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Shipping Rant

Discussion in 'Roscoe Basses' started by Gard, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Gard

    Gard

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    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    OK, as you folks might imagine, I do a good bit of shipping. ;)

    I've dealt with some pretty unfortunate stuff over the 10 or so years I've been doing this, between Bass Central and here at Roscoe, but I've just been a witness to the worst possible version of customer service I have ever seen.

    No, not UPS. They're far from perfect, but they haven't got the level of institutional arrogance combined with laziness and ignorance to achieve this level of BAD.

    No, not FedEx, for the same reason.

    Nope, the kings of utter incompetence, ladies and gentlemen, is the United States Postal Service.

    For small, indestructible or at least easily replaceable or easy to write-off items, they're OK. Please, do not ever EVER ship anything of value with these people.

    Further, under no circumstances, ever, send one of our basses back to us for any kind of repair or upgrade via the USPS. As a matter of fact, it is now our official policy that we will REFUSE DELIVERY from USPS for musical instruments, and we will under no circumstances ever ship an instrument via the USPS.

    Why, you ask?

    Because an individual (not a TBer) shipped a very nice SKB 3006 to us for a minor repair, using USPS. He dutifully insured the instrument for more than enough to replace it, if it were lost or destroyed.

    The bass arrived, we unpacked it, and while inspecting it, discovered a sizeable crack in the finish, centered on the blend control. It was very obvious from the damage to the bass, and the box it was shipped in, that it had taken a hit right on that spot, which initiated the crack.

    Thinking that he was covered, the customer called his post office to file a damage claim. So far, so good.

    They inform him that we will need to bring the item to our local post office for inspection. OK, this is warning bell #1 - UPS and FedEx, come out to the location the item is at to inspect. But, being intent on helping a good person in their hour of need, I arrange to bring the bass to the PO and start the process.

    I get there, they inform me that I will need to wait in the regular line and speak to a clerk. Hm...ok??? :confused: So, 40 minutes later (this is the WORST post office in the US for sure, maybe the world...), I get to the front of the line, and speak with the clerk I was directed to speak with by the supervisor. He pulls out some papers and then states, "OK, we will need to fill this out, then send it to St. Louis for inspection."

    WHAT?!?!?

    OK, let me get this straight...

    ...I am supposed to turn over to you an item that is not my property, that YOUR organization damaged when it was in your care, and allow you to ship it halfway across the country to a location that I have no knowledge of, to be inspected by someone I will never see nor speak to, then have it returned to the shipper, who will then need to ship it back to me to affect the repair?

    :eek:

    Seriously?

    OK, there is WRONG stamped all over this, folks.

    THEY damaged it.

    Then, they require me to bring it to them - I didn't damage it, nor is it my property to do this with anyhow.

    Then they want me to release it to their care (which they have amply demonstrated a good reason to not trust them with it already) to ship it over 1200 miles, inspect it without oversight, then return it, eventually over 1200 miles for it to be repaired.

    :scowl:

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    This is unacceptable customer service, no matter how you slice it.

    Never ever ship anything you value with the United States Postal Service. Ever.

    ...should I start talking about their "tracking"...wow, yeah, that's the good stuff there...if you want to follow your package, never use these guys either, because their "tracking" system resembles tin cans and string. Seriously.

    :rollno:

    I'm done now, can you tell I was pretty ticked off at them today?

    ;)
  2. VroomVroom

    VroomVroom

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    Ouch.

    Thank goodness I used UPS. :D Here's hoping for a happy ending to this story.
  3. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Wizardry! Supporting Member

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    Yeesh! :eek:

    Thats just bad...

    I've had quite a few deliverys from them, thankfully without problem, even my two Roscoes.

    A rare thing, I'm at a loss for words...:meh:
  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Supporting Member

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    I've had the absolute best luck with Fed Ex, and fairly good luck with UPS. I refuse to use USPS for the simple fact that I hate their tracking system (or lack there of).

