thanks for sorries, now where are the answers, UPS?

woman writing a letter by gerard ter borch II

-following the last email from me, about how they did not read my response as they calmly suggest that package can be picked up now while ive been telling them i will be away for a month from the beginning:
correspondence 1:
Dear (monkey)
Thank you for your additional comments.

I have processed your package for return since you have stated that you are out of town for a month and will not be able to collect it. I am sorry that I missed this detail in my previous response.

If you would like to have 3 delivery attempts on your shipments, I would recommend that you request "Adult
Signature Required" on your future shipments. Adult Signature Required shipments are not redirected to our
Alternate Delivery Locations (ADL) and will receive all 3 delivery attempts.

If the delivery driver does not have access into your apartment building, then he has no choice but to leave
the delivery notice at the front lobby. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that other tenants in your building will not remove the notice. UPS provides our customer with a tracking number so they can monitor their shipments online at www.ups.ca and receive up to date information on their package progress.

I sincerely apologize for the problems you have experienced with this shipment. I have forwarded your e-mail to my Management Team for further review. If we may assist you in the future, please don't hesitate
to contact us. Thanks

then a follow up from customer service team leader,
correspondence 2:
Dear (monkey),

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I definitely understand your frustration in only receiving one delivery attempt when you are expecting three attempts. Our practice of delivering residential
packages to a nearby UPS Store or UPS Collection Point is intended to be a safer and more convenient way for individuals to receive their residential deliveries. That being said, I believe that there is always room to improve, so I have forwarded your feedback to our Processes and Procedures Department for future consideration.

After researching the details of your inquiry and reviewing your shipment progress, I see that the delivery process was not as seamless as it should have been. For that, I am truly sorry.

You have advised us that the driver did not make an effort to contact you or your housemate when the first
delivery attempt was made on 11/22/12, and you were not able to locate an Infonotice. In addition, I see that your package was delivered to The UPS Store on 11/22/12, but was only scanned as being available for pick up on 12/03/12. I have brought the details of these service failures to the attention of our Operations Manager at the center in your area to be reviewed and corrected for future.

If I can assist you further, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks

my piece of mind,
correspondence 3:

dear (team leader),

i sincerely hope that your report of this case to the appropriate personnel will result in positive change for UPS and its customers.

i still have questions regarding this particular case. when amazon.ca have authorized this contract, is it a service that specifies 'single delivery attempt' instead of the usual three, meaning that it actually is a different contract altogether? what exactly is the service that was authorized for this particular delivery and how does it differ from the normal UPS residential delivery with three-deliver-attempts? what is the cost difference between the two services? my logic says it must be a cheaper service, as to charge the same price for these contrasting practices would be unethical.

i have spoken to others in toronto who did say that their local UPS drivers do make three-delivery attempts before transferring it to 'pick up service.'  so if my local UPS is only providing single delivery attempt to ease the load while charging the same for other residential areas which receives three-delivery attempt, this is unfair.

what is your answer to this? if it is the same charge for the two different areas with two different protocols, who makes that decision and how is it justified to the customers? does amazon.ca know that you are providing this limited and partial service? did they knowingly agree to it?

if both companies have understood that UPS will be only making a single delivery attempt, how am i suppose to know that i am subjected to this limited service practice? there is no information on the web log of
either companies that makes this difference detectable for me at all.  if you are providing an unusual service than the norm, would not be responsible to let the recipient know?

this is why i think single-attempt-delivery is a failure in logistics at present. there is no way to guarantee that your notice will actually get to the recipient, as it never got to me. also, having found the last log info on UPS site, which states that the package has been 'delivered' and 'signed for' only adds more confusion as it simply did not happen. how are you to change the format to notify the recipient where the package actually is, rather than making it impossible to find out, until one has to go through the painfully slow and inefficient call centre agents?

and i would like to be given an answer to WHAT HAPPENED during the silent time between 11/21/12 to 12/03/12.  i think as you will be investigating the case anyhow, i am at least owed an explanation.

i am forwarding this information to amazon.ca as well so that they are clear about how/what we are communicating (about), and i can only hope that UPS is not going to be another global commerce tyrant and try to bury this case under the silence,

looking forward for your reply/answers, monkey


reassurance of UPS?

following up with UPS is fun i think...
the latest on the UPS adventure!

