data for free.
11. The cherry on the top, use Azure Machine Learning Studio to feed this data to make an AI that can predict #CODAbuse and finally sell this to Alibaba as an exit strategy
It’s after midnight, I just came out of a 5-hour long meetup that I arranged and had a talk for 2.5 hours. I am exhausted — which means that this is a crude and raw idea. Don’t judge me on this. But it can be polished pretty easily and executed like so.
Have fun while you do all this. Even just by collecting this data you’ll be doing everyone a favor, it’ll teach our nation that there’re actual real-life consequences if you fake/lie/abuse/misuse anything online.
P.S. Don’t ask me to do it. My plate is already full and I don’t have anything to do with Pakistani clients — which is sometimes such a blessing.