Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Open Letter to Diamond Comic Distributors: Late a Third Time is NOT A Charm

Today I walked into my local comic book retailer to find that for the third time in four weeks my books would be delayed. The owner of the store called Diamond and was told that it was a UPS problem. What a tired excuse that is! If UPS is doing such a poor job then why doesn't Diamond try using FedEx or one of the other nationwide carriors available?

I have had enough and I am not going to take it anymore. I e-mailed and am mailing a hard copy of the letter below to Diamond.

November 8, 2006

Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
1966 Greenspring Drive, Suite 300
Timonium, MD 21093

Dear Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.,

I am writing to express my concern and disappointment with your service to my local comic shop retailer. For fifteen years I have been a customer of Ron’s Coin and Book in Yakima, WA. They are a quality shop with a proven track record of fine service. Unfortunately, the last three of four weeks they have had to wrestle with shipping issues that have made it impossible to provide the service I am used to.

The week of October 18, Ron’s received a partial shipment of comics and collectibles. They did not receive the rest of their shipment until the 20th, two days after the scheduled delivery date. The following week, on October 25, I arrived at the shop only to find that once again they had only received a partial shipment. The rest of the order arrived the next day. Both weeks I was required to shift my personal and business schedule to accommodate these gaffes.

Today I arrived at Ron’s only to find that they had once again had a shipping problem. They had received the collectibles but no comics. This dismays me very much. Once again I will have to shift my busy work schedule to accommodate this error. When I inquired as to what the problem was, for the third time I was told the same thing- the representative at Diamond informed the purchaser that it was a UPS problem. As a business professional, I find this unacceptable.

My company ships a large amount of packages with UPS on a daily basis, and we very rarely have problems. UPS tries to bend over backwards when there is a problem with our service. They correct the error and don’t make the same mistake twice. To hear that you are encountering this much of a problem leads me to question if it is truly a UPS issue, or just a cover story that your company uses to hide their errors.

My bottom line is that I am very dissatisfied with the service my retailer is receiving from your company. I believe that stringent and timely methods need to be employed to correct this problem so that it does not happen in the future. It troubles me to consider that your company just might not care about my local shop’s needs. They are certainly no “Mile High Comics” or “Midtown Comics”, but they are my retailer, and I know that I and my local consumers are very unhappy with the service that Diamond is providing them.

Please take immediate steps to correct this chronic problem. If you have any questions, please call me at (ZZZ) XXX-YYYY. My continued patronage is in your hands; I would appreciate your care and concern. Thank you for your time.

Heidi Meeley

I also included my address and my blog URL.

I have no false illusions that my letter will change things drastically, but I feel it is important that Diamond know that I have a problem with the way they are doing business. My retailer is losing money not having the books in a timely manner. My husband and I have to constantly change our business and personal schedules to make time to go back the next day or days. It is a bunch of crap, and I am sick of it. Diamond is a business, and though they are basically a monopoly, it wouldn't kill them to be more careful.

If I get a response, I will let you know.


Anonymous said...

I hope you get an answer. It's terrible the way that they are acting.

Lisa said...

We had a similar problem at the end of last year leading into this year. You might want to suggest to your store owner that they contact the warehouse they are serviced out of and talk to the warehouse manager. The talking heads at the main Diamond HQ are WORTHLESS when it comes to problem solving, and usually just give excuses to explain the problem instead of actually investigating it!

I talked to the warehouse manager when we had our problem with late books, and he came up with a solution that worked great for us and didn't even cost more money. He was extremely helpful and positive, explained honestly what had been happening, and had already checked into possible solutions. All it took was me taking the time to make the phone call to him to get the solution implemented.

The warehouse phone numbers can be found on the Diamond web site, if your store owner doesn't already know that.

Heidi Meeley said...

John, thank you so much for the support! It was pretty disheartening to have this happen again. Hopefully we can get it rectified!

Heidi Meeley said...

Lisa- thank you so much for the excellent suggestions. I will call my retailer tomorrow and let him know. He is at his wits end because he is missing sales, and customers are feeling alienated.

Your insight is very important,and I really appreciate the help. Joe will be thrilled.

I will keep you posted and let you know if he has luck!

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