UPS Reply:
Thank you for providing the requested tracking number. 
UPS is enhancing its residential delivery process to better serve our customers and keep your package safe. Picking up your package from a UPS Store or UPS Collection Point provides flexibility and convenience for you instead of having to make alternate arrangements or waiting for a UPS driver.
Your package is readily available for pick up at the following address: (a depot in toronto)
You will require a government issued picture ID and one of the following: 
- Information notice number 
- Postcard number 
- Tracking number 

(i dont have your notice ticket. you really didnt read my complaints.)

I sincerely apologize for the problems you have experienced with the shipment and the inconvenience this has caused. Your frustration is understandable.

If we may assist you in the future, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thanks,  UPS

Monkey Reply:
dear UPS,
you state that my package is ready for pick up now, which makes it very clear for me that you have not read any of my feed backs.

i do not really understand how UPS is attempting to improve its services when you actually no longer attempts to deliver the packages, rather asking the recipients to come to you to pick it up. in this case, i believe your company misrepresents itself as a courier company. you are depot/pick-up service provider.  in fact, UPS, by doing so, clearly states to me that it is no longer interested in providing adequate services with reasonable staffing, hence forcing the customers to comply with limited and cut-back services.  

if the building is too busy to accommodate properly, that should be dealt internally by increasing the manpower required to provide proper service. refusing to do so and making customers an active part of your solution is  bad business philosophy i believe.  doing it in silence (as you seem to be doing) is even more problematic. what is your actual policy? why cant i find it or why cant you send me that?

and i am frustrated that none of the correspondences/communications through email and calls have explained the case of 'lost' information ticket. what is the current practice? 

where does the driver leave the tickets? what is the reason for not leaving the tickets on the door but on the lobby, which makes it impossible to believe that the driver even bothered to come up to the final destination?  where was my ticket left? 

what is the procedure to compensate for 'lost tickets' that are left in neglect in public areas of big residential buildings such as mine- as i see no effort from UPS to follow up on the notification to recipient process, which means the 'lost tickets' become customer's problems, hence letting UPS to recast the blame to the customers rather than owing up to malpractice.

now, lets get back to this particular case.  i think you must be rather lax in your readings of my complaints.  i did clearly explain that i was leaving to europe on weekened, hence sacrificing the entire day to a package that was promised to be delivered to the end of the day.  

i am now in england and therefore, i am not able to pick the package as you suggests, as the most convenient solution.  this kind of replies are prone to make people sarcastic.  did you read my reply?  if so, what made you think that i am able to come down and pick up my parcel?  are you suggesting that i leave my government-issued ID with another to pick up a simple package from you hence going without it for a month?  would you do that?

since you so freely offer to follow up further complaints, i am requesting my second complaint, which you attempted to answer and have failed spectacularly, to be followed up by the next level manager, as clearly, i have to believe you have done your best at this point, which is not solving the initial problem, but to add another:  the lack of care or lack of reading comprehension skills of the workers of UPS.  

i think this is important issue to be discussed for the company, as communication skills should be the foremost important skill along with understanding of procedures and company policies to actually answer the questions that has been asked. somehow, you have managed to not answer any questions but to add more.

regarding your apology, i am assuming that there will be another one due for me, as of last email, you have managed to reveal another problem of UPS: inept workers and/or subpar quality of work.  or please do feel free to explain what the apology is for- is it really for me? for what?

so please, do send my reply to the appropriate personnel, i will be forwarding this entire thread to amazon.ca today, in hope that may be you will answer them as you are not answering  me at all.

what a waste of time, thanks for reply which is not a reply. it is a statement or notification, if this confuses you, i suggest you look up the definitions in traditional scholarly dictionaries. these are now widely available online for free.

looking forward to hear back from you, and i hope you can answer my questions and accusations.


you asked for it UPS

1. why did you send an email? -something else

if some other reason, what was the nature of your inquiry?-initial inquiry was to resolve the situation of un-notified and undelivered package that has been on hold in local depot centre since 21 november 2012.

