The Octagon

Billing error leads to final issue of last year’s Octagon mailed two months late

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The last issue of the 41st volume of the Octagon.

Hundreds of SCDS families and alumni recently received a copy of the Octagon with “2018” in silver on the front. No, it wasn’t this year’s first issue. Rather, that paper was actually the last issue of the 41st volume, mailed two months after its publication.

The final issue of the 41st edition of the Octagon, published on June 5, was not mailed out to the Country Day community until the middle of August due to a billing issue with the distributor of the Octagon issues.

The problem stemed from how the Octagons are printed and delivered. The school uses Gold Country Printing (1030 High St., Auburn) to produce the newspapers but uses MarkSYS to handle the distribution of the papers.

According to Hannah Frank, who manages the accounts payable and purchasing for the school, the system that the school uses to pay MarkSYS has been in place for many years. Country Day’s billing office would deposit $500 whenever the balance in the account with the company is low.

Frank says that the issue with the company began shortly after the last edition of the Octagon was printed.

MarkSYS first contacted the school in June, informing them that there were not sufficient funds in their account to pay for the shipping of the newspapers.

Frank responded to the company and informed them that she would deposit later that day. After she deposited the check, Frank said, she assumed the issue had been resolved.

However, the company contacted Country Day again two days before the issue of the Octagon was to be mailed out, once again saying that there wasn’t enough money in the account.

Although the company said that there were no new deposits in the account, Frank said that was not true – she said she could see that the money had been deposited and that there was a sufficient balance in the school’s account.

While the issue was eventually resolved, the company claims that the problem occured because their employees couldn’t get in contact with Country Day due to staffing changes.

This is because the former director of communications, Julie Nelson, who managed communications with the company, retired in June of 2018.

“I feel like the company just used (Nelson) retiring as an excuse because if anyone were to call and say, ‘Hey, is Julie here?’ Erica (Wilson, administrative assistant and receptionist) would tell them, ‘No, but let me get you Emily (Allshouse), her replacement,” Frank said. “They just really dropped the ball on this one.”

Although there haven’t been many problems with MarkSYS in the past, Frank says that the school has been looking for a company to both print and distribute the Octagon in order to save money.

However, until Country Day finds a new company that can both produce and mail the Octagon, it will continue to use Gold Country Printing to print the issues and MarkSYS to distribute them.

—By David Situ

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