Friday, February 23, 2007

School books and stuff

I'm sitting here watching the snow fall outside my window. It's the end of February, in California, and we have snow! I'm not exactly complaining but I really dislike the crazy weather. We went from the high 60's to snow over the course of 2 days. We are supposed to warm up to around 70 by the end of next week. It's just freaky!

We finally got our tax return and I should be happy but it's going toward more taxes. Some people get to take vacations or go shopping. I get to pay for the car registration and a supplemental property tax bill. I did get to take a little bit of it and order some much needed school books.

I have ordered from Rainbow Resource for the last 5 years. I've always been happy with their prices and service but this year I'm wondering if I shouldn't find another supplier. I ordered online 2 weeks ago. I called Monday to check on the order and I was told everything, with the exception of one book, was shipping out on Tuesday. Great news. The last 2 years I've ended up with backorders that were 6 and 11 months in coming. Then I noticed the amount they took out of my bank account was incorrect. It was too little. I called this morning to find that 2 of the books I ordered were out of print. They have the new additions, which cost a few cents more. I didn't receive an email or phone call from them; they just cancelled the books off the order. They straightened it out and agreed not to charge me shipping since my original order was over the amount needed to qualify for free shipping.

But wait, there is a problem with my address. We don't get mail at our home; the post office does not deliver here. So I put in the comments section of my order that anything shipped USPS (backorders) needed to be sent to the PO Box. They didn't read it and can't put exceptions in the system. They caught the backordered book that was shipping out today and informed me that in the future I should have everything shipped to the PO Box so there is no confusions for backordered items. Of course that means even though they offer FedEx ground I will have to use Book Rate USPS. We all know the Post Office puts book rate stuff on the back of a chicken and points it in the direction it's headed, that's why it takes 3-6 weeks! So instead of getting my order sent to my house I will have to wait until we can get to the Post Office. No big deal, right? Well our post office is open from 9-4 M-F. No Saturday hours, they say they are open for 1 hour each Saturday for pick-ups only but they aren't always there. So I could go weeks without catching them during the hours they are open, after all Paul has to work during the day. All of this because Rainbow Resource doesn't want to have to deal with 2 shipping addresses. Of course if they had everything in stock when I originally ordered this wouldn't even be an issue.

Maybe by the time I order my next shipment next year I will have forgotten all about this. Maybe they will even get their system updated so they can read the comments they ask for. The woman I spoke to even mentioned that this is an issue for a number of their customers, so why don't they fix it? Or maybe I'll just find a new supplier for books.

1 comment:

Marie N. said...

I have used Rainbow Resource just a couple of times. Both times I had backorders. It is frustrating. I wonder if their prices are lower because they do not keep a large stock of materials (or update their systems).