Two letters still "In process" - One has been stuck for four months

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I was wondering if you could let me know if the letter from 1/30/17 might arrive soon?

I just updated my preferences to receive letters by email. I still have the Original option checked, because I'd like to receive the original too if possible. 

This actually brings up a few additional questions I have about this new process: 
-- For people who have the Original option selected, will they still be able to see letters online? Because I check Compassion website fairly often to see if any letters have been made available, not wanting to miss any. 
-- Since I haven't been receiving any letters, does that mean that Gatesi isn't receiving the letters I send to her?  
-- Are the physical letters with bookmarks, popup cards, etc. that sponsors send in to the compassion address in Colorado being processed/sent any faster than the electronic versions?

I am feeling so frustrated with all of this. Compassion does great work, but I honestly don't understand how a professional organization could allow something like this to happen. Could you imagine if, as an example, FedEx had their system(s) go down for this amount of time? I would've quit Compassion at the beginning of the year if I didn't love Gatesi so much. Because not only does the extreme delay in letter transmission rob sponsors and children of their shared connection, it raises questions about how all aspects of Compassion are being managed.  Because if a software/system upgrade is this poorly implemented/managed I wonder if everything is managed this way.  As a sponsor, I do not feel there has been enough explanation and/or transparency relative to what is actually happening (other than there were some glitches with the upgrade) and when it might be resolved.

Another hugely disappointing aspect of this is the severe restrictions Compassion has put in place on physical items sponsors can send their children. I understand that it helps save on shipping, but so far this year I have received (at minimum) 3 physical letters from Compassion asking me to sponsor additional children. In my opinion, the money spent on postage for these letters is terribly wasteful. Additionally, the restrictions on items sponsors are allowed to send their children was made, we were told, because the system was being upgraded and letter transmission time would be drastically reduced. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Reading through other posts here, it seems many sponsors are unhappy with the new restrictions. Maybe Compassion could have different tiers of sponsorship? Where some tiers cost more, and those sponsors could send their children items that we were able to send in the past. 

I apologize for the rant and don't mean/want to offend, and I feel sure that compassion is doing everything it can as quickly as possible, but I think it's important for compassion to understand the effect this situation is having on sponsors. 

Thank you for your time
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Posted 3 years ago

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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Piper/ Clair, 

First of all, I want to apologize that Compassion has caused these questions to arise, and your frustration overall. We are all dealing with this together. To be very transparent with you, we are all frustrated too. It is unbelievably hard to continue to serve our sponsors at a lower level of service than we are use to, and committed to. And for that, I want you to know that we are truly sorry and we understand why this is upsetting. There are multiple reasons that we have been unable to completely clarify what issues we are dealing with and give a complete answer of when these may be fixed. But, mostly this is because we are dealing with a brand new system that was built for Compassion and has never been used before. Because of this, we are working very, very hard with the developing company to resolve these issues, but we, ourselves do not exactly have a timeline of when these may be fixed. Again, I completely empathize with you on how frustrating that is. We truly want to thank you for sticking with us through these challenges. I am confident that when these bugs are worked out, that we will not only be able to serve our supporters better than before, but also our children.   

Secondly, I do want you to know that even if you are not selecting to receive an email notice when a new letter from your child arrives, you will still be able to access all new letters online. The email is just a notification so that you do not have to continuously check to see if there is a new letter. In addition to this, I have emailed you a copy of the letter from January, so that you may view it now, instead of having to wait until the online system is fixed. All other letters have gone through just fine, so you need not worry that she is not receiving your letters. :) All letters that are sent through to Compassion at this time are taking roughly the same amount of time to be processed, so sending one physically would make very little difference, if any at this point. 

Lastly, I also understand it can be very frustrating to have such limited options on what to send to your child. We have our guidelines set based on what we feel is most important to the child. Over time, we have seen that children feel much more love and appreciation through child letters, than they do through physical gifts. Because Compassion uses UPS and DHL to send items, we must comply with customs regulations and fees. These fees and regulations changed, which is why we had to also change our policies. Regrettably, now it can cost up to $20 to ship just a very small box with just a toy or two in it. Although I think your idea to have an option to pay shipping costs in your sponsorship fees is wonderful, Compassion is not set up to be able to do that at this time. However, I think this is a wonderful suggestion and I have passed this on to our leadership team. In the meantime, you are still more than welcome to send a monetary gift to your child. This allows the family to decide exactly what they need, and in their own city they can typically purchase much more with that same amount of money than we can here. Also along those lines, we would be happy to remove you from the mailing list, if you would like to help us cut down a bit of costs that way, also. 

I hope that I was able to address all your concerns. Please let me know if I missed anything, or if I can do anything else to help! I truly appreciate your heart, your feedback, and your continued love that you extend to Gatsi! God bless! 
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Linda Baker

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I feel you Piper, we have been at the same place with you for a year, letters not moving at all.  I even began to translate my own to speed up the process for them.  I am at the end of my rope. I was okay with sending money instead of gifts, except that I never hear how that extra money gets spent!  I agree with you that while this may be a non-profit it is still a business and needs to be run correctly.  So far the only thing Compassion seems to do frequently with efficiency that I get to see is send junk mail. 
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Linda, 

Please know that we are working on addressing all of your concerns on your other posts. We will be responding shortly. 

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