Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear UPS, I don't have a housewife

I've come to the conclusion that UPS has not updated its business model or customer service strategy since the 1950s. Despite my extensive experience with online shopping, I still cannot figure out when and how some items are simply dropped off inside the security door of my apartment building (by USPS?), while others require someone to be home to buzz in a UPS driver.

As a result, sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised to find an Amazon box full of books, for example, conveniently placed below my mailbox. But after other online splurges, I'm plagued by UPS slips stuck to my door, infuriating conversations with customer service and sadistic delivery windows.

Although the missed delivery slip from a UPS driver gives you a reasonable idea of when they will be back the next day, between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., for example, if the driver forgets to leave a slip, which has happened twice this month, the customer service representative gives you a window of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. What kind of a window is that?? And why does the driver know but customer service does not? I would think a simple computer system could solve this mystery.

And if you know you won't be home for the delivery and call UPS to let them know, you have to pay $6 to have them deliver to a different address or at a later date. I know it's only $6, but this also pisses me off. Especially when the package is a gift to you from someone else. I don't think my mom meant to have me pay a fee to get my birthday present.

What really irritates me though is that I have the benefit of quite a bit of flexibility for an office worker. I can usually work from home when I need to, so it should be easy for me to get packages. If the UPS driver could manage to remember to stick the missed delivery slip to my door, I should be able to arrange to be home by the third delivery. Yet 80 percent of deliveries turn into utter nightmares.

During one heated phone call to the terminally unhelpful customer service number, I was told in an exasperated tone that "all I needed to do" was make sure "someone" was home between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Who do they expect to be home all day? Unfortunately I'm not a housewife, and I'm not married to a housewife. Perhaps UPS is not aware of the fact that most households of this century are made up of two people (or one) who are working or commuting during those hours.

Market research... computer systems... customer service that actually provides a service - these are things most businesses today have gotten the hang of. Might do UPS - and its customers - some good to get on board.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bridalplasty... too distrurbed to think of a clever title

E! (and I) have sunk to a new low: Bridalplasty. The new show, which I watched two (partial!) episodes of last weekend, hits the reality TV trifecta: extreme makeover, dream wedding and elimination voting.

Brides-to-be with lengthy plastic surgery wish lists (and body dysmorphic disorder) compete for the "perfect wedding," which apparently requires a new face and body. According to Eonline bios, contestants are hoping to win up to 15 surgical procedures, including some I never knew existed.

"Liposuction of flanks" is a popular one - according to this website, flanks are "located just under the bra line on the sides and back." I thought it was a kind of steak. Another body part that apparently needs the fat sucked out of it is the knee. Cheyanne here even specifies she would like "inner knee" lipo - I'm sure it was very painful for her, getting teased about her inner knees in grade school.

That's a picture of her before any surgery, by the way...

Has our cultural sanity plummeted that much in less than a year? Weren't we all horrified when Heidi Montag revealed she had 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day? I guess E! was more inspired than disturbed... to define "perfection" as this:

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