Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I Didn’t Know It Was Actually Pronounced “Oops!”

This past Christmas, I got a video iPod. I’d heard that they scratch easily, so I ordered a nifty case online right away. Here is where my heartache began.

It turns out that, although it did not indicate this anywhere on the store site, the case I had selected was not yet available. So, several weeks later, having received nothing, I emailed the store. I got no response for a few days, so I called them, and got someone who put me on hold forever and then told me that the only person there who knew about email orders was out indefinitely. I wrote again. I got no response until I finally saw they had posted something on my account page rather than emailing me. The note said the case was expected within a month or so. I considered cancelling or exchanging the order, but I figured that with all the trouble already, I might as well just wait until the unique case I really wanted arrived.

So I waited, and every month or so I emailed, to no response, and the occasional update on the store site saying the case wouldn't come in for another (X) weeks, after all. I had given up, until one day a couple weeks ago when I finally saw a UPS sticky on my front door with my name on it. This was annoying, not only because I hadn’t been notified, but because the package had been sent to my home address when I specifically requested it be sent to my office (why don’t most service providers and sellers realize that most people cannot be home between 9 and 5 to wait breathlessly for the UPS/Cable guy/meter reader?). Having experienced that mistake before, however, I thought I’d just call UPS, request a change of shipping address and get the package. I was wrong.

Instead, the package was sent back to the store, with no explanation. I had to call UPS and complain, and then call the store to have it re-sent. Again, I indicated it should go to my work address. Again, several days later, I got a UPS sticky on my home door. Again I called with the work address.

But wait, there’s more!

The package disappeared. Poof - no word for several days. When I looked it up today, the tracking said “delivered”. Um, no? So I called UPS again. Oh, it was delivered, alright. To a completely random person at an entirely unrelated address.


Let’s just say I wasn’t as full of sunshine-y goodness when speaking with the UPS people this time. I did get put through to a supervisor. Who then managed to put me on hold and disconnect me (“accidentally”?).

May I just ask, how exactly does this sort of thing happen? It’s not like I screamed at anyone at UPS or the store and thus deserved some spit in my lemonade. I was somewhat terse and annoyed, but that’s it. The only thing I can think of is that the whole mess was due to just plain incompetence. You’d think that by now, with my dim and pessimistic view of the human race, in general, I’d be used to this sort of thing – and I am. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make me pop a vein, now and then. I mean, it’s no moral outrage or anything, but it’s the type of occurrence that makes me want to write personal letters to each an every creationist outlining this chain of events and asking “so, tell me why it is, again, that you think that humans are too majestic to be evolved from apes? Once you’re done picking the ticks off your brother, that is - take your time.”

I finally, after calling again, got transferred to a “special department that can make outside calls to track packages” (ooh, the freedom! And just what did they do to earn those privileges? Are the rest of the phone reps in lockdown?). There a somewhat bumbling, if seemingly well-meaning lad (he messed up my name twice and my address four times) claimed to have contacted whoever it was who signed for the package at whatever location, confirm it could be picked up there and let me know it would then be sent to my work address. Supposedly.

Nearly five months after my order, I look forward to finally getting my fancy iPod case, which now has more miles on it than John Madden’s bus. I also look forward to putting it on my iPod, which now has so many scratches I have to hold it at different angles depending on the time of day to be able to see anything on the screen.

The moral of the story? Humans are stupid, though we can make tools. Next time, I’ll make me a case out of Saran wrap and duct tape.

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