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The travels of Carmen Sandiego and Waldo - Long
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:17 PM
raudf raudf is offline
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Default The travels of Carmen Sandiego and Waldo - Long

This is the tale of two ping-pong packages that I ordered from the river in South America in February. One I ordered on the 10th, one I ordered on the 17th/19th. To keep confusion down, I shall dub the 10th one Carmen Sandiego and the 17th/19th one Waldo. Stupidly, I chose the super saver shipping option... which meant these packages went out via Fedex Smartpost. This is their adventures, told in their tracking...

[bg] my post office is out of Donaldson AR and Fedex's closest hub is in Hot Springs AR. You need to know this to understand why I'm so very amused and ticked by this whole thing. [/bg]

Here is Carmen's tracking, provided by the River of South America. Edited to save space and eyes, however.

March 5, 2013 Donaldson AR US
March 4, 2013 Memphis TN US
March 3, 2013 Warrendale PA US
March 2, 2013 Allen Park MI US
February 25, 2013 Fedex Smartpost Southaven MS US
February 22, 2013 Olive Branch MS US
February 22, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 21, 2013 Hot Springs National AR US
February 20, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 20, 2013 Fedex Smartpost Southaven MS US
February 20, 2013 Donaldson AR US
February 20, 2013 Olive Branch MS US
February 20, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 18, 2013 Hot Springs National AR US
February 15, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 14, 2013 Fedex Smartpost Southaven MS US
February 14, 2013 US

Now onto Waldo. His is shorter... but his journey is not done, either..

March 5, 2013 Denver CO US
February 26, 2013 Donaldson AR US
February 26, 2013 Olive Branch MS US
February 26, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 25, 2013 Hot Springs National AR US
February 22, 2013 Memphis TN US
February 21, 2013 Fedex Smartpost Southaven MS US
February 21, 2013 US

I'm pretty sure you can see why I'm a bit.. irked. The River's estimated arrival for Carmen was the 18th and for Waldo the 25th. For a while, Fedex reflected that. On Carmen, I called Fedex after she left Hot Springs the first time around and was told, "Well, that's how our trucks work and there was none going to Donaldson. Plus there was that snow storm..." Umm.. bull. See, Smartpost is supposed to hand off to the USPS closest to their hub, which is what usually happens.. IN HOT SPRINGS. The USPS then sends it to Donaldson via one of their trucks. Fast and efficient. Then you see the gap, between Feb 25th and March 2nd. During that time, I contacted the River to ask where this package was, since I had no luck with either Fedex or USPS, who were blaming each other. The River TL;DR and refunded my money instead. I'm contacting them now to pay for her, since she (finally) arrived. The first "Donaldson?" Never happened. I dunno why it scanned, since I called my local office and they never saw the package.

Waldo is pretty much like Carmen, except that I waited longer before contacting the River on the issue. In fact, yesterday I contacted them, since no one could find Waldo in this picture. Took them two hours to respond, during which time, I assume they were trying to contact the carrier to find out the info. The River sent out replacements via One Day shipping and told me that if Waldo showed up to refuse to allow him in my house. Apparently, that shook him loose.. because now he's in Colorado, which on the map of the US is not anywhere near me.

Fedex and USPS will probably play the blame game on this, but I know which carrier as my cousin put it, "Dun screwed up." Fedex had Carmen in Hot Springs TWICE and Waldo there ONCE. If they'd done the hand off as usual, the packages would have made it no problems. Throughout it all, the River has been awesome. Hubby and I are debating refusing Waldo, because a spare hard drive and dvd-burner is a good thing to have around and we have the money to pay for him.

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:18 PM
PepperElf PepperElf is offline
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my bf had something similar here with a UPS delivery.

i don't have the tracking info but, IIRC the package was about 30 pounds (flash stand) - which may be WHY this happened.

<Package does the normal routing stuff, blah blah blah>
Package is out for delivery!! Yay.... o wait no delivery. Updated for delivery tomorrow.
Package is out for delivery!! Yay.... o wait no delivery. Updated for delivery tomorrow.
.... and so on.

He contacted amazon & they said they couldn't do anything until a week had passed and then they could claim missing shipment.

so... a few more days of "out for delivery ... updated for delivery tomorrow" until the week passed and amazon canceled the shipment and refunded my BF.

Next day we see a UPS truck, but not for us.
Then a few days later UPS generated the message of "undeliverable". ..

