UPS, Carter’s, and the “Investigation” that Never Should Have Been

As the parent of a young child who is expecting another on the way, I appreciate when a children’s clothing store has a good sale. Such was the case recently with the children’s clothing store Carter’s, where we have gotten the majority of pajamas that our son Chaim has worn in his three years. Mind you — we mostly have gotten them in person from Macy’s, but that has almost always been because they were on sale in person only. We placed a fairly sizable order which saved us quite a bit of money (The order ended up being nearly half off the normal price) and were happy when we received the tracking information.

This happiness turned to confusion yesterday morning when suddenly the tracking information determined that the package had been received and that someone named “Nick” had signed for it in an office building. Well it certainly wasn’t my office building, and I don’t know anybody named Nick to be signing for my packages. I called UPS to determine what had happened and they told me exactly where it had been delivered — which was not only at a different address, but in a completely different city. I of course asked them to kindly please return to the scene of the crime and to retrieve the package that they had mis-delivered.

The person with whom I spoke told me that they would try and contact Nick, and she did indeed seem to do something as I was put on hold for a few minutes. When she returned, she told me that they could not contact Nick and therefore an investigation would have to be opened, and that it could take up to eight business days to figure out what was going on. “You don’t need an investigation,” I told her, “since you already know where the package is — all you need to do is send the driver back there and get it!”

She insisted that this was not possible because they did not know if the parcel was available for pickup. I called Carter’s and told them that UPS had basically lost the parcel, and that I did not have any confidence that they would ever be able to locate it. Meanwhile, the worst case scenarios played out in my mind. Nick had opened the box and found the clothing inside. Oh, what luck — exactly what his friend’s baby needed! Looks like he doesn’t have to go shopping after all. Carter’s told me a replacement parcel would be sent. I asked if it were possible for them not to use UPS since they didn’t seem to have what it took to deliver a pricey parcel from one place to another without giving it to a complete stranger in another city and not making sure that even one bit of information matched what was on the box. The helpful person at Carter’s told me that all they could do was ship it by expedited UPS, since they have an exclusive contract with UPS.

Meanwhile, I made a few more phone calls to UPS — each increasingly testy. My wife suggested that they reach out to the local branch and have them contact the original driver. This was the thing that finally worked. About an hour later I got a phone call from the local branch telling me that they were contacting the driver and instructing him to pick up the parcel. Half an hour later the status on the tracking screen changed — it had been picked up from where it had been erroneously delivered.

The bottom line here is that sometimes a company will try to sell you a line about how certain procedures must be followed — but if you dig deep, you can often find that a bit of extra effort can be found, and a good job done.


2 thoughts on “UPS, Carter’s, and the “Investigation” that Never Should Have Been

  1. Pingback: The No Balance | blog of gordon davidescu

  2. Pingback: Flabbergasted by a Mountain of Styrofoam and Plastic | blog of gordon davidescu

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