    Hope this all gets worked out, but I'm willing to bet they'll be crappy about it.:meh:
  5. LilRay

    LilRay

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    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    And folks wonder why their discontinuing Saturday delivery and losing gobs of money. Fact is they were more efficient on horseback. Tracking is Horrid, etc. My Mom shipped me something from Central Texas a couple years ago PRIORITY MAIL. It took SIX WEEKS to arrive.

    Being the HighRollin' Crutch Totin' Mofo that I am, 90% of my "shopping" is done online. Not withstanding I live in Hooterville Georgia.:D

    In my area UPS is best. FedEx is just as bad as USPS. They (Fedex) use sub drivers for residential delivery. I've had fragile packages thrown into my fenced yard with my 80lb Lab. I had one cat show up from FedEx at damn near Midnight in his personal "hooptie" to bring me something. Met him with rifle in hand:cool:, haven't seen him since:D.

    Shipping Sucks period, but store shopping sucks worse for me, down here in Hooterville.:D

    God Bless, Ray
  6. LilRay

    LilRay

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    PS Gard,

    I think you oughta "sticky" this thread, for other TBers that might consider using USPS for shipping to the Shop.

    God Bless, Ray
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've been shipping for many years too. I've come to the realization that all of the services are equally bad--the only difference is that one day, each of us will have a horrible experience with one of those services, leading us to rail against that service as the worst travesty in the world. For people whose primary "worst" experience was with USPS, they are the worst. My worst experience was with FedEx. Others have nightmare stories about UPS.
  8. lwrthnwhalepoop

    lwrthnwhalepoop

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    The USPS isn't technically a government agency any more, but they're close. The apathy, arrogance, and incompetence linger on. And we're thinking about entrusting our health care to folks like these? Lads, we gotta think this over a bit. If they can do this to a bass, imagine what they can do to a human liver - although in my case they probably couldn't abuse it any worse than I did back in my mis-spent youth. ;)

    My heartfelt condolences to Gard and to the unfortunate owner of this bass. :crying:
  9. JOME77

    JOME77

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    Man!
    That's a serious bummer! I've never shipped anything of real substance or value USPS.
    I guess maybe that's a good thing!

    I certainly agree that their tracking system is terrible (at that's been my experience).
  10. Gard

    Gard

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    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Better, it's SIGGED.

    :D
  11. CactusmanDoug

    CactusmanDoug Supporting Member

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    Hopefully it's just a finish crack and a pot replacement at most.
  12. CactusmanDoug

    CactusmanDoug Supporting Member

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    True that... the real problem lies between the ears of the publicly educated American masses. It's incredible how many folks in this country actually believe that Washington has the answers to their problems. :rollno:
  13. CliffD

    CliffD Supporting Member

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    Ditto, except mine was with UPS and I now swear by FedEx, lol. I've never thought of USPS for anything of value that needed to be shipped, now I'm very glad I haven't!
  14. Gard

    Gard

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    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Yup, that's it, but the crack may require a refin, hard to say yet.

    FWIW, UPS just got one too, but they were very quick to deal with it, no headache for anyone.

    Everyone will break something eventually in the shipping biz, my only request is that when they do, they stand up and accept responsibility.

    The manner in which the USPS handles this sort of issue is my problem, not that they did it - all of 'em will break something eventually, it's inevitable.
  15. LilRay

    LilRay

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    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft
    Sigged and Stickied

    :D

    They should've responded ala UPS. Driver usually knows if somethings FUBAR.

    Gard, With you (Roscoe) being the manufacturer and eventually the "repair shop" I wonder why USPS couldn't have deemed the claim valid and sent you back with the bass to repair it?

    The way they're going about it is like Gallagher talked about going to the buffet restaurant, "Waiter comes by after leaving you seated 10 minutes...., What'll ya have?......., I'll have the buffet....... It's over there :rolleyes:.

