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A simple mistake versus incompetence by design

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jtmac, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    I am not really fond of people who complain about how they were done wrong because someone else didn't bend over backwards to fix a mistake the complainer made. But I think there are limits. There are minor goofs and there are entire shrines to idiocy and incompetence. So, a rant. You be the judge.

    I ordered a new-fangled Nexus 7. I made a little mistake, though, and I put in the wrong zip code.

    I made a mistake. But an easily correctable one. It shouldn't be a problem, because Google and UPS both have databases to check city, state, and zip combinations.

    Except for some reason Google accepted my address and UPS accepted shipping to an invalid zip code. That's amateur hour, technically speaking, but whatever. It shouldn't be a problem, because they have an otherwise valid address.

    Nope. They deliver it to the destination facility for the wrong zip code. By this point I'm not getting it on time, but I made a mistake, so whatever. Aside from the delay, it shouldn't be a problem, because they have my contact information to handle such things.

    Except that instead of contacting me, they ship it back to Google. This is the point I find out something is wrong, since I'm stalking the tracking number. All of the above immediately occurs to me and I'm pretty aggravated, but it shouldn't be a problem, because I can have UPS redirect the package.

    Over the phone, UPS tells me that they can't change the address prior to the first failed delivery, nor can they change it now. It takes a UPS representative noticing me griping on Twitter to tell me that Google has blocked change requests for their shipments. Fine, I understand. It shouldn't be a problem, because I can contact Google to make this change.

    As it turns out, I'd already been on the phone with Google after holding for an hour. He checks the tracking information and verifies the issue and tells me that... They won't fix the destination address for me. Instead, all they can recommend I do is order another and it should ship within the week (edit: he was wrong, it would be a month for the model I ordered). OK, that's disheartening, but it's just delayed gratification. It shouldn't be a problem, though, because I'm getting a refund, right?

    And I sure am getting a refund. Within two weeks of the return arriving.

    I goofed. I don't expect things to go perfectly. But there are so many levels of incompetence here I'm pretty steamed. I was really looking forward to it, but if it weren't ultimately meant to go to someone else I wouldn't be ordering another. I'm tempted to find something else, anyway. This kind of idiocy should not be rewarded with my money.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  2. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    People trying to work around problems. Shipments getting redirected by thieves, so don't allow changes. You see it everywhere, I'm not sure how much is incompetence vs the fact that patchwork systems and policies have swallowed human initiative and reasoning like a swamp swallows a BB.

    I'll wager that not once did you get to speak to someone who could make and implement a decison, just drones who are only empowered to repeat the "policy" until you give up and go away.

    Hope it all comes out alright for you in the end.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012

  3. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    There are definitely reasons for some of these things, but not all reasons are good.

    Taking steps to prevent fraud, that's fine, even if it means a little inconvenience on my part.

    But those patchwork systems you speak of, unempowered drones, all of the entirely preventable, foolish reasons for this kind of thing? Reasons for a company not to be in business. The slightest exercise of technical or managerial competence could have prevented most of these compounding issues. Fixing any one of them would have been enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  4. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Big, educated kitty cat!

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    That sucks. I made that mistake on a motorcycle jacket I ordered once. I called the company and told them I'd screwed up and it was re-routed to my house with no problem.
     
  5. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    My experience is that we expect too much from software. I once ordered something and instead of putting my address (ie: 1234 Main Street, USA), I just typed in Main Street, USA. You would think the software would flag the incomplete address before I pressed the "Place Order" button.

    No such luck.

    If you catch the mistake and call the vendor before it got shipped, fine. Otherwise, you're out of luck. In my case, UPS "attempted" to deliver, then send it back to the vendor who then charged me a 10-percent restocking fee.

    So clearly, no one at the vendor bothered to look at the address label (or cared).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  6. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

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    One time my bank allowed thousands of dollars in charges on my debit account (it was multiple transactions, I bought furniture, housewares, more furniture, appliances, paint etc. CORRECTION, I PAID FOR FURNITURE MY WIFE BOUGHT). All of these were purchased in a combination of online, and in store. I also used that same card two days before that 3000+ miles away to pay for incidental charges on a hotel room/etc.

