Plum Publications Shipping Policies
We make every possible effort to ship inexpensively and efficiently. Although 99% of the orders go out within 72 hours, our STATED DELIVERY TIME is 4-6 weeks.
Why? Because there are factors beyond our control that may affect delivery time.
Like what? Like...
The Post Office (especially on Media Mail): Once we give the package to the Post Office, there is NOTHING we can do to affect it. If they lose it, mis-ship it, or leave it in a corner for a week it is out of our hands. They only guarantee delivery on EXPENSIVE shipping options.
Customs: Every country has its own Customs Department. International Packages must clear Customs in the U.S. and Customs in your country. For the most part, everything goes well, but sometimes Customs is just having a bad day and they can detain anything they want for as long as they want. If you know something particular about Customs in your country, please tell us. It may help.
Item out of stock: We do our best to keep things in stock and the site updated when something runs out. But things happen, inventory sometimes goes awry, and if we think something is due within a day or two, we may hold your order until the missing item arrives. We try to contact you when this happens, but sometimes we miss. Our apologies.
Mistakes: Yes we make some...not very many but we're not perfect. And sometimes you do too...leaving out a crucial number in your address or mistyping a credit card number or a zip code. We're working on our end, but please, look over your order for mistakes--especially in the numbers--before sending it. This will help things along also.
When Things Go Wrong...Lost Packages and the People Who Want Them
We hate to say it, but sometimes things get lost in the mails. It doesn't happen very often, but when it's your package who cares about the statistics? We've probably lost 10 packages in three or four years of shipping. If you have chosen to NOT INSURE your order, there is very little we can do to help you replace it, unless it is our fault. We repeat: if you do NOT INSURE your package, we will not replace it. We're really sorry about this. But insurance is relatively inexpensive and we HIGHLY recommend it. However, if something does go missing, these are the rules:
1. (DOMESTIC) The Insurance company (and the Post Office) do not allow us to make a claim for at least 30 days after a package has been mailed. This means that there is a very good chance we will NOT be able to replace the order for 30 days. When the 30 days has expired, we will require a signed and dated letter from you that the package has not arrived. At that time, we are usually able to immediately send a replacement order out.
2. (INTERNATIONAL) While virtually all of our domestic mail is trackable, we are unable to track International Parcels unless you use EXPRESSMAIL. The Post Office does not have any means of tracking regular airmail. If an International insured package is lost, essentially we need to follow the same rules as above, except that we must wait 45 days instead of 30 days. Please understand that we take lost packages very seriously, but it may take a little extra time with International losses.
Please do not demand immediate attention! Sometimes things just take longer than expected to arrive, especially--but not always--media mail or international mail. The Post Office gives the least priority to media mail, and an order can sit in the post office for two weeks without even moving (update September 2010: the post office is now saying that media mail can take up to FOUR WEEKS to arrive! They say that this is due to staff cuts, etc. Our experience is that media arrives generally within 5-14 days, but just thought you should know...)
Since we keep our prices low, you might consider upgrading from media to first class (under 12 oz), priority mail (over 12 oz). As for mail to international destinations, consider this: your package must navigate through TWO post offices and TWO customs offices. The fact that 99.9% of packages arrive in a timely manner is pretty good!
Also, if you are asking us to ship to an unsafe location (a place where things often get stolen off the doorstep, for instance) please consider a different shipping address, even if you have to use a friend. We cannot be responsible for these kinds of losses.
A Few Words on Damages or Defective Items
It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while something arrives Damaged or Defective.
1. DAMAGES: In the case of Items damaged in the mail, we can usually make a claim, but we will most likely need you to send us a signed and dated letter stating the damage. Please keep all packaging, as it may even be necessary to show this at the post office. Obviously, we will try to keep your inconvenience to a minimum. However, in order for us to recover our losses and replace your items, we may need your help.
2. DEFECTIVE ITEMS: Again, pretty rare, but with technology, it is possible that something may arrive defective. Our policy is to replace Defective Items. We may ask you to ship back the item to us. Again, we will try to keep the inconvenience to a minimum.
INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS, PLEASE READ! Since shipping is so expensive, we may choose to credit your account for the damaged or defective item, rather than re-send it. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. Of course, if you place another order, we will be happy to include the replacement with that order.