Becca (beccaweccavt) wrote in bad_service,

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Background: I work for an animal nutraceutical company (in other words, the company makes vitamins for pets, but that doesn't sound as fancy). We only sell our products to veterinarians, but consumers call and email in all the time with questions. In this situation, a consumer called in and said her normal cat vitamin smelled different than usual, and her cat wouldn't eat it. Being the uber-strict quality control company that we are, we issued a UPS call tag to pick up the vitamins. We were also nice enough to send out a replacement, since she wants to keep giving the product to her cat, but was just cautious about that bottle.
Alrighty. So this is where the fun part starts.

Usually call tags are a pretty simple deal. Basically we fill out the pickup info for UPS (where it is getting picked up from, approximate weight of the package, where it is being sent to), and a friendly UPS guy/gal shows up, slaps a sticker on the package, and takes it away. That way the company pays for the shipping.

So mid-July I issue a call tag to her address in NYC. Let's say that she lives on River Street (not even close to the name of her actual street, but ya know I don't want to tell random people where she lives). About a week later UPS still hasn't picked up the package, which is a bit strange. I have accounting give them a call (normally I am not allowed to call UPS directly, because I am just a sales rep), and UPS promises to pick up the package that day. Swell, right?

Not so much. So the next day I email the consumer to make sure that UPS picked up the package, since when I checked the tracking number it had shown that it was picked up late the previous evening. She emails back that she still has the package. Hmmm.
So accounting calls UPS, and they claim they DID pick up the package, from Livingston Street. Yeah, except they were supposed to pick up the package from RIVER Street. So UPS decides to re-issue the call tag, and promises that they will pick up the package in the next few days. I wouldn't be surprised if I get a random package from Livingston Street...

Consumer emails me back a few days later, UPS still hasn't show up. I check the new tracking number, and yet again UPS shows they picked up the package. Umm, OK. Finally I call UPS directly (screw the rules, I was getting pissed off), and they claim up/down/left/right that the package will be picked up TODAY. I also confirm the address, and yes they are planning to pick up from River Street. The UPS woman was also nice enough to give me the local NYC UPS distribution number.

Toward the end of the day (this has been about two weeks since I originally issued the call tag) I call the local UPS number in NYC to triple check on the status of the tag. They guy who picks up claims that the package was picked up a couple of days ago. Umm, actually NO, I set him straight, that was some sort of a wonky error, and it wasn't actually picked up. He humms and haws for a bit, and says he can send out a driver this evening to pick up up. He asked "And this is getting picked up from Grant Street, right?"

Cue hysterical laughter on my part. Grant Street?? Where the fuck did you pull that address out from?? Pick it up from R.I.V.E.R. S.T.R.E.E.T. UPS guys is all confused, says that all his records show it is getting picked up from Grant Street. We double check the tracking number, but everything else matches up. Remember, I had confirmed the address that morning with the main UPS folks, and this is now the THIRD time we have provided the correct address.

The next day I receive an email from my consumer (at this point we have been emailing back and forth for a while with all the logistical chaos, and are getting along swimmingly -- she is quite possibly the nicest consumer I have ever dealt with, and she would have EVERY right to be irate). So UPS did finally show up, but they didn't have the actual call tag, it was just some sketchy dude who took the package, and didn't leave a receipt or tracking number or anything.
I can only hope that the package ends somewhere in Vermont in the next decade. But I have to admit, it doesn't look promising.

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