December 2017 - Filter Style coffees, Sendle, Express service explained, Xmas trading hours

Date Posted:1 December 2017 


“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” — Bruce Lee


December 2017

We got it wrong.......yep, we thought a low-cost, high-value, everyday offering in place of the monthly Newsletter subscriber discount would solve many of types of problems caused when customers miss out. Unfortunately, it failed to resonate, so we have killed off Revolver for the time being and returned to the good 'ol days of roller-coaster short-burst discount frenzies.

The most exciting news in a long time (for filter enthusiasts anyway), after a long 8 month development, we have finally got our act together in the Filter style coffee space. That's right, a limited list of precision light roasted coffees to enjoy on your Aeropress, V60 or drip system - perfect for these hot summer days. Before you leap into this new segment, there are of course some precautions, so please take a moment to read our story about what you can and can't use these coffees's kinda important to avoid disappointments.

Did Sendle disappear ? Yes, we temporarily turned off Sendle around the in November until a few ongoing issues with Sendle's partner network can be resolved. At the time of preparing this Newsletter, it's not available in our store, but that situation may change, subject to some conditions. A quick flick of a switch is all it takes, but only when we believe it's reliable across the entire network.

AusPost are trying to improve the performance of Express parcels. An earlier collection will be undertaken each day from our premises to ensure connections with the Express gateway are met.

Kenya is proving a difficult origin to source decent qualities and volumes until March 2018. Customer will have noticed the price has spiked.

Xmas trading hours - we are shipping up to midday 22nd Dec, then 27th, 28th & 29th Dec the collection times will be earlier (outside of our control). Everything returns to normal from 2nd Jan 2018.

filter style coffees

Filter style coffees as a segment is growing faster than espresso and everyone wants a piece of the action.

We held off on Filter Style roasting for a long time.....years in fact, but after 8 months of R&D, we have commissioned a small, dedicated, high-precision filter roasting system and this platform will produce tasty, delicious, juicy coffees from a short, curated list.

We are not offering all of our coffees roasted for espresso AND filter (it's impossible), so the Filter list is short but expanding quickly.

Filter style coffees are not universally adaptable for use everywhere, e.g. they can be hard or challenging to use on espresso machines, or for producing latte's, so like everything in the world of coffee there are some considerations we think are important to understand so that you can achieve the best experience.

Please take a moment to read our story on the differences of Filter Style coffees - Filter Style

Yes, it's switched off (but will be switched back on soon)

Barely a month passes without some sort of major announcement regarding freight or shipping services. It's a key component of our entire mycuppa experience and a high focus area we constantly target for improvement.

Our customers had been asking for alternatives to AusPost - nobody likes to wait for parcels to arrive and whilst Express options are available in many areas, the cost is sometimes prohibitive.

We have said it before and will say it again, residential freight is a really tough gig and in our efforts to offer choices for shipping your parcels, we have tried every system. Ultimately, despite the various combinations and alternatives we have put to the test, we have not arrived at an end-solution that will please everyone - there are strengths and weaknesses with each provider and as a business that services the whole of Australia and New Zealand, we just can't live in a small bubble of capital city metro areas.

Sendle is perhaps the most promising of all the services we worked with. We know there are thousands of customers that have been quite happy with the service and many have told us they are disappointed we switched off Sendle as the speed compared to AusPost was remarkable. Pricing was also a great incentive.

However, our #1 objective with freight is to ensure reliability. It's no use having parts of the network operating fast and the remainder with parcels disappearing into a "Bermuda Triangle".

The ratio of incidents to volume of freight sent on the Sendle network was 400% greater than AusPost. Each time an incident occurs, it's a high cost impact for us and a strain on our relationship with our customer - something everyone wishes to avoid.

Putting aside the displeasure of slow freight from AusPost, the end-game is about getting parcels to customers and with Sendle we encountered some bizarre and explainable situations with partners working under the Sendle service. To apply some balance, this also afflicts AusPost when they mis-route a parcel to the wrong state, in other words nobody executes perfectly all of the time.

Our use of Sendle incorporated Couriers Please and Fastway as delivery partners. Whilst we experienced incidents with both partners, it was the ongoing unreliable nature of collections from Fastway that caused us to kill this service in the short term. That sort of performance is unacceptable in this modern age of online shopping.

