Let me first be clear: this entire fiasco is traceable to a mistake on my part.
Last week – although it feels like it occurred well before that – I ordered a gently used MacBook Pro off of Amazon. I opted for the fastest delivery available. However, like an idiot, I failed to check the address, and had it sent to my old house in Houston rather than my new residence in Plano, north of Dallas. Genius, really.
However, I did not make a mistake – I committed a sin. And then, because it was sent via USPS, my trip through purgatory began. First, a phone call to their customer service center. After waiting for half an hour, “Somebody from the location where your package is being held will contact you,” they said. Said call never happened. Another phone call; this time, I spent more than an hour on hold before I gave up and called back the next day, at which point I was told: “A case for you has been created. It will take three to five business days to resolve.” I can call the facility, though, and check to see when it will be sent.
Because it was late in the day on Friday when I got the contact information for the Houston facility in question, I had to make the call on a Saturday. I call during their reported business hours. Phone rings, no answer. Rings again, no answer. Rings again, somebody answers. My heart leaps for joy! I briefly explain my problem, and the gentleman on the other end says, “Oh, I answered the wrong line. Hang on.” I am transferred to the main USPS 800 number.
I call back again, and again no answer. I try back again; this time, a woman answers. “You have to submit a Package Intercept.” A what? “A Package Intercept,” she explains impatiently. “You do it online.” While I was looking on the website, she puts me on hold. At which point I discovered that my shipment is ineligible for Package Intercept.
I called to the Houston facility again this morning. Yes, they have the package. Yes, we have a change of address on file. “It can be forwarded, but it will take between seven to ten business days.”
The package is sitting on their shelves. All this would require is putting a new label on the box and sending it on. I’m even willing to pay for it, seeing as how it’s my mistake. But none of this is an option. I can physically go and pick it up myself (and it has to be me, since they require photo ID before they’ll produce the package), wait for more than a week for it to be forwarded on, or wait for it to be returned to the sender.
So this evening, I will drive down to Houston – about a four-hour drive one way – spend the night with family, pick up my laptop tomorrow morning, and drive home in the evening. Thus will my repentance (hopefully) be complete.
UPS and FedEx should relish the opportunity to compete against the likes of USPS.