Friday, March 23, 2007

Dear Phil C.,

Ok... this morning, I was absolutely giddy. And all it took was ordering 24 plastic shoe boxes in which to store my 35+ pairs of shoes. The leather shoes here get moldy---ew. And all shoes no matter what are totally dusty. This place is dustier than a desert, I tell you! Plus, with the invasion of my little roach friends, I've become a bit neurotic about my shoes (amongst other things). So I was just thrilled. All day I was imagining myself in less than 2 weeks, stacking up my beautiful shoe boxes. Everytime someone said, "How are you?" I said, "I'm getting plastic shoe boxes!"

Then, I checked my e-mail. And Phil C. from Customer Care says I can't have my plastic boxes. What??? He says The Container Store won't ship to APO. some patriotism, Phil.

If Phil knew me, he'd know better than to mess with me on a Friday. All the week's worth of stress is all piled up and just ready to be ranted and raved right out And what better way to channel my stress than in an e-mail to the mean man who's going to try to deny me my plastic boxes?

So, if you want a laugh, if you want to raise your fist in the air and encourage people to fight for those who fight for you, if you are having one of those days and you need to know that someone out there is a little bit more maniacal than you are, if you've ever had a run-in with some customer care person who seemed like he really didn't care at all... read on.

Dear Phil C.,
Due to the fact that I reside in Japan, there is no alternate address to which I would like the items shipped. What is the reason that you do not ship to APO? The same shipping rates apply as they would to ship stateside. The only difference is that one would need to fill out a customs slip including the addresses being sent to/from and a brief description of contents: "plastic boxes" would suffice.

It is highly disappointing that your company does not ship to APO/FPO. Overseas troops and their families are not afforded many of the "luxuries" that the general population takes for granted. We cannot run out to Target or Wal-Mart...and certainly not to The Container Store... to pick up plastic boxes in which to store the shoes that are gathering mold and dust due to the climate here. Our Base Exchange is very limited in selection and is frequented by over ten-thousand troops and their families, so you can imagine that, during the blue moon when there is something that one would want, it goes out of stock rather quickly. It's our only option for American merchandise!
I apologize for being so harsh and negative, it's just that it's rather tiresome to think that not only can I not see my family for years at a time, not only can I not see my deployed husband for over a third of the year, but also I can't even have some plastic shoe boxes. I wouldn't think that that would be too much to ask for.

So many wonderful companies make our overseas duty stations feel a little more like home... why can't The Container Store be one of them? If you could only see our housing, Phil, you'd recognize the need for lots and lots of organization aids! I realize that, short of taking my package to the post office and mailing it yourself, there may be nothing you can do to drastically change The Container Store's policy on patriotic shipping. However, I do encourage you to forward this e-mail on to someone who can. The members of my social circles are downright frustrated with the number of online retailers that are unwilling to fill out a slip of paper for us (heck, we'd even fill them out and mail them to you if it meant getting merchandise that we want!) and believe me, when there is a store that IS willing to go that extra inch for us, word gets around.

Please consider changing your shipping policy, or at least bending it for me (wink, wink). As you may have gathered, I really want those plastic shoe boxes.


Rebecca S


Lee (Leezy Beezy) said...

You go girl! good luck with getting the company to ship to you- can't they see they'd get a lot of customers??

Paul said...

I was just surfing around when I saw your post. When I saw your comments, I thought weird, I've always had good customer service with them. So, I checked their website. I don't know, their response seems pretty reasonable:
Do you ship APO/FPO?
At The Container Store, we are committed to offering excellent products and astonishing customer service. That's why it's so important to us that your products arrive safely. We have tried unsuccessfully to offer APO/FPO shipping. The extra handling involved led to an extremely high percentage of lost and damaged items, which made many customers unhappy and frustrated. This service was not acceptable to our customers, nor was it acceptable to us. For this reason, we no longer ship to APO and FPO addresses, but we continue to look for viable alternatives that will allow us to ship items directly to those who are protecting our country overseas.

If there is another stateside address to which you would like us to ship, please let us know and we will be happy to process your order. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Susan said...

hey Paul, if you have so much time, how about going and getting those plastic boxes and mailing them to Becca for us?!?!?
as for their astonishing customer service, I am astonished that they have alienated the men and women who are away from home to service their country! having shipped fragile items to APO/FPO addresses myself I find it hard to believe that there is such a large number of *lost or damaged items* as TCS seems to portray. whatever! my buck can go somewhere else!
Becca......LOVED your letter! beautifully worded and very level headed. I think I would have been less polite!

OneScrappyChick said...

Paul, I find it highly unlikely that you just so happened to end up here on Becca's blog.. and have something nice to say about the C.S's policy.. amazing that you would go out of your way to quote it. So I suggest you get back to your job at the and either figure out some way to make this right.. or STFU.

Stephanie said...

Wow! I can't decide what was more entertaining, reading your letter to Phil or reading the responses to paul's comment! Anyway, I agree with you Bec and I think your letter was very well written!

Anonymous said...

Iguess I won't be shopping at TCS.
Why would Phil suggest a stateside delivery?? Hello!! Is he willing to pay for shipping. Get with it Phil!! Aunt Margie
By the way Phil you don't have to call me Aunt Margie.

Anonymous said...

FYI..Harry and David's doesn't ship to an APO either.

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