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January 2010 Newsletter

The festive season has come and gone, and now we find ourselves
facing  the complaints that invariably follow. Apart from the
expected ones (I ordered X and you sent me Y) from people who
didn't look at our closing dates in the newsletter, by far the
most common problem has been delivery. Regardless of whether
couriers or Australia Post have been involved, deliveries have
been chaotic to say the least.

This wasn't helped by ongoing strikes at Australia Post and an
influx of "temporary" couriers. We are often asked "Why don't you
DO something?", but the sad truth is that there is very little
indeed that we can do. Once upon a time the people working for
courier companies and Aust. Post were direct employees,
especially in the parcel delivery areas. These days most of the
people driving the vans are self-employed contractors.

They can (and do) move easily from company to company, buy, sell
and trade "rounds" and hire their own employees to drive for
them. Their independence from the companies they represent only
shows up when there's a problem. It appears to me that Australia
Post and the major courier companies now have the motto "All Care
but No Responsibility" when a delivery problem pops up.

This was made clear when a pathetic heap of debris which had been
an Express Post satchel containing 4 x 500g of Costa Rica Tarrazu
Miel was returned to us as "Undeliverable."

I wouldn't want to work near any machine that could "accidently" do this to a satchel and its contents!

The excuse given was that the satchel and its contents had
somehow been mangled by a sorting machine. There was no
compensation offered, so we've submitted a claim.

Just as well our customer never had to see the destruction and
only suffered a slightly late delivery, as we shipped a
replacement as soon as we found out. Which brings me to the point
of this newsletter: if your coffee doesn't arrive within 7 days
of ordering then you need to get in touch with us.

What happens then is that I register a complaint with Australia
Post and immediately organise a free replacement order for you.
 About 1 in every 300 parcels vanishes without a trace.
Fortunately, Express Post and courier deliveries are much more
reliable, although still not perfect, and are also trackable.

The January special coffee will continue to be

Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel

We have less than 20kg left, so it will probably be gone before
the end of the month, which is why the thought of 2kg scattered
on the floor of a postal sorting warehouse annoys me.

Finally, I'll be heading off to the USA again in April (something
I try to avoid, given the travel difficulties) to follow up on
two specific items. One is the Mypressi Twist (see ) and the
other is a replacement for the Sunbeam Bang Bang. Sunbeam no
longer makes them, having stopped production without consulting
with any of their suppliers, but if I'd had a couple of hundred
in stock over Christmas I could have sold them all. Brickbats to

Until next month