Coffee in the New York skyline mug, on-hold music from FedEx in my left ear. You know this story can't go anywhere good... Is there ANY good shipping service out there? I have years of poor experience with the USPS so even though they're aggressively trying to move into the package-moving space, I am uber wary to try them. We all know where UPS stands in my estimation, now FedEx has twice failed to get me set-up for pick-up service... Who's left? DHL?
Continuing in the poor service thread this morning, I am not confident that my shipping to and from the BMAC (Hargrove's pick-up of a pallet and delivery of it to the show and then their caravanning of the entire booth to Vegas) is going to go off smoothly either. Yesterday afternoon I called to find out how best to get the collapsible crate I am buying (to ship and store my work and display) to Philadelphia for the show. I was told to fax over the shipping form, they would fill it right out and fax the quote back. I let the person I spoke to know that I was talking about a pick-up next Monday for delivery to the advance warehouse (which is in itself ironic as I don't care when it gets there as I don't even need it till after the show anyway, but they have a delivery cut-off of next Friday so I want to make sure I get in for it). I was told no problem, they are pretty caught up, they'll get right on it.
Ok. I fax my form. I wait. I sleep. I check the fax machine this morning and nothing there--without the quote, I can't place the order. I call. I say, "Hi, I sent you a fax yesterday afternoon and I never heard back." The person I speak to is quite affronted that I expected him to get back to me right away and that annoys me because I had that expectation because THAT IS WHAT HE TOLD ME WOULD HAPPEN. Then he tells me someone else would be handling my order and getting back to me. I inform him that I spoke to that particular someone else yesterday afternoon and was told that HE (the person I am speaking to) would be handling it. He tells me *someone* would get back to me within a half an hour. Guess how long it's been since then? Less than a half an hour? I think not.
Why do I need to ship with Hargrove in the first place, you might ask. Surely the vendor for the crate has a shipping service. Yes, they do. Are they more expensive? No, they actually charge 45% of what Hargrove will charge. Can they not get it shipped? Oh yes, they could have had it go out today. So why am I shipping with Hargrove? Because if I don't Hargrove will charge me the equivalent of TWICE the shipping charge from the manufacturer just to move it from the loading dock to my booth. They call it a ($180) "material handling fee". The crate only costs $137. The whole why-am-I-not-shipping-it-here-to-Atlanta story is just as long and convoluted so I am going to skip it. Suffice it to say that some days it feels like everyone you deal with is out to stick it to you somewhere, somehow.
Now I wait for Christian to call about the web stuff...