As discussed before, it is my unwaiverable opinion that customer service is of upmost importance in any retail endeavor. In the new (and improved???) scrapworld, almost the only way to get brand spanking new product (unless you live close to that scrap sexfest Archivers) is by mailorder. Since one cannot judge customer service by the one-on-one personable interactions, one must find an alternative - and since it is a mail-order business, it only makes sense to me that a company's CS be judged by their shipping. In other words, shipping costs & discounts, time from order placement to being shipped, availability of package tracking, and time from warehouse to my scraproom (or driveway because I always meet the mailman if I'm expecting a package!). This month I was quite fortunate(?) to be able to put this CS theory to work in a most practical way with orders being placed at three main scrap stores: BlueMoon Scrapbooking, Simon Says Stamp, A Cherry on Top (and believe it or not only slightly went over my kit budget).
I am not going to name names here, but I am going to disclose circumstances. At approximately 12:15 am on Wednesday, June 26th I placed two orders (Order A = 6 items, Order B = 18 items) and then Order C (20 items) at 12:05 am on June 28th. Let me start by saying here is the status of the three orders:
- Order A = NOT SHIPPED AS OF TONIGHT per the website (7 days and counting)... $5.99 flatrate shipping ($75> = free shipping) via USPS.
- Order B = Shipped Wednesday June 26th via FedEx; expected delivery Friday July 5th (10 days) ($50> = free shipping)
- Order C = Shipped Friday June 28th via USPS, delivered Monday at 2:00 pm...Shipping $11 ($100> free)
I ship with FedEx (at the cheapest rate possible) and it never takes more than 5 days for my shipment to get anywhere (and only 3 in-state). Thus the entire 10-day FedEx episode has me more than a little peeved. I would think that it would be worthwhile for this company to look into using the good ole post office if their service is better than what FedEx is offering... and I will definitely be making this suggestion if and when my stuff ever arrives.
As far as the fact that it has been 7 days and my 6 packages of wood veneer - 2 pkgs each of two designs and 1 pkg each of two designs, pretty simple huh?!! - haven't even been shipped can be in no way justified. To say that I am more than frustrated is an understatement. And just to be clear, there have been no notifications of backorder; and, in fact, just to make sure tonight I placed the exact order in a new cart going all the way to the point of hitting buy before wiping out the cart.
Even if the shipping information on Orders A & B are incorrect on the webpage and I receive both shipments tomorrow, it will take serious consideration before orders will ever be placed with these companies again. I know that many people may say that you can't control the mail service... Ah, I know this all too well from many experiences working with a utility company!!! But at the same time, I also know that it is the ultimate responsibility of any business - and especially a retail organization - to ensure the timely delivery of their product. After all, it is the only real means to determine customer service - because as Momma used to say, first impressions are the lasting impressions and timely receipt of product is the first impression of a mail-order customer (quality doesn't count as that is entirely in manufacturers' hands).
While I know for certain that many companies receive a delivery notification (2Peas), I am not sure how that relates to in-house tracking. Maybe it's time to give up all this automation and go back to paper invoices that aren't filed until a delivery receipt is stapled to it... the old days when we picked up an invoice off our desk and said, "Why isn't there a shipping receipt on this invoice?" and then a couple days later, "Why is this still on my desk... where is the delivery receipt?". Somedays not only do I miss my good old-fashioned Local Scrap Store, but I absolutely hate mail-order in general. Especially as I have 100 photos to scrap and no paper to put them on.
That is not entirely true... I do have one Fancy Pants Collection Kit, a few sheets of MME and a little bitty bit of Lucky Charm. But I just couldn't wait anymore to start scrapping - I was totally forgetting how! - so here are a few pages I just had to do over the weekend. Please remember that I am constantly working on more than one scrapbook and that many of the photos will be scrapped more than once to provide for each of those albums... so if you see the same photos next week in an entirely different layout, it doesn't necessarily mean I ripped up the layouts you're seeing today - but then again, it just might!
Other notes about these layouts: 1. The gold 'flamingos' letters are my first try at DIY thickers. So happy I had them on hand and love the way they turned out - of course I never have a problem with fairydust all over the room! 2. The flamingos layout totally got cut off on the left side, but it matches the right page of the layout - just much to late to redo photos. 3. Don't love the 'cool down' layout so it will probably be redone and then done again for the family album. 4. I'll be cutting down the star tape on the 'home' layout in the morning because here I notice how too long it is. 5. Happy Happy to use the stamps on the 'George & Logan' layout as I'm trying to train myself to use them more.
So sorry about the photos being more crooked than usual! I've broken my glasses - fell asleep with them on! - and spent all my glasses money on extraneous scrappy stuff. So for the next couple of weeks, they will be what they will be.
I hope everyone is happy and crafty. Scrap On!
And that's all she wrote...
P.S. For what it's worth, there are a few things that I know regarding the Big 3 shipping methods: FedEx is cheaper than UPS (surprised me!) and the United States Postal Service is faster than either of the other two (probably because they work 7 days a week versus the 5 days of the other companies). Just something to think about when you're looking into shipping for yourself or by companies you do business with.
"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."- Arthur Koestler