Friday, February 25, 2011

Getting Zinged

Have you ever tried to do the right thing and gotten zinged for it? 

Wednesday, a package showed up at our door.  This is not an unusual occurrence. However, this package wasn’t our package. It had our address, but it was addressed to someone else.  You’d think this would be easy to fix. But you’d be wrong.

First Cal called UPS, and the phone rang and rang. They never answered. I explained that you have to let the phone ring at least fifteen times. He gave me the project of returning the package, which I accepted. Foolish me.

I called UPS. The phone rang and rang and rang. At least, thirty or forty times. I’m tenacious. I did housework while the phone rang. Finally, they disconnected me without even answering.  Cute. So I called The UPS Store. They told me that they couldn’t pick it up and that I’d have to bring it to the regional center.  Um, there’s no way I’m driving down there. She told me that the other option was to pay $10 and refuse the package, then the UPS man would pick it up.  Hello? I’m not paying to return a package that doesn’t belong to me. Besides I wasn’t even here when the stupid thing arrived or I would have refused it then (which is what I should have done apparently).  I told the cranky UPS operator “good-bye” and I called another UPS operator. (When I was in high school, I worked in customer service for a satellite company—the operator you get determines the service you get.)

The new operator told me that it was my problem and she couldn’t do anything about the package. I suggested that I could throw it in the trash. Guess what? She looked up the package.  It came from Sprint and was a cell phone. Then she told me that I had to call Sprint. I asked for their phone number. She told me that she wasn’t authorized to release the number. As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty feisty.

I googled Sprint’s number and called. Apparently, I called the wrong Sprint number. Then I got a bad connection. On my third Sprint call, I explained the whole situation to the customer service rep. Then she asked for my customer identification number. I patiently explained again that I wasn’t a Sprint customer, but that one of their phones got mis-delivered to my house. She said that she understood. I believed her until she asked me for the phone id number. I explained that it was probably on the phone, not on the outside of the box. DUH. (I didn’t say that, I only thought it.) Then, she told me to use the return label on the outside of the box. Of course, there wasn’t a return label on the box. (I did, however, find a ripped half label for some box that’s supposed to be delivered to Oklahoma—I’m sure that box is now in UPS Hades somewhere. But that’s someone else’s story.)

The agent told me to bring it to a Sprint store, which is nowhere near my house.  I asked her to authorize UPS to pick up the package. (According to my children I was whining at this point. They were very excited, they’d never heard me whine before.) The agent sighed and said that she’d try to work it out. I hope so. She promised to call back in thirty minutes after she arranged it. I’m still waiting for the call.

Meanwhile, Tomas Camp, whoever and wherever you are, your cell phone is sitting in a box at our house because neither UPS nor Sprint want to come get it. 

Addendum to the saga: We got tired of waiting for the Sprint phone call that never came. So Cal dropped it off at the local UPS store--they were not happy.


  1. You are a very patient person my friend. I would have probably pitched it early in the conversations. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Next time just kept it?

    Oh, and it would be remiss of me not to say Happy (belated) Presidents Pets Day - the day after Presidents Day, as I like to call it. In the US, we love our presidents..... pets. See my blog if you’re in the mood for a good ol' irreverent howl.

  3. Did UPS use the phrase "I do apologize" extensively, but you think they really weren't that sorry? I used to work for a small company that used UPS as our carrier--and they once delivered a package TO AN EMPTY LOT **TWICE** and then...well, "I do apologize about that." Sheesh.

  4. Wow... It's so annoying how you're the one doing the right thing, but everything you try just works out wrong.

    I hope the poor person that bought the phone does get it eventually.


  5. Rowenna,

    You know, I'm not sure that UPS actually apologized (though Sprint did--but that obviously means nothing). Right now, I'm wondering if they are going to deliver the package to our home again. And since UPS has a "toss and go" policy at our house, this may not be the end of the misdelivered cell phone problem. (I can't help but wonder what Mr. Campus is going through on his end...)

  6. I actually had to google what "zinged" meant. I had never heard that term before!! You learn something every day, right?

  7. What a pain! I'm starting to find myself "in hate" with UPS. Hopefully you don't have to deal with it any further.

  8. I feel your do-gooder pain.
    Once I got to the bottom of a Snapple ice tea to find glass shards clinking around. They weren't from the bottle itself, but probably somewhere in the manufacturing line. I called Snapple to tell them and they repeatedly ignored my calls.
    I hope no one swallowed glass from that batch!

  9. *Raises hand* I've gotten dinged just like you! Sort of teaches us do-gooders a lesson, doesn't it?

  10. I once had test results from a doctor on my answering machine...but not from our doctor. I called back to tell them they had the wrong phone number. I got transferred a couple of times, put on hold for a long time...and finally was asked why I had answered the wrong number. I believe my brilliant response was "huh"?

  11. In the end, doing the right thing is so out of the ordinary in this day and age, that it's incredibly weird for somebody to step out and do it right. Since it's so out of the norm, you get zinged for it.