Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Low

Our company sells products through our web site, but we also accept purchase orders on 30-day credit terms from companies if the order value is over $1000. Anything lower than that must be pre-paid by using our web site or sending a check or bank wire, because we just don't have the manpower to go chasing after our money constantly when people don't pay up after 30 days.

Yet occasionally, companies do fax us POs for under the $1000 minimum.

Today, a company sent a fax with a purchase order expecting 30-day credit terms on a purchase of two small ribbon cables totaling $3.80.

Sorry -- you expect us to print two extra copies of the invoice and mail them to you, wait for your check, then spend even more postage to mail that $3.80 check to our bank? I don't jolly well think so.

We didn't even call them to tell them to place the order on our web site; the amount of time it would take to pick up the phone and call them is worth more payroll than that!

And now... the saga of "Duh, Hey, Louie!" Better known as DHL.

As you may not know, DHL, just a couple years after buying out Airborne Express to get into the U.S. domestic shipping market, has now left the U.S. domestic shipping market with an announcement that they "are still committed to our U.S. customers" -- just for international shipping.

One of our vendors in Austria shipped some inventory recently to our location in California. When it didn't turn up for a while, we checked with DHL. "Oh whoops. Your package was mistakenly shipped to Philadelphia. We'll get that sorted right away."

Next day, it did not turn up. We checked with DHL again. The package was now in New York City. "Oh whoops again. We'll definitely fix it this time. It'll go on the next plane, we promise!"

And so it did -- only, the next plane was not going to California; it was going to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In the immortal words of Steven Pudner, "How could they get that wrong??"

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