It was knitting that introduced me to the wonders of Johnny Air. Knitting supplies are pretty scarce here, and why wouldn’t it be? What crazy fool would knit woolen scarves and beanies in a country whose idea of cool weather is 23°C?
Except there are plenty of crazy fools here—myself included—who love to knit (also, you can make so much more than just scarves and beanies!). It was a knitter from our now-defunct stitch and bitch group, Temmy (also our group’s only male knitter), who told me how he would get his knitting supplies from the States sent through Johnny Air.
If you have no idea what Johnny Air is, it’s a convenient way to have your packages from the US or wherever brought to you here quickly and safely.
I’ve had a lot of packages shipped via Johnny Air that I’ve experienced what a blessing and a curse their system can be. Johnny Air charges either by gross weight or volume, whichever is higher, i.e, your package’s shipping cost will be charged based on either how heavy it is, or on how big the box it came in is.
For example, I once had a big-ass, heavy, hardbound makeup manual shipped to me and I got charged P2,000++ for shipping and handling. Then, there was another time when Victoria’s Secret went on sale and I bought feather-light lacy panties (around seven pairs, I think), which the shop shipped in a box as big as the hardbound makeup manual and I also got charged P2,000++ for shipping and handling—I basically paid for a big box because the lacy panties only occupied a teeny-tiny corner of the giant box. I was better off buying lacy panties from a designer brand here seeing as how I paid almost the same because of shipping.
That wasn’t the only time I’ve been burned by purchases packaged wrong. I also paid around $80 in shipping for an item that was $29.99 because stupid Amazon put it in a flat-screen TV-sized box.
There was also another instance when I saw a woman being charged for over P10k (P10,000!!!!!) in shipping and handling alone because she bought a stuffed toy (she said she chose the 15-inch version, but they shipped out a bigger size instead) from Amazon and the rat bastards at the fulfillment center had shipped it in a balikbayan box.
See photo of the woman’s box here (you can see her finger pointing at it while she was arguing with the staff)
I hope they worked it out to something more manageable, but from my own experience, Johnny Air doesn’t give a rat’s ass about these kinds of issues.
Not even for me, who’s been a super longtime customer (almost ten years, and a frequent one at that). But then, it’s business, right? Fuel is expensive and that’s how they make money. They also don’t offer consolidation services, so if you’re screwed, you’re screwed.
There’s a sea freight option, but rates are computed differently, and you have to inform them ahead that you want it shipped by sea or have it shipped to a different address. Either way, the procedure isn’t easy.
I think the last straw for me was when I ordered a pocket spotlight the size and weight of a matchbook (stuffed in a box the size of a mug) and they charged me almost P1,200. After I complained about it, they waived the handling fee and charged me P800++. I also asked if they could deliver the package to my house and they said they would, but with an additional charge of P300++ HELLO!!!!
I was charged P877.28 shipping and handling for this pocket spotlight. It came in a box the size of a mug.
Does that mean I have to stop online shopping now that I’ve lost my love for Johnny Air? Thankfully, I don’t have to, because My Shopping Box is here, and it is SO much better than Johnny Air. Here’s why:
Their shipping process is very clear, and you have complete control over it.
My Shopping Box (MSB) charges the same way Johnny Air does: by weight or volume. But here’s where MSB kicks Johnny Air’s ass—hard—to the curb: MSB, upon receiving your package, will send you a request to authorize shipment for processing via your account page on their website. There you’ll see the details of your package: contents, package size/weight, etc. They will then give you the option to ship the item either by AIR or SEA based on the package details. If telcos have coined the term “anti bill shock,” then MSB’s method is the solution to “package shock.”
For example, we recently placed an order via Amazon. Since I’m a Prime member, I automatically get upgraded to free two-day shipping, but apparently, in order to honor their two-day shipping guarantee, they shipped out the order in six (SIX!!!) separate shipments.
I was so worried because had this happened with Johnny Air, this would have been a very, very expensive clusterfuck, indeed.
With MSB, I had a choice to ship out the items via air or sea. So, when a small pack of knitting needle point protectors was shipped out by its itty-bitty lonesome, I opted to have it shipped by sea for $2.99 or P134.30 instead of by air for $5.99. I also like how being offered the two options side by side helps you gauge how urgently you need your package. Is it really important for me to get my needle protectors in ten days or can I wait a month or two having seen the price difference between air and sea freight?
And that’s another thing. MSB’s shipping cost minimum is way lower than Johnny Air’s. Even if I had chosen to ship the needle protectors via MSB’s air freight service, I would only have paid $5.99 (roughly P258). I have never paid for anything less than P800 for shipping at Johnny Air, no matter how small the package is. They once charged me P860.74 for an airmail envelope of 5 iron-on patches!! I complained and they finally brought it down to P557.08. Check out how small the “package” is that cost me P557.08:
That envelope is barely a package.
Signing up with MSB via Globe’s Virtual Amex card (a Virtual Pay account automatically gives you a My Shopping Box account) also gives you a 3% discount off your total shipping cost. Amazing.
And the very best part? My Shopping Box will deliver your packages to your doorstep at no extra cost. Plus, since everything’s automated, I can more or less estimate when my package will arrive. It’s always (so far) ten days (via air) from when I’ve authorized the shipment and paid for the shipping costs. I’ve already used MSB twice, and so far so good.
I highly recommend you get a My Shopping Box subscription through Globe’s Virtual Pay service because of the discount (it’s also cheaper than getting a subscription through MSB). Funneling cash into your GCash/Virtual Amex is easy if you have a BPI account: you can transfer money from your account into GCash via mobile banking. So easy that it’s dangerous for shopaholics.
So, for now, goodbye and good riddance, Johnny Air. I think they really need to update their severely antiquated shipping process. I’m grateful that they paved the road for other shipping services to set up shop, but they’ve been left behind by others who’ve found a better way to serve their customers, and I can’t allow blind loyalty to let me swallow exorbitant shipping prices brought about by a gap in their process.
To know more about My Shopping Box, visit their website at http://www.my-shoppingbox.com.