Special Orders, Deliveries Delayed

6 Oct

UPDATE: This week’s delivery of books from our distributors arrived Oct. 9, as scheduled. We are still trying to recover 5 boxes of books from last week.

UPDATE 2: We were unable to recover the books, which have now been returned to our distributor. UPS made two more “attempted deliveries” hours before our scheduled opening despite promising our distributor that they would deliver the books during our posted hours (UPS told our distributors we did not have posted hours when we complained, which is consistent with decades of experience dealing with this company). We are going through order by order to reconstruct which books were returned, as the box received includes books from several weeks of orders.

UPS is refusing to make deliveries to Bindlestiff Books at this time, demanding that we make special ransom payments for each package in addition to the freight charges paid by our distributor. We have filed a complaint with our distributor and hope they will be able to intervene with UPS and get them to resume deliveries. But UPS has been increasingly resistant to making deliveries over the past six months, in one case a driver pulled up in front of the store while we were on the phone with UPS discussing a long-overdue shipment which they said was on the truck, remaining there for a few minutes — only to drive off without making the delivery as soon as the phone call ended.

We can not say whether their refusal to  deliver books arises from UPS’s general sloppiness and disorganization, which we have suffered from for decades, or is part of a company effort to transform their delivery model to collect from both shippers and recipients, holding packages hostage unless special payments are made. Unfortunately, most distributors and publishers insist on shipping via UPS, and so our ability to receive new books is seriously impacted. We will continue to ask shippers to intervene with UPS when it refuses to make deliveries, in hopes that the situation can be remedied before we are forced to close.

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