Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Great News For Pennsylvania from the PLCB!!

A Pennsylvania licensee (a restaurant owner) forwarded this communication from the PLCB to me, with the attached note: "Please hurry with your project to eliminate the LCB!!!" (Yes, the emphasis in the following was added.)

Dear Licensee Partner:

As you are probably aware, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has been experiencing continued difficulties with its online Special Liquor Order system, and as a result, your vendor sales representatives have been unable to successfully submit your SLO orders. We apologize for the inconvenience. With the support of the Board, we have decided to suspend SLO submissions via the Internet vendor portal for two months while we switch to a new, upgraded database platform.

Beginning on Monday, June 30, orders that vendors had been submitting on your behalf online will now be sent to the PLCB's Central Office via fax or e-mail. We have additional resources in place to enter all orders we receive and there should be no delay in filling those orders.

Please note that you still have the option of placing an SLO order through any of our 621 Wine & Spirits stores. However, please do not ask your vendor sales rep to place an order for you and place the order yourself through one of our stores, as this will result in a duplicate order. We value the partnership of licensees and vendors in distributing wine and spirits in Pennsylvania, and we are taking significant steps to ensure you still receive prompt service.

I appreciate your cooperation during this improvement in the SLO ordering process. Upgrading our SLO order system is of utmost importance, and on behalf of the Board, I pledge our agency's full commitment as we move forward together.

Thank you for your patience. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Joe Conti
Chief Executive Officer

Does anyone else just find it hilarious that the PLCB's special order system is named "SLOW"? Oh, sorry, my mistake: SLO. Did he really say two months? "I appreciate your cooperation..." Like they had a choice! And what does this mean: "With the support of the Board..."? If Conti has to run his decisions past the Board...and its Chairman...exactly what is his position for again? Signing bad news?

If you like good booze, something other than the biggest sellers, this means getting the good stuff will be more of an annoyance for your favorite bar or restaurant. Licensees are sounding off about this, and they're not happy. If it were legal in PA, I could buy booze over the Internet from foreign countries today, been able to for years...but the PLCB is still trying to cobble together something that works.

You know...I worked for the federal government for four years. I worked pretty hard, I enjoyed my work, and I really came to hate hearing the phrase "close enough for government work." I find that as a taxpayer, it pisses me off even more when it's true, and when it's said about a government agency that shouldn't even exist.


Rich said...

The problem with government is there are just too many cooks in the kitchen. IMO...private industry can almost always do things better and more efficiently than the government. I guess that's part of the reason this blog exists so I'm just preaching to the choir.

Anonymous said...

If it were legal in PA, I could buy booze over the Internet from foreign countries today, been able to for years..
Two words for you, Lew: E. Bay. Great source for rare whiskey/cognac/whatever, most sellers are private individuals that don't care about PA laws. They send it via unlabeled UPS or Int'l courier, you get it, and open & enjoy it in the privacy of your own home.

The selection is limited, the total price ends up being pretty high, and you're kind of screwed if they decide to cheat you, but it's the only way I know of to get unusual whiskies or those from outside the four usual countries.

Lew Bryson said...

Could, but I just have it sent to ... "a friend" in another state that has more friendly laws. That works too. Got some port that way, stuff that's not imported. Good excuse to visit, and there's always a celebration.