Monday, July 7, 2008

The Package Experiment

In an earlier post my friends and I discussed a plan to out smart the airline's checked bag fees. The idea was to send your stuff to your destination via a package carrier such as UPS or FedEx. In doing a little guesstimating I concluded that it may not save you any money, but my friend Michelle decided to try it out for real. Her story goes something like this with a few possible additions and exaggerations due to my lack of memory on the details.

Michelle is travelling for work and adding a leg in for a family event. So she decides to send her casual clothes for the family trip to her destination in Chicago. She also throws in a few small presents for a birthday party that she'll be attending. Then to further save some space in her carry-on luggage she adds some work papers that she'll need. The package weighs just 10 lbs. She sends it on Monday for delivery on Thursday. As I recall the carrier was UPS.

photo by kiss the sun and walk on air

While at her first business destination Michelle receives an email from UPS saying that her package has been delayed and should arrive on Friday. No big deal since she won't actually arrive in Chicago till Friday. But when she gets to her destination there is no package. UPS sends her another message saying that there have been "weather delays". At this point she calls UPS to find out when her package might arrive. They don't know. In fact there not even sure where her package is because they have so many packages that they can't even find her package.

Meanwhile Michelle has only business attire for her casual visit with family and she's been wearing these clothes all week and needs them for the third leg of her travel which is business. And remember there were birthday presents in that box. So Michelle must go shopping.

photo by SoulCookie

The weekend goes by and still no box. Remember she stuck her work documents in the box to save room. Ugh!! She's got to get new copies of the docs before she leaves Chicago for Baltimore. And of course the box arrives after she has left.

UPS's apology? Refund? Nada, nothing, zip, not a dime. So friends the package experiment seems to have been busted.


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