Brief shipping update! KNOWN ISSUES PART 3
Hello everyone! I am very excited to see people receive their games, and to read very kind reviews such as this one! So glad that so many of you have gotten your game and played it and had a good time. THAT'S WHAT THIS THING IS FOR.
Retailer-level backer Foam Brain Games took their resale copies to the Arisia convention in Boston recently, and reported that they sold out immediately and they want to restock! This is great news! (If you are a retailer-level backer, feel free to message me your store info so I can add you to a formal 'vendors' section on our website.)
People have been asking me how they can buy more copies, too, which is great! But I'm not going to open wider, non-backer sales for more games until all the Kickstarter copies are out. Rest assured, however, I will make a lot of noise once they are available! I will mention it here, of course, but I have also set up a dedicated mailing list for that specific notification over at machineofdeath.net/gca.
I am also reviewing your many great pictures under the #machineofdeath hashtag as well. I'll have more on that in a little bit. Right now, however, I am in full-on COMMAND CENTER MODE as I manage the remaining shipping. I am pushing more computing power at tracking your games than NASA had at their disposal for Columbus' sailing of the Atlantic, or whatever.
••• IMPORTANT NOTE •••
If you have already received your game, great! The rest of this update is NOT FOR YOU. If you continue reading it, you will find yourself charged with a voyeuristic thrill. That is NOT RECOMMENDED because WHO LIKES THAT ANYWAY??
SHIPPING UPDATES #3
• Shipping confirmations are being sent from the email address CSR@webcsr.info. If you haven't gotten one, make sure it's not getting filtered as spam.
• If you received your Deluxe Box, but not the other stuff that was supposed to come with it, I'm pleased to say that all those reshipments have now gone out. You should get them soon! They were shipped to the same address that your original box went to, so if that's a problem please let me know.
• There's a batch of a couple hundred domestic shipments still in progress...Everything stopped so the reshipments above could go out, and since then I have been very carefully and painstakingly explaining to the shipping company how to match up the custom box numbers, custom assembled orders (tins, Germans, etc), and custom certificates with specific orders. Because those orders can't simply be reshipped if something goes wrong, this is a very painstaking process and is still ongoing. They tell me that is supposed to finish in the coming week.
There's also a handful of non-custom orders – mostly, the ones that requested to be held for the holidays and were thus bumped to the end of the queue, but also some others as well that I can't find a common thread between – that are just lingering in the back, smoking in their leather jackets and generally being rebellious. I don't have any answer for that except that I am going to send them to the vice-principal's office if they don't shape up and fly right real soon here!!
• Canadian shipments: Our shipping facility in California generates a Canada Post label, but then the package has to make it out of America to a Canada Post depot before it will actually start being actively tracked in their system. I've seen that take 7-10 days. So if you got a notification but the actual tracking info doesn't make sense yet, that's probably why.
• "When should I worry?" Never. Never worry. Worry is the mindwaster.
• International shipments: Couple of things here. We were recommended to use FedEx for international shipments because (a) it's trackable door-to-door; (b) it's more secure than the post in many parts of the world; and (c) our shipping company does such volume that it's actually pretty economical, under their account.
What I have learned this week and last, however, is that FedEx has had some baffling issues with billing these shipments. If you've received a notice from FedEx, you're not alone. Here are the notices I have received to date:
This speaks to some enormous and systemic confusion on their part. I am trying to work it out with various people at FedEx, but I have no answers of yet.
If you received a bill and you paid it, God bless you. You have paid a slight surcharge to be excused from whatever tsunami of dark magic still circles about this wizard-blighted matter. If it helps, know that I am furious about it.
If you have not paid it, there may be a way I can fight it, but I have no hard information for you yet, I'm sorry to say. Feel free to drop me an email so I can respond to you with whatever we end up learning.
As a first step, once I learned about this billing issue, I immediately stopped all international shipping to prevent this from happening with any future shipments. So about 40% of international orders are still on hold, waiting for us to figure out how to proceed with the remainder using a different carrier.
Unfortunately it's not as simple as "just use USPS for the rest", because that's not trackable and costs about twice as much per package. We are looking into our other options now – I think DHL has a thing where they feed parcels into the destination country's postal system? – but we're still collecting info in order to make the best decision for the rest. If you have advice or feedback on this matter, please leave a comment on this post, I appreciate all perspectives!
• Finally – regarding international orders – we have also learned that FedEx will charge us for packages both ways (sending and returning). So if you refuse a package due to strange fees – a perfectly reasonable reaction – I will unfortunately still be liable for those fees and the return shipping. So before you refuse a package, please write to me so we can attempt to solve whatever the problem is.
If you've read this far, you are probably as tired of hearing about this as I am! And my wife and my assistant and the shipping company and our FedEx rep and anyone within earshot of shouts coming from my office and my therapist. I am collecting these anecdotes into a manuscript for a book, tentatively titled What I Did: How I Managed A Half-Million Dollar Kickstarter And Didn't End Up Losing ALL That Money To Mystery Fees, Only Most Of It. I'd tell you to pre-order it now but I don't really want any extra work right now, so set aside a dollar in an envelope and send it to me in a year.