We asked Sendle to remove Fastway for our collections, but this has proved difficult for Sendle to modify, even though they have tried - a point we find rather peculiar.

It does not mean that we have reached the end of the road with Sendle - it's still going to be something we pursue, but for the moment we must always put the integrity of delivering reliably to our customers as our primary focus. This must work as we expect them.

We are now well into the peak freight season. That means all freight channels are congested, everywhere and will remain slower until the end of January.

Right now, delays are real and apparent in the parcel networks as the volumes generated by online shopping exceed capacity. The recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping events have significant clogged an already overloaded parcel network.

Please allow an extra 1 - 2 days for transit times or consider opting for Express.

There is absolutely nothing we, or any merchant, can do to speed up freight delays - please have patience and understand that once your parcel leaves our hands, it's in the realm of a parcel network consisting of up to 1.5 million objects moving on a daily basis. Complaining to us, sending us nasty emails and accusing us of poor service gets nowhere - especially when it's apparent we have busted our butts to get your parcel out and on the road in record time. The only way for change to occur is when people direct their frustrations directly to AusPost.

Parcels are in large cages stored in warehouses or on trucks - it's not just a simple case of walking over and finding something easily - freight needs to work it's way out to the end point before it's identifiable.

Hopefully, we have some better news to share next month regarding expanding our freight and shipping options.

AusPost Express Changes

Sometimes, we receive a quite a few complaints about the Express parcel service not meeting customer expectations. Mostly, it's an irate and frustrated customer demanding a refund.

It seems that AusPost's marketing campaign from more than 20 years ago of "Guaranteed Next Day" still appears to resonate with consumers and it's natural to assume that message applies to all Express products.

I bet most people would be surprised to learn that AusPost's Express parcel service "guarantees" and the lesser known refund policy only applies to the AusPost branded merchandise purchased over the counter in official AusPost retail outlets. That is, all the service features can only be provided when you use their own pre-paid solutions bought directly.

Merchants like us are not entitled to the "guarantee" or the refund feature - it's explicitly excluded from merchant agreements. Making matters worse, when a customer calls the AusPost support centre, most of the time an AusPost agent erroneously advises our customers to seek refunds from us, which as you can imagine bounces and we are left stranded trying to explain it's not applicable.

Just to clarify a few important aspects regarding the AusPost Express parcel service provided by merchants (whether it's us or anyone else).

1. It's not a guarantee arrival time-frame (but I will explain more about this below, so please keep reading), but it's a lot faster
2. Refunds due to delays in arrival (not meeting the marketing terms of Next Business Day) are not available to merchants.

Express parcel services are much faster than the alternative - regular freight. They are sorted as a priority, they use s gateway terminal which means they are not sitting for up to a day or more waiting to be Xray in the central state parcel facility and in the case of interstate it's not road freight.

AusPost are acutely aware of merchants complaining about the disconnect between the marketing of their "guarantees" and refunds and the poor track record of meeting arrival time objectives. So, they are trying to improve.

From next week, AusPost will commence collecting our Express parcels earlier in the day. It appears that when all the parcel volumes are being lodged into the hubs, it's creating sorting problems and delays, resulting in missed gateway connections.

Customers that order with Express shipping before 2pm will see their parcels collection around 2:30pm. Any Express shipping orders after that time will be picked up in our standard 4pm, but this can risk not making the 6pm connections across the other side of the city.

Xmas & New Year Trading Hours

Our store remains open, 24 x 7 accepting orders throughout the entire period and we are working at our facility on maintenance activities, however, freight providers have limited services running on during the festive season.

Please consider that all freight is congested in the run up to Xmas and even in January when there are less freight staff at work, so plan ahead.

Pre-Xmas order cut-off is Midday Friday 22nd December - last dispatch before Xmas.

Orders received after midday 22/12/17 will be sent Wednesday 27th December.

Roasting is restarted Tuesday 26th December.

During the holiday period from 22/12/17 through 2/1/18, freight collection services will occur earlier in the afternoons. In the case of Sendle parcels, they will be collected at 11am. Unfortunately, we have no control over this arrangement as the couriers are not prepared to pickup from us later in the afternoon.

Normal operations resume Tuesday 2nd January 2018

On behalf of the mycuppa team, we wish you a Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.