Some North Texas students last week were still waiting for their caps and gowns just days before graduation.
NBC 5 Responds spoke with a Southern Methodist University graduate who had three days to track down his badges before walking across the stage.
The company that supplies the caps and gowns said supply chain disruptions and labor shortages were behind the delay.
‘I JUST WANT SAFETY‘
Three days before Dylan Rafaty’s graduation from SMU with a master’s degree, he told NBC 5 Responds that he needed to know if the graduation pins he ordered on April 11 would arrive before the May 13 ceremony.
“I just want security. I want to be able to get my badges and walk. As a customer, I expect that security. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened,” Rafaty told NBC 5 last Tuesday.
Rafaty showed us an email dated May 4 from the company that provides the badges. He said the company was working to fulfill the order and directed customers to a link to check the status. Last Tuesday, Rafaty’s status showed that his request was in progress.
“They were not thorough. They were just general statements that it was coming,” Rafaty said.
COMPANY CITE SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS, LABOR SHORTAGES
NBC 5 Responds contacted the company, Herff Jones.
Sue Crumpton, Senior Director of Corporate Communications wrote, in part, “Herff Jones is working diligently to minimize delays in fulfilling graduation badge orders caused by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. construction site. Unfortunately, these factors have caused us to fall behind schedule.”
Crumpton added that the company was working to ship all remaining SMU orders before graduation weekend.
A day later, Rafaty said most of his order arrived. He received his cap and gown, but was missing his degree hood. Rafaty said he was able to get an extra hood at the SMU bookstore at no extra charge in time for graduation.
A spokesperson for SMU told us that backorders were made sure to arrive in time for graduation ceremonies and that SMU received a massive delivery of additional caps and gowns.
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE OF HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS
In an email to NBC 5 Responds, Crumpton wrote: “Everyone at Herff Jones is committed to delivering caps and gowns to all schools in time for their ceremonies, both in college and high school. This commitment is reflected in the extraordinary effort our team members are putting in to help ensure all students are able to celebrate their graduation.”
Crumpton added, “We are currently working multiple shifts, seven days a week, at our facility to finish delivering our graduation commitments. As with many industries, a combination of global supply chain constraints and record labor shortages have created knock-on effects this graduation season, and we’re so sorry these delays have disappointed students, parents, and faculty. in the schools we serve.
We contacted other cap and gown suppliers and Jostens contacted us. The company’s CEO, Michael Burgess, told NBC 5 Responds that he has enough supply of badges for graduation season.
“We had all the graduation supplies we needed, the caps, gowns and tassels by February of this year so we could send them to the schools whenever they wanted them,” Burgess said.
If you are concerned about a request, please contact your school. If you need help finding out the status, you can also connect with the NBC 5 Responds team to try and get some answers.
NBC 5 Responds is committed to investigating your concerns and getting your money back. Our goal is to get you answers and, if possible, solutions and a resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our customer complaint form.