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River set shipping question
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TOPIC: River set shipping question
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Hello everyone,

I understand completely If anyone who has ordered has a complaint about the shipping time and/or lack of communication.
Thank you for voicing your complaints.
I understand that as a business we cannot offer excuses (no matter the circumstances) and that we need to deliver what we promise when we promise.
For the record, shipping time has in no way been delayed because of our attendance at Origins. We ship out of Knoxville Tennessee using a fulfilment center who already has taken all our shipping information in advance.
As far as I know they are working hard at getting all the hundreds of orders out as fast as possible, I am not entirely sure If they have been understaffed for this onslaught of orders however I will voice my concerns to them first thing tommorow morning. of course, I will also call Jeff and the office as well. There should be someone manning the phones when Jeff has to be at the hospital of course.

I apologize completely.

Please understand that we do not take for granted the fact that everyone who has ordered has placed their faith in us and that you all expect to get what you have paid for in the alloted time promised. If we cannot satisfy our customers (and especially our loyal customers) we will surely be out of business pretty quick.

For those of you who have been more than patient my greatest thanks!

Jeff or I will have an update for you later today (Friday).


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Stefan Pokorny

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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Stefan, you are being amazingly gracious here.
I hope everyone here really values your efforts on their behalf.
I know I do.


Philip is right to a point.
The real stats are even worse - only 4% of angry customers ever actually complain to the company they have a bug with.
Then again, those stats only work for Americans who, BTW, complain 860% more than any customer base in the G-8.
What a thing to be proud of!!!
What is even more pleasant to be proud of is that Americans are the least likely to give honest praise to those who serve them than any other group in the G-8!!!
Does that not make all of us Americans just cozy inside?!? :rolleyes:

I am sorry folks, but one wonders how many children the most vociferous of the gripers actually have because they are not showing much understanding.
Having a child changes the whole scheme of one's life folks.
Adding additional children to the unit just multiplies the repercussions.
Taking time to type a message on to a WEB page that one probably does not have any access whatsoever to at the hospital is not very workable idea.
Any of the parents of multiple children here can back that up; birthdays, especially the child's natal day, are just not all that flexible for "extras" like that.

If a customer cannot have the patience to roll with the punches a company suffers from once in a while, especially a very small one like Dwarven Forge, well, what can one say really?
Nothing that will actually solace them evidently.

War Duke suggested DF having a person paid to handle communications; the only problem with that is the fact that it shows he does not understand really how small DF really is - let's try on two guys (Jeff & Stefan), an "off again-on again" assisting sculptor plus three minimum-time family members who have real lives away from DF plus a fulfillment center where DF is only a minor customer and a manufacturer in China where DF is probably no where among their top ten, maybe even top 100, customers.
That's it folks the last time Stefan explained it all.

On top of all that, there is no money for a PR person folks at DF.
DF is run at the very edge of the financial sword.
Do not believe me?
Ask Stefan; he has related before how DF has ran financially and the story is hair-raising.

Yes, a lack of communication can truly be frustrating, but a lack of patience is even worse.
If everyone here's superiors, were as impatient with us as some here are with DF, I think many here would have never made it out of short pants let alone high school, or even your current job.
Pass on the patience you were given to others who need it just as bad - DF and the Martins for example.

Attending the convention was necessary folks for the continuing existence of DF.
Plus, remember this VERY important fact.
DF's attendance at the convention did not slow down the parcels leaving!!
DF does not do the shipping!!!
The fulfillment center in Knoxville, TN, which did not have personnel working the convention, are the ones who ship out the parcels.
Why do some of you not find them and complain at them.
They are the real culprits
And while you are at it, complain at the U.S. Customs Service, who are just trying to protect you from a terrorist attack among other things, about how they slowed down the delivery of the carton.
Moreover, how about railing at Deity while you are going about complaining and how him/her/it saw fit to allow a typhoon to slow down the launch and shipment of the sets from Asia.
I really think just complaining about Dwarven Forge in this situation is terribly short-sighted and frightfully-selfish.

