Holiday Shipping Fiasco
The holiday shipping fiasco.
We know many of you are still waiting on packages from this season. Please accept our sincere apologies. We know how rough 2020 has been on everyone and this wasn’t how we wanted the year to come to a close. We’ve also included some information below to give background about these USPS shipping delays and some FAQs about the most common issues we're seeing.
Please know that we are doing everything in our power to get your orders out to you. Unfortunately, we are a small business and don’t have as many resources as other, larger companies. Each member of the PenaltyBox team is invested in this company and what we stand for. When we see our customers frustrated or without a present, they needed for the holidays, we share that pain and frustration with you. We’ve lost sleep, stared at tracking numbers until our eyes turned red, but ultimately could not do anything to speed up deliveries. We have had our holiday deals planned for almost an entire year and have had our warehouse team and customer service team prepped and ready to fulfill your orders and answer all your questions right away. So, we were absolutely heartbroken that the last part of the process had to keep your order from arriving on time.
At the moment, we're getting swamped with package inquiry emails (for good reason), and we're doing our best to provide as much information as we possibly can and as quickly as we can. We’ve also included some information below to give background about these USPS shipping delays, provided answers to the main FAQs we've been getting.
About the USPS shipping delays
Our warehouse: We can confirm our warehouse shipped nearly all orders within the published carrier guidelines. We're thrilled at how well our warehouse has been able to execute. Hats off to them. They've been amazing! In spite of their efforts, many of you are still without your packages weeks later and we sincerely apologize for that.
Here's a mini-FAQs of what we've learned that should help answer some of the more common delivery-related questions we've been getting:
Why is my package showing a "Pre-Shipment" status for so long? Does this mean you still haven't shipped it? Under normal circumstances, as soon as USPS picks packages up from our facility, they scan the packages into the system and the package is marked accepted. This year however, USPS faced an unprecedented surge of packages and was overwhelmed. So, while they'd taken possession of our packages, they did not scan them into the system as they had in the past. Hence the dreaded days-long or even weeks-long "pre-shipment" notification so many of you are seeing in your tracking history, where a shipping label is created but the package doesn't appear to have actually been shipped. The same scenario was happening with “Accepted” packages. This meant that they scanned the package before they left our warehouse, but still did not update the tracking as the package moved through the system. We certainly understand that this makes it appear as if we're sitting on your order instead of shipping it, but please be assured, that's not the case.
Why is my package showing "In-Transit" for so long? Is it lost? In a lot of cases after the package has been scanned into the system, you may see tracking info showing that your package is "in-transit" for multiple days (weeks, even) and not actually moving. People understandably start wondering whether their package has been lost. We haven't had a single confirmed lost package so far this season, so it's nearly certain that your package is still at a postal facility awaiting processing, and the delay is caused by a lack of processing capacity there rather than it being lost. USPS has even gone so far as to say that packages have to be marked as in transit for 3 months before we can file them as lost. That’s how overwhelmed they are.
Why is my package showing it’s 1000 miles away when I live an hour away from the warehouse? Is the shipping address wrong? Is it lost? The postal service will move packages around to other facilities that have more capacity, and sometimes it can result in quicker delivery times if they move them to a location far away that has more capacity. Your package is not lost. It’s just taking the scenic route.
Can you send a replacement order? We wish, since that's a pretty straightforward solution to this problem. Unfortunately, we're out of stock on many items, with most of our remaining inventory currently sitting in the postal system. We also have the dilemma of being a small business. If we had to replace every item that is taking a long time to arrive, we would go out of business.
Why don't you offer UPS or FedEx? We have switched a large chunk of our deliveries to FedEx this past year. Unfortunately, when it came to the holiday season, with the surge in packages needing to be delivered, companies like FedEx and UPS who were guaranteeing Christmas delivery, said our small business wasn’t priority enough over larger companies. The larger companies took precedence, and we were left with our only option of using USPS.
We want to thank you for your patience, understanding and most of all, your support. You are the reason we come in to work every day and we are devastated that our package has caused any extra frustration or stress to an already tumultuous year. We’ve all learned a lot from 2020, which means we’re coming back stronger in 2021!