February 18th, 2007

frustration, computer problems, oops


Station manager has a bright idea: let's replace our clunky streaming PC that we can't attach a working monitor to for love or money with a sleek, specialised unit that'll just take line audio and transmit it as an MP3 stream. I find a UK supplier for the product and place the order, and everything's hunky dory.

Until supplier hands the package to UPS, which consists of a bunch of incompetent fucking idiots. The package leaves the supplier (apparently in Germany) on the 6th, and hits Edinburgh two days later. They had the right address for me, and they had my full name: but the lack of a flat number confuses UPS's drivers no end, to the point where they can't cross-reference the names next to SIX buzzers, find the ONE that matches my surname, and buzz the right one. Tracking now reads THE RECEIVER IS NOT LISTED ON THE BUILDING DIRECTORY. Lie number one.

Four days later, not having left a card, tracking is updated again: THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION.;A POSTCARD HAS BEEN SENT TO THE RECIPIENT REQUESTING THAT THEY CONTACT UPS. Lie number two: nobody bothered to leave or send a card. It's not until two days after - now the 14th - that I twig something's not arrived, so I phone the supplier, which gives me a tracking number which leads me to discover the gross incompetence. I call and calmly ask the operator to add that all-important single digit to my address, and reschedule delivery for the Friday.

Remembering that there are only six flats on the stair, and empowered with the all-important digit, UPS delivered on the wrong day (Thursday), to the wrong flat. At least they left me a card to say it was at this different flat. EUGH. On top of this, I now have to arrange to send the shiny box back because station manager overestimated its capabilities. This will lose the station 20% of the price of the box in restocking fees, plus postage fees. I sure won't be using UPS, and I think I'll compel the station to buy a Mac mini instead.