Yes folks, some of us have not gotten what we have paid for yet.
Will griping solve it?
Will a good bit of understanding and patience help?
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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Thank you Rabid for your very gracious words.

However, we understand that we cannot stand behind excuses, no matter what they are and pretend to run a smooth business. Our financial situation is much improved lately, thanks to all of you guys having faith in our products and our reputation. We will continue to do our best under trying circumstances, because we want to keep our reputation solid and because it is of course, the right thing to do.
I would like to add that Jeff and Lori have bent over backwards this past few weeks to keep everything in order. I don't believe any delays we are experiencing are related to them.

We will get on it first thing tommorow and have an update later in the day when we have more information. I have heard that many people have gotten their packages without first receiving e-mail notification...I am assuming this means that that fulfilment center is rushing out orders as fast as possible and perhaps not delaying to go and send out e-mail confirmation and tracking numbers to every customer. I am afraid that every time I have to call them to get tracking information on a package it actually holds things up while one of the shippers stops what they are doing to go and look it up....a cruel catch22 eh?

Of course, I personally cannot confirm this as I am in NY and it is Jeff who is the one that is in daily contact with our fulfilment center in Knoxville.

Anyway, no excuses, we will do what we can to improve the situation ASAP.

I am thankful that these problems/delays were brought to our attention.

Once again, sincere apologies to all concerned!

I am not even going to hassle Jeff about my own sets, as the captain leaves the ship last so to speak eh?
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Stefan Pokorny

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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Thanks for working on things, Stefan.

This shouldn't be a debate as to who is right and who is wrong. I'm glad you are attempting to check into things for customer satisfaction reasons. As I learned in my first job, the old saying "the customer is always right" isn't true, however, "the customer's perception (of what is right) affects the business" is certainly true.

I admit to being one to "complain," or generally point out the flaws in things (seems to be a "gift").
However, truly, I expected to have my products in hand 30 days ago. A one month delay is extreme (in my eyes).

Good luck on speeding things up, if it is possible to do so.

The good news is, this isn't a life or death issue for me, so I can wait a bit longer, even if I'm not 100% happy to do so.

I WILL be happy when those boxes arrive and I get to rip them open (okay, carefully break the seal on the packaging) and play with the goodies. I think when I see them in my house, the wait won't seem as bad.
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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Well, is it kismet, just my time, or did someone jot my name down? Who knows. I either case, I'm a lucky person on Monday.
At least one of my three orders shipped and should arrive on Monday. By the weight listed, it definately contains the CR&W sets I ordered. THANK YOU!
Okay, all this cleaning really means something now. I HAVE to get it completed today so that after my three day work weekend I can PLAY with the DF goodies on Monday.

Perhaps the only other time I was this happy about cleaning was before my first child was born. ;)
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62 sets and counting. In addition, a boatload of individual pieces or sets of pieces.
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Bottom line is this. In order to be a successfull niche business in the longrun you can't alienate your customers. Im pretty sure the delay is not the big issue here to most, its like previously stated the lack of communication. I am one that would love to see DF prosper and make a hundred more sets, the only reason I am typing a response to this at this late of an hour is I LOVE the product.

I don't think anyone is begruding not being able to get ahold of anyone the night of the birth. It is the week or two of no response (inculding the new message saying they will be gone till the 14th) On top of the no response via email (stated by another customer, I never personally emailed). I can deal with it as previously stated, but I guarantee other people will find other ways to spend their money. That helps no one here.

For the record yes I have kids.
For the record I have worked for a company very similar in most regards to DF in structure if not product. I like Jeff wore a hundred hats, sales, purchasing, customer service, importing, the list goes on. I've attended trade shows across the country and guess what.....you cant close up shop when your gone without upsetting customers, regardless of the business your in. It may seem selfish or whatever but it is a fact. If hiring someone to answer phones is not possible, forward a cell phone. Most convention centers have internet access. Bring along a laptop (thats what I used to do).

