Incompetence vs. Lying

For the last two years or so, I’ve had an interesting problem.

I have one mail carrier Monday through Friday and a different one on Saturday. During the week, any packages I’m expecting get delivered without a problem. My carrier will even pull up to my house and honk to deliver packages, instead of leaving them in the mailbox. She’s awesome.

But for two years now, any time I am expecting a package on a Saturday, it doesn’t get delivered. I know this because I can pull up the tracking number on the USPS website, and it will show me it’s out for delivery, but after we check our mail, there’s no package. There’s always the rest of our mail: envelopes, magazines, flyers, etc. But no packages. The package continues to show out for delivery until it’s delivered by my regular carrier the following Monday.

For two years, I have called and complained each and every time this happens. It’s all been to no avail. This last Saturday, the situation went slightly differently. No package, though it showed out for delivery, thus a call to complain, as usual. But then…the site updated to say that a notice had been left. We got one envelope in the mail that day, and it was from a business, not a notice from the carrier. It claimed the notice had been left because there was no secure place to leave the package. Never mind that the package (three teas I had ordered) would easily fit in my mailbox.

All my calls to complain didn’t get me anywhere, so this time, I decided it was time to visit my local branch in person and have a chat with the direct supervisor of this mail carrier. I printed out the screen reflecting the notice that was supposedly left, made notes about my confirmation number for my complaint and the one for the redelivery that I’d already set up, and set out yesterday morning.

I am thoroughly unimpressed. The supervisor acted bored and uninterested in my complaint. She said that the carrier that delivered on Saturday was new and asked for my patience. I explained that I would happily have patience, and that while this could explain this instance, what about the last two years of this. Her response? It was something along the lines of, “Yeah, sorry, but you know, are we done here?”

I wasn’t done. I explained, again, about the notice that wasn’t left. This is when an employee appeared with my package and pointed out to the supervisor that there was a sticker that partially covered my address, and “that’s why she couldn’t deliver it.”

The supervisor took my package and handed it to me, with an expression that implied we were done. I asked again about the notice that wasn’t left. The supervisor again said that the carrier was new.

I could overlook not knowing what to do. I could even overlook incompetence (for example, not thinking to scrape at the sticker so that she could see my full address). But what I cannot overlook is outright lying, which is what the carrier did when she said she left a notice because a secure location to leave my package was not available. If she couldn’t even see my address, then how on earth could she have (a) determined that there was or was not a secure location available or (b) left a notice for me?

When I asked those questions, the supervisor just continued to say that the carrier is new and I should be patient. She was not at all surprised or bothered by the idea that the carrier was lying about how she was doing her job.

In the end, I got my package, but I still walked away very unhappy with the outcome. I could have been understanding that the carrier is still learning, and even that a sticker partially covered my address and that she perhaps didn’t think or didn’t even know that she could scrape aside the sticker in order to see my address. Those all are frustrating for me, but they make sense. But lying about leaving a notice when you didn’t leave one is wrong. If the system can update to reflect that, then surely she could have been honest and updated it to reflect that the address was partially obscured and it couldn’t be delivered.

But I’m also really disgusted by the supervisor’s attitude. Acting as if the customer is wrong for expecting a little honesty, and maybe some effort. This Saturday was the final straw in an ongoing problem. There’s no excuse, other than pure laziness, for the failure to deliver my packages that have been out for delivery on Saturdays. None at all.  As a supervisor, she should be more concerned about what her staff is doing – they are a reflection on her, after all.

What was your last unpleasant run-in with someone in customer service? Did you ultimately find resolution or did you just have to accept that the situation sucked and wouldn’t be changed?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge