Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Receiving packages in NYC sucks!

In college, I always looked forward to getting my care packages. They always were filled with things that were bad for me like candy; things that were good for me like supplies; and things that were really good for me like generic gift certificates (aka cash).

So packages make me excited, Pavlovian style. A circle of three friends and I send each other care packages every month -- just something to make the day a little better. We usually fill them with the basic girly stuff: the latest chick lit novel, smelly candles, bath beads, and a funny movie. Nothing too serious. I've also been ordering a lot of home accessories online as I settle in.

In Connecticut we had a box on our front porch where UPS, USPS or Fedex would put our packages. The boxes that were too big would sit on the porch. No big deal. But now in the city receiving packages has become more of a hassle than I ever imagined. Since I have no doorman, I feel like I come home to the "sorry we missed you" slips once a week. The slips aren't a problem when they're from USPS, as I can just run down to the Post Office on 70th St to pick them up before work. But when they're from the UPS-Fedex-DHL trifecta, they become a pain in the ass.

For example, I ordered my space saver from Linens N Things online but when it came it was missing two support pieces. I was able to call the manufacturer directly and order the pieces. I arranged for them to be delivered at my apartment.

I don't know why I assumed that DHL would have a key for my building's front door, but I did. I figured we had double doors so like the mailman they could get into that first area and leave the package. But I was wrong. The delivery guy called me to ask if I could let him into the building. I was at work though. I asked if he could redeliver it after 6:30 PM but he could not. I ended up having to get DHL customer service to change my delivery address to work which was quite a hassle.

Since then, I've had similar dramas with UPS and Fedex. UPS was the nicest about changing my delivery address to work, but then the delivery guy delivered it to the wrong office and I had to go searching for my package. Which was really fun, let me tell you!

With these fun times in mind, I asked my chica trifecta if they could always mail my care packages through USPS so I could just pick it up at the post office. One of my pals is an environmental engineer and she's currently doing a study in rural Kansas. They get mail delivered once a week, so getting to the Post Office is kind of a pain for her. But UPS will drive out to her to pick up boxes (which is admittedly pretty damn cool of them). So this month it was her turn to send to me and she completely forgot the USPS deal. Sure enough, Friday night I came home to a slip. I called UPS and asked them to deliver to my work instead.

They did indeed change my address, but for some reason they tried delivering there over the weekend. Come Monday when I checked the tracking information, there was a note saying I'd have to pick up the package from UPS's delivery center. No biggie, I figured, until I called UPS and found out the delivery center was in middle-0f-nowhere Brooklyn. Not near any bus line. Not near any subway. Not going to work.

Now I've spent the last two days arguing with UPS about please delivering to my office when it is actually open. Yesterday I spent 4 hours on hold or getting shuffled around different customer service areas with them. I think I finally convinced them to just deliver the damn package. But all positive feelings associated with packages are now gone. In fact, I'm thinking of opening a store that just receives packages and holds them for people. I'll call it just gimme my goddamn package!

UPDATE 10/25: UPS delivered my package today and the driver actually took the time to apologize to me for the error. Then, about 20 minutes later, someone from the UPS center called to do the same. Awwww. That was really nice. They handled it right: they fessed up, and they apologized. Any hard feelings are erased that quickly.

1 comment:

Shan said...

haha same problem, sniffleeesss