In Xbox 360: Game Console Or Paperweight?, I wrote about how my console died, repairing it, and the hard lesson learned about service contracts for cutting-edge technology. This time I'm writing about another hard lesson, this one learned in the process of trying to get the console repaired.
Here's how an out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair is supposed to work: The console owner calls Microsoft and pays for a repair with a credit card. Microsoft sends an empty box to the owner via UPS. The owner packs the Xbox 360 in the box and sends it back to Microsoft. After fixing it, Microsoft ships it back to the customer again.
Here's how it has actually worked, so far: I called Microsoft on the 8th and made a repair order. The good news is that as part of the repair price, Microsoft will pick up the shipping costs both ways. The bad news is that it via be three business days each way for shipping and something like five business days for the repair. So I resign myself to waiting a couple of weeks until I can get my working console back.
Tuesday the 15th comes, and the good news is, surely the shipping box will be delivered by today. The bad news is that it isn't. I get home around 6:30PM from shopping and there is neither a delivery notice on my door nor the blue card in my mailbox that means the package has been left at the apartment complex's leasing office. I call Microsoft, and the customer service representative gives me the UPS tracking number. I look it up on the UPS website, and the good news is that the package was shipped and has arrived in Phoenix. The bad news is that both times when delivery was attempted, I wasn't home and the carrier didn't leave a delivery notice. The good news here is that the regular UPS delivery guy, Dave, frequently delivers stuff I order online, and knows to leave packages at the apartment leasing office before 6PM. The bad news is that this can't possibly be him; the second delivery attempt was around 5:30PM.
So I call UPS and ask item to inform the driver that the package needs to be left at the apartment leasing office before 6PM. The good news is that UPS agrees to do this and text indicating an exception appears in the tracking log. The bad news is that on Wednesday the 16th the package is again not delivered, and again there's no delivery notice. The log indicates that delivery was attempted shortly after 7PM. I was home the entire evening, and my doorbell never rang. So perhaps he tried to deliver it directly to the leasing office as I requested...but after 6PM, which I'd indicated was too late. He certainly never attempted to deliver it directly to me.
I again call UPS to complain, and ask them to make sure the driver knows that the package must be delivered before 6PM, and to the leasing office. I know that the next day I'm definitely not going to be there to get it. The good news is that UPS agrees to inform the driver, and I make sure he can't miss it by taping a note to the outside of my door. The bad news is that of course he does somehow miss it, and again on Thursday the 17th delivery is attempted after 7PM and no notice is left.
I call UPS one more time, and since the log indicates that the package will be held at the local UPS office for pickup, I get the address from the customer service representative and change my Friday plans so I can be at their office before 6PM when they close. The good news is that I'll definitely be able to get the package, finally. The bad news is that I have to rearrange my schedule.
It's a good thing, though, that I check the tracking log one more time Friday afternoon; the good news is that the package was delivered at 1:30PM.