Numero Group: By The Numbers

Mail Order Monday: How Our Customer Service Stacks Up
March 30, 2015, 10:44 am
Filed under: Methodology, Uncategorized

So as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we try our absolute best to provide excellent customer service to our dedicated fan base. Growing up obsessive collectors ourselves, we’ve been on both sides of the mail order catalog, and try and treat our customers the way that we would like to be treated. After finding an old credit slip for an active record label in an old box of old stuff, I thought it would be fun to conduct an experiment to see how how an independent label from my youth might handle a customer service obstacle course like the one detailed here in…



Okay, so this is me—I’m fourth from the left. When I look at that van (right), I can hear Liquid Swords, Steady Diet Of Nothing, Legalize It, and other albums I’m willing to admit we listened to. British punkers Snuff had just played in Winston-Salem but run out of merch, so I sent Fat Wreck Chords a money order for A Snuff 7-inch, a Propaghandi 7-inch, and, what the hell, I’ll throw in this NOFX VHS cassette because Dan Harper said it was hilarious. A few weeks later I received only the NOFX afterthought and a credit slip for $8. I soon went to college, where I forgot all about what kind of Fat Wreck Chords credit I may or may not have. Until last year.

So our customer service experiment begins on April 21st, 2014 with the following message:

From: Jonathan Cross Kirby <>
Subject: Ancient Credit Slip
Date: April 21, 2014 3:32:50 PM CDT
To: mailbag <>

I write you from my adult job at an adult record label, but when I was home over Christmas I found a Fat Wreck Chords credit slip from, get this, August 2nd, 1998. As you know, the game has changed in the years since a Fat employee known only as “Eric” drafted this hand-written credit slip on a generic credit slip (No. 119726), but I would be interested in redeeming it/donating it to the Smithsonian Institute. Can I just mail it in? With an “Order Form”? Also, if you can recommend something that a shitty record collector might like, I would be appreciative. I enjoyed Snuff as a young lad, but now tend to odd, outsider, wasted whatnots. I also liked Snuff, and think that SSW Sundowner 7-inch looks promising. Anyways, this should be a fun exercise. From one label to another, Jon Kirby/the Numero Group

I figured some soul at Fat Wreck Chords would find some delight in this mail order adventure. When Numero gets a handwritten letter or bizarre inquiry, it usually makes it to the water cooler (evident here). But after six months with no response, I figured I’d take another shot.

From: Jonathan Cross Kirby <>
Subject: Re: Ancient Credit Slip
Date: October 22, 2014 4:12:59 PM CDT
To: mailbag <>


Working at a record [label], I realize that customer service response times can vary, anywhere from a day to six months, so I wanted to check in and see what the next step was in terms of redeeming my credit slip. I am attaching a photo of the aforementioned credit slip (see previous sentence), should you need to verify its authenticity. Please tell Eric I said hello. Regards, Jon Kirby/The Numero Group


After two months, I figured I would just place an order using the materials at hand: A credit slip, some postal supplies, and courtesy. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I took a photo for my records.


A month later, I sent customer service another email.

From: Jon Kirby <>
Subject: Re: Ancient Credit Slip
Date: January 12, 2015 12:43:58 PM CST
To: mailbag <>


Per our one-sided dialog [above], I mailed you my 20th Century credit slip on December 15th, with a note indicating that I would like a copy of Snuff’s “Blue Gravy.” Even in light of the holidays, I would have expected a reply or ideally my requested item within the month since our last correspondence. Working at a record label, I’m sure you get overwhelmed by orders, and grow tired of the monotony of stuffing mailers with outward bound merchandise. But I had hoped this credit slip (a piece of Fat Wreck Chords history!) would have served as an out-of-the-ordinary oddity, eliciting some kind of response; either a “Whoa! Nice find!” or “We will send you something, because you are our customer and that means something.” But this does not appear to be the case. In any event, if you could please update me on my order (tracking #, expected date of arrival) I would appreciate that. I used to have $8 (Clinton-era dollars) and then I had a credit slip and now I have neither. Please advise. 
Sincerely, Jon Kirby 

Then finally… A response!

From: mailbag <>
Subject: RE: Ancient Credit Slip
Date: January 12, 2015 1:02:16 PM CST
To: Jon Kirby <>

Hi Jon-

This is the first time I’ve seen an email from you. We were out of the office for 2 weeks around the holidays so we may have missed it or something. Anyway, let me see what I figure out with this credit slip. It was way before my time here.


The next few emails can be summarized as “Hello? Any update on this order?” “Just send in the credit slip and we’ll take it from there” and “I already did send in the credit slip (see above),” wrapping up January 23rd of this year. On March 3rd, I decided I would throw in the towel.


From: Jonathan Cross Kirby []
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 1:43 PM
To: mailbag
Subject: Re: Ancient Credit Slip

I will go ahead an assume that this matter is not going to get resolved. Working at a record label, I thought this would be a fun exercise, to reach out to another record label from my youth and have a good laugh at how things used to work (or not work, for that matter). Rather, this has been just been a disappointment. If this is “punk,” count me out (if you haven’t already).

Jon Kirby 

Then later that day:

From: mailbag <>
Subject: RE: Ancient Credit Slip
Date: March 4, 2015 4:40:12 PM CST
To: Jonathan Cross Kirby <>

I’m not sure if you aren’t getting our replies. We shipped the order. 9449010200881523620112

Then, sure enough on March 6th, nearly one year since my initial inquiry, I received my package, a 10-inch jiggling around in a 12-inch mailer.



5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

…meanwhile, no one at Numero will tell me when I can expect to receive my subscriber pin, many years (and dollars) into this subscription.

Touch & Go mail order dept., 1995-99

Comment by Jay

Jay, The pins are going out Monday:

Comment by numerogroup

 Don’t get cocky, sometines you guys don’t reply at all… Love, John

Comment by John Ardis

We try our best

Comment by numerogroup

The subtle, passive/aggressive dig at the end there, “a 10-inch jiggling around in a 12-inch mailer”, made me laugh.

Comment by princeasbo

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