As an online seller, I have had many instances of customers complaining of non-receipt of their purchase, even though Delivery Confirmation said the item had been delivered. I tell them to check with roommate, spouse, kids, and/or the Post Office to verify the whereabouts of their package. Usually, I do not hear back, and assume the missing article has been located.
This week, though, the shoe was on the other foot.
I ordered an item from a reputable eBay seller, who shipped the item promptly via Priority Mail. Delivery Confirmation showed that the package had been delivered on Saturday. Unfortunately, there was no package in my mailbox.
I waited until after the mail delivery on Monday (no package) before checking with my local post office. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, they really don’t handle mail routing anymore, so they gave me the number to the regional post office in another city, about 10 miles away. Tanya at that Post Office was very nice, and said she would look into it. True to her word, she called me back later that afternoon, and said she had spoken with the carrier, who distinctly remembered putting the package in my “black” mailbox on Saturday. Since the carrier verified that he had delivered the package, my only option was to file a police report, according to Tanya.
Since the item was only worth about $20, I decided that filing a police report would be frivolous. Instead, I contacted the seller, and explained the situation to her, including my dealings with the post office. She offered to send another package out, even though I didn’t ask, and I graciously accepted.
Should be end of story. However, as John Belushi frequently said on Saturday Night Live, “but nooooooo.”
Flash forward to Wednesday afternoon. The seller already had sent me shipping confirmation on my second package. I’m satisfied that all is well. Then the phone rings. It’s Tanya from the Post Office, who had some new information about my errant package.
Apparently, the seller had misaddressed the label, and the carrier put the package in the wrong box (actually, the correct box, according to the address label; obviously, he wasn’t a mind reader). Upon his route on Wednesday, he somehow reacquired the package, and delivered it to me. I was happy; Tanya was happy. End of story.
I checked my mailbox when I got home from work, and there was a package. However, it was not the package in question. I was confused. This new package, which I was expecting, had the correct address on it. So, if the carrier had put this package in the wrong box on Saturday, even with the correct address, what kind of idiot must he be, and where is my original package?
I suddenly became worried about my incoming replacement package.
I called Tanya right away, and explained it to her. She was exasperated, and promised to take the matter to her supervisors on Thursday morning. End of story, at least for the day, right?
On my property, I have two houses. Our large house, and a smaller guest house in the back. To my way of thinking, there can be no confusion as to which is the main house (you know, the big one with the car parked out front) that should get all deliveries. After it had gotten dark, I had the occasion to go to the guesthouse to grab some packing supplies. As I walked to the house in the dark, and fumbled with my key to unlock the door, my foot hit something. Finally, opening the door, I turned on the porch light, and saw my missing package, complete with wrong address.
Suddenly, the carrier’s story had a ring of truth to it. All was as he said, except that he delivered it to the right address, but STILL the wrong house. I knew then that I had to have another conversation with Tanya in the morning.
Of course, there was still the matter of the replacement package coming in the mail. I contacted the seller, and explained the situation to her, offering to write “Refused” on the package, and have it returned to her, provided I actually received it. After verifying that she had sent this one to the right address, she told me to keep the second package.
By now, I’m sure she considers me a problem buyer. She’ll obviously get a very glowing feedback from me, though, for her troubles, and for the extra item.
On Thursday morning, I contacted Tanya again, and explained how I found the original package. I even told her to thank the carrier for his efforts in ensuring the package found its way home.
End of story, right? We’ll see. I still have another package to receive.