In fact (this is not a rip on DF I promise), the gaming industry in general seems to have really bad service as a whole. It is such a hard industry to make money in I think the extra effort would go a loooong way. I for one truly want to support a little company more when I know they care. Maybe I am just a tough customer cuz I give that extra attention in my work, I always have. The customer may not always be right, but the customer is the lifeblood of any business, especially one as niche as this one.

Now I didnt reply to this post because I want rant. I replied to this post because .......

1) In the gaming industry there is not a single product that is more impressive than DF
2) DF has completely changed the way alot of us game now (compared to years ago)
3) It would be an absolute shame for a company that makes such remarkable products to ultimatley not make it due to something as easily fixed as customer service.
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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
If War Duke and Max Rebo feel that they have received poor customer service, then they have every right to complain about it. Indeed, they should be encouraged to provide DF with feedback to enable them to improve their service.

It is very unhelpful to the situation if certain other users of this forum try to give them a hard time for complaining, particularly when they feel that they have some sort of right to speak on behalf of the company, and especially so when they accuse people of 'whining' or 'griping'.

If existing, loyal (and pre-paying) customers feel that they are being neglected while DF employees appear to prioritise attracting new customers at a convention, I must say that I sympathise with their views.
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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  

I WAS going to drop this discussion after railing - probably a little more harshly than he deserved! - at Max regarding his complaint.
However, my REASON for railing, however valid or INvalid, was more at the TONE of his complaint, than at the complaint itself. At least, that was my INTENT.
Max, first of all, I apologize for MY tone; I'm not your Daddy (aren't YOU glad! You should be, believe me.) and I didn't put in the required time to qualify for that job. I'm not your ethics or manners teacher either, so THAT part needs to be dropped, as well.
What I was trying to point out is that, as others have said here, better than I did, is that DF has an Art department in Manhattan, a Business office run by a husband-and-wife couple in Carbondale, IL, and a Webmeister who is in Massachusetts! And their receiving, warehousing, and shipping office is another company in Knoxville, TN!!
It's a wonder they run as well as they usually do.
Riding a razor edge the way DF is forced to can result in the mess Max and others have been slammed with the past month. Jeff was expecting the container to be 'feet dry' (borrowed Naval Aviation term for crossing a coastline to land) roughly two weeks earlier than it was, followed by a fairly quick turnaround at the Customs Inspection station. Once that was accomplished, dropping it on a rail car or a semi for delivery would have been a fast and simple matter.
But, as has been explained, Complications Ensued.
Boy, did they ensue!
Typhoon, Customs problems, and what appears to have been congestion in the rail or truck yard at the port!!

Add in the fact that, as Rabid Fox* noted, that booth at Origins was booked, on a non-refundable-basis, months in advance. Having worked a Star Trek convention for over 20 years, I KNOW about that part, and all the arguements in the universe will be refuted by one two-syllable comment: "BS!" Once you drop under the 30-day clause, your booth or table reservation for ANY trade or fan/pro convention is locked in; no refunds! Because that convention has to pay for the space, whether YOU are in it, a replacement company that YOU recruited and sold you space to is in it, or the booth is empty. Too bad, Jack! It's a cost of doing business. So do NOT hassle Jeff or ANY vendor for attending a convention. PERIOD!
Sorry about shouting, but not anything else in that paragraph.

Pregnancy and delivery and hospital, oh my! Hey, sorry guys, but if that baby doesn't take precedence over YOUR toys, MY toys, Rabid Fox*'s toys, or ANYONE ELSES'S toys, even Stefan's, then Jeff and Lori should NOT have babies. And it's too late for THAT solution, so deal with it!

Everyone stand up and join with Max, War Duke, and anyone ELSE who is (gently, so as not to wake Avery Grace!) throwing rocks at Jeff and Lori. Yup, no argument there, somebody forgot to change the message machine at the DF offices! Someone in Massachusetts who shall remain nameless, but his initials are Doug Martin, SHOULD HAVE POSTED SOMETHING! on the Web Page regarding the delays. SOMEONE in the DF hierarchy (which leaves only Stefan, by now, to be wrist-slapped), should have hit the Web and provided some backup for Lori while she was flat on her back under a surgeon's knife.
Anybody, Everybody, Somebody, NObody.

