Home > Uncategorized > My Letter to Tommy

My Letter to Tommy

Dear Tommy,

Yes, it’s me again.   I’m sorry to have to keep writing these little notes to you, but I don’t think you and your friends have been paying attention.

You keep sending me little notes and I do read them.   You seem quite willing to talk, but not so much prepared to listen.   You want me to get your message, but you don’t care so much to hear mine.

The point is, you’ve been a bad boy again.   You sent me a box of books and didn’t bother taking the time to pack them properly.   And a lot of them are very damaged, which is making a lot of people really angry.

You see those people were promised their books would arrive by a certain date, and now I can’t sell them what you shipped me, because… well, frankly Tommy, we have to set some kind of standards and live up to them.   Besides, a couple of those books were gifts and this will never do.

But there’s another problem, Tommy.   The people who order those books are getting to be few and far between.   There aren’t as many of them out there right now, and so we’ve got to work really, really hard to make sure every single one of them is happy.

That won’t be happening this week, will it?   They aren’t happy, and neither are the people I pay to call the people and give them the good news when their books are in, and the bad news when something has gone wrong.

So here’s the deal:   I think you should stop sending me little notes trying to get me to buy more books until you fix our little problem.   It really hurts me to say that, because I’ve known your parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson since the very first day I began working here, in fact, they sold me the very first box that got me started.

But Tommy, I’ve been at this business for a long, long time, and frankly, I don’t have any more patience for people who send me boxes of damaged books.   I just don’t need this problem on top of all the other problems that are making it harder and harder to stay in business.

So please don’t send me any more books until you can make sure — not just promise — that this sort of thing stops happening.

Do you think you know how to do that?

UPDATE:  Within hours of this appearing Tommy’s “parents”  were very quick to respond and put a fix into motion.   (I can’t begin to imagine how they knew it was about them!)   I went over the damaged stock and decided to meet them halfway and didn’t demand replacements for every little scratch.   However, I got a long letter off-the-blog from another dealer who reminded me that while the customer service people are quick to make adjustments, it doesn’t confront the problem when the issues are systemic.  Good point.  Especially where customers are waiting for orders.   The impression I got is that they’re working on it; and I was also able to provide input to their International Sales person as to how other companies actually pack their shipments.   Most suppliers know very little about the nuts and bolts operations of other companies.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 21, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I am so sorry that this has happened. This is unacceptable. Please accept my apologies. Someone will be in touch with you as soon as our office opens to fix the problem.

  2. Book Industry Watcher
    September 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Sad customer service, but Kudos to the CEO

  3. Rod Schumacher
    September 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Very sorry to hear about the damaged products. Please let me know what was damaged and the invoice number of the order and I will credit your account for the damaged books. If you tell me which titles were for customer special orders, I will overnight you replacement copies at no charge.
    Rod Schumacher
    Director: International Sales

  4. September 27, 2010 at 7:41 am

    This has started a great conversation within our company. We are looking at various options and will, hopefully, have a better fix soon. I agree with you that the problem needs to be fixed on the shipping end.

    Thanks again.

  1. September 27, 2010 at 5:01 am

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