CORONA VIRUS UPDATE
We'd hoped to avoid having to post a Covid-19 update - we're aware that our daily lives are all deeply affected by this pandemic, and we'd aimed to create a "corona-free space" on the website, as a light relief to the omnipresent announcements that we're all facing each day.
Unfortunately the inevitable has happened however, and the pandemic has caught up with the shop in the form of shipping delays.
Whilst the majority of orders remain unaffected by postage delays we have seen a marked increase in the number of parcels that have not arrived with customers within the expected time-frame.
As many of you are aware, we are a small, family-run business (with just 3 of us working in-house) and as an independent company, we value our customers deeply. This business is our livelihood and the what keeps us housed and fed! As such, we do everything we can to provide the best possible service and try to ensure customers are happy, satisfied and willing to come back for more.
Unfortunately, try as we might - we have absolutely no control over the postal system. We have considered upgrading the free shipping offered on all orders* to tracked. However, as I'm sure you're aware, there is no such thing as "free" shipping - in the current case, we take a hit on our profits in order to offer free shipping and keep our prices competitive. However, tracked shipping is a considerable mark up on standard shipping (approximately twice the price, sometimes more) and in order to offer this as standard, we would have to impose shop-wide price increases in order to facilitate this - in the cases of the cheaper/small items, it would push the price to a ridiculous level.
Therefore we made the decision to keep tracked shipping as an optional upgrade - the charge for this is the price difference only - we are charging the absolute bare minimum we can for this service.
We have yet to have a tracked shipment be delayed - so clearly the postal services are prioritising these.
In the 12 months preceding the pandemic, we had ONLY 5 packages delayed, and just 1 package that did not reach it's customer (which of course we replaced - and it was eventually returned to our return address). We shipped over 6000 packages in that period.
In the past 3 months, since the pandemic took hold, we have had over 200 packages reported as not arriving within the expected time frame. In the majority of cases, customers have been understanding of this situation, but unfortunately there have been some who haven't understood the severity of the circumstance we are all trapped in.
I have spent hours and hours on the phone to the postal services - who simply repeat that the pandemic is causing delays and will not provide further information.
These packages WILL BE DELIVERED - they are marked with a clear return address, therefore in the extremely rare case that they do not make it to the customer, they are returned to us.
NEXT STEPS FOR CUSTOMERS
Email us for your proof of delivery - we are more than happy to provide each and every customer with proof of postage. This will show the date it was received by the post office, the customers address and the weight of the package. This should provide some peace of mind that we are fulfilling our obligations.
Check in with the estimated delivery times for your country, on the Royal Mail website: https://www.royalmail.com/sending/international (be aware that these estimates do not include customs delays)
Check in with your local sorting office / post office / postman for any updates on delivery schedules.
Check with your neighbours and members of your household, to see if they've taken in a parcel for you. (You'd be surprised how often this is the case).
Please, please recognise that we are doing absolutely everything we can to ensure you receive your order. The post office caps the amount we can claim for missing parcels - and more often that not (especially in the case of Betty Hayways brushes) we will not receive even half the value of the package if it gets missing. If we refund the item; we have lost a significant amount of money.
Please be honest and tell us when your parcel has arrived. Recent improvements to the postal service means that parcels can be traced (though this is a lengthy process that is only initiated with a claim, once 21 working days has passed AFTER the estimated delivery date) - so we do find out if a parcel has been fraudulently claimed as not received.
I wish that we could make sure everyone receives their orders instantly, and it pains me to have to write such a long, and negative, catch all announcement - but having received 50 missing post emails within the last week alone, we are really struggling as individuals to cope with the mental (and physical) workload it entails.
Thank you so much for your understanding.
*see "delivery" tab for free shipping requirements