Saturday, June 5, 2021

Still Life with Robin: Whose Door Is It Anyway?

by Peggy Robin

Has this ever happened to you? Let me first set up the sequence of events: You are expecting a delivery via UPS. You are signed up for their delivery tracking app, which tells you in a series of emails or text messages (your choice) that your package has been shipped, that it's on its way to the local distribution center, then it's on the truck - with a little graphic that shows the truck tootling along to your house - and finally, it's been delivered and it's waiting for you on your doorstep. The final email has a photo of the package showing exactly where you will find it when you step out your front door. This is especially useful if the UPS deliverer thoughtfully removes the package from public view by hiding it behind a porch pillar or putting it under a piece of porch furniture. I appreciate the thoughtfulness - and the photo solution to the "where is my package?" puzzle.

Now here comes the problem. A few days ago, I got the first email in the sequence about the package. When the last one arrived, showing the photo of the delivered package at the door, I immediately saw - that's NOT my front door. I went downstairs to the front door and opened it, and sure enough, no package. I looked high and low. Behind the porch pillar. Under the wicker furniture (my, that needs sweeping under there!). Even checked around the sides and back of the house. Then I went back upstairs, opened the UPS email, and saw the question, "How did we do?" asking me to rate their delivery service. I clicked "not great" and reported delivery was made to wrong address.

Then I started checking my Amazon order to see what I needed to do to get my money back or get my order re-delivered to the right address. Now, let me add, my order wasn't anything critical or time-sensitive. I get these office supplies from time to time, and I wasn't close to running out. So I put it on my to-do list to check into the non-delivery sometime later -- maybe in a day or two.

Then later that evening my daughter, who lives in Philadelphia, called to thank me for the present. I had totally forgotten that she had mentioned that she needed a particular hard-to-find kitchen gadget, and I had said, "Don't go looking for it in Philadelphia -- I'll send you one. THAT was the package that Amazon had delivered, and the delivery photo showed the package on HER doorstep. I just didn't recognize it.

So what's my complaint? Package correctly delivered, right? But I had already told UPS that they'd got it wrong. I wanted to go back and right the wrong, to be sure the driver wasn't told he'd messed up. But when I went back to the UPS site looking for a way to retract my earlier driver rating, there was no option to say, "Oops, my earlier submission was a mistake - the driver did a great job" On the UPS site, the customer, apparently is always right, even when they're wrong!

And now I come back to the "has this ever happened to you" question. If anyone has ever figured out how to un-report a mis-delivered package, please let me know!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays

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