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  • #76
    Folks, maybe Cafe Press should have changed their website to show a longer production time but...after they were so overwhelmed before, I'm not sure why anybody was trying to hold them to a strict 2-day production time.

    I think they should have changed their timetable this is probably the best thing they have encountered especially after what happened with the first batch.As for holding cafe to the two day thing that's just me I've never been someone with a lot of patience. if a company advertises they will do something within a time frame I expect them to do it.You would think I would have a little more patience than this I collect the mongoose and all the ones that I have were late or very late past their original shipping date .Need to do meditation more often.
    Last edited by Satai Delenn; 12-05-2005, 10:08 AM.

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    • #77
      I think we need to get into our heads what Cafepress is all about - they were set up to provide merchandising services as an alternative to traditional "print it and pay for it all up front and then try to sell it to get your money back" operations.

      For larger organisations, or big rock bands, or whatever, it is still cheaper to go down the print up front route, because unit costs come way way down with volume. If, however, you are a small band or charity, or something, who just want a few t-shirts, bags, mugs, coasters to promote yourselves, that route is prohibitively expensive.

      Cafepress allows that type of operation to produce low volumes of merchandise without hassle and (most importantly) without up front cost.

      However ... the problem with the script books is that they are receiving masses of orders from all over the world. I would imagine that this is possibly the first time they have experienced someone offering something on this scale from their print to order service. Hence, they are struggling to keep on top of it all.

      There is no excuse for rude or incompetent customer service, but I think we really need to cut them some slack - this is not a huge Amazon-like retailer, nor have they ever claimed that they were, this is a small company offering print to order merchandise and books.

      I have ordered quite a few things from them, normally stuff for my own band from my own store, and they have always been shipped within the two day turnaround quoted ... but then I only order up to 5-6 of anything at a time.

      They could solve the gripes by quoting a longer shipping time for the B5 Scripts store, and I have emailed them to suggest this - after allm if you are expecting something to take a month and it arrives in 3 weeks, you are a happy bunny. If you are expecting it in a week and it arrives in three weeks, then you are most definitely not. No difference in the quality of the service, just managing the expectation differently.

      However, let's be clear. Cafepress are not going to alter their business practice, nor staffing levels (thereby increasing their costs) for the sake of one product (well, OK ... 15 products) that is only going to be available for a limited time.

      As to whether they can change to another "retailer" ... I don't know. I have looked around to see if there are alternative print-to-order houses through which I can offer my song book, and so far I have drawn a blank.

      When I first started doing t-shirts for the band I only had Cafepress to pick from, now there are several alternatives and I have gone with one of the others solely because they are in the UK not the USA - but I have to say the quality isn't as high as Cafepress. But still no alternative produce-to-order house for either CDs or books, that I have been able to find.

      I interpret that to mean that this is a difficult business to get right, or to get set up in the first place.

      So ... what do my inane ramblings add up to? Quite simple really. Without Cafepress, there would likely be no B5 script books.

      As I say. Let's cut them a little slack and give them the opportunity to work out the glitches, and wrinkles and kinks on something that in all probability they have never had to deal with before.
      The Optimist: The glass is half full
      The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
      The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
        As I say. Let's cut them a little slack and give them the opportunity to work out the glitches, and wrinkles and kinks on something that in all probability they have never had to deal with before.
        NObody expects the Babylon 5 fan phenomenon! Heck, we even broke the database with the alert sign-up and they, of all people *should* have known what to expect if they'd taken JMS at his word.

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #79
          Oh well!

          I ordered 11/26/2005 (at 6:27:27 PM Thank you very much), and I've been trying not to check or call to find out what's been going on. So today, I call and they tell me it is on the dock ready to go out so I can't get them to upgrade my shipping.

          I also see this on the volume 2 page:

          Note: Non-expedited orders will ship within one week.

          so at least they are learning their lessons. I was able to get him to credit back my shipping, so that for volume 3 I will definitely pay for 2 day air.



          Zeno
          No matter where you go, you're only halfway there...

          BB of Elias

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          • #80
            Well I guess I should try to add some hope to this thread. I just got Vol 2 and my shirt. It was roughly when I expected them (regular shipping to St Louis). No problems with Vol 1 either. I hope the problems some to be happening are in the minority.

            Faith Manages
            You get what everyone gets. A lifetime.

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            • #81
              reading Volume 1

              Originally posted by Dauriel
              Well I guess I should try to add some hope to this thread. I just got Vol 2 and my shirt. It was roughly when I expected them (regular shipping to St Louis). No problems with Vol 1 either. I hope the problems some to be happening are in the minority.

              Faith Manages
              ah but you see being B5 fans we are the vocal minority. Ergo I'll just piss and moan anway. Seriously though folks I'm quite happy to leave CafÚ Press be for another day or two, it's just that when I rang them 1 week ago they said it would ship the following day. I'm not being unreasonable - I was just awaiting what they said would happen.
              Hey ho, on the bright side I read half of "Soul Hunter" tonight and loved it - I suppose fuirther discussion should be kept to the "volume 12 spoiler " thread.
              Phaze
              P.S. MY friend (who visits occasionaly and watches some B5) waqtched an episode after I went to bed. I'm, like "what did you watch - sleeping in light any good ones - alas, it was infection. as JMS says "Mia culpa, mia culpa, mia maxima culpa"
              "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

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              • #82
                So, thanks to the information provided here in this thread, I decided to go ahead and call and see about my order since it's been "in production" since 11/26. Turned out that I too got mysteriously stuck in the computer system. Supposedly, I've been bumped over to production now and am being given upgraded shipping and it should be sent out by Friday.

