At the risk of opening myself up to a lot of criticism... could I ask the forum for customer service advice?
Here's the situation.
We had an international customer order 12 yards of a particular fabric (which we did have). For international shipping, it costs less to ship to flat-rate envelopes than it does to send it all together in one package. By a lot, actually: $43 versus $27.
So we e-mailed her to ask if she would prefer us to ship it all in one piece for an additional $16.
After a week had gone by with no reply, we e-mailed her again, asking the same question, and stating that if we did not hear from her in a couple more days, we would choose the less expensive option and send it as 6 yards each in two envelopes.
Now that she's received both packages, she is upset with us for having sent it in two pieces, plus she's upset for having to pay import fees on two packages instead of one.
Additional pertinent information:
- we *did* have (and use) her correct e-mail address
- for international orders our shopping cart calculates shipping based upon the number of flat-rate envelopes needed to hold the yardage purchased
- it's not possible for us to know what each country charges in the way of import fees and taxes (though we do keep up on this for England and Canada because we have lots of customers there)
What do you think? How should we have handled this? What could we have done better?