Alternative Tentacles really dropped the ball hard here…
On July 4’th I ordered two copies of Alice Donut’s “Ten Glorious Animals” and Lard’s “Last Temptation of Reid”. The total was $38 with shipping. A pretty decent price, for sure. I used to buy tons of music & shirts from them via mail order in the late 1990’s, so I was happy to give Alternative Tentacles my money as they are one of the original independent punk labels and I’m happy they are still around and putting out stuff that I enjoy every now and again.
Today is August 15’th. On August 1’st I sent a short and kind toned email along with a copy of my digital receipt that said:
I was wondering if you could give me any indication as to whether or not this has shipped out yet as it has been almost a month and I have yet to receive my records.
Upon waiting a week and getting no reply (I even waded thru the mire in my spam folder to give the mail order kid the benefit of the doubt) I decided I should call. First I called the mail order number and got an answering machine so I then decided to call the “general manager” number cos I figured my grievance fell under his jurisdiction. I got a person! He was courteous but not really interested in solving my problem, even though it had been over a month at this point that I placed my order. He patched me over to the number I’d originally called and I left a voice mail.
It has been another week, so I figured I’d call again. As with last time, nobody answered at the mail order line so again, as with last time, I called old GM’s number. Again, as with last time, he was courteous and uninterested in the fact that it has now been 43 days since I placed my order and nobody has even bothered contacting me concerning my order, let alone shipping it.
Not that the guy gave much of a shit, I was already sure of this, but I mentioned that I make my living via vinyl mail order and if I treated my customers/orders with such nonchalance, I wouldn’t have any customers at all. I told him I didn’t mind waiting if an item was out of stock, but a bit of communication would be appreciated.
I understand 30 years ago when Alternative Tentacles was blazing the independent label/distribution trail that some times things could take a while to happen… but this isn’t 1982. Long distance is free now. Everybody has email. If the items are in stock, there is no reason I shouldn’t have got my order by now. It isn’t like the band running the label was out on tour and the “help” got lazy… well, maybe the “help” did get lazy. I’m sure it is some college kid interning and not getting paid, but still, this is no reason to take 43 days to get some records to a dude in Cleveland, Ohio.
I was told by the general manager that didn’t give a general shit about my $38 order that mail order failure would call me today whenever he rolled in (it is 113pm in California at this point) so I figure if I don’t get a call by 9pm tonight (6pm at Alternative Tentacles bustling empire) that I will probably try to cancel my order via PayPal as I only have 45 days to do so, and tomorrow will be the 44’th day since I placed the order so time is running out for me.
About 10 minutes after originally posting this I *FINALLY* was contacted with:
Sorry for the late reply! I tried calling you last week on the phone number you provided with the email (wrong number, not the one I left in my voice mail to him), but I didn’t get through. I also sent an email on Friday but after reviewing your order I realized i sent it to the wrong email address (“off” instead of “of”) and got a bounceback.
Just to double check, is your address correct? This is what we have:
*My correct address*
It was sent out the week of the Fourth, so you definitely should have received it by now. If it’s the correct address, I can resend it today via Prioirty Mail so it will arrive by Saturday. Alternately I could refund your account if you’d prefer since its been so long. I’ll try calling you later today if I don’t hear back. Let me know what you’d like to do, and apologies again!
If only the dude had emailed me, all this shit would have been resolved quite awhile ago. Ugh. But at least everything has resolved itself, or so it seems.