Groundhog Days at UPS

5 Nov

I think the service at UPS is horrendous. I wish businesses that use courriers advertised which! Better still, that they could offer the customer the choice among several.

In trying to get my Apple Watch serviced, Apple uses UPS to deliver me the empty box in which I am to send the Watch for repair. So far UPS has delivered that box… twice… but to the wrong person… twice. Yes, according to the proof of delivery it’s the same wrong person in both cases. I don’t know them, nor where they are though. And neither does UPS.

They can investigate. But it takes eight business days, and first you have to file a complaint, and then perhaps the shipment can be located and delivered (but my hunch is that it’s a big IF).

Lousy customer experience, down to the website

Other aspects of the UPS service are bad. I have first-hand experience with two:

  1. an account is required in order to do anything pertaining to a shipment you are the recipient of (that’s right, you not only did not select that carrier yourself, but you also need to give them personal data, and they don’t say anything about what they will do with it),
  2. the account creation process breaks, possibly because it makes some pretty dumb assumptions.

For personal reasons I use French regional settings but English language on my devices. It might explain why the UPS account creation process chose to establish my account in the USA –a field in the form that I could neither toggle nor edit. Obviously, the account failed as invalid.

And yet, as I fiddled with it to fix it, and after the site stopped responding for a while, I found out that the account error had simply vanished. I dug around in my new Hawaii-based UPS “My Choice” account, and couldn’t find any trace of stored physical location.

False claims in the field and on the web

Once logged in, I tried the “change my delivery” button. After all, this is 2022 and for a while now all modern carriers have offered recipients the possibility to reschedule, or supply backup delivery instructions. Their button did not work. It either took me back to the tracking view, or showed a never-ending spinning wheel named “authenticating” even though I appeared to be logged in still.

Later, I found out that in order to be able to reschedule a delivery, UPS first must attempt to deliver and fail. How moronic!

This type of delivery prohibited the option to pick up at a third party facility. I assume that requesting delivery in my mailbox, front door, garden or at my neighbour’s was equally not an option, but nothing was explicit.

In any case, it would be useful if they set some expectations about what I may or may not do with the “change my delivery” button. I created an account with the purpose of doing something that eventually wasn’t possible.

Groundhog Days

Day 1: I paid for a Watch battery replacement. Apple sent via UPS a box for me to send the Watch back to them.

Day 2, morning: The delivery was set to take place between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. I waited at home. At 2pm the tracking page indicated that the estimated delivery time had been updated. It then was “by end of day”. Sigh.

Day 2, afternoon: The shipment was marked as delivered, at 2:38 pm, at “Office”, signed by someone unfamiliar. There was nothing I could do about this shipment on the UPS website. I was not happy.

Day 2, Apple hotline: On their end the box was marked as delivered. They were not particularly sympathetic to the fact that I had stayed home for nothing, and they could not redirect the delivery: they didn’t even know where it had been delivered. So the first repair order was canceled, and I paid for a second one, which triggered a second shipment with UPS.

Day 3, morning: The delivery was set to take place between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm. I waited at home. At 1:30 pm the tracking page indicated that the estimated delivery time had been updated. It then was “by end of day”. Sigh.

Day 3, 1:35 pm: The tracking page indicated that they had missed me and would try on the next business day. I was furious.

Day 3, UPS hotline: The person on the phone did not seem surprised nor bothered that the courrier had neither rung my bell nor my phone. I was told that someone from another department at UPS would call back within the hour with an update and perhaps tell me when I might get the package. I continued to wait at home.

Day 3, 2:30 pm: Nobody called. On the tracking page, the shipment was marked as delivered, at 1:46 pm, again at “Office”, signed by the same unfamiliar person. I was outraged.

Day 3, second call to the UPS hotline: Another person, equally careless, said the only information they had that I didn’t was that the location of the package delivery was in fact “Office of the director”. I then learned about the complaint being the first required step to the investigation which may take about eight business days. and which may or may not surface where the effing package ended up.

Day 3, Apple hotline: The first person to actually sound sympathetic! But there wasn’t anything they could do other than canceling the second repair order, and get me to pay for a third one, which triggered a third shipment with UPS. That one is set for Day 7 because it’s a Monday.

Day 4: I finally clicked the UPS link I was sent the day before to file a complaint. Unsurprisingly, an account is required to do that too! I was ready to go into as much detail as needed. I had screenshots of everything. So I was very dismayed when I realised it was a click-through process where I had to chose which pre-set scenario matched my situation the best, among a selection of six or seven. I was also quite dismayed that it didn’t let me file a second complaint for the first failed delivery.

Unfortunate AND ironic

Isn’t it ironic that I opted for the home pickup/delivery for my Apple hardware servicing because I was disappointed that our local (it’s still a 66-kilometer round trip) Apple Store Genius Bar is nothing but a collection desk? They do not do any onsite hardware service. They send it elsewhere, it takes 10 to 15 days, they get the product back, let you know it’s ready, and you come again to retrieve it and pay for the service.