We're still not sure what happened to it. We figure it was heavy so it got shoved to the back and left there.

He eventually just bought it from a camera store in the big city the next time he went down.

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:38 PM
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Merriweather Merriweather is offline
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Hey, you just aren't getting their system. It's perfectly obvious how it works, and that it's working just as intended.

First, they toss all packages into a truck, making a list of their ultimate destinations. Then they send the truck around to those destinations, in an order determined by spinning a bottle on a map . At each stop, someone is chosen as "it" and gets to be blindfolded and reach into the truck for a predetermined number of packages ( based on moon phases, area codes, and "it" 's last score on solitaire). Of the packages taken from the truck, any that are actually at their final destination get delivered, the others are tossed back onto the truck to be taken to the next destination and another round of delivery roulette.

Sounds like their system is working just fine.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Quoth Merriweather View Post
Hey, you just aren't getting their system. It's perfectly obvious how it works, and that it's working just as intended.

First, they toss all packages into a truck, making a list of their ultimate destinations. Then they send the truck around to those destinations, in an order determined by spinning a bottle on a map . At each stop, someone is chosen as "it" and gets to be blindfolded and reach into the truck for a predetermined number of packages ( based on moon phases, area codes, and "it" 's last score on solitaire). Of the packages taken from the truck, any that are actually at their final destination get delivered, the others are tossed back onto the truck to be taken to the next destination and another round of delivery roulette.

Sounds like their system is working just fine.
Oh, so that's how it works! I always wondered. Makes so much sense to me now.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:32 PM
raudf raudf is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Merriweather View Post
Hey, you just aren't getting their system. It's perfectly obvious how it works, and that it's working just as intended.

First, they toss all packages into a truck, making a list of their ultimate destinations. Then they send the truck around to those destinations, in an order determined by spinning a bottle on a map . At each stop, someone is chosen as "it" and gets to be blindfolded and reach into the truck for a predetermined number of packages ( based on moon phases, area codes, and "it" 's last score on solitaire). Of the packages taken from the truck, any that are actually at their final destination get delivered, the others are tossed back onto the truck to be taken to the next destination and another round of delivery roulette.

Sounds like their system is working just fine.
I thought they used the bottle with Apple Maps...

  #6  
Old 03-06-2013, 05:41 PM
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Your packages just took the scenic route, that's all. Surely you wouldn't begrudge them their one and only chance to see the country?

  #7  
Old 03-06-2013, 11:09 PM
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Javarod Javarod is offline
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Quote:
Quoth raudf View Post
This is the tale of two ping-pong packages that I ordered from the river in South America in February. One I ordered on the 10th, one I ordered on the 17th/19th. To keep confusion down, I shall dub the 10th one Carmen Sandiego and the 17th/19th one Waldo. Stupidly, I chose the super saver shipping option... which meant these packages went out via Fedex Smartpost. This is their adventures, told in their tracking...
I'm pretty sure you can see why I'm a bit.. irked. The River's estimated arrival for Carmen was the 18th and for Waldo the 25th. For a while, Fedex reflected that. On Carmen, I called Fedex after she left Hot Springs the first time around and was told, "Well, that's how our trucks work and there was none going to Donaldson. Plus there was that snow storm..." Umm.. bull. See, Smartpost is supposed to hand off to the USPS closest to their hub, which is what usually happens.. IN HOT SPRINGS. The USPS then sends it to Donaldson via one of their trucks. Fast and efficient. Then you see the gap, between Feb 25th and March 2nd. During that time, I contacted the River to ask where this package was, since I had no luck with either Fedex or USPS, who were blaming each other. The River TL;DR and refunded my money instead. I'm contacting them now to pay for her, since she (finally) arrived. The first "Donaldson?" Never happened. I dunno why it scanned, since I called my local office and they never saw the package.

Actually ifn it works like what i deliver, which is the low end USPS option, its actually a bit more complicated than that, and having run into the guys handling the FedEx stuff here, i can tell you a few things. First should be the clue in that sentence, it may not be the same everywhere, but here in St Louis, FedEx doesn't actually deliver to Post Office. The flow there is that it hits the FedEx terminal, a lot of the freight is palletized and delivered by the pallet to your nearest DDU (basically the nearest carrier unit, in the city it might not be your local station, outer areas though it will be except in rare occasions), while some is bagged and delivered to the station by First Choice Courier (not sure whether bags come directly from FedEx or stop off at FCC's terminal like ours do).