i have given up on trying to get my package delivered, as i am leaving town today for a month. i lost a day's worth of work as i had to cancel the day to receive this package, as it contains a christmas gift for an important person in my life. however, it wont be here by the time depart to england.
the customer support service is atrocious as call agents clearly expressed lack of authority or control over actual execution over the solutions they provide over the phone.

the fact this particular building getting only 1 delivery attempt in comparison to the usual 3 attempts is unacceptable and ethically wrong, as the senders still pay 100% cost for maximum 33% of service expected.  and that this knowledge is held in silence and has not been disclosed to the building residents. this info has been given over the phone through the agent.

2. (i was a receiver)

3. you found it easy to interact wit UPS? -strongly disagree
-i never got the notification sticker on my door, which is likely to been left at the lobby; i do not understand why the sticker would be left at the lobby if the driver actually have came up to my unit as the lobby is a busy place and with traffic, such things may be lost easily.  rarely couriers leave the stickers on the individual's door, which makes it more likely for the notice to be delivered.

since there is no logical explanation to 'leaving it in lobby,' except not being able to get through the lobby to residential area through locked door. however, the buzzer is linked to my housemate's cell phone and there has been no record of anyone calling through the buzzer on assumed day of delivery.

and UPS call centre agents give misinformation, partial information; even at a call centre manager level, he wasnt able to give any satisfactory answers to my complaints/inquiry.

4. UPS was able to satisfy your request? - strongly disagree-nothing was delivered, so no.
and given false promise for 'morning' delivery, i lost morning's work.

in addition, having to wait till 7pm (the 'end of the day'), i had to cancel rest of my work, which is unacceptable.
and it did not get here. the time that i spent on contacting UPS and amazon is also a waste of time as there is no result to speak of, except personal frustration and missing parcel.

5. it was a pleasure to interacvt with UPS representative? - strongly disagree-the only answer that was consistent over the phone was :'there is nothing i could do.'
this is the kind of support you provide to a conflicted situation? it's not a support but an evasion of responsibility.

also, the idea that 'items are held at depot for your convenience' is disagreeable.
UPS makes single delivery attempt because this is busy area- once again, only 33% of the service is provided to residents of this building.  this is unfair and unethical.

you are a courier company, not a local depot/pick up service. if you lack the logistics/manpower to properly handle the volume of service required in this area, clearly the company is skimping on proper staffing.

6. Based upon your interaction today, how likely are you to recommend UPS to a colleague or friend? -strongly disagree
-i am so appalled with the situation, i have published my frustration on personal blog. i am considering a campaign in my building to veto UPS until a clear and just change is made to fix the current problem.

7.  If every interaction with UPS was like this one and your shipping needs remained the same, will you desire to use UPS decrease, stay the same, or increase? - decrease
-are you joking?

8. Please provide any additional feedback or comments about your experience.


piece of mind for UPS

the other day, i found this incredible recording of ian bostridge/julian drake doing winterreise music video. so i bought it. apparently it was supposed to come through canada post and it did so in just three days. except, i never got it.

the building post box was not being used because canada post was going through 'equipment change,' though i unfortunately heard postie talking to management about one of them losing keys to the mail room. sigh. so we had no mail delivered (only pick up in middle-no-where-cherry-beach, which take 15 min cab ride and no direct public transit there) and i can only assume it got lost in the pile of things as it never showed up here and postie said there was nothing there at the depot.

so amazon decided to redeliver using UPS.  i wasnt informed of it, so i assumed it was coming through canada post again.

so yesterday, i decided to look up the order and see what quackery was on.  well,apparently it has been delivered. to blaine. who the heck is blaine? it certainly aint my name.

amazon offers to cancel the order and refund the money.
meanwhile on chat, decided to call UPS.

