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Thread: What's the deal with Wyeast??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Shelburne, NS
    Posts
    55

    What's the deal with Wyeast??

    So I place an order from Wyeast...

    I ask them three weeks ahead of time to please ship on a certain Monday.
    They say "no, we only ship on Tuesdays".
    I ask "haven't you got the yeast in stock?"
    They say "of course but our standard shipping day is Tuesday."

    I explain that I'm in a remote location and more often than not I have to drive 3 hours out and 3 hours back to rescue the yeast at a FedEx depot so I'd like them to make an exception. It took multiple rounds of pleading to make that happen. Not once did I ever lose my cool. I promise.

    Next I ask PLEASE not to use FedEX on this shipment because they don't service my area.
    "Please, PLEASE send it via UPS" I say.
    Flat out "NO".

    I plead, I beg, I make multiple calls, ask multiple people, still "NO".
    I offer to send UPS to pick up the load myself, pay for it myself, and arrange everything including the paperwork myself, still "NO".

    WTF?

    They then proceed to send my shipment by FedEX (at least it was shipped on the Monday) and lo and behold, it gets held up in customs. I lose a transit day trying to rescue it from customs (my broker is...you guessed it, UPS).
    Ok, a day later and my yeast is on the move again.
    Of course, it gets held up for another 30 hours at a city depot awaiting the transfer to their subcontractor. Now it's Thursday, no movement, and the following Monday is a holiday, and I'm at risk of getting my yeast stuck another 72 hours somewhere unknown over the long weekend.

    I'm fuming mad at this point, send an email to Wyeast customer service with all the tracking evidence, explain clearly and politely why it is so important for them to use MY courier instead of theirs.
    Again, a flat "NO, it's FedEx only".

    The only explanation they give me is that they have "a customer service protocol to uphold" and FedEX is their only courier.

    Can you believe this?

    Another letter of complaint, and escalation, another request to use UPS in the future.

    I get an email back from them today saying that they're refunding my money. I ask them not to, because at least I got my yeast (on the fifth day of a two day service), and at least it wasn't damaged.

    In essence, it appears that I've been dumped as a customer from Wyeast, as I doubt that they'll accept another order of mine after this refund.

    I ask you in earnest, is this good customer service?
    Has anyone else out there received this sort of treatment (a disregard for the wishes of the customer) from Wyeast (or any other supplier for that matter)?

    Was I being unreasonable?

    Frustrated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5

    Unreasonable

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Next I ask PLEASE not to use FedEX on this shipment because they don't service my area.
    "Please, PLEASE send it via UPS" I say.
    Flat out "NO".

    ....

    I'm fuming mad at this point, send an email to Wyeast customer service with all the tracking evidence, explain clearly and politely why it is so important for them to use MY courier instead of theirs.
    Again, a flat "NO, it's FedEx only".

    The only explanation they give me is that they have "a customer service protocol to uphold" and FedEX is their only courier.

    Can you believe this?"
    Seems like they we're pretty straight forward with you the whole time

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Shelburne, NS
    Posts
    55
    No doubt - their position was crystal clear the whole time. They never tried to deceive.

    The bit I don't get is why they refuse to see my side of the situation, why they are completely unsympathetic to my predicament, unwilling to work with me to solve the problem, even after offering to relieve them of shipping responsibility.

    Again, stop me if I'm being unreasonable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    5
    Seems like you're a bit of a pain for them to reach. Wyeast is a pretty big operation, I'd wager you aren't purchasing enough yeast to offset the headache.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by CoilTheDamnHose View Post
    Seems like you're a bit of a pain for them to reach. Wyeast is a pretty big operation, I'd wager you aren't purchasing enough yeast to offset the headache.
    This. Wyeast is like Comcast now. They don't need you and don't need to chase after your money. There is lower hanging fruit they can go after. Let the young, hungry guys chase those dollars. This is why I buy from Imperial now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Enumclaw, WA
    Posts
    143
    Have you looked at brewing science institute? Or dry yeast?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Prost!
    Eric Brandjes
    Cole Street Brewery
    Enumclaw, WA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandjes View Post
    Have you looked at brewing science institute? Or dry yeast?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    As a brewer and someone who previously worked for a big W yeast company (not Wyeast, lol) I can suggest a little insight on both sides of the issue. Wyeast is trying to protect their investment by using a shipping vendor that they feels will take care of their product. They probably have had issues with other shipping vendors in the past and will not risk the expensive product with anyone but the preferred vendor. This seems to be a reasonable stance to me, as I know I wouldn't ship my beers through a distributor I wasn't fully trusting.

