My wife and I enjoy the occasional bottle of wine. So I recently went online to order a few bottles from a seller that had been recommended to us. Moments after I placed the order, a third-party service sent an email offering to shift the delivery to a store affiliated with the parcel carrier that would be handling the shipment, since an adult signature is required. I selected this option and received an email confirming my choice.
Two days later, the wine vendor sent a shipment confirmation, but it still showed the package being delivered to my home. I assumed the redirect had not caught up. The same day, the parcel carrier sent a tracking number with an estimated delivery date of Saturday. I felt good about my decision to redirect the wine, since I was not planning to be home on Saturday.
The next morning, about 15 minutes after we departed for the weekend, the truck arrived at my home. For the next two days, the parcel company sent me “failed delivery” emails, along with a link to “manage the delivery” and divert it to a different store from the one I had selected. On Sunday evening, I tried calling the carrier’s customer service number to verify the change in destination. But the lines were closed until Monday morning.
On Monday, I received an email notifying me that a final delivery attempt would be made at my home—no mention of the alternate delivery site. I tried the chat function on the parcel carrier’s website, but it couldn’t understand my repeated questions. I tried calling. The automated response system indicated that a shipment would be delivered to my home that day. But when I asked to speak to a representative, the system told me its representatives had no further information and abruptly ended the call.
Finally, I called the original seller of the wine. It answered my call immediately and contacted the parcel carrier to reroute the package. Tuesday morning, the third-party service sent an email saying the shipment would be directed to the original store. Meanwhile, I received conflicting notices from the parcel carrier indicating that the wine would be delivered to 1) my home and 2) the second store.
Finally, I called the second store to confirm that it indeed had the package. We picked it up and celebrated our ordeal the only way we knew how, with a nice glass of wine.
Technology is a great thing, except when it doesn’t work. I wonder if my experience would have been better if the parcel carrier had used an app I just learned about, called Riptide, that enables the customer, dispatcher, and driver to communicate by text in real time?Maybe next delivery.