I am using an Observer to catch that event: controller_action_postdispatch_checkout_onepage_saveBilling

I want that event in order to check the billing address of the customer.

My question is: How can i send a message to the user at this point.When continue button is pressed.

I used the : Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->addError('My message');

but the message is not shown until you refresh the page.And here is the second question. How can i redirect the page from that point? I have use with no luck: $this->_redirect('*/*/'); and hardcoded urls with no luck. Ideally i want when the customer presses the continue button, after some checks that i make, the process to be stopped with a message.The observer is checked and it works as it supposed to work.

Hope it make sense..

EDIT That's my code.Just to make sure i'm doing it right: Model/Observer

class Company_Restrictions_Model_Observer {

    public function notifyUser($observer) {
//Lot's off lines are tested here.Nothing seems to work..
//Edited after comments
$result = array();
$result['error'] = '-1';
$result['message'] = 'YOUR MESSAGE HERE';



<?xml version="1.0"?>


EDIT AGAIN After debuuging i found out that a lot of functions are giving me error.Undefined method ... for ex: _redirect() or Response() or Body().. Does anyone knows why??

3 Answers 3


The saveBilling result is only evaluated as part of an Ajax call. Take a look at the original implementation here:

public function saveBillingAction()
    if ($this->_expireAjax()) {
    if ($this->getRequest()->isPost()) {
        $data = $this->getRequest()->getPost('billing', array());
        $customerAddressId = $this->getRequest()->getPost('billing_address_id', false);

        if (isset($data['email'])) {
            $data['email'] = trim($data['email']);
        $result = $this->getOnepage()->saveBilling($data, $customerAddressId);

        if (!isset($result['error'])) {
            /* check quote for virtual */
            if ($this->getOnepage()->getQuote()->isVirtual()) {
                $result['goto_section'] = 'payment';
                $result['update_section'] = array(
                    'name' => 'payment-method',
                    'html' => $this->_getPaymentMethodsHtml()
            } elseif (isset($data['use_for_shipping']) && $data['use_for_shipping'] == 1) {
                $result['goto_section'] = 'shipping_method';
                $result['update_section'] = array(
                    'name' => 'shipping-method',
                    'html' => $this->_getShippingMethodsHtml()

                $result['allow_sections'] = array('shipping');
                $result['duplicateBillingInfo'] = 'true';
            } else {
                $result['goto_section'] = 'shipping';


So if you want to send a different response / redirect you would also need to make use of a JSON encoded response

$controllerAction = $observer->getEvent()->getControllerAction();
$result = array();
$result['error'] = '-1';
$result['message'] = 'YOUR MESSAGE HERE';

One further thing to look into is if using the postDispatch provides the right timing.

  • I edit my question with your suggestion.But still it doesn't work..About the event, i searched it and they say that this is the correct event to catch if you want to check the billing address.
    – vbak
    Nov 27, 2013 at 9:30
  • okay modified the code slightly to show you how to get the request from the event you are currently observing: Mage::dispatchEvent('controller_action_postdispatch_'.$this->getFullActionName(), array('controller_action'=>$this)); Nov 28, 2013 at 1:52

You can redirect from anywhere using

   ->setRedirect('[ your url ]')

you can add your checks in your observer and redirect back to the previous/current page if the checks fail or forward to some success page if the checks are passed

  • I want to redirect to the same page with an error message.How can i do that?Because i tried your way and it just doing nothing.
    – vbak
    Nov 26, 2013 at 19:02
  • Could you add an exit; after that? As far as I know that code should work Nov 26, 2013 at 19:04
  • Yeah me too..That's why i'm asking.Do you think that has anything to do with the event that i catch?
    – vbak
    Nov 26, 2013 at 19:07
  • Mage::app()->getResponse() ->setRedirect('checkout/cart') ->sendResponse(); I am using that but it does nothing..
    – vbak
    Nov 26, 2013 at 19:14
  • stating the obvious but is your observer actually called? what happens if you put a die() there? Nov 26, 2013 at 19:50

From the Observer you can:-

$pageId = Mage::getStoreConfig('some/cms/redirect_to');


$pageId = Mage::getStoreConfig('some/cms/redirect_to');
      Mage_Core_Controller_Varien_Action::FLAG_NO_DISPATCH, true

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