UPS says driver went to deliver, no one was home, left sticky and that means you come pick it up in lakeshore.  that's what 'blaine' signature means.  i say i was home on that day in midday. no one knocked. no sticky was found anywhere. and i aint blaine.

this building with 34 floors, often afternoon courier delivery men who are getting tired with the day, does not wait for the elevator.  yes, elevators are slow and it's incredibly busy as one is now on 'service.'  so they often look at the line up for elevators, then just put stickies on the lobby and leave with package.  rarely, they will actually come up and leave a sticky on the recipient's door. this is how you tell at this building that they actually did come up.  if they did come up, why leave the stickies at the lobby?

with foot traffic, these stickies are often lost to oblivion. so no way to really assure that you even get that notice, unless they did come up and leave the sticky on your door.  hence, no sticky on my door, UPS man was being 'smart' that afternoon.

UPS help line then says: oops sorry. you can pick it up. i say no way. you arent charity. you are paid to deliver things. you neglect customers in this building by only attempting one delivery (contrast to the usual three), worse, you dont even make sure the notice gets to appropriate people.  not my problem your system isnt working. you get it to me tomorrow as i leave on sunday.  after much discussion on 'your company must try to meet the minimum standard regarding your contract,' of 25 min, lady says it'll be delivered by noon tomorrow, after learning i travel to europe in two days.

12:45pm, no goods. i call UPS, through number i found on canadian site. gets redirected as it's US system of UPS. asked why it's on canadian site then. they say it's just a structure. waste 2 min on waiting. gets to canadian agent. retell story again. her solution is to 'wait,' ask for the manager. wait 3 min on line.

manager takes the call and says there's nothing non-ordinary and that even when agent may request morning delivery, the drivers may not make it because of their routing.  shits hit the fan.

1. why are your agent telling partial information? she said it'll be there by noon. you say it CAN be there by noon, but not guaranteed. so why did she neglect to tell me that? so i am wasting the whole day here at your mercy?
"well that was mis-information. i am sorry"
but not sorry enough to do anything about it.

2. how do i even know the driver made an attempt to deliver the pkg? because your log says so? how do you explain lack of sticky then? that's what started this whole fiasco.
"there's nothing we can do to assure you"
of course not, you arent even assured.

3. why is this building only get one-shot delivery? you do three-attempts for others.
"it's a busy area."
you arent charging any less? discriminating based on traffic to maximize your profit? at cost of all the people who live in 34 floors of this place? nice.

4. you make no efforts to see if your driver actually communicated with receivers?
"that's what we do with post-it notes"
okay. well, why wasnt it on my door? im sure on one's trying to make me pop a vein by taking my UPS stickies off my door. i am forced to think your driver wanted early day off.  and you make no effort to follow up afterward? yeah, that's right, you do not care. though you know how to pronounce 'im sorry.'  if i had no sticky, how the heck am i supposed to know that you are holding onto my pkg? yeah, well, in 10+ business days you held to my pkg, you did not bother to let me know the second time. in normal areas, you would have made at least two more attempts. way to be unfair.

5. what do you want me to do now?
"i cant tell you to stay until 7pm, that's what's considered 'daytime.'"
right. so let me ask you, the only way to assure that i get this pkg is to stay till 7pm
"yes, and i am sorry."
no you arent. you may feel sorry for yourself now though.

6. how do i register my complaints?
"i would register the complaints internally to the local depot and the call agent."
i trust you how? you represent UPS, i cant!

7. what do you mean all the complaints are dealt internally with no feedback to customers or based on specific cases/requests? then how do i know that you will actually register my complaints?
"you should trust that i will."
 dude, you guys proudly put it on web that my name's blaine and i signed for my package. i dont think so.

8. it's impossible to tell you why this matters.  not only you are not fulfilling the contract between you and amazon, you fail to provide that minimal service you do for this building resident, which is 67% less work for you at 100% charge- unfair.  i have no trust in the company, because your internal systems does not work from what i have experience and since you arent transparent to customers, my only option is to trust you to be inept, lazy and only profit oriented.  and your call agents are not doing their job properly nor the drivers. so how should i believe you?

