N.B.: For the last few days, MAK and I have been guest blogging over at Judgment Call, rehashing the brief but tumultuous period a couple years ago during which we somehow managed to date without causing the sun to implode.
I finally found a replacement for the discontinued fabric I couldn’t find for my quilt. I ordered it on Friday, and paid extra for next-day (Saturday) delivery.
Here is the letter I sent to UPS on Saturday evening.
Chairman of the Board and CEO, UPS
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
Dear Mr. Eskew:
I am shocked and dismayed at the treatment I suffered today at the hands of UPS; I’m sure you will be too, once you hear what happened.
Yesterday, I ordered nine yards of fabric from equilter.com for a project with an imminent deadline. I needed to start right away, so I ordered the fabric for Saturday delivery. I stayed home today, awaiting delivery of the package. When morning turned into afternoon, I thought to track the package (tracking number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx). Lo and behold! the UPS tracking page said the delivery had been rescheduled for Tuesday.
Very concerned, I phoned UPS and asked for an explanation. I was told, “The driver says there’s no such street address as xxx West xxxth Street.”
I was very surprised to hear this news, as I thought I’d been living at that very address for years. The answer was obvious: I was delusional and ought to seek help immediately from a mental health care professional. In fact, I thought as I flipped through the Yellow Pages for a psychiatrist who might take my insurance, I needed to let my roommate know that he was delusional too. And the United States Postal Service, which seemed to have been delivering mail to a non-existent address for years. And AT&T, and Verizon, and Citibank. I was alarmed–this was becoming a crisis of massive proportions. America was filled with lunatics doing business with people at an address that didn’t exist!
But then I realized that I have, in fact, received UPS packages at this address. As the opinion of UPS had been, up until that moment, the benchmark against which I measured my sanity and, indeed, my worth as a human being, I slowed down and tried to piece together what could possibly have happened. I came up with two options: either the address both exists and does not exist simultaneously–an application of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that strikes disarmingly close to home–or the UPS driver messed up.
Come on, Mr. Eskew: there’s no such street address? I could have bought “nobody was home,” even though I’ve been home all day, or “the driver was abducted by aliens,” or even “the Illuminati stole the package as part of their plot to take over the world,” but this is lame beyond human comprehension. Your company said it would deliver a package to me today, and not only did it not deliver the package, but the people I spoke to when I called said the local center was closed and I couldn’t even go to the inconvenience of picking up the package myself. The earliest I can get the thing is Tuesday, which, I assure you, is far too late for me to be starting this project.
I have used UPS many times in the past, and have generally been a satisfied customer. However, this appalling experience has severely damaged your stock with me. I would like an apology and a credit of $xx towards future UPS shipments, to compensate me for the time and frustration your mistake has cost me.
If, as your web site claims, UPS “has never shied away from reinventing itself,” allow me to suggest that you reinvent yourself as a company that delivers packages it is paid to deliver. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you within two weeks and to resolving this issue satisfactorily. I certainly hope I won’t have to switch to using another company for my shipping needs (and encourage my friends to do the same), but please believe that I won’t hesitate to do so should it become necessary.
Very truly yours,
Cc: John Beystehner
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, Inc.
257 Park Ave. South
New York, NY 10010-7384
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
Office of the Attorney General
New York, NY 10271
New York State Consumer Protection Board
5 Empire State Plaza, Ste. 2101
Albany, NY 12210-2891
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
New York, NY 10004
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
I may not get my credit for $xx, but let me tell you, writing that letter felt good.
And the package did come yesterday.