On Friday, November 28th, Geoff Wallace from Maranatha Christian Bookshop, Uxbridge, pointed out that it was now a whole month since STL’s IT systems upgrade turned their operations pear-shaped; and if, as STL tell us, things are improving, then — as John Duncan from Cornerstone, Finchley, asks — the question is, where?
My own experience in the bookshop at LST is similar to Geoff’s and John’s: odds & ends coming through sporadically, box contents that don’t match the invoices and random carriage charges added irrespective of the invoice value. One consignment was completely duplicated, including duplicate invoice! The whole situation reminds me of one of London Underground’s favourite sayings: “Improvement works may affect your journey.”
Geoff’s and John’s most recent comments are copied below to bring this situation back to the top of our discussions:
Geoff Wallace, November 28, 2008, 4:07pm:
It is now the 28th November. The 28th of October marked the last of the four days of closure at STL as they tranferred their system. So one month later all should be well. But is it?
I had an order arrive today (28th) that I placed on the 22nd so maybe things are better than the 10 days that it was taking.
However, we have been ringing up daily about the new Soul Survivor Live 2008. There is no sign of Kingsway’s album of the month order for 6 copies (and this is a key title). Our rep placed a top up order on the 15th for a further 6 copies – still not arrived. Finally today we have one single copy that WE placed on the 20th to try and prove that STL physically had stock and had had it for several days. Each time we rang up customer services they kept saying they had stock and this proves it.
AND YET Compassionart was dispatched all on its own to us and arrived on the 26th in a parcel sent in the post. And STL say that every order is dealt with in strict order of receipt!!!!!!!
John Duncan, November 29, 2008, 12:33pm:
Glad you got your order placed on the 22nd, Geoff. I’m still waiting for mine. Haven’t seen a sniff off the Soul Survivor album either, A discussion I had with customer services this week established two things: that they are working towards a 48-hour despatch, but that it in fact is taking a week to send orders out. Since my experience has been that it has been taking a week (at least) for several weeks now, what exactly does ‘working towards’ mean? I have seen absolutely no progress in the last few weeks.
I also read in the new Christian Marketplace that Mark Hurley states (page 7) that ‘towards the end of the week ending 7th November, we were achieving 48 hour despatch in the main’. Really? Who to? Is there anybody out there who is getting 48 hour despatch today, let alone who was at the 7th November?
Geoff Wallace, November 29, 2008, 2:42pm:
Cloud and Cuckoos spring to mind.
STL may be sending out more parcels as the days go by but how many of them are for just one or two books that are backordered items? I think STL have a major problem with attaching back orders to a normal order. It is a very hit and miss affair and this seems to be the problem with Soul Survivor. They definately have had stock since the 20th but it keeps saying 0 copies supplied.
I had a box yesterday with just one single pocket NIV hardback in it. Another box came in with just 4 SU new publication items. This must be slowing up the whole system and is a crazy way of working.