Wednesday, March 23, 2011

More Package Troubles

I have recently had problems with two different packages. 

I paid for a book on February 6.  Two weeks later, I did not have the book.  This seller is sometimes a slow shipper, so I kept waiting.  I finally received the package on February 28.  The seller mailed the package on February 23.  I stated in a previous post on this subject that shipping delays are very often the fault of the seller.  This one certainly was.

The other situation involved a package I mailed out via First Class International to Canada.  I mailed the package on January 22.  It should have arrived within 10 to 14 days, by the end of the first week in February.

The buyer inquired about the package on February 11.  She was eagerly awaiting the delivery and wanted to know about when the package would arrive.  I was immediately concerned, because it had already been too long.  The buyer contacted me again on February 18 to update me that the package had still not arrived.  We were going to wait a little longer, and we still had hope that the package might arrive.

I have never sent out a package that has gotten lost; that is, I have never had a buyer report that a package never arrived.  Each time I have a delayed package, I reason that I will eventually have one go missing and wonder if the current package is the first one.

I asked the buyer to let me know what books were of interest, because my plan was to send out another package to replace the one that was missing.  I was willing to fully refund the buyer's money, but I would rather make it up to the buyer by sending replacement books.  I told the buyer that I could fully refund the money paid but that I was sure she would rather have the books.  I stated that a refund is never good enough.  Wouldn't you agree?

We continued to wait.  On March 2, the package showed up in my mailbox.  It had a sticker on it from Canada Post from the buyer's province stating that it was returned because it was unclaimed.  The buyer verified that the address was correct and speculated that the notice for her to pick up the package was likely not left in her box.  I agreed, because this has happened to me when expecting a package.  If a carrier forgets to leave a notice, the package can get returned to the sender after a few weeks.

I mailed the package out again on March 3.  Finally, the buyer received the package on March 17.  I am glad that the missing package situation was ultimately resolved successfully.

Sellers like to state that they are not responsible for packages once the packages are mailed.  This statement is true, certainly.  My view is more that the sellers cannot control what happens to the packages once they are mailed.  Both viewpoints seem identical, but the implication is different.

While I cannot control what happens to the package, I am ultimately responsible to make the transaction right.  If I fail to do so, then the buyer will almost certainly never make another purchase.

I am reminded of an international seller with whom I had had several transactions.  Finally, one package went missing.  I didn't say anything until the seller contacted me to find out why I had not left feedback.  I informed the seller that I had not received the package and did not ask for anything.  The seller apologized, but did not offer anything.

The end result is that I have never purchased from that seller again.


Jason said...

Damn, your life is SOOOO difficult

Jennifer said...

I just knew when I saw your name that you were going to insult me. I've noticed that you only comment when you want to insult either me or the people who comment in this blog. So I guess I should say... Damn, you need to GET a life. :)

Lian said...

Jennifer, I appreciate it when you tell us about shipping issues and customer service. I recently had a problem with a buyer who bought a lot of three books with dust jackets which were ex library with mylar covers. He removed the covers and found water stains on the inside dust jackets and spine of the books. He complained about the two and said the third was fine. I never removed the dust jackets and never saw the water damage; however, he wasn't happy so I refunded him for the two books. He's happy and he might buy from me again, and I'm happy because I did the right thing. Your views on customer service help remind me of what I need to do to make my customers happy, so I appreciate your tales.

Jason, I would rather read some constructive comments from you rather than this dull remark. Perhaps in the future you might stay more on topic. Thanks.

Jennifer said...

I have been told by people that they enjoy my eBay and transaction related posts the most. Obviously, a few people don't like them. ;) In fact, the only times I and others have been insulted and criticized are on posts related to eBay and other transactions. The subject of eBay seems to bring out very strong emotions in people.

Coffeegulper said...

As a Canadian buyer/seller, I know very well about those "package pick up" reminders that mail carriers leave in your mailbox if a package is too large to put in the mailbox---if it customs fees are required (happened with an antique candlestick phone, once: nearly $30 in duty fees!!).

If a mail carrier isn't careful where they put the reminder, it can get lost. Hasn't happened to me, although I've found them in the oddest places!

"Package troubles" for me, recently.
Bought a 1st printing Nancy Drew book from a seller through Amazon. It arrived quickly enough....but it was crammed SO tightly into a little box---without plastic or any other type of wrapping beforehand. It was so tightly wedged in the box, that by the time I got it out of the little wee box, it took a chip out of the DJ's spine! (Probably devalued the book by at least $50 in the process)


Jennifer said...

That's too bad about the damage to the dust jacket. It happens a bit too often, doesn't it?

Speaking of cramped places, I used to have a postal carrier who would cram any box that he could into my mailbox, even if it did not fit. One time I had to pull really, really hard to extract a box, and the box was bent around the edges.

I then went to the store and bought a larger mailbox. That solved the problem for packages of a certain size, and the larger packages are large enough that a carrier wouldn't dream of trying to cram them in the mailbox.