    Your going to send the bass to Saint Louis so some pencil pushing doofus can say "Yep, that's a crack, Call Roscoe and see how much it'll cost to have it repaired".:confused:

    Tell Ya what, If I owned the bass, I'd be livid, and I'd still be on the phone.

    I feel bad for the owner. What was the work he wanted done?

    God Bless, Ray
  16. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    I told Gard my USPS sob story last night, and he suggested I add it here...

    So my story involves an international shipment to Belgium. Belgium, I have come to learn, has some pretty tight customs policies. Whereas in most coutries, customs just adds on their taxes and passes the item through, Belgium more often than not wants all kinds of backstory & proof of payment. Well this freaked my customer out, and he just refused the shipment rather than deal with all of that. No prob, it should've just come back to me, right? I marked the package "return to sender" in the event of failure to deliver the package, so it should have been a no brainer.

    A month goes by, still no bass back at my place. I call USPS, they say I need to initiate a trace and the trace might take as long as something ridiculous like 60-90 days. OK, it is what it is. About 2 months go by, and I get a call from a guy in Georgia, USA. He had just bought my bass at a USPS auction of "lost" items. He said it was really obvious once he got it that it belonged to me. Rocket Music was all over it inside and out... anyway, he wanted about $2K for the bass to which I said heck, no, it's my bass to begin with. I tried to take it up with USPS, but after many days and many hours of pushing a rope trying to get some sort of action, I just wrote the bass off and moved on with my life. It's not worth $2K to me to spend who knows how many hours fighting with a hopelessly inept beauracracy.

    F those guys. No way, no how, is UPS anywhere near as bad as USPS. I've had a few problems with UPS over the years (I ship A LOT, it's to be expected). But UPS has resolved all of those issues quickly and properly. They're highly motivated to have me continue to use their services. USPS, on the other hand, is a bunch of gov't hacks who don't give a flyin' F about anyone or anything. IMHO :D
  17. Bipslapper

    Bipslapper Well Ahoy, Paloi Supporting Member

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    No wonder we have the term " Going Postal"

    Sheesh!

    As a business owner, really feel for ya Greg
  18. RocketMusic

    RocketMusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Ah, thanks, Pete. No worries, water under the bridge and all that. If this were my first year in business, I'd have been on 'em like white on rice. But I've learned to fight the battles I can win, and let go of the ones I can't. I'm in it to win the war!
  19. LilRay

    LilRay

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    Reading your nightmare Greg, I wonder if they're not trying to do the ol' sell it as lost to Gard and his customer? I still don't understand what St. Louis would have to do with anything. ANY Postmaster ought to be able to validate a claim. It'd make sense how they operate to have ONE guy who does this though.

    God Bless, Ray
  20. VroomVroom

    VroomVroom

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    Just holy balls. I've despised USPS for years, but stories like this just make me cringe. At a much more local - and selfish level - we've complained with our local (cough) postmaster (/cough) more times than I can count. They simply can't deliver mail. And often times when they do, it's stuff addressed to our neighbors. It literally becomes like that old episode of 'Cheers' where Cliff Claven delivers all the mail on an apartment floor, immediately after which all the tenants meet in the hallway to exchange it. Anyway, it's at the point where I have to use my work address for anything important.

    I attended a class last year, with a guest lecture presented by an expert on market analysis and service delivery. He chose two general industries to lambast during this lecture, and it was fascinating. First - the domestic car industry. His premise was that there's nothing wrong that can't be fixed by obliterating the existing dealership network and starting over. Profits would increase, as would service to the customer. He used that to make the same argument for the USPS. U.S. Postal Service. Kill off the post offices, and create fewer centers run by smarter people and systems.

    Yada yada - sorry for my rant. I'll leave with some Einstein. "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." The USPS has A LOT of problems, but no one there seems to be thinking any differently now than they did back in the 60's or 70's.

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