We started our business over 6 years ago with one goal – to craft the best chocolate we possibly can. This involves us sourcing the best cacao beans, and taking inordinate lengths and effort to create what we hope is a truly unique product. We didn’t go into business simply to make a quick buck – if we did, we would never make chocolate from the bean; we’d just buy cheap couverture and melt it down and sprinkle Lucky Charms on it and charge you $12.
In the last two weeks, we have received more complaints about delayed and missing shipments than we have in the last 6 years combined. We’ve been so busy with production that we didn’t understand what was going on. So we decided to look into it.
Obviously, COVID-19 seems like the most logical explanation as most businesses are struggling with staff. But that’s not the case with USPS. Our packages have been shipping just fine since the pandemic spread in early March up until late June.
What happened in late June?
Who is Louis DeJoy? He’s our new Postmaster General. Why would a new Postmaster General change when you receive your packages?
Unfortunately, Louis DeJoy has brought partisanship to the USPS. He was brought in to do Donald Trump’s bidding – that is, to dismantle it from the inside out. This is not a conspiracy theory; this is a fact. Louis is heavily invested in UPS and J.B. Hunt. He is a longtime Republican donor and it is in his best interests to see the Post Office fail. He has no prior experience with the USPS and the president of the American Postal Workers Union wrote “the APWU is deeply concerned with the appointment process to make Mr. Louis DeJoy, a multi-million-dollar major donor to President Trump, the next Postmaster General.” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) noted that his career as a political operative and close ties to the president and Republican Party would threaten the non-partisan nature of the Postal Service. Upon assuming office as Postmaster General, DeJoy began taking measures to reduce costs and slow the mail service.
We as a company have not been very vocal in our politics over the years, as we believe focusing on making great chocolate should be front and center, and it continues to be. We also pride ourselves on our customer service, and have gone above and beyond on many occasions to help people get their bars in a timely manner in addition to all the ways we’ve helped our customers in our retail shop.
Unfortunately, in these times, everyone’s stress level is very high, and in conjunction with the USPS delays, we are starting to receive very angry phone calls where people are literally shouting at us. This makes our job difficult, and it makes us not want to go out of our way to help those who are being mean to us. We do not control the post office – we are at their mercy, just like you would be if you shipped anything right now. We are not Amazon and do not have our own logistics company. In other words, you’re shouting at a company made up entirely of two people who have sacrificed everything to run their own business, and you’re yelling at them over a delayed package when people are getting incredibly sick and dying, people are being harassed for the color of their skin, and peaceful protests are being met with unconstitutional force. Is this really worth yelling at us? Is this really our fault? Or are you just frustrated?
We’re frustrated, and honestly, when you yell at us over the phone or send us nasty emails because your package is delayed, it makes us not want to make chocolate anymore. It makes us feel like there’s no point, and we might as well give up and sell off all our equipment. I should also point out that these delays are only with USPS, which is free for you when you spend $50 or more, but we spend between $10 and $20 per package we send out – we eat that cost, not you. If you want your package faster, we have several shipping options at checkout. We even had someone argue over the phone that they were the one paying for free shipping…ok.
UPDATE: We are no longer offering USPS Priority Mail Shipping as an option during the summer.
Anyway, we don’t like to rant, we don’t like to complain, but this is insane. We’ve been biting our tongues for almost 4 years now and enough is enough. This country is being torn apart and it’s up to us to make each day as positive as we can, and that means treating everyone fairly and with respect and dignity. If you call us and are courteous, we will be courteous back and will do everything we can to try and resolve the issue. But understand the USPS is being actively dismantled right now, even as Congress is looking into it.
We are monitoring the situation daily and we may selectively switch parcels to UPS to ensure timely delivery. But by doing that, we are playing directly into DeJoy’s and Trump’s playbook. We want to use the USPS as it’s a very reasonable shipping method that we’ve relied on for years. So please understand, if you select USPS as your shipping method, there is no guarantee that your package will arrive within 2-3 days as they normally do.
What can you do?
You can be nice to us on the phone. You can select a different shipping carrier. But most importantly, you can vote. We don’t care what your political party is, but America is an absolute disaster right now, from the abuse and murder of POC by law enforcement to the gutting of social programs like the kinds that help my special-needs daughter, this isn’t the country we all knew and loved from years past. It has become something else, and it needs to change. But between now and November, please, please try to be nice to everyone. We’re all stressed out.
Okay, back to making chocolate.