Shoulda Woulda Coulda

I’ve been in the retail business a long time. I’m certain that our customer service record is excellent (far above average in our retail field). But no matter how good your service is there are just some people you can’t make happy. Consider this customer email:


We are not very happy campers. It’s Friday, 15 minutes to 5pm and the Post Office still has not delivered this package.

We have been tracking this package and it sat in Coppell Texas for 2 days.

I would think with a blade this expensive, of a limited edition run, your company would provide “free shipping” that was substantially better than the U.S Post Office.

Now we face the weekend wondering where this order is at, did it get stolen in the process, or ruined, and what about the credit put on a card where no delivery has been made to the product ordered.

W. Ferree is an 87 year old veteran who’s been put through the ringer trying to patiently wait for this order to come.

It will be a very long, long time before we ever order again. It’s just not worth being treated this way. 

Ruth/Wayne. F.

Eastern State


Here are some facts for you to consider:

1. We processed and shipped this customer’s order the same day she placed it.

2. She selected (and got) 100% free 4-5 day shipping.

3. She had the option of purchasing USPS Express mail or FedEx shipping.

4. Every company on earth charges the customer’s credit card once an order ships.

5. Copell Texas is the location of a USPS mail sorting facility.

5. Her order was delivered about 15 mins after she wrote this email (it was signed for by her).

Here are some questions we had:

1. Why did she write us on Friday before her mail came when the tracking showed the package was “out for delivery?”

2. What would “substantially better” free shipping have been? USPS has been extremely reliable for us. She had other options she could have purchased.

3. Why would a customer think their package was “stolen” or “ruined” even though the tracking shows it’s in transit?

4. How does telling us the intended recipient is an 87 year old Veteran make any difference?

5. The recipient has been “put through the ringer?” Have these people never ordered anything online before?

6. “Not worth being treated this way?” Does she mean “great” or “excellent?” We just didn’t get it. Or maybe they didn’t get it…

Here is our email reply: 


Hi Ruth,

I have reviewed your situation and I think you are absolutely correct! The person responsible for packing and shipping your order has been terminated. They packed it and shipped it the same day we got it, but this is simply unacceptable. And I completely agree with you about shipping- if we are going to provide free same day shipping to our customers then it should at least meet their expectations in terms of reliability and speed. Our decision to ship through USPS has obviously caused you both a great deal of unneeded stress. I have called our postal representative and I gave them a piece of my mind! I let them know that it’s unacceptable to have a package sit in Texas for two days. I asked that the plant supervisor there be dismissed.

I would not be a happy camper either. The tracking shows that it will be delivered soon, but you’re right- it could have been stolen, damaged, or worse. My fear is that the postal employee on your route has the intent to deliver the item to the wrong address. Even though the item is enroute I think the best course of action is to speculate about what might happen. In fact, I will put a trace on the package. No one should be put through an emotional wringer like this- especially not am 87 year old Veteran. It’s only been five days, but you’ve been more than patient and I can respect your position.

In regard to the credit card charge. Though every company in the world charges a card once an item has shipped I am on the same page as you.  We should have invested the time to track your package (as we should for all customers) and charge you only once it has been delivered. I will send a note to our management department to see if we can implement this initiative. I think it could decrease the stress that most of our customers must be feeling (knowing that have been charged, but that their package could be lost somewhere while it travels to them).  

I would not order from us again. The way you have been treated defies description. Free same day shipping that does not meet your expectations is awful and you have my deepest apologies. As I said- the personal responsible has been fired. I showed them your email. They saw how you have suffered all week. They said if they had known the package was going to a Veteran with emotional problems then they would have tried to get it out before you ordered and would have used FedEx or UPS- anything besides our terrible postal system. Hopefully this will never happen to another customer. You should not have been treated this way- you are right. I am very sorry.


PS. I just checked the status and it looks like the item was delivered and that you signed for it. I can only assume that you have not gotten it. Everything else has gone so horribly wrong that I’m sure someone else has it and has forged your name. Please let me know!


Okay, we didn’t really send that email.  But I sometimes I wish that we could send this stuff. 

Here’s what we really sent:


Hi Ruth,

I just checked the tracking info. It appears that the item arrived there around 4:50pm.  

The order was shipped the same day it was placed, and arrived in 5 days. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, but I do feel bad that it didn’t meet your expectations. We have found USPS to be reliable and affordable.  

Hopefully Wayne enjoys the knife and finds that it was worth the wait. We are very grateful to our Veterans and the service they have provided to our country.

I regret that you feel that you have been treated badly. We try to provide good service.



There you have it. Proof that our customer service is superior until the bitter end. Did she reply? Nope. Sometimes people just want to be unahppy. Hopefully she can find something wrong with the knife so she gets a chance to complain again!