Consider this a lesson learned for ALL concerned, including the Entire DF staff (whom I have listed above, one place or another), me, Rabid Fox*, Max Rebo, War Duke, otherworld (hey, you posted, you get picked on; I'm and equal-opportunity harasser!), weaverjk, ice-nine, and YC!
We ALL need to step back from this and take a deep breath.
Because ain't nobody perfect around here.

Other than that, Max, War, I hope your sets shipped today and you get them Monday, because when you DO get 'em, I promise you, you'll consider them worth the wait!

If anyone here has been offended by my tone, two things; One, I'm and ex-cop, and used to rendering rough justice as a preventative measure - it helps keep the blood off the street! Two, if it was SO BAD, tell Jeff and Doug, and if enough of you are totally offended, they'll suspend me for a while until they feel I've learned my lesson.

If THAT isn't good enough, catch me sometime Saturday at GenCon Indy, and we'll discuss it, one way or another. I'd prefer to do it over a beer, but if you MUST be narsty, so be it.
But let's drop it here on the forum, okay?

See ya!

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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
I almost weighed in earlier and then deleted the post, didn't want to stir the pot.

The short version is this:

Just about everyone is right.

RF is right that DF needs to be around at cons to let people know they haven't gone out of business. they also need the sales.

But others are right, too -- especially that bit about 1 complaint representing 10 unstated ones. I don't think it makes much sense to take Rebo or WD or anyone else to task for their frustration here. Even if "I'm not going to preorder anything else" is a choice you disagree with, the fact is that DF can't really survive if a lot of people decide to make it, regardless. It's something they need to hear, to know that people are upset out there and that action has to be taken. The more irrational and outrageous, the better, just so they know the problem is serious -- not that Rebo's complaints struck me as irrational and outrageous, mind you.

I think it's good that Stefan is taking it seriously, and hope this kind of problem is minimized in the future.

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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Hello again everyone,

Yes, I'll admit we screwed up here.
Truth is, I had no idea these problems were going on till around midnight last night...for the record, both Jeff and I were keeping an eye on the forums while attending Origins and only now have I seen any serious complaining about delays or lack of communication.

We are working to improve the situation ASAP.

Terribly sorry everyone! You can smack me when you see me at Gen Con because the bottom line is as the CEO it is on me to make sure everything is running smoothly and I should have anticipated these problems no matter what unforseen events occured this past few weeks...

I'll have an update in a few hours.

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Stefan Pokorny

CEO Dwarven Forge, LLC
River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
I suppose I should chime in since I started all of this.

First of all, the problem with reading somebody elses words is that the reader can put whatever "tone" to them that they want to. My "tone" was of complete frustration and not anger. Not that Im lashing out at anyone right now, either. Im just explaining is all. We're cool.. right, jim? (just jokin', big guy...)

Second, I appreciate the response. That's all I wanted, so thank you very much. And I can't wait to get my set!

Third, L, you have some crazy setups that you've posted pics of and Im jealous. Seriously, that deep chasm one was awesome! I know that irrelevant to the topic but I wanted to compliment your creativity. Good stuff.

Well, Im gonna go back to my usual "lurker" status and, hopefully, the DF faithful can go back to debating what new pieces we need and not stuff like this!

Again, thanks for the response, Stefan.
That lake set is looking awfully tempting again...
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River set shipping question 8 Years ago  
Dear Max Rebo,

You are being incredibly understanding and I sincerely thank you for that! I am sorry If anyone on this forum has in any way insulted you in their attempts to stick up for us, they only mean well.
You have been totally right of course to raise concerns and we at Dwarven Forge are rightfully reprimanded.
We are going to change the way we handle such problems in the future.

Please see Jeff's latest update on this same forum section.

Once again my sincere apologies to you and to everyone. For everyone that has STILL not gotten their River Sets we will work on setting things right with you.

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