A Mission Statement
Due to so many missing items in the post and the inability to track packages if ordered by standard mail we are going to be changing the way we send items. We are revamping the entire mail order operation which will mean repricing all the items on sale to take into account the new Royal Mail charges, the VAT we have to pay HMRC and the new electronic customs labelling system and general labelling system that is coming into effect in the coming months. At the moment we are unsure of exactly what this all entials due to the uncertainty of the Brexit situation and we will be in discussion with the Royal Mail international packaging office this week to discover what our options are. What I do know is that there will be significant changes and especially if the UK leaves the EU customs union on a ‘no deal’ Brexit. I’ll explain more as we find out what is happening but with recent departures from the office a number of serious questions have been raised and problems identified that we have to deal with immediately.
The first change is that the CAS deluxe vinyl album will only be available to be ordered as a signed for delivery. This option will spread to other high value items in the coming weeks. There have been far too many missing orders on both this and other titles in recent months and I cannot afford to keep on replacing or resending items as our margins are such that even 1 missing vinyl album takes us 5 further sales of the same title to replace the financial loss. This cannot continue. I put my hands up and admit that the entire CAS preorder and delivery has been a disaster for various reasons, most outwith my control and the response to complaints has up to this point been embarrassing.
My wife and I are dealing with the outstanding complaints and trying to rectify the situation but it is a difficult and demanding process and it is taking time recovering previously disregarded mails and communications with the office. I am incensed at the manner in which the entire CAS pre order and mail out was handled and the subsequent response to a situation which can only be described as bordering on chaos. Our frustrations and our disappointment are obvious as I thought we’d come out of this particular ‘rabbit hole’ years ago and that the situation was under control. We now have to regroup, re examine and rewire the systems and move forward with a new and better plan if we are going to provide an efficient and professional service that remains value for money and which continues to support my career and our lives here.
There are many of you out there who have not experienced any problems but there are also many of you who are rightfully annoyed at the service and became angry at the lack of response to complaints. Trust me that from now on every complaint will be dealt with and in the new set up of the mail order system we will be doing out very best to make sure these are minimised.
Dealing with complaints and tracing missing orders is time consuming, expensive and deploys negative energies all round. We want to change this and create a system that is smooth, efficient and delivers exactly what you pay for , in time and in great condition. We are going to have to adapt and quickly as the international situation changes and I have to be honest and say that postage is not going to get any cheaper. If by spending an extra couple of euros or pounds it means you get the items you order with the criteria mentioned above rather than chasing tails and fire fighting and the wailing and gnashing of teeth we have all had to endure in recent months then so be it.
I set out my stall as an independent artist years ago and was one of the first to embrace the self financed, self run, self managed, self produced and self delivering ‘cottage industry’ approach to the music business. I left the ‘high castle’ a long time ago but I’ve managed to survive and live out with the main line system and hold my own against sometimes desperate odds. I didn’t expect the high castle to collapse so fast and the danger from falling masonry is significantly dangerous at present. I’m going to have to readjust again as will so many other independent artists who principally survive on international mail order sales. The bureaucracy is presently overwhelming and is going to require some careful navigation and tough decisions.
All I ask is that you bear with me to put this right and trust my intentions and moral compass in getting though all of this.
I will make it happen
ps . below is what I got from the Royal Mail Yesterday. The opening paragraph on the article says ‘countries not in the same customs union as the UK’ What’s here is how we are supposed to deal with Non Eu countries. As of the next months all the EU countries will not be in the same customs union as the UK so all the info on how to deal with countries ‘outside the EU’ applies to the current EU countries. This means hand written CN22 forms for everything we send outside the UK if I read this right.