    I have seen yeast shipments get held or routed incorrectly from most all major companies, so it is bound to happen. Wyeast has developed a relationship with FedEx and they probably are able to handle insurance claims, provide quicker service and lower costs. I can't blame them for not wanting to risk another carrier.

    You could try White Labs, who I know for a fact uses UPS, FedEx or DHL as some options. WL is also a quite big supplier and you may find similar issues as Wyeast, but Pam Marshall over there is a wonderful lady who always treats people right. All international shipments go on Mondays unless you specify a certain date. Tuesdays are generally for domestic shipments. They also have East and West coast operations, and now Hong Kong production. I am personally considering flying there each time, as shipping and import costs are about a wash with plane tickets.

    DHL tends to do well for international, but my yeast is being held for prolonged times because of the Indian service here as I write this, so like I said, it happens. It's the risk of liquid yeast. It seems to be more dependent on the actual person working over the carrier in my experience.

    BSI makes good products generally, but are still subject to the carrier. They are in the middle of Colorado, so international shipments may in fact take longer and be subject to weather delays (like snow, I used to live close, lol). I have won awards with BSI yeast, WL yeast and dry yeast so I don't believe any particular yeast manufacturer is the golden ticket. It has more to do with how you handle your yeast.

    Dry yeast is the easiest and safest answer, along with the cheapest. I am contemplating the switch permanently as our products taste almost identical after trials however we use a basic "chico" west coast strain and a hefeweizen strain primarily. I can always order the liquid when doing a one off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    7
    Sounds like they just don't want your business badly enough. Not a crime, but I certainly understand your frustration - especially with so few vendors in this space.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    46
    If your getting yeast sent to Canada, maybe check out escarpment.
    In all honesty, we have done one order through them, and it was shipped today (ordered last week, asked for them to ship today and they did).
    Again, no hands on experience with their product yet, (we ordered a Brett blend) but customer service so far is top notch, and we don't have to worry about transit times, border crossings, etc. so far I'm impressed enough that I'm already considering getting all of our one off pitches from them.
    http://www.escarpmentlabs.com/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    115

    Go dry

    Switch to dry yeast. Sounds like it would fit your situation better using dry. Been super pleased with Fermentis products. They come in 500g bricks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Vancovuer, BC, Canada
    Posts
    25
    Maybe give imperial yeast a call. They work hard for people's business.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    So I place an order from Wyeast...

    I ask them three weeks ahead of time to please ship on a certain Monday.
    They say "no, we only ship on Tuesdays".
    I ask "haven't you got the yeast in stock?"
    They say "of course but our standard shipping day is Tuesday."

    I explain that I'm in a remote location and more often than not I have to drive 3 hours out and 3 hours back to rescue the yeast at a FedEx depot so I'd like them to make an exception. It took multiple rounds of pleading to make that happen. Not once did I ever lose my cool. I promise.

    Next I ask PLEASE not to use FedEX on this shipment because they don't service my area.
    "Please, PLEASE send it via UPS" I say.
    Flat out "NO".

    I plead, I beg, I make multiple calls, ask multiple people, still "NO".
    I offer to send UPS to pick up the load myself, pay for it myself, and arrange everything including the paperwork myself, still "NO".

    WTF?

