Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bring Back the Pony Express

Tonight I am declaring war on UPS and the U.S.Postal Service.

Our small-ish town doesn't have mail delivery to our houses--we have to go to the post office to pick up our mail. It's a hassle. And a huge confusing pain for anyone sending us anything other than a letter.

If something is coming USPS, we have to use our PO Box.

If soemthing is coming UPS, Fed Ex or some other delivery service, it comes to our house.

Unless. . .the vendor we're buying from has struck a deal with the post office to deliver UPS packages. Which is a problem because, say it with me, we don't have mail delivery here.

So here's a little scenario from a company that has such a policy: Lands End. So say I order something from Lands End. I see that they ship UPS--I always have to be careful to double check shipping methods--and I input my home address. It's always nice to have packages appear on the front porch. The catch is that Lands End has an agreement with UPS to take packages to the post office. So even though I pay for UPS shipping, I have to go to the post office and pick it up. This annoys me. When I get to the post office, one of two things happens: I either get a nasty note from a postal worker telling me to use my PO Box when shipping things, or the post office just refuses the package because there isn't a PO Box listed. It just depends on who's working that day and do they want to figure out my PO Box--which, by the way, I didn't put on there because I thought it was coming to my house--and put my package in my box or just take the lazy way out and refuse it? It's a 50/50 proposition.

So today I hit the limit. I had ordered from a vendor who is ironically located in Columbus, Ohio--my hometown. Unbeknownst to me, this vendor was "one of those" who has this crazy UPS/USPS delivery agreement. I see UPS on the Web site, but I'm suspicious, so I put BOTH my street address and PO Box on there. UPS drops the PO Box off the label and voila, the post office refuses it and my package goes back to the vendor. I call UPS. I call the post office. No one cares. In fact, the postmaster tells me, "You'll have to get UPS to change their policies." Right, you JA.

I call the vendor. They agree to resend and put specific notes to deliver to the house. UPS takes it to the post office again. The post office refuses it. The package goes back to the vendor AGAIN.

Normally I try to contain myself when calling someone with a service issue. Today, I could no longer have any pretense of self control and I confess I raged, and possibly even swore, at some poor person at a UPS call center in Timbuktu. It got me nowhere except possibly on the road to an aneurysm.

The vendor is resending my package a third time using a different shipping method. I figure by the time it gets here, I could have walked to Ohio and back and hand-carried it home.


Leeann said...

That is inSANE. I didn't even realize that people lived in places where you had to go get your mail. And here I was feeling whiny that the mail service is considering dropping a day! What a drag for you! How often do you pick it up and how long does it take for you to get there?
I bet you go when it is People Magazine day! lol

TheresaG said...

I don't think I would be so calm! I think if I had to deal with my packages being returned, I would lose my mind.
I'm still trying to imagine living in a place so small you don't get mail delivered. I lived in a place in Alabama where some people couldn't get mail delivered (they lived on dirt roads off of dirt roads). But that's about as close as I ever came to knowing what that's like.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that Hanna Andersson does the same thing with fedex. Just so you know if you order anything through them.

Cindy Agnew

Anne Kimnach said...

Holy $%^&, that would make me absolutely crazy (more crazy than I normally am!) I LOVE to shop online, mainly b/c I get a cheap thrill -- well, sometimes it's not so cheap -- out of having things delivered right to me. I even get Allie's Pampers delivered from amazon.com. I feel bad for you. You should talk to Kevin, he despises the USPS. However, it is very quaint that you walk to pick up your mail "in town." Do you hang out with Nellie Olsen and Miss Beedle when you're there? Carry some eggs to barter with in your basket?

M said...

...my sympathies...I can relate...our mail gets delivered after 5 p.m....sometimes 6 and once at 7 p.m.- so much for getting a check to the bank or an item back in the mail before sundown! I use Fed Ex or UPS any chance I can to avoid USPS. Maybe you'll just have to go postal on 'em!