Monday, September 11, 2006

Further UPS Yours

When I called Microsoft on Tuesday August 29th, I was delighted to hear that my repaired Xbox 360 console had already been shipped. This meant that I would have it back by Friday, in time for the three-day Labor Day weekend. I got the tracking number, and checked the UPS site to see where the package was. Sure enough, it was on its way.

On Thursday evening, the tracking information showed that the package had arrived at the Phoenix distribution center. So surely I would have it the next day, right on schedule.

Or not.

I checked the tracking log a few times during the day Friday, but there were no updates. This wasn't that unusual; sometimes the out-for-delivery scan wouldn't happen, and the next item in the log would be the delivery. And the delivery attempt could be as late as 7PM (officially; on the previous shipment, I saw a couple of attempts around 7:30). So I went home at 5PM and called UPS.

I wanted to know if the package was at the UPS distribution facility. If it was, I could go down and pick it up, even after 6PM by going to the Will Call window. The customer service representative had no more information than what was in the tracking log, but promised I would get a call back within an hour from the distribution center to let me know where my package was.

An hour came and went, and there was no call. I waited until 7PM, then called UPS again. This time I was told it was too late for me to pick it up, even from Will Call, so I would have to wait until Tuesday for a delivery attempt. Sigh.

Having resigned myself to not having my toy until after the weekend, I asked them to hold it for me. I said I would come and pick it up Tuesday morning. I didn't want a repeat of the previous fiasco where it took a week and five alleged delivery attempts to get me my package. The customer service rep said that would be fine. Around 8 I got a call from the distribution center, asking me if it was correct that I wanted the package held. I said yes.

During the weekend, I saw in the tracking log that the package had been missed at the distribution center, and was scheduled for delivery the next business day. This gave me pause. Hadn't I asked them to hold it? But since the distribution center had called me back to make sure I wanted the package held, surely this time they'd hold it for me and it would be there when I went to pick it up on Tuesday.

Or not.

After fighting through traffic for 45 minutes on Tuesday morning, and waiting in line for 20 minutes behind other people who thought they'd beat the rush by showing up early, I got to the counter and asked for my package. Only to be told that it was on a truck that had already left.

Feeling much like Charlie Brown having once again fallen for Lucy Van Pelt's promise not to yank away the football at the last minute, I drove to work.

I checked the tracking log a couple more times during the day, and found that my parcel had been (finally) delivered to the apartment leasing office in the early afternoon. Surely it would be there when I got home from work.

And it was.

So UPS, at least here in Phoenix, is a delivery company that sometimes holds packages when it's supposed to deliver them, and sometimes delivers them when it's supposed to hold them.

So what can Brown do for me? I will leave that as an exercise for the reader, but here are some hints: it involves my posterior, and osculation.

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