Home Delivery Blues

canada home deliveryThere’s a thing called the Internet where we can sometimes… surprise, surprise… shop for stuff and then hope to receive it at our homes with as much ease as it is described and promoted on the websites selling the stuff. That much I’ve understood.

Or, let me cut through the chase and get straight to the point (for once on this blog, eh?)

I order stuff on the internet frequently to save time and money tremendously, as compared to what’s available at brick and mortar stores. Nice and easy, and a painless procedure which takes minutes.

However, the real pain is the ordeal of receiving the stuff, and the absolutely atrocious package delivery habits of a company I’d hypothetically call Pure-Oh-Later. Resemblance to any existing company should be purely coincidental (meaning please don’t sue the poor newbie me.)

I’ve been living in an apartment since I moved to Toronto. For the uninitiated (or a Martian): An apartment is part of a larger residential complex. Apartment buildings have a secured entrance where all the residents’ names are inscribed on what is called a “Buzzer.” Your visitors must ring the buzzer using the code written against your name, then you talk to them via the intercom and, should you approve of them, have the entrance door opened. No rocket science there.

So what’s the problem?

Here’s the continuous, perpetual, perennial, recurring annoyance: the Pure-Oh-Later guy will come to your apartment building. He will read the address on the package which clearly states your name and apartment number but he will not read your name on the buzzer, won’t ring it and leave without delivering the package! Every time.

How do you get the package then?

You track the package on Pure-Oh-Later webpage. You discover that Pure-Oh-Later did indeed come to your building, but then took your package back to their warehouse and now you must either collect it in person (an expensive trip to wherever their ‘nearest’ collection centre is) or have them redeliver by calling them, and, verbally giving them your Buzzer Code which was already clearly written where the guy came to deliver. All Pure-Oh-Later had to do was to approach the Buzzer, match the name on the package with what’s written on the Buzzer and then dial the corresponding Buzzer Code. The Buzzer would’ve been answered and the guy would’ve been let into the building so that he could go up to the apartment number written on the address.

Am I being an idiot?

Of course, you can hit back and argue what if he does ring the buzzer and there is no answer? Nope. It happens every single time and of course, there’s nothing wrong with the buzzer.

I have now actually made friends with the Customer Service people at Pure-Oh-Later, who I call and chat with after not receiving the package each time. We discuss what’s been happening since I had last called, politics, the weather and economic crises, share a laugh or two and then I give them my buzzer code.

The entire delivery cycle then takes place again. Only this time Pure-Oh-Later has Standard Operating Instructions from the Central High Command, so the buzzer is buzzed, entrance door opened, package received.

May be I am an idiot!

You might also argue and tell me to include the Buzzer Code in the shipping address. I hear you and try doing it too. But many websites do not have a provision for anything extra other than limited space for apartment number, street address and postal code. Besides, what good is the apartment number then?

First Published: October 16th, 2009


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