Thursday, September 02, 2004

His delivery wasn't good enough

UPS bothers me. I periodically buy computer hardware from TigerDirect.ca, a very-well-priced catalogue order company. They're US-based, but typically have prices on their Canadian site slightly better than the exchange rate would suggest, and most always lower for stock components and the like than any retail store within my reach. The only problem, however, is that they ship via UPS. Now, UPS is reasonably quick, even at their basic package rate. But their policies suck. I live in an apartment building. During the day, either the superintendant or a security guard might be floating around their respective offices in the foyer, but often neither are. If I'm not home to answer the buzzer and let the driver in, if I'm at class or working, he'll leave and mark it down as a failed delivery attempt. After two of these, the package in question gets sent out to their central depot, which is in an industrial park in the far southeast corner of town. I cannot get to this depot, as I have no car, and it's not convenient to bus service. What infuriates me is that UPS has a retail location mere blocks away from my front door, at the corner of Bank and Albert:
(That would be the same building formerly the Ottawa Hydro-Electric Commission; the beautiful Art Deco details aren't very visible at a distance.) One might assume they'd be happy to re-route packages to this location, right? All the better to serve the customer, yes? Hah. Officially, This Does Not Happen. Neither drivers nor front-line customer service reps will acknowledge that it is possible to have packages delivered there for later pickup. However, their supervisors will admit (after several minutes of browbeating) that they can do just that. After finally getting today's particular package arrangement straightened out, the customer service supervisor I was talking to even admitted that it is and always has been policy to allow delivery to retail outlets - but it's a secret, middle-management need-to-know-basis only policy, you see, so the average phonedrone won't be distracted when telling customers that it can't be done. So I'm more or less disgusted with UPS. That they will usually, eventually do the right thing doesn't excuse that their default policy is to lie and mislead. I can understand why they wouldn't want to make it known that there are other options beyond being at the mercy of a deliveryman's timetable, but it's rather contemptuous of customers regardless.

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