The Nightmare Before Halloween

, , , , , , | Working | October 31, 2018

(I am dressing as Mrs. Peacock from “Clue” for Halloween, and my costume isn’t complete without a small toy revolver, so I search online and find one at a good price from a seller only about 100 miles from me. Per the seller’s policies, he usually ships items within three business days of order placement, but sometimes needs up to seven days to ship the item. In either case, the package should take only two or three days to arrive, even by basic postal service. On the 19th, I receive an email from the seller with the package tracking code and the following note:)

Seller: “Your package was shipped a few days back. Here is the tracking information. Have a great day!”

(“A few days back” is ambiguous, but it sounds well within his policy and therefore “on time.” However, when I get home that afternoon, the package has not arrived, nor does it arrive the following day. Or the next. OR the next. The whole time, the package tracking shows the same status message:)

Status Message: “Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS, USPS Awaiting Item”

(It seems the seller has created the package profile with the post office, but hasn’t yet given the package to a postal worker to begin processing. On Sunday the 23rd, one week after I ordered the item, I contact the seller:)

Me: “Please send out ASAP. I ordered this well enough in advance to accompany a Halloween costume for a party this coming Friday, October 28th. Columbus to Cincy isn’t far; it should take no more than two to three days to arrive, but I’ll get it in time only if you ship it by tomorrow, Monday, October 24th. If you cannot manage to get it in the mail by close of business tomorrow, please let me know by canceling the order and issuing a full refund so that I can seek an alternative that will deliver in a timely fashion.”

Seller: “Hello, your package is indeed in the US mail system and on the way to you. The post office is always a day or more behind scanning updates. Some updates are as late as five days. Thank you for your patience. Have a good day!”

(Yes, he is placing the blame for the package’s delay on the post office! Magically, the very next day, the tracking status changes:)

Status Message: “Accepted at USPS Origin Facility.”

(Two days later, on the 26th, I finally had my costume accessory. However, the seller got his very-well-deserved negative feedback posted to his account about his slow service and blatant lies!)

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