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on the ridiculousness of independent shipping companies and our criminal justice system…

so a while ago, sorynvala posted to about her experiences with trying to call the Pittsburgh police during an honest to God emergency and how disappointed she was with that. My 1000 words of free flowing hostility I am about to spew really don’t come anywhere near being as upsetting as hers, but it links in a tad so I thought I’d mention it. Anyway, if you haven’t read her story, you should. Particularly if you live in Pittsburgh. Particularly if you live in the Zone 3 Police Zone (Southside, Arlington)

Backing up. About a month ago (May 6) I ordered a camera battery for my new camera from Amazon (actually from J&R Music and Computer World through Amazon, but whatever). I never received said battery and eventually began to worry. Checking the tracking number, it claimed that the package was delivered and left at my Front Door on May 9th. I get worried and say, “ah but that was over a week ago, and I do not have it” so I call J&R and they tell me “oh, don’t worry, that happens all the time, they lose stuff or say they delivered it, or it gets stolen and they just refund us… just call UPS and tell them you never got it, and as soon as they refund us we’ll ship you a new one.” So I do and UPS says “oh, we must investigate!”

Now I don’t even want to think about the ridiculousness of “investigating” here. Its a battery. Its a camera battery mind you, so it does cost $50. But its a fucking battery! sui66iy suggested to me that perhaps investigating involves someone checking the “investigated” checkbox on a form and then issuing a refund. No no no… not the case. So a week goes by, and I get a phone call from someone who has been “investigating” the claim and she leaves me the number of a different person that I now have to talk to. So I call this different person and she asks me to verify that I did not receive the package. And I say “I did not receive the package.” She says, ok, that should do it, you’ll probably here from J&R about making arrangements to either get a replacement item or get a refund soon. So fine, I think… we’re done with that. Oh no, that does not happen. Last week a UPS guy drives up and says “are you Chris Holly” and I say yeah, and he says “and you were to receive this item from J&R Music and Computer” and I say yeah. He says, “oh, Well, it says here that I delivered it myself and I would have left it right here on your porch so you must have gotten it.” and I tell him I didn’t. And that I never saw it and that I have been waiting close to a month. And he says that’s impossible and I assure him that its not. So he says “well, okay then” and then he pulls out a form for me to sign. The form has a checkbox that says I swear that I did not receive my package. So I check that and I sign it. And he says ok and he leaves. Now if there is a special form that he carries around at all times that says that I didn’t receive an item, why is he so sure that it never happens. *sigh* So anyway, I again assume that I am done with this nonsense and will hopefully be getting my mother fucking battery soon! Oh how foolish am I?

So today I get a phone call again from UPS (a 5th UPS person) who says that as far as they can tell from their investigation they delivered my item and it was stolen off my porch, and that they cannot continue their investigation without a police report. I say fine, so get one. They say they can’t cuz it was stolen from my possession not theirs so I have to report it and give them the report number. I argue this for a moment and then say whatever and agree that I will call the police.

So I decide that I don’t want to bother the 911 Emergency people with something so stupid so I spend an hour trying to figure out what the phone number is for the local police station. After about 4 phone calls and some web searching, I discover the phone number. A desk sergeant answers and asks what I need. I tell him and he tells me to call 911. I tell him that I don’t have an emergency and that I just need to report a possible theft that I am not even sure of that allegedly occurred a month ago and he assures me that’s how it works. So I say fine, and I exasperatedly call 911. So the 911 person answers and says “Pittsburgh 911, what is your emergency.” And I tell her I don’t have one, but when I called the police station to make a theft report they said to call you. She says that’s correct and asks me for my first name and telephone number and address and says she will immediately dispatch a car to come to my home and take my report.


Its a missing fucking battery!!! Are there not murderers and rapists running around that the police could be following. Are there not cold crimes to be solved or banks to be guarded. Isn’t there a fireman who needs help getting a fucking kitten out of a fucking tree? Why can a person on a phone not help me replace my stupid fucking battery?

So at this point the recovery of my battery has involved 1 J&R customer service associate, 4 UPS phone people, 1 UPS driver, 1 desk sergeant, 1 911 emergency operator and at least one (and my money says there will be two) cops to drive to my house and take the report. Its a $50 battery for Christ’s sake. And I still don’t actually have it yet. I’m sure that before I do, I will have to talk to the mayor and perhaps even President Dubya himself. Clearly our search for weapons of mass destruction in enemy lands can wait til I have my fucking camera battery.

It’s been 50 minutes and the cops aren’t here. Please remind me to never have an actual emergency that I might need help with. People fucking suck.

[EDIT: well, the police finally came after about an hour and a half and I gave them the report. They asked me point blank if I ever saw the item and I said no, so they noted that. So now UPS is going to see this report which says that I say I don’t really know if it was stolen or not… *sigh* I just want my battery… is that so much to ask?]

22 comments for “on the ridiculousness of independent shipping companies and our criminal justice system…

  1. aad
    June 9, 2003 at 5:22 pm

    There’s a reason I try to avoid ever shipping anything with UPS ever. A number of merchants I deal with have stopped using them.

