Monday, June 20, 2005

Who's Watching the Watchers?

When people used to send packages, they would choose their desired level of shipping expediancy, hand over their package, and go on with their lives. Similarly, if an individual was expecting a package, or placing an order through a catalogue, they'd place the order and wait for the package. It'd get there when it got there. There may have been a general sense of how long it would take, e.g., 2-3 days, 7-10 days, etc., but unless it was overnight shipping, nothing was certain.

This all changed when the shippers, UPS, FedEx, Airborne, USPS, etc. introduced online package tracking. With online tracking, you know that your package was picked up at 7:42pm, left Walla-Walla at 9:26 am, arrived at a sorting station two days later in Memphis at 10:32 pm. The man in the internet even tells you when the package is on the truck and out for delivery.

I used to consider this a great step forward in the shipping industry (from a consumer standpoint that is. Perhaps any readers who may or may not work at FedEx could expound on this innovation from an insider standpoint). Recently however, I have decided that I hate the online tracking. When I know that I can track the status of a package, I do so incessantly. I literally check on the progress of the parcel several times a day, usually only to find out that it is still "in-transit" or something. It even makes me angry when I see that something arrived at a local facility and it hasn't moved in 5, 10, or 15 hours. Why is it still there? Why won't they just put it on a truck or plane and get it to me faster? I've come close to calling to ask why they won't just put it on a truck. It's maddening.

Of course, if they didn't allow us to track our packages, none of this would happen. We would place an order and the package would get here when it gets here. It would even be a nice surprise if it got here early. I like the old way better.

Show and Tell: Here's a link to a package I am currently tracking. Feel free to track it with me and feel my frustration at the fact that it has been in Ft. Worth for over three days. Why won't they move it, why?!?

1 comment:

circe said...

I hate Fedex.

I ordered refills online...when they finally got to me, not only was the plastic bottle in 20 pieces but the capsules had been smashed to powder.

Plan on sending back whatever it is probably being thrown around like a frisbee as we speak in TX.