I am not yet calling this a victory. My wounds are still too raw. BUT. I can confirm that, as of right now, I have a working air conditioner in my living room window. If you’re just joining us on the Tune-Up and have no idea why this is such a big deal, I refer you to a post from a few weeks back.
But let me fill you in on what’s happened since. If you remember, the solution that Sears presented was that UPS would come and pick up the box from my apartment and deliver it back to Sears. Did this happen? Yes and no. “Wait, what the hell,” I hear you cry, “isn’t that a binary event? It either did or did not happen.” Indeed you are correct! So let me break it down for you.
UPS issued a tracking number for the pick-up. The tracking number’s pick-up location was the same wrong address to which they delivered the bad AC. I called them back. They said to call Sears. I called Sears. They fixed it. (Sort of. It is Sears.) I got a new tracking number with the right pick-up address but no information on when they would pick it up. They tried on a Thursday but the box wasn’t there because I didn’t know they were coming. I got notified they were going to try again so I raced home, put it in a box, dragged it to the elevator, then dragged it to the lobby, where I gave it to the front desk clerk. There it sat. I checked the UPS website the next day. A second attempt had not been made. I checked the website again the following day. A second attempt had still not been made. I called UPS and said, “hey, dudes, the package is ready.” “Oh!” said UPS. “Okay cool, thanks, I’ll send the driver over by 5pm.” I called the front desk and said, “hey, thanks for holding my stupidly large 80lb box. UPS is coming over in a few hours to get it.”
Now this is where it gets squirrelly.
Front desk woman said that UPS had already picked up the box. UPS had no record of picking up the box. I called them and they swore up and down that they had absolutely not gotten the box and even got a little defensive that I would suggest they would have misplaced it. “Maybe someone just took it,” UPS Facility Man suggested. “You mean stole it?” “Yeah – maybe someone stole it.” I thought this was one of the dumber things I’d heard in a long time, since my building is access-controlled with a front desk that is manned around the clock with a very small number of people of good character who wouldn’t just let some random person walk off with a big box. Not to mention one can’t really walk off with an 80lb box.
UPS maintained they were innocent. They said to call the shipping company and complain. “Sorry…I don’t mean to be dense but, aren’t you the shipping company?” UPS Facility Man said that he meant the company that I bought the thing from. I remarked I wasn’t quite sure what this would accomplish, seeing as how Sears doesn’t have any control over anything once it leaves their warehouse. “Yeah, but see, Sears will have a lot more information on this than we will have,” Facility Man swore. “Again,” I said, “I still don’t see how that makes sense, but okay.”
So I called Sears customer solutions. Customer solutions transferred me to online customer solutions. I told them the whole story. I allowed myself to sound hysterical because, well, I was, and by this point, it would have been more productive and less time-consuming to have gotten $350 out of the bank, bought a lighter, and set the money on fire. So anyway. I told Sears Online Customer Solutions man the whole thing and he said he would issue a trace on the box. Now, how one traces a box with no label on it (oh yeah I forgot to mention that part – UPS was going to create the label and affix it to the box for me. Foolproof plan.), I have no idea. But that was the plan. I am to wait until mid next week to get an email with what they’ve found. If I don’t hear anything, I’m to call them. …Okey dokey.
So that was yesterday and today is today, and today I got a working AC put in my window. It seems to be chugging along just fine. After it was put in, I got a call from the front desk to say that one of the people working the desk had remembered that UPS had come on Tuesday at 11am to pick up the box and not only that but it was “the new guy” who picked it up. “The new guy” is “a little weird.” So I called Sears back to tell them about all of this and Sears called UPS and left me on hold for 20 minutes and now, as I type this, I am waiting for a call from UPS to tell me what they found in their “investigation.”
A friend of mine suggested I put all of this into a short story and sell it to the New Yorker. I’m considering it.