Monday, June 4, 2012

Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom of Night

I got a Target gift card for my birthday. I so love Target, and I was quite excited to spend my gift card. But alas, the nearest Target is several towns over, and the math revealed that for our vehicle, it would be cheaper to pay shipping than it would be to pay gas. So I ordered something from target.com. I ordered HPDHP2. Ten points if you know what that is. (Hint: It completes my collection.)

I ordered it on May 8. I was provided with a lovely tracking number showing that my package, which originated someplace in Ohio, was being delivered by the USPS via UPS Mail Innovations, whatever that is. It went from someplace in Ohio to someplace else in Ohio where there's a big airport, and then it flew straight to Seattle, arriving there on May 14.

It was scheduled to arrive to me on May 17. On May 14, it showed that it had been handed off from UPS Mail Innovations to the Seattle post office. I began tracking it at usps.com, which said, "We have received electronic notification that your package will be given to us, but that doesn't mean we have it. But if we do have it, you won't know until the day it goes out for delivery because that's how Delivery Confirmation works."

So I waited. It was south of Seattle, so I figured it would probably arrive on its scheduled day. It really doesn't take very long to drive from there to here. But May 17 came and went with nary a package in sight. I waited the weekend, and then I tracked it again the following Tuesday. Same message. "We might have it, we might not, but you won't know for sure until it shows up in your mailbox."

I waited a few more days. No package. I tracked it again. No news. Over Memorial Day weekend, I imagined my package laying on the floor in Seattle with a mail cart tire pinning it to the ground in a dark corner. Poor little package.

On Tuesday after Memorial Day, the package being now 12 days late, I decided it was time to rescue it.

I called target.com.

"My package hasn't arrived."

"Okay, let me see... Oh. It's already been given to the post office. Call them."

I called the post office.

"My package hasn't arrived."

"Okay, let me see... Oh. We received electronic notification that your package would be given to us, but that doesn't mean we have it. We never got it. Call UPS Mail Innovations."

I called UPS Mail Innovations.

"My package hasn't arrived."

"Okay, let me see... Oh. We gave it to the post office. Call them."

"I called them, and they said they never received it, but just got notification that they would receive it."

"Nope, our records show that we actually physically dropped it off at the post office in Seattle. You'll have to file a claim with them."

I called the post office back.

"My package hasn't arrived."

"Okay, let me see... Oh. We received electronic notification that your package would be given to us, but that doesn't mean we have it. We never got it. Call UPS Mail Innovations."

"I called them, and they said they dropped my package off at the post office in Seattle."

"Oh. Well, I'll open up a case and see if I can physically track down your package."

"That would be great."

"Here is your case number. We will call you back within 24 hours to let you know what we found out."

I honestly didn't have high hopes. But the next morning, the postmaster at my local post office called me around 10:30am and said, "I have your package in my hand and it will be delivered to you this afternoon."

Holy cow! That was quick! Hats off to the post office claims department!

The moral of the story is:

Sometimes it pays to talk on the phone.