Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Saga of the Missing Package

It's the trade-off.  It's what our ancestors probably dealt with all the time back in the days of ordering from the Sears catalog, hoping their box of iron skillets, mustache palmade & a gunny dress (whatever that might be) wouldn't get ambushed by an aggressive gang of Bison.  After too much of that, Americans slaughtered the bison and used the newly installed land duo-rail to plant cities and suburbs over every conceivable square inch and fill the gaps with mini-malls, so that people could go to neighborhood stores to buy everything without fear of packages going missing.  But Bison would have their revenge: they invented the internet, so that people wouldn't have to walk to their car to go the mini-mall across the street, but could instead order from the catalog once again.. and the aggressive bison wait in their stealth ships, ready to strike out and cause postal mayhem in revenge for the near-genocide more than a century ago.   

-Prehistoric warning sign that your shipment of mousterian use-flakes should come with tracking. 

Or so I learn from Wikihistri 

So I am sure this is not a new story, and many others have had similar experiences. But this one is mine. 

Last month, checking TGN in the morning, which is my daily ritual, I saw that Hydra Miniatures was having a sale.  Oooooh.. tempting.  20% off?  Smaller 'boutique' gaming companies don't do sales too often typically: understandably: they can't: the profit margin is small enough as it is.  I'd first seen pictures of their spaceships a year or more before, again on TGN, and loved the look of them, but I'd decided to wait for the class III & IV ships before deciding which fleet(s) I might want.  I'm a sucker for spaceships, and do enjoy a nicely done retro or pulp style. 
Imperial Class 3 Look at that: the definition of cool. How could I resist? 

Not to mention that they have nice paint-rack organizers, and I've outgrown my old method of organizing: more than 300 bottles of paint starts to get out of control, so I gave in and placed a large order.  

After ordering I got an email saying that unfortunately, the computerized system had given me the option of selecting a medium flat-rate priority box, but that there was no chance of it all fitting in that. They were sorry, but could either send it priority for an additional $13 or by parcel post for the same price, if I didn't mind a slower delivery of 7-10 days. Seeing how I had too much to paint to start with the ships soon anyway, I said the slower method would be fine.  He also said that a couple of the bigger flight bases were out of stock, they'd be sent later, no extra postage due, and the main shipment wouldn't be delayed. Fair deal. 
This was July 18.

In a cave somewhere some bison slowly rubbed their hooves together in malevolent anticipation.  

I waited a couple weeks, patiently.  I checked the calender, thinking, perhaps they'd just waited for the extra bases anyway, and so marking out 10 or so business days... yeah, it could still have not shown up.  
I'd just wait. 

Then on August 11 I got another email saying that the bases had been mailed.  Odd.  Does that mean the entire order just got shipped?  Or the main order had already been shipped and it was on it's way? So I asked these questions and he said he had sent the main order out weeks ago: I should have got it by now.  Luckily, he'd got tracking for it.  Tracking showed it had gone to my region's hub city, then to my city, been marked 'insufficient address' and returned to the hub where it was marked as "expect delivery by July 30." 


So where was it?  He, being Matt, of Hydra Miniatures, contacted the post office and they told him it was likely on its way back to him. But when I called the post office I was told it had gone back to my city! I went to the post office, the big location where packages go to die, much like an elephant graveyard, and they did some hunting. 

Good news!  It was scanned in here a 2nd time. 

 --Awesome!  That means it is here in the building right?  

Well... Maybe.  

  --Maybe?  If it was scanned in, not scanned out, then it should be here right?  

Well... it is a big building...  

 --Yes. I can see it is a big building... but at least we know it IS here. Right?

Not necessarily... maybe someone didn't scan it when they sent it out for delivery.  Maybe they delivered it to the wrong address.  

  -- Maybe it was stolen?  (I'm thinking Bison.)

No, No. I'll have a manager look into it and expect a call by Monday.

I spent the weekend wondering what kind of scenario could explain this

But by Monday I had an email from Matt that the package had shown up returned to him!

Whoo hoo!

Matt said the package had had the shipping label ripped off in transit (again: Bisons) which explains the 'insufficient address' at my local post office.  He'd repackage it and send it out priority, and today it arrived safe & sound.

When ordering from a company for the first time, you never know what it is going to be like. Will they respond quickly and with concern to any problem that arises? Or will your emails go unanswered and ignored (I'm still waiting for a reply from one, from 5 months ago.  Not naming names, but I doubt I'll be ordering from that company again).  Happy to say that this is one time where I couldn't be happier.

Matt did everything he could and kept me informed.   I'll be ordering from him again without reservations.

Internet Shopper: 1,  Bison: 0


Paul´s Bods said...

Amusing write up ..:-D Looks like Matt is one of the OK web dealers...most praise worthy

Ray Rousell said...

Great story, made me chuckle!

Dan said...

I would laugh, but I have 5 packages I'm waiting for, one of them was for the TMP 15mm SCI FI mini exchange, of which the postal deadline was 18/07.

The Angry Lurker said...

Good story and a good outcome.

Laughing Ferret said...

Glad you enjoyed the story :)

Dan: Yeah.. minis-exchanges are a risk. I'm still waiting on the arrival of one that was supposed to have ended in Feb. Guy even contacted me after it was months late to explain what had happened-and that was now months ago again. I guess I won't be getting anything. I don't think I'll ever do a mini-exchange again.. not after seemingly being burnt twice in the same one.

I'm relieved this lost package turned out the way it did: I was really starting to think the package wouldn't be found until future archaeologists excavated a postal building in someday. ;)

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