Sometimes I seem to live in the twilight zone.

Posted: March 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

– Good afternoon, UPS, how may I help you?

– Hi. I’ve been trying to send a shipment with a UPS envelope and I’m getting an error message to the effect that my container does not work with my accessories. Can you help me fix that?

– I’m sorry ma’am, but you’ll have to talk to tech support for that. But I can send you supplies if you like.

– Well, I don’t need supplies. I need help. Could you give me the number for tech support?

– Of course.

Then, silence.

– Soooo, may I have that number?

And the number is rattled off for me. So far, this does not bode well.

My colleague who usually does the shipments is not here. I haven’t been on the UPS website for over a year. It has morphed into a whole other animal since then.

But I gave it the old college try.  I entered the destination, I checked the box confirming that I want it sent by UPS express envelope. I filled in the two boxes with the weight and value of my shipment. Then I chose the service, asked for pickup and tried to continue.

And got an error message stating flatly that my container does not work with my accessories. Accessories? WTF?!?!

After trying to fix it multiple times, I called UPS and had that bizarre conversation.

Then I called tech support.

– Hello UPS, how may I help you?

– Hi. I’ve been trying to send a shipment with a UPS envelope and I’m getting an error message that my container does not work with my accessories. Can you help me fix that?

The woman at the other end of the line had no freaking idea what the error message meant (of course). I took her through exactly what I did, what I filled out, the order I did it in. She had me try several things. Made me log out and back in again (hey, this could become a blog post I thought at that point), and finally asked

– Are you using Firefox ma’am?

And may I just interject at this point  how annoying I find the word ma’am?

– Yes, I am.

– Well, ma’am sometimes Firefox is not your friend.

This last comment in a quite condescending tone. Excuse me? A browser is my friend? Or not? What am I? A kindergartener? You are talking to me about inanimate objects being my friend? You are tech support and talking about browsers being my friend? Are you fucking kidding me?

At her suggestion, I closed my no longer BFF,  opened Explorer, went into UPS, logged in, did the whole song and dance again and… oops, error message. Same error message.  My container and my accessories are still not playing nice.

At which point she had me go into tools, and options in the browser, had me click hither and yon and eventually we ended up in a window where she said to check this box so whatever-the-hell-it-was can happen.

– Sorry, there is no box to check.”

– But m’aam, of course there is

– But there isn’t

– You’re in the wrong spot ma’am, does it say “Whatever the hell it is” at the top of the window?

Enough with the fucking ma’am already!

– Yes it does.

– Click the box.

– There is no box.

– Of course there is.

– No. There. Is. Not. What part of there is no box do you not understand? I have seen and clicked hundreds of little computer boxes in the past 20 odd years. I know from a box. I am exactly where you said to go and there is no box.

– There should be. You’ll have to call your IT guy, obviously something is wrong with your computer.

At this point, I am mightily pissed off. By her condescending tone. By the fact that UPS obviously doesn’t train its tech support people and tells them to dick around and maybe the problems will fix themselves. And by the fact that this has GOT to go today and it’s looking like shit will be hitting the proverbial fan. *sigh*

– No MA’AM, obviously you can’t help me because you have no idea what you’re doing”.

I try to be nice to customer service people and support people, but sometimes, there are limits.

Deep breath. Second deep breath.

Back to the UPS web page I went to try again. They say only idiots will repeat actions again and again hoping for a different result. I felt like an idiot.

Except this time, in my frustration, I forgot to fill in the two boxes for weight and value.

It worked.

Turns out you don’t click the value and weight for a UPS Express Envelope.

Whoever built the website didn’t make sure these options were unavailable if Express Envelope was chosen.

Tech support, it seems, doesn’t know this.


  1. mrwriteon says:

    Do you think UPS will feel so bad they’ll give you a special deal next time? They should. But likely they won’t.

  2. Gaelyn says:

    I Hate talking to techs anywhere with their superior than thou attitude and unknown vocabulary.

  3. Debra says:

    I’m so sad. Where I work I’ve been told that Explorer is not my friend. If Explorer is not my friend and Firefox is not your friend, how will WE ever be friends? Maybe Chrome? Oh…and f** all tech support people.

  4. geewits says:

    That sucks. Sorry to hear they wasted so much of your time. I bet you were glad to get home.

  5. lime says:

    how thorough;y exasperating! gld you figured it out though. submit them a bill for solving a problem they don’t even have the first idea how to fix.

  6. Jocelyn says:

    UPS should realize that next time you might not only forget to fill in the weight and size….you might forget to utilize UPS at all.

    Arghgghghghgh. (super happy you got this post out of it, though)

  7. Suldog says:

    Grrrrrrr. UPS, despite the friendliness of the drivers who come to our office, is a pain. They change their freakin’ software every other week, so we have to wait for it to load and change and… Just get it right the first time and then LEAVE IT ALONE.

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