Last Friday Yellow Freight tried to deliver moulding to us. We had ordered two boxes from a place in New Jersey called Decor Moulding. One box, the bulk of the order, was intended for Stephen Chesley's larger oil paintings. (The show will be hung on Wednesday night). The delivery should have been made earlier in the week. The poor driver was very sorry about the situation; one box was missing--the box we needed for Chesley. We refused the order, wisely. Had we accepted it, we would be responsible for the entire freight charges despite one box being missing (odd, I wonder if I could still charge for a half-framed picture?).
Unfortunately, this happened late in the afternoon. Decor Moulding closes early on Fridays. I was in Charleston making a delivery; Steve tried to handle it alone. Nothing was actually done. I had to handle it today.
The moulding is still "lost" but Yellow Freight will not take any responsibility for the resulting problems. They've only agreed to pay Decor for the missing product--when they "officially" determine it is really "lost". They don't actually call it "lost" at this point (eleven days after picking the moulding up for a 6 day journey). They claim to be "looking for it". They say it is "reasonable" to consider the moulding "in transit" for double the amount of time a normal delivery would take. Thus, it won't be lost until tomorrow--at the earliest. They reserve the right to extend the "search time", even by a month or more.
I asked lots of questions and learned that after a "claim" is filed, they will assign an investigator who "rapidly" works on the case. I asked what "rapid" meant. Generally, thirty days but it can take up to 120 days before a claim might be paid. I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that if I ordered additional moulding, this was MY CHOICE and MY FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY for all charges, especially for additional charges (like the Next-Day Air shipping).
Basically, Yellow Freight hasn't "lost" the moulding at all. They are looking for it and might admit that it is gone four months from now---if proper paperwork is filed by somebody else! At that distant time, they will pay only the amount of the moulding--no penalty, no interest, no admission to have caused lots of extra work and expense by anyone else!
In the meantime, Decor Moulding is filing the paperwork but my account still has an invoice for the order. Decor might not get paid for four months--FOUR MONTHS without the product available to other customers and without money. (While my account becomes flagged as "past due".) If the moulding is found, even on day 119, Yellow Freight only has to return it to Decor; they'd owe nothing.
In order to solve the REAL problem, I had to place an order for the same moulding to be shipped NEXT DAY AIR. Yellow Freight won't even entertain the idea of paying the difference between their cost for delivery and the air charges. The entire thing is ridiculous.
This is what has become typical of "service" in America. Few companies take responsibility for anything, even providing the product/service they advertise. Few companies care about the "real" problem and are only trying to watch their own expenses. There is no pride in these businesses; there is only staff training in "passing the buck" so that it never finds a desk on which to land.
Okay, this is a rant. Mouse House has never operated in such a manner. I would rather pay the next-day air charges than let the problem trickle down to my client. That is exactly what is happening. At least I've taught my children to take responsibility for their actions and to try to overcome obstacles. This can be seen on Mathias' newly posted videos. He finally figured out how to upload videos to his MySpace. One features his incredible fall in Round One of the Varna International Ballet Competition. He even added words about dealing with a "screw up". He never tried to "blame the floor" or make excuses. He laughed about it even before he knew he would advance to the next round. To see the video, go to his MySpace.
I don't understand many things about MySpace, but I know how to get to Mathias' one way: Click the provided link to my MySpace and then click on Mathias' profile. He is one of the few "friends" I have!