                With all the problems that it seems so many people have been having, it does leave me apprehensive about how well the bonus 15th volume is going to work.

                Le sigh.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by vacantlook
                  With all the problems that it seems so many people have been having, it does leave me apprehensive about how well the bonus 15th volume is going to work.
                  Umm...why? Even if you assumed that 12 volumes later things wouldn't be ironed out by Cafe Press, it's already been made clear that the 15th volume will be handled completely differently.

                  Let's not anticipate trouble, huh?

                  EDIT: BTW, I think one thread about ordering and order fulfillment is enough so I'm going to merge this one with the original.

                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                  • #84
                    BTW, another poster on the newsgroup posted essentially the same info that OmahaStar did earlier so if you think it's been too long since you ordered (imo, over 7 days) and your book still shows 'Production', you probably want to call them. The numbers/hours are:

                    Call Us Toll Free 1-877-809-1659
                    7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.(PDT) Monday - Friday
                    7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.(PDT) Saturday and Sunday
                    Local/International 1-510-877-1579

                    That poster hadn't had any luck with email either.


                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                    • #85
                      I ordered on the 26th, I went to check my order today, and it seems it was just updated as shipped today a few hours ago, without my interference or calling.

                      Judging from all angles, I'd just say that these guys are a bit overworked and their presses steaming, that the "glitch" is just the best way they can deflect the situation and handle your complaint, that unless you specifically ask for rush ship up front be prepared to wait a bit. And really, c'mon guys, we have to wait almost a full year for all of this to be issued, we've been waiting years before for anything useful to B5 to come out, so I think a week of production woes should be a piece of cake.
                      Radhil Trebors
                      Persona Under Construction

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                      • #86
                        So just for the heck of it, I checked my order status, and it got changed to Shipped about 4 hours ago. Haven't gotten an email about it yet, and there didn't seem to be a tracking number, though. Maybe if I'm real lucky the book and mugs will get here by the end of the week.

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                        • #87
                          FWIW, my 'shipped' emails both came in the wee hours of the morning. And shipping from CA to FL seems to be about a week's trip.

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Jan
                            Umm...why? Even if you assumed that 12 volumes later things wouldn't be ironed out by Cafe Press, it's already been made clear that the 15th volume will be handled completely differently.
                            Well, I worry them making sure that everybody has received all of their volumes before they start asking for the long list of correlating numbers we have to turn in in order to get no15. I worry about knowing that they've received our lists of numbers when we send them in. And I worry about being able to hold any form of accountability toward getting everything shipped right since we won't be paying for no15. I just hope things work more smoothly then than they seem to be now.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by vacantlook
                              Well, I worry them making sure that everybody has received all of their volumes before they start asking for the long list of correlating numbers we have to turn in in order to get no15.
                              As long as the window remains open long enough, why should they wait for everybody to receive all their other volumes? They might or they might not, but I don't see any reason why they should.
                              I worry about knowing that they've received our lists of numbers when we send them in.
                              Then send it registered or certified.
                              And I worry about being able to hold any form of accountability toward getting everything shipped right since we won't be paying for no15.
                              They've already said that they'll be requiring tracking and/or signature.

                              I guess one of the reasons why I tend to get a little annoyed over all the 'worrying' is because I was around when the Fan Club was alive and so far everything I've seen from Cafe Press indicates that they've got some pretty good customer service going on, just as the Fan Club did. It's simply what I would expect from an entity that JMS associates himself with. They replaced a book unasked, they upgraded shipping for multiple books for Omaha. Yeah, there've been some bumps in the road but so what as long as they make it good, which it seems they have been. As JMS recently said 'We learn by doing.' I think we can be sure that no POD house has ever experienced anything like this before.

                              And JMS himself has stated that they're working on issues to do with taxes due to mislabeling boxes which is the one thing they should have never gotten wrong in the first place, imo.
                              And I worry about being able to hold any form of accountability toward getting everything shipped right since we won't be paying for no15.
                              They've already said that they'll be requiring tracking and/or signature. They've also already stated that you'll get the book a few weeks after they get the form. So does that mean that things aren't going smoothly already since there's a delay in shipping? No, it doesn't.
                              I just hope things work more smoothly then than they seem to be now.
                              An entire year or more early...you're gonna be worn to a frazzle by then.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                              • #90
                                Got book #1 today (ordered of 25/11)

                                notified book #2 is on the way today.

                                Guess shipping to an APO address was no problem
                                Balut-eating Keeper of Shadows

                                Babylon 5: Starship Commander
                                Project Lead/ Spring 2006

                                Babylon 5: Severed Dreams
                                Lead Programmer/ Spring 2006

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