    They then proceed to send my shipment by FedEX (at least it was shipped on the Monday) and lo and behold, it gets held up in customs. I lose a transit day trying to rescue it from customs (my broker is...you guessed it, UPS).
    Ok, a day later and my yeast is on the move again.
    Of course, it gets held up for another 30 hours at a city depot awaiting the transfer to their subcontractor. Now it's Thursday, no movement, and the following Monday is a holiday, and I'm at risk of getting my yeast stuck another 72 hours somewhere unknown over the long weekend.

    I'm fuming mad at this point, send an email to Wyeast customer service with all the tracking evidence, explain clearly and politely why it is so important for them to use MY courier instead of theirs.
    Again, a flat "NO, it's FedEx only".

    The only explanation they give me is that they have "a customer service protocol to uphold" and FedEX is their only courier.

    Can you believe this?

    Another letter of complaint, and escalation, another request to use UPS in the future.

    I get an email back from them today saying that they're refunding my money. I ask them not to, because at least I got my yeast (on the fifth day of a two day service), and at least it wasn't damaged.

    In essence, it appears that I've been dumped as a customer from Wyeast, as I doubt that they'll accept another order of mine after this refund.

    I ask you in earnest, is this good customer service?
    Has anyone else out there received this sort of treatment (a disregard for the wishes of the customer) from Wyeast (or any other supplier for that matter)?

    Was I being unreasonable?

    Frustrated...
    Hey there. I get It! We're out of North Bay Ontario and have had the same problem with yeast stuck at the border. We had a delay of one week in transit. We were lucky it was in the fall.

    I'd call Angus at Escarpment labs. They're based out of Guelph, have a wide variety of yeasts and cultures and have great customer service. Other bonus, being from Canada you don't need a broker. They will also ship however you want.

    Cheers!

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by dmartin View Post
    If your getting yeast sent to Canada, maybe check out escarpment.
    In all honesty, we have done one order through them, and it was shipped today (ordered last week, asked for them to ship today and they did).
    Again, no hands on experience with their product yet, (we ordered a Brett blend) but customer service so far is top notch, and we don't have to worry about transit times, border crossings, etc. so far I'm impressed enough that I'm already considering getting all of our one off pitches from them.
    http://www.escarpmentlabs.com/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    In just posted without seeing this but yeah. They're good and in Canada.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    12
    I would wager that the answer is much simpler than anything related to customer service: they probably have a contract with FedEx. Companies that rely on shipping to sell product (especially over the internet) often have contracts with one shipping supplier or another, and in return get a negotiated rate on a per-piece or similar metric. They won't ship UPS because that would violate the terms of their contract. It's quite simple.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by mibrewers View Post
    I would wager that the answer is much simpler than anything related to customer service: they probably have a contract with FedEx. Companies that rely on shipping to sell product (especially over the internet) often have contracts with one shipping supplier or another, and in return get a negotiated rate on a per-piece or similar metric. They won't ship UPS because that would violate the terms of their contract. It's quite simple.
    I don't think it is quite that simple.

    I doubt very much they have an exclusive contract that doesn't allow them to use other carriers. That would be a huge mistake for any company. In previous positions with other industries that shipped hundreds of packages a day we had accounts with both and others, although discounted rates were given for certain volumes from each. This led to a preferred vendor, but not an exclusive one. We even had UPS and FedEx supplied computers sitting right next to each other. The reps would often come in passing each other since we had limited time to speak with them. The drivers Gary and Logan even would chat at the dock while we gave them each their allotment for the day. In fact it would be very difficult for FedEx to even know if something was shipped through another carrier. All you would have to do is walk into a UPS store, send a call tag for pickup, or just stagger your pickup times.

    Like I said above, I know for a fact WL uses both and DHL. They ship just as many packages and probably more than Wyeast.

    It is possible they may have been willing to ship UPS Collect on your existing account (if you have one), but much more likely they just don't want to deal with the hassle of using more than one company. Personally I don't blame them, personnel in the company can easily get confused, but it is a disadvantage. Some prefer Pepsi, some prefer Coke, I prefer-7 Eleven where I can get either. Shop accordingly, the power is in your dollars.

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