Kevin Standlee often writes in his blog about XPO, the company he works for doing shipping logistics. Well, I have become an XPO customer. They delivered a package to me today, and I'm here to tell you about it.
For six months now, since we bought our new Samsung oven, Samsung has been promising to deliver the air-fry basket that goes with it that I ordered separately. They kept giving me delivery dates and then delaying them, a few days or two months. April 1 was like the sixth date I was given. But this time it wasn't delayed. On Wednesday I got an e-mail from Samsung saying it had actually shipped and they were handing me over to their delivery service, XPO.
On Thursday, I got a phone call from XPO. It started out as an automated phone call, but as soon as I pressed the first button on instruction, the automated voice said there was a technical problem and it would hand me off to a human. It did. First we went through some confirmation blither, then the human seemed to tell me that the basket wouldn't be delivered on Friday after all; then she said it would. (Possibly she was the idol that neither always tells the truth nor always lies but gives a random answer.) But after we got that straightened out, she said no delivery time window had yet been set, and they'd call me back when it was. Furthermore, the delivery guy would phone 30 minutes out. But an adult needed to be home to accept the package; they wouldn't leave it on the porch.
I was just telling B. about this, so she'd know about the expected calls and the delivery, when the phone rang again. Same deal: automated voice, technical problem, human, confirmation blither. This is my phone number, this is my name & address, with zip code, yes you may call me by my first name. (You'd think that the first time they'd have a checkmark they could click: "Yes This Customer Will Permit You To Call Them By Their First Name. Christ, Give It A Rest Already, Will You?") But this guy didn't have the delivery time window either. Instead, he seemed to think he was the first call. Same info. I listened patiently; clearly his computer hadn't told him that I'd already heard this stuff.
Despite these assurances, I never got a call with the delivery time window. Instead, I got it by e-mail. 12:30-4:30, Friday afternoon. Fine.
The phone rang at 11:30 AM. Good thing I was already back from my morning errands by then. He'd be there in 20 minutes. Took closer to 30, but he was there. Handed over the package, took a photo of me with it with his phone. No signature or any other fuss.
And that's my experience with XPO. Much more conscientious about their service than a lot of companies one deals with in this manner, but still subject to weird glitches, from the technical problem with the automated phone call, to some unclear statements by the first person, to a needless repeat of the first phone call, to being told I'd get another phone call but getting an e-mail instead, to a delivery before the time window, which is OK except that I might have missed it; and generally an immense amount of fuss over a package, the kind that Amazon would just drop off and that would be an end to it.