If you live in a major metropolitan area like New York City, chances are high that when shopping online from certain retailers, you too have had the “joy” of dealing with local carriers. They are small companies whose role in theory is to get your goods to you faster than a local carrier — the reality can often times be much more like a snail struggling to pull your parcels to your home.
One Sunday, my wife and I placed an order at Yoyo.com, part of a group of shopping sites that started with Diapers.com and spread out. We love shopping there because we know that we can reliably get our order the next working day. We got a tracking number and found that it went to a local carrier — a bad sign, I thought.
The following night at around nine thirty in the evening, I called the customer service line to Yoyo and asked if we were getting our parcel and after they contacted the carrier, the customer service rep came back and told me that the carrier had too many parcels that day and couldn’t get it out. We were given a ten dollar credit and the assurance that it would come the next day. I decided to ask if it was possible to mark our account to make sure they never used local carriers with our orders and sure enough, it was done.
The following day at half past two I made a followup call to Yoyo and asked about the parcel and after a long hold the person came back to me and apologized in a way that seemed as though he were really upset with the information he had gotten from the carrier. As it turns out, the carrier had more or less told him the same bit — that they were overwhelmed with packages and couldn’t get ours out that day and that it would be out the following day. He told me that he informed the carrier to return the package to them and that he was going to ship out a new order via UPS, and that I could expect it the following day. I reiterated that I wanted to be marked as “national carriers only” on my account and he said that it was indeed marked as such. He also told me that since he had no idea if we intended to shop with them ever again, he was issuing us a twenty dollar credit on our credit card.
The kicker of this story is that at ten thirty that night, the local carrier company messenger came knocking on our door, giving me the package with a look on his face that said that all was right with the world. I quickly got on the phone with Yoyo (You know the customer service is good when they are still answering the phone at half past ten — and I’m not talking outsourced customer service, either…) and the customer service rep was absolutely gobsmacked that they actually turned up at half past ten and did not follow their orders to return the parcel. He then assured me that the second parcel would be returned and thanked me for my honesty — as some individuals might just keep both parcels and chalk it up to something to do with karma, when it really has more to do with the individual decision not to do what is right.
If you are in a position where companies may send you parcels by local delivery or national delivery depending on where you live, and your local delivery organizations are as useless as some of the ones around here, do yourself a favor and preempt the kind of situation depicted above by ringing the company before you order and ask to have your account marked as national delivery company only. I may end up signing up for Amazon Prime if I can convince them that I do not want any carrier bringing my packages other than national ones.