Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Retrieving Packages from the Clutches of DHL

It really is almost embarrassing that DHL -- which is my company's preferred small-package delivery company, as those of you to whom I've had to send overnight shipments may know -- cannot find my apartment. Online maps send them to the wrong gate. They ignore the "special instructions" field (if it's even present on the shipment). As it's a gated complex, sometimes they can't be bothered to go look me up on the directory and will just claim "unable to deliver," or, most recently, "business closed." (It's an apartment, for Ghu's sake!)

As I think I've mentioned, the "other" Dell Inspiron laptop (actually #3, but #2 was damaged beyond repair and after stripping all salvageable parts from it like memory chips and batteries, we threw it away) had something go wrong with the screen. I don't think it was actually the screen, but the piece that goes between the screen and the rest of the computer. Anyway, Dell agreed that the service contract I bought should cover this. (Hooray! A service contract that actually works!) After over a week of fussing over getting me the shipping box with the return airbill label (again, they couldn't find my apartment; eventually I had them deliver it to my office), I sent the thing off for repair, in the hope that it would be back in my hands before Christmas, as I intended to take it to Oregon with me, for Lisa's use.

Dell informed me that they shipped it (by DHL again) using next-afternoon-3 PM service on December 19. Their web site confirmed that it had arrived at the Fremont terminal a bit after 8 AM on the 20th. But Wednesday evening at 6 PM, there was no package and no indication that they'd even tried to deliver it. I called DHL and asked them to hold it at the terminal for pickup. This morning, I trudged down there to collect it. It's in Warm Springs, almost as far from me as you can be and still be in the same city. The folks in the terminal were nice. It took them about ten minutes to find the box, but they did give it to me. I haven't examined it inside, as I need to reinstall the parts I removed before sending it off for repair anyway.

The folks in the terminal know my company (not surprisingly, given how much stuff we ship through them, including out of facilities we manage in Fremont). They're almost as embarrassed as I am that they can't find me, but they also can't seem to come up with a solution. If I were a business getting daily deliveries, the drivers would learn where I am, but because I'm a residence only getting deliveries a few times a year, I'm sort of out of luck. It's enough to make me want to go rent a private mailbox at the coffee house across the street -- they'd probably be able to find that, at least.

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