9. if you care, i hope you will actually register my concerns to your company. i cant help but to think you will completely disregard this conversation, swear about me once the conversation is over to your colleague, and send a meagre email notice to the local office to register a token complaint, and call it a job done.

but we, the customers depend on you to complete your contracts, as this is not charity and we paid for it.  your name is on it, along with company name. you do have an obligation.  and if the ethos of the company is to 'deliver joy,' clearly you are to care for your business (as shown on your homepage) or is UPS just lying to sell services that it has no interest of providing?

i cant force you, of course, you say you are sorry. well, i dont need you to be sorry. but if you are to do your job, you will communicate my points to your company internally. i will never know and i wont trust you, because of what have happened. so this is the end of conversation, i cannot thank you for the time, since all interactions with UPS seems that you are in practice of total disregard for customers as human beings but series of contracts, i can only wish that you will at least fulfill your job requirement.  good day.
"...thanks for your concern."

total call length yesterday: 21 min, today: 43 min. he did sound sorry by now though. he certainly wasnt at the beginning of the conversation. he was keep saying 'what do you want me to do?' which i kept replying 'well, what does your job require you to do at this point?'  crazy. poor dude. i may have beat him up but it's not personal. im merely asking them to do their job. this is not charity.

and now i wait.
till the driver shows up.
a day of frustration.

and yes, i just sent this blog link to UPS canada.
they prob wont care. but they should at least be informed.


the latest project, fat gurl wanna be rock star: lost-then-found music for piano and bassoon, came to life this afternoon.  the idea of trash was intriguing from the get-go and now that the concert has happened, it is easy to simply discard the experience, hence producing more trash. however, in spirit of true dumpster diver, when the time is right (after the dust has settled), i am going to revisit and re-evaluate this rich experience. YES.

for now, today was the day one of the rock star journey.  it went with the usual unexpected surprises (including a runaway page of the saint-saens. nutty. just like the composer himself, who one day just left his wife without saying a word and disappeared in midst of vacation... i suppose i will never ever let that happen again), trying out new things (somewhat cumbersome learning curve for live streaming) and trying to befriend an unknown stranger yet (a very distinctively voiced, somewhat full-on steinway piano with that occasional display of resonant, beautiful sound- promising, enticing and teasing).

and yes, friends and audience who loved every bit of the long program (somehow it grew and grew; bit of good trimming never hurt anyone, will look into this) and a space that was filled with unusual ideas and timbres- we rented gallery 345 at sorauren avenue and at our initial contact with mr. e, the owner/curator, full of enthusiasm and curiosity (yes, to point of intriguing and charming eccentricity), though he has heard bassoon recitals, i dont think he was expecting such a full-on in-your-face-punk-bassoon that resonated the space.  and i can only hope he was pleasantly surprised.

this is one of the very few projects of recent where i was integrated from conception to first performance.  i am still pushing on with a small self-directed recording project, but since it's largely solo journey, it's much simpler and i am quite used to it- almost comforting, like extension of a practice room, where one is learning constantly about oneself and coming to accept self at the given present- while keeping the eye on possibilities and reality.  but working with the heron lady, who has been itching to try out something different (ex. bassoon rockstar lady), my conception of a program (the usual academia/classical concert hall presentation with standard repertoire and traditional values) has been stretched further-

rather than worrying whether it may come through or not, i tried to 'give it a shot,' composing simple chains of images taken from our daily lives, loosely connect the pieces, shape the pieces in a structure that reflects more than time-line or difficulty levels (we tried my favorite format, where a prog begins from silence to very quiet and still music, which returns back to the end, where it comes to the point of quiet to silence, a circle; i think it did work this afernoon. would love to hear about it!)-

of course, like every performance, there are things that went beyond my expectations and there are things that will evolve.  however, the most important thought about this no. 1 concert of many to come (i hope), is that we, heron lady and i, are able to converse, construct, cast and communicate ideas- ideas that were accepted and appreciated by our supportive audience, not only because they love us but because it resonated with them somehow...

the magic will become apparent in couple days when things settle.

ah. beautiful afternoon.
i feel curious and curioser.
life is worth living and yes, i am dreaming of events.
especially in that malleable space of gallery 345.
i want to fill it with energy and thoughts,
questions and provocations,
acceptance with opinions and disagreements,
to live and to speak and to listen.

thank you world, for giving me the space to be a musician.
thanks, blue heron lady.
thanks to all support staff.
let's do it all over again!