Why I temporarily shutdown my online SILOX sales (but local Tucson, Phoenix, and Sedona call-in/walk-in purchases remain available):
One main reason: UPS and FedEx, in that order. (Orders for pickup in Tucson, Phoenix and Sedona are still available: please call 520-331-4004)
For years I have used both UPS and FedEx to ship my orders across the southwest, mainly using UPS. My experience with this company has been nothing less than nightmarish. Literally years of ongoing, never ending problems with them.
Covid and the lockdowns were a boon to shipping companies; with much of America in lockdown, people increasingly turned to online businesses to do their shopping and shipping companies relied on UPS, FedEx, and other shippers to take up this tremendous influx of new business.
Unfortunately, I believe this not only took the shipping companies by surprise, but they were woefully unprepared to handle this massive inrush of new orders. It appears the sheer volume of packages now regularly flowing through their distribution centers put unexpected strains on all facets of their delivery processes.
My five gallon buckets began to get lost or damaged in transit to my customers. And though my responsibility for these packages ended the moment I dropped them off at either UPS or FedEx, I took upon myself the burdensome task of contacting these shippers to find out what happened.
I spent hours on the phone, writing and replying to emails, filling out forms, etc. to take care of each package that was lost. The stress and time spent on doing this was absurd and it reached a point when it was not worth the pain and aggravation.
Today is July 29, 2021. I had two orders—back to back—sent out to two different customers in two different cities. Both of these orders had lost and/or damaged packages and I decided that my physical and mental health was not worth being damaged because of the never ending problems with these companies.
I’ve learned that UPS and FedEx are not concerned with small shippers like myself; they put all of their efforts and concerns with satisfying their biggest clients: Amazon and Wal-Mart, for example. The rest of us are inconveniences and headaches to them and they make it difficult to easily and painlessly file claims to get reimbursed for our lost/damaged packages. Their claims process, I believe, are intentionally difficult and aggravating to wear us down to the point we will just pay the losses instead of dealing with the myriad of hassles and hoops they force us to jump through.
My apologies to my customers, past, present and future. If in the future circumstances improve and UPS and FedEx can solve their issues, I may reopen my online sales again. It is simply a shame that, here in America, the shipping industry is so dysfunctional and third world-ish that doing business is too much of a headache.
If the situation with these shipping companies changes for the better, I may decide to fully reopen my online business. For now, I will service my existing customers with their needs, with this caveat: any lost or damaged orders will now be the responsibility of the customer to negotiate settlement with UPS, FedEx, or any other shipping company.
Finally, if any of my readers or customers have a solution to this problem, please let me know. If you work for UPS, FedEx, or any other shipping company and can guarantee my shipments will arrive to my customers in the southwest states, I will gladly re-open my online shipping business again.