Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Signature required on delivery (in person)

Do you ever get home and see that post-it note on your door when you're expecting a fun or important delivery? Post-its are nice, but I really prefer packages. Then after reading carefully your heart drops when you see that the sender included a signature requirement.

I have some serious frustration issues with packages that are sent via UPS or FedEx with a signature requirement for residential deliveries. Today I got just such a post-it for a UPS overnight delivery. They were willing to pay the big bucks to ensure that it got there the next day... at 10:30 AM... at my house. Wait - a better way to say it is that they paid to guarantee that the package would get there the next day with a virtual guarantee (10:30AM M-F ... don't other people work at that time) that I would not be there to get the package, with a guarantee that I actually got it (signature), if I happened to get it. I suppose my frustration should be with the sender - but why is there customer demand for this service.

I called UPS at 7:30 to change the delivery address to my workplace. Because it was after the 7:00 closing time the address change would not go through until Friday (since Thursday is a holiday). Well nobody is going to be at my office on Friday to pick up the package because it's the Friday after Thanksgiving. Since UPS doesn't deliver on Saturday or Sunday my overnight package will have reached me in six short days.

I remember when I ordered my iBook a couple years ago Apple put this same requirement on the package. Shocker I was not there between the hours of 10:30AM and 2:00PM with a smile on my face and pen in hand. I called UPS and there were further instructions on the package that the destination could not be changed and it could not be picked up at the UPS office. So it needed to go through several delivery attempts, then three days back to Cupertino. After calling Apple they would not ship it to my work because that address was not the billing address of my credit card, so I had to call my credit card to get that address added, then call Apple back to schedule delivery.

Perhaps I sit up on a pedestal in my white-collar world, but don't most people work 9-6 type hours like I do? You'd think Apple and UPS would be spinning their wheels constantly because of this issue - but I am made to feel like I am unreasonable by working 9-6 and by not taking a day off of work to accept a delivery. I mean, wouldn't it serve residential customers of UPS, FedEx, and retailers better by choosing different hours?

UPDATE - UPS broke their rules and called me back at around 8:15 with someone who promised to get my delivery redirected to my work for tomorrow.