Re: More shipping woes- help?

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Posted by Maureen on July 10, 2002 at 03:52:44:

In reply to: More shipping woes- help? posted by Lauren on July 9, 2002 at 19:47:29:

Hi Lauren,

My pragmatic "what to do" when packages don't arrive or if customers
say they don't arrive does depend on the situation. Your packages
have some sort of insurance automatically with USPS. I don't have
the details off the top of my head. But you may want to look into
it. There is a dollar amount packages are insured up to and with
small orders sent Priority Mail, you are sometimes wasting money to
insure the package since it is already insured up to a certain dollar
amount. The people at the post office will not always tell you this
when processing your packages.

I think insurance is important but be sure that it is necessary
before paying for it. It is critical with large orders. Insurance
and signature or delivery confirmation. What you have to do
sometimes is to take the time out to track the package and provide
the customer with the information to track the package as well...if
and when a package does not show up. I have had packages that were
scanned in the post office here but no other information showed up on
the tracking system a couple weeks later. Which means that someone
at the post office did not do their job. The post office usually
won't begin to track it for you outside of that system unti after two
weeks. But once a package has gotten in stuck in the postal system,
I find when I notify them that it was not delivered and they begin to
track it, that most of the time it is found and delivered within a
week. I have not idea what they do and where they find the
packages. But my experience is that they do. So when I have a large
order lost out there, I give the post office time to find it. As
long as the customer has the tracking information as well, I have
found them to be satisfied that their package is on their way to
them. It takes a bit of your time to do this. A few phone calls.
But I found it doesn't take as long to follow up on this as it does
to repack and ship another large order.

It may have a lot to do with where you are located. Here, the USPS
works better for me than either FedEx or UPS. Also, because this is
a small town, the relationships with the people in the post office is
much closer than perhaps in a larger city. So, when I inform my post
office that a package is lost or stuck somewhere, I know they
actually begin the process of tracking it. You may want to look into
where you are going to get the best service: USPS, FedEx or USP.

I don't know if you can avoid delays in delivery of packages or the
occasionaly package getting lost or damaged. What you can do is set
up your system for dealing with it. Know which packages need to be
insured. Know the procedure for processing insurance claims.
Develop the system that best serves you in terms of following through
on a complaint from a customer when they have not received their
package. I have found that people are wanting to know a few things
when they contact you about not having received their order: 1.
Their order was shipped; 2) You will look into finding out what
happened to their order; 3) You will replace their order if they
never receive it. When reassured of these things, I have found
people to be extremely patient as their package is being tracked.
People know things simply do indeed get "lost" in the mail.
Fortunately, things that have been "lost" have also been "found" and
then delivered.

So, just work out your own system and timeframe for responding to
issues of packages not being delivered. Have a way to check into
whether or not the package was indeed not delivered. Insure large
orders. Use delivery confirmation. Then let the post office track
down the package. If it is not ever found, you will need to replace
it. It is not the customer's fault that the package was lost. Then
be sure to begin the procedures for filing your insurance claim with
the post office. And do find out which one of the package delivery
options available to you is also the most user friendly for you and
the most responsive to your needs. Use that one.

Retail, I charge a flat $6.50 for U.S. delivery regardless of the
size of the order. So someone ordering a $5.00 package of
herbal/hair henna pays $6.50 and the person ordering $350.00 worth of
products are paying the same for shipping. The new postal rates may
cause me to up my rates a bit, but not much. But for now, I think
they are the best bargain around. My rates are weighted to the
advantage of the person placing the large order. That is where the
real savings is. In the end, most of my customers save on shipping
costs...And that is the idea.



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