The Product that Never Was…

I hate when we get emails or frantic calls these these (actual email received today):

I need a quote for 12 soccer jerseys Asap with printing.
I had problem with my printing company and now I need everything done by May 29th, that’s our game start date.
I just sent you 3 emails with logo and jersey model.
You can see below player info…

I have a saying for situations like this one. I call it:

“The Product that Never Was…”

  • It was never picked
  • It was never printed
  • It was never packed
  • It was never shipped
  • It was never going to be delivered.
  • It was the product that never was…

As a fellow soccer coach, it always breaks my heart when these calls come in as the (normally) volunteer buyer has been sent into a total tizzy. It’s just not fair.

The reason we can guarantee our uniforms by game day is that we have excellent internal controls. We’ve been doing this long enough that we know how certain dollar volumes translate into hours of production work. Our production meetings determine how much available production we have left before we get on the phones. Sure, we make human mistakes. But, it is the exception rather than the rule. I learned long ago that I’d rather tell a customer, “I love you, but we can’t hit that delivery date. Here’s what I would do if I were you…” (normally, it involved going to a local silkscreen printer and buying cheap t-shirts).

There’s just something about the integrity of saying, “I can’t do it by that date, but I can do it by this date. Does that work and can you make it a week without your jerseys?” I’m sure we “lose” business by being honest – but we don’t create headaches for buyers. Believe me, in the heat of August when we are our busiest, I know the shape of deliveries by the date we start getting these calls from customers seeking solutions. Normally, it starts about August 11th. Now, to me, the unfair part of that when you speak with the buyers to find a workable solution is that the company has held the order for a number of weeks…and then comes and says, “Hey, you’re not going to get your uniforms.” We’d rather just tell you straight away, so you can make proper plans.

Does anyone have horror stories in dealing with companies? How did you handle it?

PS – We were able to help the customer who sent the email. 😉


  • Testimonials

    I am in need of more jersey's. I've attached my last order from you. Let me know price changes. Will be ordering +\- 6 shirts or so.

    Our shirts are still holding up well. Even the original ones from 2007. (Sent in 2011)

    Thanks You

    Steve Westlake, Sammamish, WA

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