This is the text of the first Certified Letter I sent to Patty Wimmer of QP Distribution. The Certified Mail was ignored and unsigned. However, I was smart enough to also send another copy with First Class Mail. After I sent this letter out, I did more research of prior statements, invoices, agreement, and price sheets, in my files regarding QP Distribution.
April 15, 2011
c/o QP Distribution
PO Box 70
Mulvane, KS 67110
I regret I have to write this letter but we have hit a standstill on the final closing of my account. Our email exchanges have given me very little indication that you are willing to be reasonable and that you continue to take a dictatorial position of forcing policies and fees upon me that I never agreed to.
I told you repeatedly I wanted to settle my account peacefully and not get caught with more unexpected fees and policies. You have taken advantage of my goodwill by vindictively adding and padding fees that I never received written notifications on or ever agreed to. Additionally, you have, at the last hour, changed payment terms to “pay in advance” despite the fact my account is both current and at zero balance.
For most of the 8 years of our business relationship, it has been smooth up until very recently. Specifically, there were 2 incidents.
One was back in March 2010, I asked for a way to reduce my monthly storage fees by phone and by email. I did not receive a timely reply from you until after you billed my account the higher storage fee and then only after I followed up with you with a phone call.
You ultimately discarded some of the inventory to reduce it to $25/month. Of course, I had to pay a marked-up disposal fee for that privilege. It was only after I said that I felt it was unfair and going to publicize this incident that you reluctantly adjusted my account the following month because you said David would disapprove otherwise.
And then last month, without any written notice or warning, you charged my account a $6.50 late fee. I told you I objected to how you never warned me or provided any written notification of any late fee or made even one single attempt to call or email me regarding my account if it was such a problem. In any case, I paid my account current. I asked for a removal of this late fee given that the account was paid up. In the spirit of cooperation, I even agreed to a late fee for any FUTURE late payments. You said you would look into this. Ultimately, you told me I deserved the late fee despite the fact you were too lazy to ever email or call me once because you were “too busy” and I had always paid up my account.
I then said if you wanted that $6.50 so badly, it was time to terminate our business relationship. I was not going to be continually held hostage to the fact you have my book inventory. I was also not going to be subject to any more arbitrary changes in fees or policies despite my prior complaints about sudden fee or policy changes without any written notification. With the exception of one written notice I received in 2007, this has been habitual and I believe you railroad your customers into it because most don’t want their books held hostage. And you won’t acknowledge that it is bad and improper business to make changes without written notice. In the 8 years I have worked with QPD, there have made almost no effort to changes to this way of operating.
When I decided to terminate my account, you asked for a written 30-day notice. Again, I complied. I sent that 30-day notice through email and you accepted it both by email and verbally on the phone. Since that notice, we have spoken on the phone more than once on how to resolve things peacefully because it was my intention to settle my account in full. During that time, I asked if there was any more “fine print”. You said no. There would only be the final shipment order (if I wanted one) and a disposal fee. I said that was ok as long as I knew and agreed to the charges.
Previously, I asked for an estimate of the disposal fee and only after I followed up again by email did you finally reply. The number you gave me is inconsistent with the 12-cents per pound you quoted me. As a reminder, none of my paperwork indicates this fee that you are trying to force me to pay. Even with a nominal handling fee, the numbers do not add up correctly. I informed you about the discrepancy and you have conveniently ignored that.
Also, because I instructed you to bill shipping costs to my Fedex account, you are now charging me a “3rd party billing” fee, another unwritten fee and without advance notification.
It has been nearly 2 weeks since we last spoke and just as I gave instructions today to go ahead with the final book shipment (which was originally submitted to you 2 weeks ago), you now tell me everything has to be paid in advance and in full. Your explanation is that it is QPD’s closing policy. Well, I don’t see it in any of my paperwork and my account is current and in good standing. You certainly did not tell me of this when I specifically asked 2 weeks ago concerning any more “fine print”.
You are now trying to collect fees on services not yet incurred while holding my book inventory. I find this unacceptable. You are in the storage business and there are rules governing the storage business. I am quite confident you are in violation of many of those rules.
Even after all of this craziness, I even made good-faith effort to offer a partial advance payment. Well as of this letter, which has been sent via Certified Mail, I am no longer begging for your cooperation. You have mistaken my continued requests for a peaceful resolution and final book shipment as my weakness. If you want to hold my book inventory hostage, that is your choice.
Because we have come to a reasonable agreement despite my best intentions and efforts, this is how I see the situation.
• You received my written 30-day notice last month. April 2011’s storage fees have been paid. As such, my account is complete current and paid up. As far as I am concerned that is the last storage fee.
• You have chosen to withhold and hold hostage 12 cases of books I asked you to ship (using my Fedex Ground Account). Need I remind you that the books are still technically my property and that you are supposed to go through a formal sale, repossession, or auction process? You were given a written request to ship those books on the terms previously agreed to.
• I showed goodwill in my willingness to pay for the disposal fee but I will no longer pay for padded or unannounced fees. I have not been given a proper and complete accounting breakdown of the discrepancy beyond the 12-cents per pound. You have conveniently ignored this request. In fact, the agreement I in 2003 signed says it was 5-cents per pound, not 12-cents.
• I have asked more than once asked to find a way to peacefully resolve this and thus far, it has been “your way or the highway”. Enough is enough.
It is regrettable that this situation has come to pass but I refuse to work with any business that continues to unprofessionally and unilaterally make policy or fee changes without any written notification. It is bad business. And in most legal circles, it is quite inappropriate and the policies unenforceable.
Even though you hold my remaining book inventory, I refuse to be held hostage by QPD any longer. I will not be extorted to make full payment in advance for services not yet rendered and of charges that cannot be substantiated or properly accounted for. Since you refuse to be reasonable, I am not spending any more time on this situation. I have chosen to close this matter out.
Since my account is now current, and we have not come to any final agreements, the book inventory is now yours to deal with.
Ascend Beyond Publishing