Saturday, November 19, 2011

UPS put out my Fire.

I was pretty excited to hear that Amazon was shipping my Kindle Fire a day earlier than expected. I had occasion to contact them recently about another order and the customer service was really good. The person on the other end of the chat was polite, helpful, and willing to actually do something about my concern. Way to go Amazon.

UPS, however, hasn't caught up with the customer service renaissance. I spent Wednesday, the expected delivery date, watching the delivery status and it always showed that the package had arrived in, but never left, Salt Lake City on the 15th.

Mid-afternoon I got a text from my friend Paul... "Kindle Fire in hand." I still didn't have mine.

Evening came. Still no change in the delivery status. The "expected delivery date" is still the 16th, so I assume that UPS simply hasn't scanned my package somehow. Surely it's in Twin Falls and making its way to me by 6PM, right?

No such luck.

Thursday morning I send a note to UPS asking what's up. I don't expect a speedy reply. I'd contacted them about a lost package a couple of years ago, and it was days before they replied. And when they did reply, it was to say, "We have no clue. Call Amazon [who happened to be the shipper in that case too]." Amazon initiated a trace (or whatever) and shipped me another item via Next Day Air. I never did hear what happened to the lost package.

I get an Amazon rep on the customer service chat and before long they agreed to give me a small promotional credit for my trouble.

Thursday evening. Still no reply from UPS (and no package).

Next time I check UPS's site, the delivery date has been updated to MONDAY, November 21. No other change than that on their site.

Amazon's tracking info, however, shows that my package (are you ready for this?) is in

Redmond, WA.

REDMOND....  you know, home of Microsoft, beautiful Washington city, 625 miles from Twin Falls!!!

Friday morning. Finally a reply from UPS. Here's a quote, "our tracking system does not indicate the reason for the delay. Our records show your shipment is currently in transit to its destination."

Talk about helpful information, right? I can see that it's "in transit." And the reason for the delay is obvious. My packing went to freaking Washington instead of Idaho. I write a frustrated note in reply. No immediate response (and no surprise there).

But wait, there's more.

Friday, my package is making its way back toward Twin Falls. It goes from Redmond to Portland to Hermiston.... Sounds like progress, right? I checked the distance from Hermiston to Twin Falls (376 miles) and I calculate that my item might make it to Twin in time for a late delivery. It's a possibility, but I've lost hope by this point.

Still no reply to my second email to UPS.

Friday passes and I keep an ear cocked for a late drop off as the evening wears on. Nothing.

This morning I check to see if my package has at least arrived in Twin for a Monday delivery. (UPS delivers on Saturday, but I'm pretty cynical about it by now. They're not dropping by for a Saturday delivery, I'm sure.)

When I look at the current location of my package, I'm both amazed and not a bit surprised. Guess where it is...

It's back in Salt Lake City.

Here's the tracking info on my package thus far (newest information at the top, of course):

Date Time Location Event Details
November 19, 2011 03:56:00 AM Salt Lake City UT US Departure Scan
November 19, 2011 12:27:00 AM Salt Lake City UT US Arrival Scan
November 18, 2011 08:42:00 AM Hermiston OR US Departure Scan
November 18, 2011 07:47:00 AM Hermiston OR US Arrival Scan
November 18, 2011 03:57:00 AM Portland OR US Departure Scan
November 17, 2011 05:50:00 PM Portland OR US Arrival Scan
November 17, 2011 03:08:00 AM Redmond WA US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 11:05:00 PM Salt Lake City UT US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 12:49:00 PM Las Vegas NV US Departure Scan
November 15, 2011 12:48:00 PM Las Vegas NV US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 12:33:00 AM Phoenix AZ US Departure Scan
November 14, 2011 06:45:00 PM Phoenix AZ US Shipment received by carrier
November 14, 2011 07:58:18 PM US Shipment has left seller facility

It's mid-afternoon on Saturday. I still haven't heard back from UPS, and that's their MO-- don't talk to customers about their service (or lack thereof) and heaven forbid that they admit that they made a mistake.

Another part of UPS's initial reply to my query reads, "I sincerely hope that you will not let this unfortunate situation determine your choice for future shipping needs."

I wrote back, "I understand that UPS handles hundreds of thousands of packages daily, but rather that hiding behind a claim of ignorance as to why a package is not delivered when promised, why not be straight with customers and own up to the fact that a mistake was made? THAT, more than any half-baked, disingenuous apology, would help me "determine my choice for future shipping needs."

Any bets on whether I'll actually get my package on Monday?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I memorized a poem today

My son has been working on memorizing a poem for his English class. This morning he told me that he's worried that he's not quite ready to recite it. Rather than let him stay home to work on it, we played a kind of game through the morning. I read and recited bits of the poem, and asked him to prompt me for the next parts as they came along. He was kind of an unwilling participant in the game (he really wanted to stay home and avoid the whole situation), but toward the end, I think he was getting it. Both the responsibility part and the poem.

Here (on my honor) is my "recitation" of the poem:

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides.
You may have met him.. [...]

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen,
And then it closes at my feet
And opens further on.

He likes a bogey acre,
A floor too cool for corn.     [my favorite line]
When a child, and barefoot, 
I more than once at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whiplash
Unbraiding in the sun.
Then stooping to [...]
It wrinkles and is gone

Several of nature's people,
I have know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality.

But never met this fellow
Accompanied or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.     [my second favorite line]

Okay. Now looking back at the text, I see several mistakes (in addition to the obvious lapses (which I indicated with ellipses)). So... maybe I didn't fully memorize a poem today,

but I hope my son did.