So. We’re finally in France on holidays. Tent’s pitched, new McConks van pride of place, boards pumped up, barbecue lit, cold beer in hand. It should be bliss. We’ve worked damn hard all year to look forward to these two weeks.
But all is not as relaxed as it should be. In fact, we’re pretty damn stressed. We’ve been totally let down by logistics partners over the last few weeks. There’s no need to go into details, and many of you reading this have probably been on the sharp end of the shoddy service and broken promises from us, so you don’t need to be reminded.
In simple terms, a small delay to one of our shipments has mothballed into an event that is kind of overwhelming us right now. We (in hindsight foolishly) tried to keep everyone happy by upgrading people waiting for Go Simple boards to Go Anywhere boards. But we then experienced a bizarre chain of events that meant that our Go Anywhere boards were delayed by a few more weeks, meaning that we broke promises. Add to that DPD (our UK courier of choice) going into meltdown and starting to lose packages left right and centre, and we had the perfect storm. And that perfect storm meant that, quite simply, we had way more communications to deal with than we’ve ever had to deal with. And once we were on the back foot, firefighting and responding to messages reactively, we lost the ability to communicate proactively and let everyone know what was going on. And although we like our customers to be able to reach us in lots of different ways, the same customers contacting us through facebook, chat, Instagram, email and twitter (understandably) just exacerbated the issue.
And now we’re in France, a few hundred miles away from where all the action is. The delayed Go Anywhere boards have just arrived, and are now in the process of being turned around by our very good friends at Cotswold Water Park Hire and Busy Finger . And do we ever owe these chaps and chapesses a crate of wine or two? They’ve dropped everything to help us out and do whatever they can to get boards out to those of you who are waiting, and in doing so, have just salvaged a bit of our reputation!
But we have lots of work to do over the coming months to further repair the damage. We can’t guarantee that delays like this won’t happen again; these sorts of logistics and customs delays are entirely out of our hands. But we can invest in systems to improve our comms and responsiveness. And we will be doing so. We already have some great ideas about how to streamline our communication whilst still keeping it personal rather than anonymous! More on this in due course.
For those of you who have contacted us with terse tones and sharp words – we don’t blame you. We would be doing exactly the same thing if we were in your position. I hope this explanation does just that – explains why this has happened.
Finally, thanks to all of you who have been so understanding and patient. Most of you have been totally lovely, and more understanding than we deserve. And we feel privileged to have people like you as our customers.
Once we know that all of this shipment of boards is out for delivery with DPD, we can finally relax. And that day can’t come soon enough!
Happy paddling (eventually!)