Friday, July 3, 2009

When Shipping Goes Wrong...

Last Halloween, I shipped out a lot of costumes, and I do mean a lot of costumes! Some of them were vintage bridal gowns which I dyed silver in the bathtub (using black dye, but synthetics turn silver).

One day I took a load of packages to the Post Office, happily notified the customers to expect their packages, and would like to say I sat back and waited for the positive feedback to roll in. But life goes on, and so I had to go back to listing, measuring, photographing, yada yada yada.

A few days later, I got an email from a buyer saying she had received the wrong dress. When she described it, I thought, "Oh, no." She was buying a fairy princess costume for her daughter, and had received a bridal gown! And needed it that weekend! (Let's call her Buyer A.) I contacted Buyer B immediately, and guess what? She'd received the wrong dress, too!
There was only timely one way to make it right, which was to have them ship the dresses to each other, rather than ship them to me and have me ship them back out again. I immediately Paypal'd Buyer B the money to ship the gown to Buyer A. (Buyer A didn't have a Paypal account, but she wrote to say she'd let me know how much it would be.) Later that night, Buyer B sent me an email with the tracking number of Buyer A's dress.

Still with me on this?

Long story short, the days went by and Buyer B did not get her gown. Meanwhile, Buyer A got her dress the day before her daughter's event.

I pulled Buyer A's contact information when I got no response to my emails, and left several phone messages. Nothing. Then I got an email, days later, saying that an emergency had come up for Buyer A, and she would ship Buyer B's dress immediately. Oh, and by the way, Buyer A got her dress and her daughter loved it.

It was already too late for Buyer B to get her dress in time. But she was a pleasure to work with every step of the way. Besides, it was my fault in the first place, even if I was pretty cheesed at Buyer A. I gave Buyer B a full refund, and she left me positive feedback, which she did not have to do.

After consulting with Trust & Safety (a misnomer if there ever was one), I wrote to Buyer A that if she did not send the package to Buyer B, I would have to file a mail theft claim.

A few days later, Buyer B got her package!
Only the bridal gown was badly damaged, the sleeves shredded. It had been intact when it left here; that is all I will say.

I love my buyers, believe me. Except when they are psycho.

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