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Old 04-04-2017, 05:54 PM   #1
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Why the problems at Pipesandcigars.com

Letter from Eric at Pipesandcigars.com

P&C Faithful,

To those impacted by shipping delays and customer service issues, I wanted to take this opportunity to apologize and thank you for your patience on behalf of the entire P&C team. While we acknowledge our mistakes and the issues they caused for many customers, my hope is that the information contained in this message will help you understand why we faced these challenges, and how our new systems will help us grow and serve you for many years to come. This is no way an excuse for the inconvenience we put some of you through. For that, I sincerely apologize.

In complete transparency, here is a bit more detail into what is going on behind the scenes. On February 11th, we implemented a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System and a new WMS (Warehouse Management System). In short, it was a massive undertaking. Nearly everyone at the company was faced with a 100% change in the methods and processes of day-to-day business.

Despite nearly 18 months of planning and testing, there were numerous issues with and between the two systems which were not discovered until after we went live. By the time we were able to sort through the various issues, we were a few weeks work of orders behind. The backlog of packages led to a flood of customer service calls and emails, resulting in very long delays in response time or even the inability to get through on the phone lines.

Our entire IT department and a small army of software consultants worked tirelessly to make the fixes as quickly as possible. As issues were fixed, only then could our customer service team identify and fix all orders that were affected. When orders were corrected, the warehouse still had a large backlog, but we added a third shift and additional staff to get through the work as quickly as possible. While it may come as little consolation to those who experienced delays, I hope you know that we were working day and night throughout the impacted time frame to correct the issues and get you your orders as quickly as possible.

As I write this, the new systems are up, running, and functional. Not perfect, but we’re getting the great majority of packages out within the time frame you’ve become accustomed to over the years. We’ll continue improving and configuring the systems until they’re optimal, and then we’ll be able to harness their full potential. In addition to replacing our legacy system, which became extremely unstable and unreliable, the new systems will significantly reduce errors in packing and picking and increase the number of packages we can get out the door in a single day. Additionally, they’ll help to optimize purchasing and reduce backorders, provide new promotional opportunities through coupons and other discount methods, and provide improved backend visibility so that we can better serve you with products and offers that you’ll love. While it was a painful implementation, we’re excited about the future.

I realize we have not lived up to the standards you have come to expect from Pipes and Cigars and we are truly sorry about that. Our commitment is to soon improve upon the standard you expect of us. We have identified the last handful of orders that still need our attention and we are working diligently to fulfill these orders. If you are still looking for your order, or you have a problem with your order, please reach out to us at solutions@pipesandcigars.com. The will be the quickest way for us to get you an update on your order.

Pipes and Cigars has focused on being your one-stop-shop for all premium tobacco needs, and we will continue to work hard for your business. Our staff is dedicated to put in long hours until everyone’s problems are solved and we provide you the best pipe and tobacco deals possible. We are working hard with our vendors to make sure we are fully stocked and remain the price leader in this industry. We appreciate each and every one of you and we thank you for the continued support. While this experience has been humbling, the continued support and friendship of our customers is what makes it all worthwhile and keeps us going.

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your patience, support, and understanding.


Eric Vernon
Pipes and Cigars Brand Manager
Isaiah 53

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