We recently posted about a known delay regarding the shipping of webstore orders. We had assumed the delays reported to us early on were related to previously mentioned conditions.
However, we've since received a large number of messages from many of you that you still had not received shipping notices.
Clearly, this many orders still being delayed was not normal, so this prompted a deeper investigation alongside our fulfillment partner, who thankfully took the time to go over every order with us over a series of meetings to investigate what could be causing the discrepancy.
This is how we discovered a widespread formatting incompatibility in some of our order exports that resulted in some orders sitting in "limbo" on their processing side.
Let us break this down so you understand what happened:
As you all know, we launched our new webstore mid-December, using a new platform. While everything worked well, it turns out that the formatting used by this new platform when exporting orders had certain incompatibilities with the analysis system on our fulfillment partner's end, and these were not caught by either party.
Examples of formatting issues resulting from this new platform were diacritics in fields not being "formatted out" (mostly in non-American addresses) and 3-letter country codes being used instead of the more standard 2-letter country codes. These and other various formatting differences resulted in affected orders essentially appearing as "submitted" on our end when checking order statuses, but then either not appearing on the fulfillment partner's end at all or appearing as "processing" but not actually seen by the processing queue itself.
Not being aware of/noticing the formatting changes when exporting the hundreds of orders lies on us, and we apologize for the delays and frustration they've caused. We did not expect a major webstore platform to output exports that had formatting differences that would be severe enough to result in our partner's system being unable to use them properly.
That's great, but what about my order? When is it going out? I've been waiting for a month now!
Since discovering the incompatibility a few days ago, we have spent a good amount of time with our partner manually adjusting the affected orders so that now what we see and what they see matches 100%.
Additionally, they've given us confirmation that these outstanding orders are now going to be put to the front of their queue and should begin going out as early as this Thursday (the 28th), continuing into the following week as they go.
We'd like to again apologize it took so long to locate the source of the problem, and reassure you that our partner has committed to getting these previously "unseen" orders out the door ASAP.
Do I need to contact you about my order?
No, we have gone through ALL orders and reverified them all with our partner. There is no need to contact us to reconfirm any details.
What about future webstore orders? How do I know this won't happen again?
Since discovering the incompatibility, we have already signed up to use a different webstore platform for future webstore sales. One that has since been recommend to us by our fulfillment partner as one they trust and know can provide order exports in a format that is compatible with their systems.
I wish you'd been able to reply to my customer service emails faster during this time, as I emailed you daily for status requests.
We are well aware that our customer service response times have been lackluster over the last year as our customer base has been growing exponentially and so has the demand for customer service. We have been attempting to answer incoming emails as quickly as possible, but as you can imagine, as soon as a situation like this one arises, our inbox becomes flooded with emails and sets us back by many days.
Thankfully, we have been working behind the scenes on a new customer service management solution that will aid us in better handling the increased caseload that is now part of our new reality. It is nearly complete, and we hope to launch it in the very near future. Until such a time, we ask you bear with our slower-than-desired response time slightly longer while we prep, launch, transition and adjust to this new portal.
We'll post news the moment this new solution is live, with instructions on how to use it.
Thanks again to everyone for their ongoing patience and support!