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The Official Hate Mail List
I completely understand why so many people send me hate mail. I hate me too.line-horizontal.gif

Please know that I am a human and like many other humans I'm imperfect. Yes, I do make mistakes from time to time, and since my website is my own design, it too is imperfect. If I were Jeff Bezos my website would be flawless. Alas I'm stuck being me so there are some things about my business that I am unable to change. Despite this, I still give up most of my time (including holidays and weekends) to help other woodworkers, but regrettably my best efforts are often not good enough. Here is a list of common hate mail messages.

  1. pg-stges.jpg"I am not ordering from you because there is no phone number to call!"
    It's hard for me to disagree with you on this. I wish I could offer phone ordering. I've actually tried it but things didn't work out the way I had hoped.
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  2. "You charge too much for shipping!"
    In fourteen years of business, I've never made a single penny on shipping. In fact, at the end of most years - including 2016 - I lost money on total shipping expenses (which includes boxes from Uline). There are typically three or four orders every week for which my website charged the customer more than what it cost me. When this happens, I give my wife a list with the customers who were charged too much. She processes a refund for the difference and then sends them a friendly email about it.

  3. "I don't care what you say! You still charge too much for shipping!"
    It's not that I charge too much for shipping. It's that the carriers charge us all too much. Within the last two years, I've spent more than 45 hours working to find ways to make shipping costs affordable. A significant part of that time was fighting with UPS and I finally gave up. FedEx has given us a great discount and I've programmed my site to pass that discount direct to our customers.
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  4. "That $2.99 handling fee for orders under $50 is an obvious rip-off. Go to hell!"
    Very often a small order will cost us more to ship than the website calculates. A good example is a piece of veneer. The website might calculate a sheet of veneer as weighing a half of a pound, but the actual weight may come out to 3 or 4 lbs by the time I put cardboard around the veneer and then put paper around the cardboard and then box the whole thing up. In this case, we find that the website charged $10 to ship when it actually cost $14 to ship. The only option is to raise the weight of the veneer, but is that fair to those who might buy 10 sheets? Instead, we use the handling fee to help cover the difference between what it costs to ship and what the customer is charged by the website.
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  5. "You're a jerk because you won't ship my package overnight!"
    I'm sorry that I don't ship via express methods. Because of dimensional weight practices, it is nearly impossible to estimate the shipping costs and if your package doesn't arrive on time, you will be able to get your credit card provider to give you a full refund of the shipping charges and the items in the order. It's probably fair to call me a jerk but not because I don't offer express shipping options.
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  6. "I hate you because you won't ship to my country!"
    Don't hate me. Hate the actions of some people in those countries which prevent me from being able to accept payments from those parts of the world. This is not my choice. It is a policy created by the company I have chosen to securely process credit cards for me.
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  7. "I'm writing a negative review! You didn't answer my email within 15 minutes!"
    I apologize that it took 22 minutes for me to reply to your email. I didn't know it was urgent. I should have known better than to step away from my computer to eat a cold dinner in the warehouse at 9pm on a Saturday night.
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  8. "I'm filing a dispute with my credit card company because my package was delivered a day late and now my project is delayed!"
    I apologize and I understand that I must pay for something that was not my fault. Like me, the shipping carriers are not perfect but I recognize that I'm the one who must face the consequences of their mistake, but maybe you should have ordered a bit sooner.
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  9. "I'm telling everyone that you forgot to answer the 6th question in my email!"
    Whoops! Not sure how I missed that question but at least I did answer questions 1 through 5 and 7 through 9. The answer to question 6 in your email is... yes, you should always veneer the back side of the panel to prevent warping.
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  10. "You have the worst company in the world because you don't have YouTube videos that teach me how to use veneer!"
    I'm not very photogenic. In fact, I'm ugly as sin so I don't think many people would want to see me in a video. I should also point out that a good video takes a lot of time to create. I spend all of my time answering email which has a higher priority than putting my butt-face on YouTube. I also don't think proper veneering can be taught in a 3 minute video. You can call me ugly but I probably don't have the worst company in the world.
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  11. "Your website is horrible!"
    Both of my sites are hard to navigate and fairly confusing to some people. It's impossible these days to find an honest, knowledgeable, and affordable web programmer or PHP expert so I have had to do it myself. I do my best with the skills that I have.
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  12. "I can find much better veneer prices elsewhere."
    I'm sure this is true and there are several reasons why my veneer prices are so high.
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    A. Like all industries, the veneer industry has some dishonest people in it, and a fair amount of my veneer stock has come from companies who sold the veneer with a promise that a certain amount of square footage was being purchased. I learned the truth the hard way by sending payment first and when the shipment arrived, I found it had significantly less veneer than promised. This is why I'm now limiting purchases to only two veneer wholesale companies. I've had really bad experiences with six other veneer wholesale companies and would never buy from them again. The pricing on those veneers will almost always be close to my actual cost due to the fraud. There will be no room for profit.
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    B. My prices are also ridiculous due to the massive amount of loss that comes in shipping and handling. I see a minimum of 16% loss due to end splits or edge damage which have to be cut from the bundles. If I were selling veneer wholesale, then I could get by with shipping some damaged sheets as it is apparently "to be expected". But since I sell at a retail level, I have to be sure that all of the sheets are in good condition.
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    C. Often there are defective sheets within a bundle. When I remove a sheet from a flitch of veneer, the sheet is sold in the scrap assortment packs I call "marquetry boxes". There are just pennnies earned on the dollar for those veneers and that increases the costs on the rest of the bundle.
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    D. I photograph every bundle of veneer on my site which is a costly thing to do since it is not an automated process.
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    E. I am a small fish in a big sea. Most veneer suppliers want nothing to do with me unless I'm willing to write a six-figure check. I have literally been laughed-out of a veneer suppliers booth at the AWF convention when I told them who I was.
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  13. "You must be profitting from shipping charges if you won't combine my two orders."
    I do not profit from shipping. It's a bit of an insult when someone thinks I do because I lose money on shipping (a quite a bit of it) despite having worked for a year to get FedEx to give a better rates - the same rates that I immediately pass onto my customers. I can't combine shipments for several reasons. We pack orders very quickly - often within minutes of the order being placed. Also, combining two shipments is a billing and paperwork nightmare for my wife and if I did offer to combine shipments, I'd be doing it on 1 out of every 5 orders. Life it too short for us to waste it away like that. And last, my wife and I pack orders together in the shop. I have no way of knowing if the order she is packing is from the same customer as the one that I am packing.
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  14. "Your website has so many typos that you should be ashamed of yourself!"
    I doo updayt da siTe almoast Evry day for grammmaticle errrrorrs and spelin miztakes. Pleeze let mee no watt I've mist.

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Feel free to add to this list.
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Go ahead and let'r rip...

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