They’re Working On Minimum Common Sense

, , , , | Working | January 24, 2019

(I work for a small company that makes hand-crafted items to sell through our distributors. We’re running low on the smaller of our shipping boxes that we use for the majority of our orders. We have a good amount of bigger sizes that we primarily use for larger bulk orders. We wait to place an order until we absolutely have to because our supplier has an order minimum we have to hit, but doing so qualifies us for free shipping and we’ll receive our order in two business days. The following exchange happens over email once we submit our order:)

Box Company: “I forgot to mention that your order needs to meet our new order minimum of [amount]. Please bump up the quantity to meet our shipping minimum and resend.”

(The boss sends a revised order to meet the new minimum.)

Box Company: “Received, thanks.”

(We expect the boxes after the usual two business days for transit. Four go by, and I’ve resorted to stuffing bulk shipping boxes with lots of packing materials to fit our smaller everyday shipments, with no delivery in sight.)

Boss: *to box company* “When can we expect our order?”

Box Company: “Our shipping department has determined that your order cannot fit on our standard trucks, so it will need to go on a separate carrier. There is a $70 shipping charge for this service; please confirm your acceptance and we can ship your order out tomorrow.”

Boss: “Wait. What? We have always ordered [quantity] to receive free shipping, and we increased our order to meet your minimum.”

Box Company: “If we can’t deliver with our standard truck and we have to ship on another carrier, we are charging the customer for the delivery even though it meets the minimum.”

Me: *on a separate email to my boss* “So… we increased our order to meet the minimum for free delivery, but by meeting the minimum our shipment is too large to ship for free?”

Boss: “…”

(They agreed to waive the charges but failed to understand why we were questioning the additional shipping cost. Two business days later, a third party shipping company dropped off a massive palette and I got to put away almost 300 pounds worth of boxes — a third of which we only ordered to meet the minimum!)

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