Monday, October 02, 2006

Raise Your Hand if You Hate UPS

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So Jason had this honourable intention of surpring me with a new computer.

He should have known better.

To be fair, it almost got here.

Word of caution: don't go brown. Brown will let you down.

The UPS guy left a tell-tale sticker on our door: we were here, you weren't, boo hoo for you. These "sorry we missed you" stickers mean that for the next few days, you will live your life for UPS. You have to get up at a decent hour, wear decent clothing, and then be chained to the house for an ill-defined period of time. You're afraid to answer the phone, afraid to have the music on too loud, afraid to walk the dog, afraid to drink too much wine and pass out on the couch. You can't leave the house, but you can't do anything too distracting in the house either, like run a bath or start the washing machine, because these could prevent you from hearing the door bell. And god forbid you should ever have to pee. Alternatives to urination must be sought when waiting for UPS because you just know that once you're sitting with your pants around your ankles, the UPS guy will certainly appear. Therefore, from the minute you spot the dreaded sticker, you must refrain from drinking, ignore your thirst, and willingly induce dehydration. Pee is your enemy (although, in dire situations, you can summon the UPS guy by faking it - squat over the toilet like you're going to pee, and once your trousers are dropped, your package will arrive...just make sure your bladder doesn't get any ideas!). Don't worry, post-UPS recovery is simpler than you'd think: 12 hours of sleep, a couple of generous doses of Prozac, and an IV drip of saline solution should do the trick. Most people are back on their feet in 2-3 days, tops. Unless, of course, they suffer from UPS' 3-strike policy. Yes, bizarely, even though they are paid to deliver your package, they will only make 3 attempts to do so. Once the third attempt is made....package? What package?

Jason thought he would spare me the typical UPS-anxiety by requesting that the package would be held at the depot. Stupid depot. Depot for all of West Toronto, shuffling 9 million packages but somehow misplacing all the ones that attempt to be claimed. Oh yes, 8 million stale fruitcakes will be delivered in a timely fashion, but Jamie's new computer? Well, let's just say I kept my fingers crossed.

Now I have cramped fingers, and all for nothing. Not because the depot lost my package though. Because apparently the package never made it to the depot. Despite instructions to the contrarcy and Jason's explicit double-checking, the package remained on the truck. So we were not home to accept the package that we didn't know was coming. In fact, when the second attempt was being made, we were at the depot trying to claim a package that was never there. Sure, we had a tracking number that said it was there, and a customer service rep confirming it was there. Sure we had several brown-clad employees scouring a warehouse the size of Kingston. That doesn't mean that the package would be found. The package could not be found because it wasn't there. Where was it? Where was my new computer?

Well, according to UPS, it was sitting on our front porch.

I mean, yes, officially we were supposed to sign for the package. But what's to stop the driver from writing in your name for you? Nothing, apparently. Certainly not company policy. Hah!
So with un-consent, the package was left on our front porch. The very same package that came in a box clearly labelled with the computer company's name. The very same package insured for more than $1400. Just left on the porch.

When we got home, our front door had a new sticker: "We left your package behind the flowers," it said.

But there was no package behind the flowers.

There was no package anywhere.

So Jason called UPS and suggested that this was perhaps a stupid move on their part. He suggested that perhaps delivery services would be better off actually delivering packages rather than just abandoning them willy-nilly. UPS did not seem at all concerned or surprised to be accused of willy-nillyness. Apparently we have learned that drivers can abandon packages "at their discretion" but also that drivers "lack discretion."

So, someone stole a brand new notebook computer from our front porch. Lucky them, eh? I mean, if the large box with the shiny computer printed on all sides wasn't a total giveaway, then the note on the door saying that our new computer was beside the flowers probably got the job done. It's like a little treasure map for potential thieves. Thanks, UPS, X marks the spot!

Ah well. I hear this new computer had some sort of blue teeth anyway, which sounds awfully bitey to me. Between us, I think I'm better off.


Three weeks later, UPS says to us “Uh, yeah, your package is lost.”

UPS is astuter than astute. Despite the fact that they know very well that their driver abandoned the package (containing my new laptop, no less) with a sign that read “Steal Me, Please”, and a thief (or thieves, if you will) was all too happy to comply, UPS felt obligated to make a show of looking for it. They looked high and low, searched every truck, inside and out, cleaned out their closets, inventoried their warehouse, and I'm pretty sure they sent every UPS employee in the tristate area home to check underneath their beds.

No package was found.

Jason, to his credit, badgered them on a daily, sometimes twice daily basis. Once, he even went to the office to physically kick them in the pants. This is the wild goose chase that we call “bureaucracy.” And so after Jason babysat these jerks for 3 weeks, we finally got what we wanted (well, what we needed): the official “we have no fucking idea where your stuff is” certificate of UPS-suckiness. Believe me, we intend to have it framed.

So Jason calls up the computer company and is all like, Yo, the package is lost. And the computer guy was like, Okay, we'll discuss this further when we receive confirmation in triplicate from UPS in 16-42 business days.


So Jason, who is now well-versed in the childish and muddled ways of the customer service associate, calls back, and tells them how it's going to be: Either you're sending me the package tonight, or I'm going someplace else.

We got the package.

And we also got the message: UPS is the kind of business that takes 3 weeks to tell you that they lost the package that they knew they lost 3 weeks ago. In other words: they are mind-blowingly incompetent. Use sparingly, and if you're smart, not at all.

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