Shipping, Handling Costs Not Music to Their Ears

Share this article:
I've been in the DM business for nearly 20 years, but I was totally surprised by what happened recently.


My teen-age daughter had received a classic package with a good offer from Columbia House (which I thought was one of the pillars of our industry). To get her into the continuity thing, it offered a dozen CDs free, as long as she ordered five more later. All she had to pay was the shipping and handling.


So, the CDs arrive -- a small box, about the size of a loaf of bread. Inside is the bill ... for $28.12!


Forgive me, but I expected $3.95, or perhaps 5 bucks. But $28.12?


My daughter weighed the package, called the post office and told them what the indicia said. The person there told her it costs $2.74 to ship.


Now, as I mentioned earlier, I'm not a DM naif -- I've been at this for a while, and I understand what shipping "and handling" mean. I understand the notions of acquisition cost and LCV (longtime customer value). I understand how you need to cover/recover some costs of acquisition through nickel-and-dime fees. But the whole point of this offer was for free CDs. Five bucks is close enough to "free," but $28.12 sure ain't. A modest S&H charge is OK. An obscene one was not.


As a consumer and parent, I'm appalled.


As a direct marketer, I'm offended.


I thought Columbia House was a respectable leader in our industry. But this episode has caused me to rethink my perception.


I hope that they'll re-examine the concept of professional integrity and that a smart DMer will fill them in on the 101s of making customers mad (vs. building loyalty). And I hope they listen.


<I>Jack Vincent<I>


Atlanta


Kvit158@aol.com
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Agency

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in Agency

Are You Really Ready for Customer Experience?

Are You Really Ready for Customer Experience?

Marketers can talk a good game about customer centricity, but actions speak louder than words.

Essentials in Content Marketing: Think like a best-selling author

Essentials in Content Marketing: Think like a best-selling ...

Imagine if all the electronic content thrown your way daily was actually printed on paper. To stand out from those piles of worthless pixels, you must offer your audiences intriguing ...

The Mobile-Email Marriage

The Mobile-Email Marriage

Marketers who considered leaving email at the altar are finding renewed passion for the channel as an ever-increasing number of customers triage, read, and click-through email on their smartphones.