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Need advice.

I’m in a bit of a pickle, so I need advice. I ordered a “grab bag” from a fairly popular artist in late June. It cost nearly $100 and included prints of various sizes, books, and a commission. I received an email from them on July 25th saying that they would have everything in the mail by the end of the next week or so. The books had come in, but one of them had misprinted, so we agreed that they would order another one and have it shipped directly to me.

On August 8th I emailed them asking for an update on my order and mentioned that I would be starting college soon and wouldn’t be home to sign/pick-up things once it started. They replied that they had been busy moving, and the the other book still needed to come in so it could be signed (not sent directly to me?), along with some larger prints.

On August 14th I emailed them again, this time explaining that college was starting August 25th and that I needed my order to arrive by that date. I explained that I would be starting college then and would legitimately not be able to pick up or sign for mail, since the local office opens AND closes while I will be away. The post office will not leave packages that won’t fit in the mail box, so they have to be picked up.
They replied that it would arrive by then, for sure.

I received an email from them today (August 21st) saying that they were out-of-state and that the next few weeks would be busy because of health issues, but they would try to get everything mailed by the 25th. They also asked if I had another address that the order could be sent to, which I do not. I replied that, again, I needed it before I started college on the 25th. There’s someone who I can try to pick it up for me, but it is unlikely.

Asking for a refund is out of the question. I just need advice.

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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
gatekat
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
If a refund is out of the question, insist they don't ship it it until you are going to be a break and can pick it up.

Or have it shipped via UPS or a company that will deliver it.
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
I am not going to have a reasonable break until November. The package is going to be shipped via USPS anyway.

The USPS will deliver. But they will not leave packages that won't fit in the mailbox, or that you have to sign for, so you have to pick them up at the local office the next day or whenever specified. The local office is only open a few hours Mon-Fri.
gatekat
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:27 am (UTC)
So insist they hold it until then. I don't understand why this is such an issue. If you can't pick it up for two months, don't have it shipped for two months.

If it hasn't been shipped yet, it does not have to be shipped via USPS. It can be by UPS or another service. Again, I don't understand the problem with changing who delivers if it means you can actually get it sooner.
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:35 am (UTC)
The issue is that I don't want to wait two months, period, and changing shipping methods isn't a viable option.
sbneko
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:40 am (UTC)
I understand it sucks to have to wait, but there doesn't seem to be any other choice, there's no way to get it here in time. Maybe with overnight shipping but that may be extremely expensive.
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 04:01 am (UTC)
I may just rent a box at the campus post office. There's a fee but if I plan on having other stuff delivered if may be the best route. I didn't realize that was an option until now.
kitsumi
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:55 am (UTC)
Can you have them mail them to a friend or family member? Sounds like the book misprinting was out of their control and they are doing their best. If you didn't want it signed it could have been sent directly, but to save postage it sounds like they want to get everything to you in one package.
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:24 am (UTC)
I didn't want it signed. We agreed that they would have it send it me directly, but I don't know if they forgot or just want to save on shipping. They're going to have to send the larger prints separately anyway, I think, because of their size.

As for friends/family, no.
I'm going to see if my dad will be in, and if he's willing/able to pick it up for me, but I don't hold out much hope for that.
kadaria
Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:58 am (UTC)
Does your college have a post office on campus?
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
Yes, but I'm not staying on campus. I don't know if I can receive packages there if I'm not a resident.

EDIT: I can use the post office, but I will have to pay a $23 fee to rent a box. :\

Edited at 2014-08-22 03:26 am (UTC)
kadaria
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:41 am (UTC)
Ugh sorry. You'd think that would be included in tuition. Can you receive the package at a workplace?
pandadally
Aug. 22nd, 2014 03:59 am (UTC)
It is included, but only when you stay on-campus. Commuters have to rent separately. I just might have to cave and go ahead and rent one.