    1. mav
      June 9, 2003 at 5:30 pm

      yeah… actually this is not the first time I’ve had problems with them recently… They also tried to deliver my very expensive digital camera to the wrong house when I bought it. Luckily they needed a signature for that, so they couldn’t. They claim that this did not happen and that I wasn’t home, but both Mike and I were sitting in the living room on laptops for pretty much the whole day, and no one ever came to the door…

      Blah… of course I am not just mad at them. I am also mad at the police, who still haven’t shown up to take my report and it has been an hour and a half.

    2. June 9, 2003 at 5:44 pm

      Hah! UPS won’t even deliver around here if you’re not at home to sign for the item. Of course, they don’t deliver except from 9:00 to 5:00 weekdays, so you’re pretty much paying them for the honor of picking things up across town at their office.


      1. mav
        June 9, 2003 at 5:50 pm

        here sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. I have no idea how they make such decisions. And I am blissfully unemployed. I’m here at home where they can easily just hand me the item and get a signature and everything, if they would just bring me my damn battery…. sigh

  2. June 9, 2003 at 6:57 pm

    I *hate* UPS. Every time I have them ship me something I have it sent to Cyert 200, so that there is always someone there and afterwards it ends up in a nice secure locked room until I come get it at my leisure.

    They are so much hassle to deal with. 🙁

    1. mav
      June 10, 2003 at 12:00 am

      yeah, I used to always have everything shipped to MAYA… but stopped once I didn’t work there anymore… Maybe I should start doing that again. Its not like I can’t have or someone pick it up for me.

  3. June 9, 2003 at 7:10 pm

    Isn’t there a fireman who needs help getting a fucking kitten out of a fucking tree?

    Although my kitten has been medically prevented from fucking, she did get stuck in a tree in Pittsburgh. I contemplated calling the fire department, but I was eventually able to pluck her out myself. So I still don’t know if firepeople pluck kittens, fucking or otherwise, out of trees, fucking or otherwise.

    Oh, and I’m sorry for your loss.

    1. mav
      June 9, 2003 at 9:33 pm

      really, if my cat was stuck in a tree, I’d feel embarrassed to call 911… it just feels like there should be bigger problems in the world… I mean apparently there are people out there with missing batteries…

  4. June 9, 2003 at 7:10 pm

    On the behalf of the po-lice: it used to be the case that they had separate numbers, but idiots kept calling 911 to make theft reports, so they just said, fuck it, we have to answer the calls anyway. If it’s the official policy, at least we can fund it.

    And I imagine it took an hour and a half because you didn’t have an emergency. Hope so, anyway. The only time I called 911 (and, technically, it was Anu who called), we were in Squill where the rich live.

  5. June 9, 2003 at 7:14 pm

    The Pittsburgh Police are a sad sad group of people. I hope they don’t hit you with sticks when they get there.

    “This guy stole his own battery!”

    1. June 9, 2003 at 7:23 pm

      Well, he is one of them there uppity Negroes….

      1. June 9, 2003 at 7:27 pm

        Man, all this talking about the cops makes my jaw and ribs ache.

      2. mav
        June 9, 2003 at 9:35 pm

        am not… this is a ummm… tan, yeah, that’s it… I don’t even associate with those… “coloreds”

        bringing down the property values, I’ll tell you what…

    2. June 9, 2003 at 7:24 pm

      hm, that would be ironic, a battery for a battery.

      1. June 9, 2003 at 7:29 pm

        And if they rubbed salt on him…

        It was funnier in my head.

        1. mav
          June 9, 2003 at 9:36 pm

          it must of been…. because, like I don’t get it… seriously, I don’t… what’s it mean?

          1. June 10, 2003 at 6:09 am

            You know assult. Oh fuck it…..

          2. mav
            June 10, 2003 at 7:29 am

            oh wow…. geeze… Ouch… I mean, like Ouch!

          3. June 10, 2003 at 6:15 am

            A salt with a deadly pepa!

          4. mav
            June 10, 2003 at 7:34 am

            It takes two to dance so c’mon let’s tango
            Us on the mics and y’all on the dance floor
            It’s a Salt and Pepa affair, yeah
            Never ever no static, beats will come out clear
            Title after title we take
            Rack ’em up we’re gonna tally ’em
            And when we’re done you’re gonna need a valium
            To calm your nerves, after I bomb your nerves
            The quiet comes after the storm is heard
            And I’m stormin’ long and strong, I can’t go wrong
            Watch me get into this rap song
            Like a river I flow into the mic I’ll blow
            Make sure it’s on as Spinderella drops the beats so

      2. June 9, 2003 at 7:40 pm

        Ba-dum *ching*!

        I like puns.

  6. June 11, 2003 at 7:43 am

    If it’s any comfort, I had to do the same thing in Wilkinsburg when I had checks stolen from my porch. It doesn’t matter if it’s the city or not, they have you call 911.

    I have had bad results with UPS delivering to my house, but if they deliver to campus I always get it. Carl, the delivery guy for CMU is really cool and doesn’t lose stuff. If he ever leaves UPS I may cry – he’s that good at his job. I wish everyone else at UPS was.

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