United Problem Starters


It may be my fault for not leaving well enough alone, but I’m grumpy and feel like blaming UPS, so here goes.

I placed an order last week that was due to get here on Saturday.  I didn’t want to be stuck in my apartment all day waiting for it to get here, as the shipping option I chose apparently gave me no option to have someone else sign for the package, thus ruling out my apartment leasing office.  But lo!  For only $3.95, I could upgrade my shipping and have it delivered a day early!  And change my delivery options!  I could allow my leasing office to sign for it when it came on Friday, then pick it up early Saturday and have the rest of my day free.  Logistics!

The first sign of trouble came when my package took a short vacation in Jacksonville.  As in it got there on midnight Thursday and then produced no updates well into late afternoon that same day.  A chat with customer service told me to allow more time for updates to come through, and though I was of the opinion that seventeen hours was plenty of time to allow for updates, I accepted their assurances and waited.

Friday, the day of delivery, dawned with an email in my inbox telling me delivery had been changed to Monday.  No explanation, no apology, just two more days I’d be without the thing I’d paid money for.  This was still not a disaster.  I could get the package Monday after work, no problems.  With only the slightest amount of irritation, I signed electronically for the package and left instructions once again to leave it at the office.

Today, I checked the status every so often.  Out for delivery at 7:37 AM!  Excellent!  Only a matter of time now.  After lunch check?  Still out for delivery.  3:00 PM?  Still out for delivery.  And still no worries; I’d often seen the UPS truck arrive between 5 and 6, so there was still plenty of time.

5:00 PM brought an email informing me my delivery had an issue and would be delayed until Tuesday.

Apparently, my apartment number was not on the package label.  Never mind that my full address appeared under the shipping information on the UPS tracking site.  The driver said it wasn’t there, and so the package could not be delivered.  Off to the customer service chat I went, certain I could get this updated and still get it delivered today.  But no.  Clearly, the mighty forces that must be marshaled to add four digits to an address take at least twelve hours to come to full effect.  And when I asked about being refunded for the extra money I paid with the promised benefit of getting my package a day early, I was told that would not be possible, since I had the package shipped by the alternate method, despite its lateness getting there.  I could have waged battled over $3.50, but the time it would have taken would have made it worth less than what I make an hour at work, and I simply didn’t have the desire to expend the energy on it.

So now the package I thought would be here Friday, and which would have been here Saturday had I done absolutely nothing, will now be here Tuesday, barring sunspot activity or tidal imbalance or some such.  What’s more, since I’m going out directly from work both Tuesday and Wednesday, the package will likely not be in my hands until Thursday.  All of which I paid extra for.

I do not love these logistics.

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