Shipping Mystery

I placed an internet order for software last Sunday and I had the option of spending a few bucks more for “expedited” shipping, or I could opt for the free shipping which they said could take 4 – 7 days.  The expedited shipping said it would be one day delivery, but I knew it couldn’t be by Fed-Ex or air for just a few bucks more. I assumed it would have to be driving distance close, therefore since I wasn’t in a super rush, I chose the free shipping option instead.

On Monday evening, I get an update from the company that it processed my order and handed it over to the shipping company, located in a city less than a two hour drive away. It was just as I thought- the shipping point was pretty close. The shipping company tracking had updates that they received the package that night and it was ready for transport Tuesday morning. I was psyched that I had guessed right and I might even be getting my order in one day just like the expedited service was offering. Nothing arrived on Tuesday, so I was expecting it on Wednesday-  it didn’t show up then either. The shipping company didn’t post any additional updates since the “ready for transport” message sent Monday, so I started wondering what the hold up was. I still didn’t receive my package Thursday and there were no tracking updates. Considering the shipping starting point is so close, I’m wondering if my package was somehow lost, so I called the company to inquire. The rep that answers tells me my that the package is “in transit” and I should have it no later than the coming Monday. I ask her how could it take this long when the city starting point is so close to my city, but like a broke record, she kept repeating that it was in transit. I did get her to agree that it was “peculiar” that it was taking “days” to deliver a package less than two hours away. Even if they were walking it down, it should have arrived by now.

The package finally arrived late Friday afternoon, which I saw at my door as I got home. So the shipping company got the package early Tuesday morning with a delivery destination less than a two hour drive away, and it still took them four days to deliver it. Go figure. It’s a good thing I wasn’t any farther or in another state or else it might have taken weeks to get here??

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21 thoughts on “Shipping Mystery

  1. I’ve never figured out the bowels of the beast completely either, but I’m suspecting that ‘expediting’ means putting it in a different pile for the possibly-over-worked delivery clones, a pile marked ‘Priority’. I waited three weeks for the dumb-f*cks at Ben Gurion airport (TLV) to ‘find’ two pieces of critical baggage.Repeated phone calls to no avail, I went there (three busses) and ‘found’ it for them, right behind the Lost & Found desk, at eye height, with name address and phone numbers in three languages.
    frustrating, but I do hope you are happy with the parcel at least/ JS

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    • Wow – your situation sounds 100X worse- I’d be livid if I had to travel there to do their job for them, only to find it right in front of their noses all this time. I’d be sending in written complaints all up and down the chain of command. I can’t stand willful incompetence.

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  2. Lol, well I can’t figure out why postal people have such trouble figuring out non-complex shipping. It should be simple right? But I’ve often paid extra to ship something fast, and have it arrive just as slowly as if I’d gone with free shipping. One of the current problems I’m having is the postal service scanning a package at my local office, and state that the item has been delivered at some time early in the morning… when in fact it never has been delivered.. because it’s still sitting on the truck and will hopefully get there in the afternoon. I have called repeatedly about it (including the time they claimed it was delivered in the morning, he came by in the afternoon and ”forgot” to deliver it, and then came back later at SUNDOWN).. they apologized and said it was not proper for them to do this. All was fine for a couple weeks when… what do you know? They’ve done it again. It’s going to be a fun Xmas season of missing/late packages..

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    • Shipping, like other systems, can be compromised by lazy people who take no pride in their work couple with lack of reasonable accountability to ensure good customer service. This is why I always ask for someone’s name when there’s an issue. Once the lose that feeling of anonymity, they are less likely to slack off. It also helps make them feel more appreciated when you thank them in advance. Lots of social engineering needed as grease. 🙂

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  3. Employees make mistakes with parcels..the other day i found out i paid seven dollars and 50 cents for an envelope, i sent to the US when i should have been charged three dollars only..it’s good at least that your sofware arrived safe…

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    • I find my stress levels drop when I just assume folks are going to make this type of mistakes so I try to do as much front work in advance. Then I can be pleasantly surprised when they actually perform well.

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  4. I hate shipping charges! In many c ases, the company is making money on the shipping as well as the item. I’m a sucker for free shipping. I might even buy something I wasn’t going to if I can get free shipping. Yeah, it’s not really “free,” but it seems free!
    A few years ago I had a big problem with FedEx leaving my packages at the wrong house. After three times, I made a big deal out of it and emailed corporate and was very sarcastic, asking if their policy was to get things close to the right adress and hope they got the rest of the way themselves. I got a very nice apology and they sent me coupons for free shipping. The next day, the manager of the local office called and assured me that the driver and dispatcher had been “written up.” So, it is possible to get some satisfaction.
    I’m glad you got your software eventually and it didn’t disappear into shipping purgatory.

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    • Yeah, I hate “sneaky shipping charges” that can wind up eliminating any discounted sale on the front side.

      Looks like you finally got a decent response once you got the corporate executives involved. Good for you. I think the lazy workers doing a poor job think folks won’t report their actions up the chain.

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  5. When things are shipped, there are large regional centers that do all the sorting and processing for the shipment. There aren’t very many of them (proportionally to the number of cities) and each center probably serves about a 200 mile radius. I lived in a small town most of my life. If I wanted to mail something outside of the city limits of our tiny town (even if it was in the nearest town only 15 miles away, or even a different zip code only a few miles away), it would have to go to Dallas first for sorting and then back to the local area. Local mail (same zip code) was processed in-house by the post office, but everything else had to go 50 miles to Dallas first. This process might take three days. One for shipment to Dallas, another for automated sorting in Dallas, and another for the trip back to the local area. Your package probably recieved similar treatment because it wasn’t separated for a faster shipping method (with manual sorting).

    At least, I think that’s how it works. Who knows, really.

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    • That’s a plausible explanation, but the only thing is I would expect that kind of movement to show up in the package tracking info so that whenever it goes to a facility/sort point, there’s an entry and exit notification- so if a package gets lost, they can narrow down where in the chain it happened.

      There were no additional notifications once it generated the package received message until the hand off to the post office, which started generating location updates of their own from that point. So it appears the package arrived, and was held up for some reason.

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  6. If it’s a company called OnTrac, they suck. They drop my orders off any old which way, but they seem to deliver within two days for ‘expedited’ shipping. I thought expedited meant next day, especially coming from Arizona.

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  7. over the past two weeks, i lost three packages i ordered online. two of which i got the refund from the company i ordered from, one im still working on….whats with the SD usps….im never ordering online again

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      • just saw this yes mine all came with tracking. it said on the site delivered, but they actually didn’t come until about three weeks later, one day I just received all of them. =_= bfs mom bought me some marc Jacobs fragrance that is supposed to be here by mail this week, I really hope I receive them..other than that I avoid ordering stuff online

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