UPS and Stupid Processes

UPS move a shitload of stuff around the world. Obviously, every once in a while something will go amiss, but they don’t seem to have very good processes in place when it does. I ordered an item from Amazon. The cost was £90.50 with free delivery since I’m an Amazon Prime customer. Presumably, this value triggered despatch via UPS rather than another courier.

Delivery was scheduled for Monday. We were out and, as it happens, so were our neighbours who I’ve listed as an alternate delivery point. When I checked delivery status, the package was listed as “Delivered: mailbox”. The thing is, I live in an apartment block where entry is protected by a videophone, and there is no communal external mailbox. So unless a package is pushed through the letterbox of our apartment and appears on our doormat, “mailbox” means nothing. But the manual, no doubt, says that a delivery location must be specified… tick!

I called UPS. The agent said she would pass the query to the depot. Someone would call me back “within an hour”. Within the specified hour Alan called me. He had no information because he hadn’t spoken to his driver. He would call back, though he didn’t say it, “within the hour” was implied. Another tick: called the customer within the required time despite having no useful info.

Another hour later, Lee called. He said he was the driver, but that his partner had actually delivered the package, so he didn’t know where it was left. He would speak to his partner and call me back. At that point communication ceased. Lee could tick off that he’d called me, but was, I assume, not required to log the need for an additional call. So the records will show that the process was followed, but probably not show that the customer still hadn’t got his package.

I called UPS again this morning. I was told to that I now had to contact Amazon—obviously, that’s the next step in the process. Camille from Amazon listened to my story, put me on hold for a while as she checked with UPS, and then promised to send me a replacement to be delivered tomorrow by UPS. Chances are that we will be out again…


Serendipity, Sex and Zevon

OK, I admit the title of this post is a little whimsical, but it’s not way off topic, and I like the alliteration.

I’m an Amazon Prime customer. When Amazon announced that free video streaming would be included to ward off some of the criticism of the forthcoming hike in the subscription, I wasn’t particularly bothered. In the UK the price has stayed the same for some time, and delivery is no-cost for Prime items, which is not the case for US customers who have to pay something. Also I don’t watch much video. But anyway, no extra cost is no extra cost, so I decided to browse.

I don’t remember how or why, but I stumbled upon Californication (Amazon UK). I’m not a David Duchovny fan; I know him from The X-Files, but I hardly ever watched that. I was hooked after was the first episode. It’s funny, absurd and sexy. Sometimes all three at the same time, such as the scene in Episode 1, when Hank (Duchovny’s character) gets punched in the face by a naked Mia when they’re in the middle of hot sex. Mia turns out to be the 16-year old daughter of Bill, who is the fiancé of Karen, Hank’s long-time ex-lover. (For the avoidance of doubt, it was Mia who seduced Hank; he was unaware of who, and how old, she was.)

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10 Things I Learned Reading Brad Stone’s — The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

10 Things I Learned Reading Brad Stone’s — The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.

Persuaded me to buy the book.