Someone Set A Post Box On Fire and Australia Post Sent the Burnt Remains To Our Customers
It began with a message from a Fireman.
“Just wanted to let you know we attended a fire at a Post Box in Preston, and most of the contents were your bangles and packages – just thought you should know.”
WHO sets fire to a post office box? We’d just spent an entire week sending out a TONNE of Xmas orders, so we knew this was going to hit us pretty hard.
The day before the fire we’d sent packages to 80 customers – that’s 180 bangles - $6,200 worth.
Now I know for some bigger companies, that may not be a big deal – but for a small business like ours? That's a LOT of bangles.
How could we replace it all? What would this mean for our Christmas sales? Were any of the orders salvageable or were they all fried?
We needed answers – so we called Australia Post. (Well, Lauren called while I listened).
And this is where it starts to get interesting.
On the first call they told us they had no record of a fire, and even if there was a fire all they could do was send us 10 stamps to replace what we’d lost.
They wanted to give us $10 worth of stamps to replace $6,200 worth of bangles, plus $180 in postage, plus $40 in envelopes.Right.
“Uhhhh excuse me, but that’s completely insufficient”, Lauren told Mr. Australia Post. “Giving us 10 stamps doesn’t even replace a fraction of the postage costs.”
Compensation was the least of our worries though. Our biggest concern was that our customers might receive damaged bangles. Given the time of a year we knew there was a good chance they’d be Christmas presents, and no one wants to give a half burned bangle as a gift.
Australia Post assured us that when it comes to damaged goods they are NEVER sent on to the customer, but instead they are returned to the sender instead.
“Phew” – we breathed a collective sigh of relief. Thank god for that!
We were told they’d get back to us when they knew more.
They never called us back.
So a few days later we called again.
We NEEDED to know which bangles had to be resent because our customers would be waiting.
They still couldn’t tell us when we’d receive our burnt goods, but reassured us AGAIN that the damaged goods wouldn’t be sent to our customers.
We'd visited the Distribution Centre to try and pick up our burnt packages, but it was closed to the public. What else could we do but wait for our bangles to be returned? Maybe this would all work out okay?
Then we got an email.
“Uh Hi, this may sound odd, but I’ve just received my bangles in the mail – and they look like they’ve been burned?”
OH NO THEY DIDN’T.
UH HUH THEY DID.
We emailed the 80 customers that have might have been affected and we were hit with more than 50 responses.
Women who expected stunning bangles engraved with sayings like "Be the Shiniest Fucking Unicorn in the Room" ended up with burnt scraps - and let's just say these bangles won't be farting glitter anytime soon.
“As you can see, the bangle was badly damaged, and that sucks because I was so excited about it.”
“In all years I've been receiving mail never has this happened! So upset!”
“It’s really strange – everything seems waterlogged and also smells of smoke. It’s almost like the post box was set on fire and put out with water (I have a vivid imagination).”
“Hi, I just received my order and strangely it has been on fire at some point.”
“As you can see in the photo, the envelope must have somehow caught fire and then soaked. The little pouches were still wet and had become moldy. Not sure what the hell happened at Australia Post that day!”
Australia Post had taken it upon themselves to send the destroyed packages to our customers.
They’d been set alight – and then doused in water – so customers were receiving bangles and bags that were burnt, mouldy, smoky and waterlogged.
After we’d asked them not too.
After they’d promised us they never would because it’s against their policy.
After we visited their Distribution Centre to try and get our burnt packages back.
After 4 very long and painful phone calls with everyone telling us “All damaged goods will be sent back to you.” And we triple checked our postal address.
After we filed case after case and spoke to senior managers who never called us back.
We couldn't believe it.
And after yet another failed phone call - we decided we'd share this story.
Firstly, to apologise to our customers.
We are SO incredibly sorry you received packages that looked the way they did. We know that for many of you our bangles represent something really special – and to have them arrive is such terrible condition would have been incredibly disappointing. We’re so sorry and we will make sure ALL your bangles are replaced before Christmas!
And secondly, we’re calling out Australia Post.
You are douche canoes of the highest order.
We have been chasing you for answers for 2 weeks now, and every time we were promised a call back – we never received it. No one ever called us to tell us the Post Office Box had been set on fire, and no one (even your most senior managers) called us back when they said they would.
You promised us you’d never send badly damaged goods – and you sent charred remains to our customers.
And look, you're a company that makes $36 million profit a year - so that may not be a big deal for you.
But we aren’t you, Australia Post – we're a small business, and this little bangle company is our entire livelihood – plus we donate a percentage of each bangle sold to help educate girls in Africa too.
We work hard to find our customers and make them happy – and by sending on these burnt remains, you could have lost us 80 amazing customers. Not to mention the ongoing damage to our brand.
Offering us $10 worth of stamps in exchange for everything we lost is a joke. We want to be properly compensated.
Especially since a customer just emailed us to tell us she received a note from Australia Post saying their parcel was burnt "because Be. Bangles didn't pack the items properly and the parcel got caught in Australia Post machinery". Seriously. The nerve!
You need to go back and take a good long hard look at your policies, your procedures and how your staff are trained – because for a company that prides itself on excellent customer service, you seriously dropped the ball here.
ANYWAY. [/End Rant]
To finish on a happier note - we do want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing women who were so gracious with us during this process.
Thank you for your kindness and understanding, and for allowing us to fix what happened.
Some of you even went straight back and purchased another bangle after we told you what had happened.
THANK YOU for being who you are.
You ROCK and we appreciate you so much!
Chantelle and Lauren xx
PS. We didn't expect this blog post to go viral! But it is! To celebrate we're offering 10% off all our bangles - just use the code "firesale" at check out.
Thank you for sharing and tagging Australia Post in your shares!