Friday, April 04, 2008

UPS stands for "You people suck!"

Okay, so the whole 'losing my keys on the way to Comfort Zone' incident finally galvanized me into doing something about getting the Avenger back on the road. (Backstory: The Avenger has a skinny little valet key that always lives in my wallet as a backup, so when clubbing I can just leave my real keys locked safely in my car with no risk of losing them. The Buick however has no valet key, and in fact the only keys you can get for it are computer chipped, huge and don't fit in a wallet. So sure enough, I lost my key ring while clubbing, had to take the Greyhound to Kitchener and back to grab the spare, then pay over $100 for a new key since either it (or the car) have to be programmed to work together. Oh, and my bike key; the one for the unpickable, uncuttable U-Lock that has my bike safely secured in the back room of my condo; was also on that ring and I still have to figure out what the hell I can do about that. Stupid fucking Buick!)

So anyway, now the Avenger is in the body ship getting a shit-load of work done to it restore it to near factory condition (rebuilt strut towers and rockers panels; all dents and scratches repaired; end-to-end sandblast, re-prime, re-paint, and re-clearcoat; blast and re-paint all rims; blast and re-paint wiper arms; buff the headlight clusters back to clear; new hood and windshield), and as part of all that I was delighted to find four brand new hub caps on e-bay for only USD $11.95 each. Woohoo! Except that they got shipped with UPS...


Like just about everybody else on the planet I work during the day when packages get delivered, so I often just get stuff shipped to my office. Unfortunately, past brutal experience has taught me that UPS is in cahoots with the customs brokerage industry, meaning that anything shipped from outside of Canada to my office via UPS is not handled as customs-due-upon-delivery as it would be if mailed to my home, but rather gets into some grubby little broker's hands where not only do they charge duties, but also flag it as a personal shipment so it doesn't get sent to my office, and so that they can charge huge amounts of money for 'special handling' when I go to pick it up. I once had a $90 Michael Schumacher hat for dad cost over $200 this way; so having learned my lesson and knowing that these hubcaps were coming from Texas, I reluctantly had them shipped to my home address.

Now with my cell phone being my only phone, when someone buzzes my condo I get a ring wherever I am; meaning that yesterday while at work I got the door call from the UPS driver. "UPS, package for Kevin Tessner." "This is he. I'm always at the office during the day, can you hold the package at your depot for pickup?" "Certainly." So I stop by their depot at 9:35 a.m. this morning, only to discover that the fucking place closed at 9:30. Now what kind of stupid fucking package service has no office open during the day for people that want to ship packages? Well fine, they're also open from 4:30 to 6:30 this evening, so I can go after work. So what happens this afternoon? Ring! "UPS, package for Kevin Tessner." "This is he. I'm always at the office during the day, can you hold the package at your depot for pickup?" "Certainly." "Will I be able to pick it up there this evening?" "Yes sir."

So I get there this evening after work and the first thing they do is give me shit for not having the little card that the driver leaves at your house when you're not home. "I haven't been home yet today, but the driver was at my house yesterday and didn't leave one. Can't you look it up?" They make a big deal out of that and claim they can't look it up on their computer, so I fire up the expensive wireless data connection on my phone and get the tracking number from Gmail. Then a half hour goes by while I stand at the desk, waiting for them to finally come back and admit that they can't find the package. "Oh sir, it seems that today was only the second delivery attempt, so it's still on the truck for a third attempt on Monday. You should have told the driver to have them leave it at the depot." "Yes. I did. Twice." And the kicker? I leave on Monday for a business trip and won't be here at all next week...

"I'm away all next week. How long will you hold the package for me if I can't take delivery on Monday?" "Five business days sir, you'll have to pick it up by Friday or it will be sent back." What the fuck? Isn't that four business days? "Can I ask you to hold it longer?" "We can do that, but you'll have to call our 800 number and provide them with the tracking number, I can't put a hold on it from here." Let me get this straight, you're the fucking depot, where I go to get my packages shipped, the very depot where you'll be holding the package for me, but you can't put a hold on it for me from here? "Yes." WTF?

Okay fine. So I phone their 800 number but by that time it's after 7:00 p.m. and I get a recording saying they're closed until Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. Great. So now, while leaving for the airport Monday morning, I also have to remember to phone UPS to get my package held for me so it doesn't disappear while I'm gone. Just fucking great... what are the odds they won't fuck that up even if I do remember to call them?

I swear to god -- UPS stands for "You people suck!"