I think you can see where things can go off the rails, no? The stuff i do, my client line hauls it from the processing center to their terminal, and then independent contractors like me haul the bags into your DDU. Tracking it at the center, my client's terminal, and at the station (delivery data turned in at end of day). Obviously you can see how they can lose track of where your packages are for a bit.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:59 PM
raudf raudf is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Javarod View Post
Actually ifn it works like what i deliver, which is the low end USPS option, its actually a bit more complicated than that, and having run into the guys handling the FedEx stuff here, i can tell you a few things. First should be the clue in that sentence, it may not be the same everywhere, but here in St Louis, FedEx doesn't actually deliver to Post Office. The flow there is that it hits the FedEx terminal, a lot of the freight is palletized and delivered by the pallet to your nearest DDU (basically the nearest carrier unit, in the city it might not be your local station, outer areas though it will be except in rare occasions), while some is bagged and delivered to the station by First Choice Courier (not sure whether bags come directly from FedEx or stop off at FCC's terminal like ours do).

I think you can see where things can go off the rails, no? The stuff i do, my client line hauls it from the processing center to their terminal, and then independent contractors like me haul the bags into your DDU. Tracking it at the center, my client's terminal, and at the station (delivery data turned in at end of day). Obviously you can see how they can lose track of where your packages are for a bit.
Actually, that makes sense. Usually, the package does go from the Fedex hub to the USPS hub in Hot Springs, not my local office because it's very out of way.. or at least hits the one in Little Rock, depending on where Fedex's smartpost truck goes. Then it goes from there to my local USPS office. (Observed via previous trackings) What Fedex's call center rep explained to me was it just all depends on where their truck goes as to where the package winds up, so if the truck goes to China after going to Hot Springs, the package goes with it, rather than being held and passed off it's close to estimate arrival... but honestly, I'd take your word because you're ground zero so to speak.

It occasionally happened with the military warehouses from what Dad said... except the packages might wind up in Guam when it was meant for Iceland. Something just didn't get off the pallet when it was supposed to.

I guess my main issue in this is that it became a blame game for Fedex saying that USPS had the package but it was updating in THEIR system as being THEIRS still. Seriously, once River refunded her, she showed up as theirs right before hand off.. in MI. If they'd said, "Oops, our bad. Lets see if we can get her back in your area and quickly," I'd have been pretty cool. If it had just been Carmen, I'd have been eh, about the whole situation. But to see Waldo pulling the exact same stunt was... irking.

*giggles* I had to name them to keep sane. On my facebook, my family remarked that I had created a new form of reality TV, the "Travails and Travels of Packages!" Also, I went with the premium for the River and now, everything is sent UPS for my area. I like that because I know the drivers, they know where I live and they bring dog biscuits for my 'rent's dogs.

  #9  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:36 PM
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I have everything delivered to me at my job, and FedEx here is awesome.

UPS here is not awesome. I ordered four items from Sears. I pay for delivery, as I don't want to pick it up at the store. That was my mistake. UPS, which has a drop box and regular deliveries to our building claimed they couldn't find it. Really. The tallest building in the entire town, three times taller than the next tallest building, and which takes up the entire side of the block, on the main street.

Then, when I contacted Sears for the refunds the CSR told me that it had been delivered. I then had to explain that it was delivered back to the DC, which was 2,000 miles from my office. I got my refund.

I've never ordered from Sears since.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:21 PM
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Well, it looks like whomever found Waldo beat him up pretty damn well. In fact, the tape on the box looks almost as though it had been opened, but I suspect it was a huge red, white and purple elephant that sat on him. The tape is pretty much torn open on both ends and the "top" tape split ways with itself on most of the seam.

Unfortunately, due to a 6 month check up for the mini-raudf, I wasn't home to refuse him. In a shocking display of courage, the USPS carrier apparently got out of his truck, went past my parents dogs (three houses of the same family, the dogs roam the three freely. They keep the skunks and other irritating/dangerous animals away from the kids) and placed the package on the porch. Without honking the horn and waiting in the car like he usually does. Dad would have saved him the trouble, since he'd been on the alert that if Waldo showed up, he might need help getting into the house.

So... two return labels. Now I gotta split Waldo up into two and send them both back. Just as well, since I don't think Waldo would survive a trip without losing one of the two items in him. I'd keep the items, but I kinda need the money for a motherboard for my computer since it just fried. Yes, I did everything to diagnose it and nothing worked.
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