Update on Day 7

UPS delivered!!! (Albeit an hour late)


31 Oct

I drew again in my small sketchbook Canson art book universal (14×21 cm / 4×6 in), using individually or together a black Pentel brushpen, Kuretake fudegokochi black pen, Sakura Pigma Micron 003 black fine liner (very very fine), Kuretake light grey Brush Writer, and a white brush pen which doesn’t work too well anymore.

For the first time since I started doing the challenge every year in 2016, I have missed days because I didn’t like these prompts. In fact it’s the first time in those seven years that I found the list mostly terrible.

Official prompt list for this year

Rentrée épique au lycée

2 Sep

La première rentrée d’Adrien au lycée hier fut totalement épique.

On avait le train à 7h07 depuis la gare qui est à 12 minutes à pied de la maison. Le papa d’Adrien, lui, devait prendre le même train 7 minutes avant à sa gare locale.

On est partis un poil en retard car Adrien a changé de short, puis de t-shirt. Aussi parce qu’on n’avait pas compté le temps de fermeture des porte/portail, ni de l’escalade des barricades en bétons anti-scooters qui ont été installées cet été sur le sentier forestier le long du stade de foot en bas de la résidence.

J’avais mon nouveau vélo pour rentrer plus vide depuis Cannes car j’avais vérifié qu’on peut embarquer un vélo dans les TER.

Bref. Quand on a vu qu’il était 7h05, et qu’on était encore à un demi-kilomètre de la gare, j’ai dit à Adrien de monter sur le vélo, et moi j’ai couru à côté.
Mais le passage entre les HLM pour monter à la gare comporte pas mal d’escaliers, alors il a fallu descendre du vélo et le soulever un peu pour franchir les marches (il fait 23 kilos le mastar…)

On y était pas tout à fait quand on a entendu le train entrer en gare…
… et puis la sonnette d’indication du blocage des portes retentir. Adrien était déjà sur la plate-forme et moi je courais toujours le long du grillage, à côté du train arrêté. L’entrée de la gare qui est le plus loin possible de là où on venait n’en finissait pas de ne pas arriver !

Une fois sur la plate-forme, Adrien reprenait le vélo; il n’avait pas réussi à ouvrir les portes. J’ai aussi essayé le bouton mais sans résultat, et c’est seulement là que le train est parti :(

Sur le chemin de la gare on avait vu le bus de ville #1 qui va à la gare de Cannes. Alors j’ai dit à Adrien de redescendre vers l’arrêt de bus par les escaliers directs, derrière le dispositif qui empêche les vélos de passer, et moi j’ai enfourché le vélo et repris le chemin par lequel on était arrivés.

Le bus partait dans 2 minutes et mettait 20 minutes pour rejoindre la gare de Cannes. Banco, il serait dans les temps.

Heureusement qu’Adrien avait un peu d’argent dans son porte-monnaie (moi j’avais juste ma carte de crédit), car sa carte de bus “Zou!” ne fonctionne pas sur le réseau des bus de ville.

Mon vélo étant interdit à bord du bus, j’ai dit à Adrien “vas-y Mijo, on se retrouve à Cannes !”

J’ai appelé le papa d’Adrien pour lui dire qu’on avait raté le train de quelques secondes, qu’Adrien était dans le bus et que je moi je prenais la route à vélo et qu’on se retrouverait (avec un peu de chance) tous à la gare de Cannes.

J’ai mis vingt minutes pour arriver. Le papa d’Adrien était déjà là, et Adrien lui était un peu flippé, toujours dans son bus, à cause d’un long arrêt à la mairie de Cannes, et certainement de pas connaître la topologie de la ville, donc de pas savoir où est la mairie relativement à la gare ni de pouvoir estimer le temps restant (vraiment pas longtemps une fois reparti).

Adrien est arrivé 10 minutes après, un peu angoissé (beaucoup). Nous avions encore 10 minutes avant que ce soit 8h, l’heure de la rentrée.

On a pris le passage souterrain qui mène à la rue Mimont derrière la gare. Ils m’ont aidée à soulever le vélo sur les escaliers de sortie (il y en a encore plus que ceux qui descendent au tunnel !) Et le lycée est à 2 minutes à pied une fois de l’autre côté.

À l’approche, j’ai vu un grand gars en cravate qui ouvrait le portail de l’établissement et disait aux jeunes amassés en large troupeau devant le lycée “allez, vous pouvez rentrer; vous êtes nombreux !”

Adrien s’est mis dans la file, et sans se retourner il s’est engouffré parmi les lycéens.

Vue du trottoir : large groupe d'élèves de dos marchant vers la file entrant par le portail du lycée

Je crois bien qu’on était les deux seuls adultes. D’ailleurs on s’est naturellement arrêtés au trottoir opposé à l’attroupement pour pas se mélanger aux gamins et filer la honte au nôtre !

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