Thursday, April 16, 2020
I Need To Vent
I mentioned last week how I had been selling a ton of records over the last month, probably the best stretch of sales I've had since before Christmas. That sounds like a great thing except, that weekly walk to the post office to ship out all those records is the most unpleasant and admittedly, horrifying hour of the week. It is a source of stress piled on to an already stressful existence. But I do it because I like what I do.
In related news, the United States Post Office is running on fumes. They are short-staffed and let's face it, even before a pandemic, Media Mail was treated like plague, so one can only imagine the delays during a crisis. Because of this, I state very clearly in my shipping policies that there will be delays. This is exactly what it says when you make a purchase from me:
"PLEASE READ! Due to the current situation, I will be limiting my trips to the post office. I am still in business, but I want to be safe. I am a one man operation and will do all I can to get records to you safely. I was shipping daily, but will now be shipping on Monday morning. If enough orders come in, I will also ship another day, but that will be played by ear.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: This is directly from my post office manager:
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The USPS is experiencing delays even at the plant level due to staffing issues. We apologize for the inconvenience."
My local post office currently has one teller and one manager. Things are very slow moving, so please exhibit as much patience as you can. Media mail is very low priority right now. Many boxes are being scanned at the final facility, just to keep the work load down, which means, though your records have shipped, tracking may not show movement until the box is actually out for delivery. ALSO: PRE-SHIPMENT does NOT mean "sitting at home." "LABEL CREATED" means "sitting at home." We all check tracking obsessively. I know I do. If you see "PRE-SHIPMENT" it means it is at the post office waiting for an "accepted" scan at the next faciltiy. If you cannot wait it out, please do not make the purchase. I have seen turnaround take as little as a few days and as long as two weeks or more.
Finally, ALL OVERSEAS SHIPPING IS SUSPENDED until further notice. Thank you for your patience and support. Be safe."
I currently have orders going to New Jersey and The Bronx, that took a detour to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, one of which is a $100 Gong boxed set. I have orders that took almost two weeks to be delivered. I have orders that were shipped almost two weeks ago that are still "in transit," and I have orders that were dropped off at the post office as far back as April 6th, that are still waiting for an acceptance scan. Every morning I check all tracking numbers. And every morning my day begins on a stressful note, as I know there will be a customer or two who will exhibit some lack of patience over a $12 record.
This morning, I woke up to this. From a guy in South Carolina, who ordered a Bowie record for $12.99 on the 7th, and whose record I shipped on Monday, the 13th as per my policy.
"why has this not shipped yet? you printed a label but never dropped it off?
whats going on with this order?
"First of all, you need to reel it in. We are in a pandemic!
Read my shipping policies!
Your order was indeed "dropped off."
Unfortunately, records and media mail are low priority.
Read the shipping details before you come at me.
Thanks for your patience."
"this pandemic seems to be used as an excuse all over for bad customer service. so it's not surprising that you would do the same. Nobodys' "coming at you" i am simply asking where the record is i bought back on april 7th your customer service is terrible and you shipping times are too. i also sell stuff and the post office will pick up from your address every day. so your bullshit pandemic response is laughable. anyway you just guaranteed yourself negative feed back with your shitty attitude!
hope it was worth it for you to smart off."
And an extra gift of feedback to my account to boot:
"terrible seller. bought this album 10 days ago and still has not shipped. I asked the buyer why it hasn't shipped and he gets all mad saying "don't come at me bro" Don't buy from this childish seller with endless excuses. Terrible Experience!!!!"
I realize to many of you, this might be something to laugh off. Others might be thinking, "Why the hell is he telling us this story?" Because I am a bit shaken up. Because the post office is basically holding a couple of thousand dollars worth of product with no explanation other than the "bullshit pandemic excuse." Because who needs this on top of everything else? Because if all of my buyers decide to snap, I will not only be out of the money, but the records, as well, as soon as the USPS does indeed deliver them. Because I needed to get this off my chest otherwise, it will sit heavily and cripple me for the rest of the day and weekend.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Posted by Sal Nunziato at 4:50 AM