Problem Dating back to the start of COVID, the past year has been full of challenges for many of us. Here at Fiddleback, we’ve managed to keep most things rolling right along through the setbacks without much change to our overall business or our ability to deliver great products to our customers. However, one of those challenges has been increasingly difficult to overcome…as it is completely out of our control…and that challenge is shipping. On January 4th, 10 knives from Fiddleback Forge were “lost” in shipping. That is 10 unique handmade items that potentially will never see their intended forever home. Solution After talking it over with Andy, one thing is for sure. We can’t let our customers take the hit for this problem. So we are going to offer the affected customers an option to either have their knives remade with similar materials (if possible) or offer them a full refund. Of course, we are putting trust in our customers that if their knife is delivered after we do this, that they will either pay for it again or return it to us (at our cost to ship). We trust our customers and want to continue to prove we deserve their trust too. We’ve always stood behind our products and our customers, and even with something like this…we’ll continue to do it. It’s the right thing to do. If you were affected by the January 4th shipping debacle, we will be sending you a direct email to see which solution works best for you. If you don't see that email soon, feel free to email us at [email protected] Changes Another thing we also know for sure is that we can’t allow this to occur again, so we are doing away with First Class Mail option for Fiddleback Forge. There is no built-in insurance for First Class Mail at all…therefore, we have no way of recovering any loss. Also, because USPS knows that they are not on the hook for any of the money lost, they treat First Class Mail as a second class citizen. As is proved in this case since all Priority Mail that day made it, First Class was allowed to sit somewhere unprocessed. An unfortunate side effect of that change is that there will no longer be a free shipping option for Fiddleback Forge and we are ONLY offering USPS Priority Mail and UPS. We’ve tried for years to keep a method in place for Free Shipping, but with prices increasing again this year…along with the most recent issues…we can’t continue to do it. We have to be more prudent and put the emphasis on reliability of shipping. The good news is, we have REALLY good shipping rates compared to most…so that helps us keep those costs down for customers. And with the recent addition of UPS to our available choices, each customer should be able to find a reliable method to get their product faster than the free option offered. PO Box shippers: your only choice is USPS Priority Mail since UPS can’t deliver to a PO Box. California customers: we will continue to mandate Signature Required on all shipments due to having so many issues with things being delivered to incorrect addresses, as well as package thefts after delivery in California. It costs a couple of bucks more, but it’s worth knowing it got to the correct person’s hands! International Customers: will be limited to UPS ONLY for the near future due to USPS losing a tremendous number of International packages in recent months…luckily all knives are accounted for, but we see patterns over at Fiddleback Outpost on this issue enough to institute the changes until we see the reliability return for USPS.