Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One little problem with online package tracking

When my mom returns to her summer place in Seattle, she ships a few boxes of stuff by UPS and takes just a small suitcase on the plane.

Her stuff was scheduled to arrive at my place Friday, the day before she flew in, but nothing was delivered.

She arrived Saturday night, handed me the UPS documents, and asked me to go to the UPS site and look up the packages. Despite being sent three-day air from Naples, Florida, four days later the packages still appeared to be in Jacksonville, Florida.

The packages didn't arrive Monday, either, and this morning my mom called UPS and let them have it.

"Your packages aren't lost," the UPS customer service drone told her. "We just don't know where they are."

My mother isn't a patient soul at the best of times, and she really lost it when the UPS person told her she could check for updates on the packages' status by logging on to the UPS site with the tracking number.

"And just how am I supposed to do that?" my mother demanded. "One of the packages you've lost has my computer in it!"

According to the UPS tracking service, the package with the computer arrived in Redmond at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. But there's no indication it was ever put on a truck, and they certainly didn't deliver today.

I have a bad feeling about this, and am wondering if the package was vandalized in transit and they're scrambling to figure out what happened to it and come up with an explanation.

(UPDATE: The "three-day delivery" packages arrived safely -- 8 days after they were sent.)

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