That's all well and good for you and your Christian followers. But what of the other Americans who do not share your religion? It is not very compassionate of you to impose your own values on those who do not follow your faith. Do what you will in your own house of worship, but give others the freedom to make their own life choices outside those walls. That would be a very respectful—and dare I even say Christian?—thing to do.
[I left this as a comment on the blog post itself, but I suspect it won't survive moderation.]
The design of the "calculate postage" page on the US Postal Service web site is awful. You have to choose the type of item to mail, then the weight, then click next to get to a page that shows the different options and prices.
I got sick of doing this, so I spent the time clicking through the site hundreds of times and compiling the data into a spreadsheet. I really don't want to maintain this, so if there is any US Postal Service worker reading this, please do an official version of this on your site. US postal mailing/shipping rates spreadsheet
Massive kudos to the USDA for throwing out the old food pyramid and replacing it with a plate. I'm really impressed that the word "protein" replaces previous references to "meat". Sadly, they still have a "dairy" section on the site.
Dig into the details on the site and you see them talk about "lean cuts of meat" and "low-fat dairy". These are things that simply don't exist in nature and that our ancestors would not have access to. I personally don't think it makes sense to have recommendations for food that requires significant modern processing to get it into a state that is deemed "healthy".
So even though I really applaud the new direction, it still can use some improvement. Here's my take on it.
As you all know, I've been on a kick lately replacing my wardrobe with fitted shirts. Though I've bought quite a few (about 15 at last count), I've been frugal in my purchases. The most expensive shirt I bought was $80, and the vast majority were in the $30-$40 range. I've had my eye on some higher-end shirts from the likes of Thomas Pink and Duchamp, but at $200 for a shirt, I just couldn't justify it.
Well last week Duchamp had a sale which took 30% off their shirts. This, coupled with a 10% coupon I had for signing up for their email list was enough to convince me to place the order. After all, they had some really unique, bold designs that couldn't be had anywhere else.
The shipping was a bit steep (nearly $30), but with the other discounts, I was still signed up.
Today I received the package. Well, more accurately UPS attempted delivery by requesting $52.80 for me to accept delivery. I refused.
It turns out this is a customs payment required for shipping merchandise from the UK to the USA. I can understand this. But here are two things I cannot understand:
Why did Duchamp not make this charge clear in the purchase process? There is a vague reference to it on a "Delivery" page buried at the bottom of their home page. As a user experience designer, I know this is nowhere close to sufficient. The order system should detect the order is being shipped to the USA, calculate the customs duty, and informing me of this before I place the order. For such a high-end purveyor of dry goods, I had expected a better customer experience than this.
Why don't they have an established US presence (or whatever else is required) to avoid such fees for their customers? I have twice this year purchased shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt, Duchamp's neighbor on Jermyn Street. I paid no such customs duty for these shirts.
I had hoped that this post about my Duchamp shirts would be about how they were expensive but well worth it. Sadly, I cannot make such a claim. As I told the customer service rep, I would have been fine paying the fee if I had known about it up front. But to have it sprung on me by the delivery man felt too much like a bait and switch to me.
A truly great, customer-focused company would have apologized for not making this clear in their check-out process and covered the fee for me (making it clear this was a one-time exception). Bonus points for promising to fix it and actually following through on that promise.
So Duchamp, you saved $52.80 (actually it's more like $23 since you'll end up eating the cost of shipping for this non-sale), but you lost a customer and you gained this unflattering blog post. Was it worth it?