Email 18th January 2004

Subject: Fish 2004 - Complaints and disrespect!

Dear Freaks, Fishheads, Fans and the Company,

I have been reading with some disgust the continuing number of personal attacks on my office manageress Kim Waring in recent days and have been provoked enough to deal with this in person.
I have sent messages recently to the Forum and the Yahoo groups dealing with the current postal problems and apologising for our lack of response in certain areas. However the current trend of abuse directed by some individuals at Kim is totally out of order.
Let's firstly deal with some facts.
We delivered the album early. We decided to go for it before Xmas which meant that we ran the gauntlet of the holiday post. The post is already screwed up worldwide but especially in the US due to security issues. When we recieve an order notification is sent when we process and notification is sent when the order is shipped. Approximately 20 or so orders out of over 4000 shipped during that period are unaccounted for as per replies I have received through my e mail. Most are in the States. We can easily trace packages ordered by registered post. Others are more difficult and TNT our main shipping company provide lean details and take time to do so because of the above problems with worldwide security. When we are told a package is on an "International hub" being processed we have no guarantees of delivery times so we can't provide the purchaser with any more info than we get. We can prove we sent the mail. It isn't sitting on a desk here at the office. You are sent confirmation of shipping. The date it leaves the office. We do not send out replacement packages until we are notified the package is lost. If we did so more than half the US material would be duplicated at heavy cost to this office and at cost to those who chose to return the "doubled up" packaging.
As has become painfully obvious packages sent to the States in early December are still coming through to that country. We also have packages (including one sent to my sister in York) that are still "on their way" to other territories. Kim is checking on these and spends over 40% of her day chasing these. For us a completely unnecessary waste of resources. We are very pissed off! We can only react to the info we recieve from the postal authorities. We cannot guarantee delivery times.

I admit we could spend more time addressing queries but in all honesty if we have no more info to give out then you are still as much in the dark as you were before. However we are doing our best to provide as up to date a notification to those of you with problems.
We have had problems with Spam filters that have dropped genuine e-mails. We had problems in the computer changeover in October when a bunch of messages were lost in the reconfiguration. We are sorting this out. Now! I apologise for those issues.
We do not take the money and ignore you. Packages are processed in a professional manner as many can testify and are sent into a system that we have no control of and for which legally we have no responsibility for. We can prove we sent packages out to Credit Card companies who have been asked for reimbursements (Thanks btw to a very small minority who when not receiving a portion of an order due to unavailability ask for a charge back of the complete order! That really helps!)
But I repeat and repeat these problems are with a very small proportion of the orders we process. We are not in meltdown, or ripping off people, or deliberately ignoring people and for a small operation I think we do pretty well. It just so happens that some of those that don't have orders delivered in reasonable time are the most vociferous and have a tendency to forget to post to forums etc when they do recieve leaving others with the impression that issues are outstanding. I would appreciate some balance!

Kim was on holiday for one week. I was dealing with the office. We do not have the resources to hire another full time office help or after touring/album etc the work to justify another wage. We are doing our best and the small percentage of problems suggests it is working well. We are not perfect and don't profess to be so.

I personally am getting sick of some of the childish and immature reactions to this situation. The personal attacks on my staff are well out of order and anyone who strikes out on a personal basis at a member of my staff from now on will be "blackballed" from this operation. I don't need the grief and would rather avoid accepting your orders. We are a small, friendly operation as many people can testify and many more can give examples as to how Kim has helped out with problems way beyond the call of duty. I am not firing her as some on the list have suggested. That is sublime arrogance on the behalf of a very small minority of those on the lists and forums. Kim is the finest employee I have ever had working for me in this office and does an outstanding job dealing with problems most (98%) of which are created by others or by forces outside her control.

You have our assurances that we are doing our utmost to sort out your outstanding problems and complaints. You are not being ignored.

yours sincerely

ps just to end on a couple of examples of what we have had to deal with -
The American who spent 4.5 dollars (over 2 pounds) sending back a package that had been damaged. The two pin lugs on the CD case had broken in transit (We do not send out damaged items contrary to some common belief!) The jiffy bags we use are standardly acceptable for sending cd's. The person in question could have replaced the packaging for cents at his local CD store. Instead we now send out another CD in the mail - not just the packaging but the entire album that was sent back and that will take another couple of weeks to arrive back in the US! We pay the return post.
The Scot who complained he hadn't received his order for months and was taking us to court. He gave us a wrong e mail address which was declined as was his card on the original order. No other info was sent on the e mails to us allowing other forms of communication!
Both problems were sorted out.

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