I am currently not employed, so no.
celestinaketzia
Aug. 23rd, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
It may be a worthwhile investment. PO boxes have different hours than the regular post office. I live in a college town, and all of ours are 24/hr for the students. However if you get a package too big for it the post office will hold it anway. Then you'll be at the mercy of the office hours, but the campus one may not be that way. Ours had it's own office that held packages, and it was far more convenient to run over there between clases rather than venture off campus.

If it's $23 for the semester that's not expensive at all. If it's per month I'd consider how often I'm going to order big things and just go with the post office's $40 for the year for a PO box.
teekchan
Aug. 22nd, 2014 09:44 pm (UTC)
You can get a PO box at a post office and have it dropped there.

Also, I wouldn't hold it against the artist. It being misprinted is not their fault, and stuff does happen where both parties are not around at the same time.
I don't see how waiting until November is an issue, but in the case you really only want that and it won't be shipped in time, you could ask for a partial refund just for the book.
niimou
Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
I went out of town for holidays a lot when I was in college.
pandadally
Aug. 23rd, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
I reiterate: the local post office is only open a few hours a day.

I am not going to wait until November for something that I ordered in June. (When I ordered it, I had no idea that it was going to take this long just to be shipped out. I had ordered a smaller, less expensive grab bag from her before this one, and it arrived in a week.) There are more things that haven't been shipped to the seller, aside from the book. Even if I were to ask for a refund, it still wouldn't get here by Monday.

I know it isn't really their fault. Some things you just can't control, but I'm still a little irked.
(Deleted comment)
ljmydayaway
Aug. 25th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
This depends on the post office. All of the ones near me close at 5, as in the entire post office. You can't access your box because the whole place is locked down.

In other towns I've been in, you're usually able to access your PO box an hour or two after the lobby closes.
sableantelope
Aug. 23rd, 2014 06:41 am (UTC)
This doesn't have much of the tone of an advice post, all the advice people give you seem to dismiss outright. I'm not sure what you want people to say? You don't want to wait to receive it and you don't want a refund, and you say you can't get to the post office on time to pick it so it's hard to offer you any choices other than those.

The USPS will hold mail for free(we pay for the same service in Canada) for 30 days at the office if you ask, would it be possible to set that up and then just skip a class one afternoon to pick it up? Not sure how far the PO is from your school but you could probably even just be late one day and pick it up. Or leave class a half hour early.

Also, like trentxandrew mentioned POs have different PO box access hours from their business hours, some are even 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem much way to make this work out so everyone is happy.
Honestly, this isn't your fault so no blame on you but you seem to be really kinda inflexible on this. Leave a little early one day from class, it's university- you can come and go as you please. As long as you set up a free hold at the post office on all your mail that gives you an entire month to pick a day to leave early, or a class to skip. It's a bit of a pain for you to have to make the extra effort but since you don't want a refund, all the artist can do is mail the package and hope you find a way to get it.
Since the deadline was only mentioned after the original purchase, when the book had to be resent, it's hard to fault the artist for the misprint. If they had been working on a deadline from the start you'd expect them to leave time to inspect the book and possibly reorder, especially if they had reasonable knowledge of a chance of misprinting(ie: it happened before). Since no original deadline, you can't really hold it against the artist when you add one. Still because at the end of the day they gave you a faulty product the first time around the 'keep the customer happy' good business thing to do would be for the artist to send you the cash to rent one month of post office box, so you can pick up the parcel after business hours.
magicporpoise
Aug. 23rd, 2014 01:00 pm (UTC)
I agree. Accidents happen, and sometimes you need to adjust. Its not your fault, but its hard to make something convenient with such a short time. Both parties are innocent in this case, and both need to find time to take on the time to sit and talk about what can work. You need to remember to be reasonable, be realistic.
ranlur
Aug. 27th, 2014 04:19 am (UTC)
Every single USPS store I know of has Saturday hours...
pandadally
Aug. 27th, 2014 11:53 am (UTC)
The local post office here does not.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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