Years ago, UPS would attempt to deliver during the day, and if you missed it, you could phone up and find out your local depot, and after 8pm or so, after the trucks had returned, you could go down to the depot and pick it up. But if you decided not to pick it up, they’d automatically attempt delivery the next day. But not any more.
They attempted to deliver a package yesterday. We weren’t there to recieve it and the Post It note says that they’ll try the next day (today). Nobody was going to be around today to recieve it, so Vicki called their 800 number, and used some automatic system to tell them not to deliver it today. And according to their on-line tracking system, they got that message on time, and they weren’t going to deliver it today. Except they *did* attempt to deliver it today. And so I called to complain about this, and to ask if I could go to the depot to pick it up, they told me I couldn’t change anything because there was a pending change request. For the hold that didn’t happen. But the “helpful” clerk said they’d call the local depot and have them call me. Which they didn’t do, of course. But for some damn reason, the on-line site now says that the customer requested that the package be held at the depot! And still nobody has told me which depot it is. So I had to call again to find out what depot it’s at. And it turns out that this depot is closed to the public after 7pm, so no wonder you can’t come in after the trucks return.
So they’ve taken a system that was extremely flexible and useful, and replaced it with a system of automatic voice response systems that put in holds that don’t work, and the sort of inflexibility and user hostility that would make a Soviet civil servant blush.