United Parcel Service

Concept: 4 out of 5
Execution: 1 out of 5
Yeah, but: Brown can sync the world of business.

The Long Version: When I'm shopping on-line, it means that I can't find what I want locally. And if I'm getting a shipment from UPS, it means that I couldn't find any other method of delivery.

UPS might be an excellent service within the United States. I wouldn't really know, except that the only time I've received a package from them in the USA they just left it on the front porch. And maybe they treat business customers better than residential addresses. I don't really know about that, either, since in the many years that I've worked in shipping and receiving no company that I've worked for would use them. But I have met a couple of their drivers who were decent and helpful people, so that was a positive experience.

The last package I received was the Ergo Pin for my scooter. I missed the first delivery attempt: something to do with the need to work for a living. Fortunately UPS had already already missed their initial delivery date, making the second attempt land on a day that I already had off. So I waited at home the next day to make sure that I didn't miss it again.

Hours pass.

Hours more pass.

Eventually, around 1:30pm, my partner comes home from an enjoyable time out that I've missed while waiting at home. As a consolation prize, she handed me another "failed delivery attempt" notification. This one had both the "second attempt" and "final attempt" boxes checked.

Phone calls ensued.

The first CSR I spoke to suggested that the package was undeliverable because my buzzer code wasn't included in the address -- I asked if it was UPS policy to have their drivers walk into the lobby, shrug their shoulders, and leave again. The gentleman on the phone suggested that it wasn't. I then went through several sets of options. The CSRs that I spoke to initially told me that because it was so late in the day, there was no way a re-delivery attempt could be made. (I took some issue with the implication that any attempt worth the word had been made.) I could arrange another delivery attempt for the next time I was able to wait at home all day. Apparently 'the driver was in error' when he checked both second and final boxes, and they could try again. Alternatively, I could take an entire day to travel across the city to pick the package up myself, and save myself the suspense of waiting at home.

Neither option was particularly enticing, as both meant that I would need to wait a week. I continued to request another delivery attempt, and was eventually called by one of the CSRs I had been speaking to to tell me that the driver was on his way back.

Remember the lobby-and-shrug theory that I had? It turned out that the driver had used the first entry code that matched my last name -- not the one that matched my initial as well. He was apologetic, and what could I say? Not only did I get my package, I got an afternoon's entertainment out of it as well. Odds are that it will never happen again, because there's almost always someone else out there who will ship via FedEx or regular mail.

At least there was no "brokerage" fee on this one.


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