    The next day I attempt to pay for my kids swim lessons, which is less than $200.

    Transaction is attempted 3x, it does not go thru. Log on, there is a bit more than $300 of my money in my account, call the bank.

    They tell me the swim lessons charge (a charge that at the time was bi-annual for 2 years = charges) triggered a fraud alert.

    I was like :shocked::rant::notlistening:
     
  7. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    I see it all the time.

    "The system won't let us do that."

    People who can't be fired for not doing their jobs, or for doing things wrong for fear of lawsuits or some other consequence. Never really figured that one out, I live in a right to work state but most employers seem to live in fear of their employees.

    Poorly thought out policies, software that doesn't do what it is supposed to.

    A couple of years ago I wanted to order a gift online. I live in a small town with no home mail delivery so my address is a PO Box on line two of the address and my street address on line three so I can get mail or UPS using the same address. The company I wanted to buy from had only one line in their online form. No problem, right, just pick one?
    Nope, my CC statement gets mailed to the PO box, the store only shipped UPS.

    "The delivery address does not match the billing address, we cannot complete your order."

    "We're sorry, we do not ship to PO Boxes, please give a street address."

    So, I deleted the store from my favorites even though they had some cool stuff my daughter would have enjoyed.

    Darwin in action, people who are smart prosper, people who aren't, go out of business.
     
  8. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    The system worked fine, it sent the package to the zip code that was entered.
     
  9. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    So they shipped your Rutger Hauer to the wrong address? HH
     
  10. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    He got Roy instead of snake-charmer-lady or Prissy. Who wouldn't be disappointed!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  11. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

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    You made the error, not them.
     
  12. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Witless Protection Program

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    iPad would have prevented this.
     
  13. Toyman

    Toyman

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    Kind of funny how your error is a "mistake", a "goof", but their error is incompetence.

    The first item of incompetence was you not proofreading your address info, but yes, their system does sound hokey. Shame on them for trying to ship it to where you told them to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  14. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

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    It's the new America for some, nothing is their fault.
     
  15. kensb2

    kensb2 pistol n00b

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    I now have this issue with Newegg.com. My 911 address won't come up on a map/can't be verified and I have to have a PO Box because I live in a very small town, that doesn't deliver if you live too close to the office. Newegg won't accept a PO Box for delivery, so I have to get everything shipped to my in-law's address a couple towns over. It's an annoying inconvenience, but I won't stop shopping at newegg over it.
     
  16. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    You work for the government?
     
  17. Arquebus12

    Arquebus12 Non-broccophobe CLM

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    BOOM, Baby! First thing I thought of!

    Gettin' a pleasure model sent to the house, oh yeeeeeah...!

    Boom chik a wah wah chikka boom wah wah!
     
  18. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    :rofl: My primary concern is how long he'll be cooped up in that box. I don't know if they packed enough food with him to make the return trip.

    If the zip code had been the only thing I'd listed for the address, then I would consider it as having worked very well. I did enter the wrong zip code, though, and I accept that would cause some issue (the zip code . It going unnoticed and being delivered to the right city is pretty shocking, but I messed up and I expect that would have some form of consequence. That really isn't my problem, though.

    Everyone makes mistakes. I just proved that much.

    But if my problems had simply been caused by other people in the line making simple mistakes like typing in the wrong number or putting the box on the wrong truck, it would be a very minor issue.

    #$@% happens. Big deal.

    But designing a system is another matter. It's possible for simple mistakes to cause problems in design, but some things you don't do. You don't design a system so that it doesn't leverage existing systems to prevent errors, for one. But it got stuck on my own error, so whatever. The bigger problem is that you don't design a system to be incapable of correcting easily corrected errors. You especially don't deny someone the ability to correct the errors through every avenue intended for correcting such errors. That last part is what I'm truly bothered by, but it took at least six different levels of incompetent design to get to this point.
     
  19. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Big, educated kitty cat!

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    The OP admitted he made a mistake but this should be easier to fix than it apparently was. #### happens but no one designs for it.