How I-Parcel Managed To See The Future (Or Lie)

This is just too easy.

With some suppliers, I actually need to put in an effort to blog about their feeble attempts at customer service. With I-Parcel, all I have to do is keep prodding, and every prod elicits a hilarious, or infuriating (or hiluriaring, or infarious*) response.

They kept up a steady stream after my attempts to get information out of them about their inept (and mostly absent) efforts to ship a box of Spark Anthology VIII author copies to me (as reported in the first blog post about this issue). A few weeks later, they had provided enough new material for a second post.

And now, mere days after the second, I see no reason not to share their latest doomed efforts with you all.

As some of you may have seen, I posted the link to the second blog post on Facebook and Twitter, and tagged both I-Parcel and mother company UPS in the posts. UPS Twitter Webcare responded with remarkable alacrity, asking me for tracking number and email address, and promising to get I-Parcel moving on my issue.

They succeeded.

Unfortunately, I-Parcel’s range of motion turns out to be very limited. So while I did receive a whopping four new message from them within the hour, it should come as no surprise that none of them were of any use, nor did they provide any new information–or at least, none that I have any reason to believe.

Back when all of this started, on Feb 7, I sent a polite and patient query their way about the status of the shipment. Their initial response went like this:

Hi Floris,

Thanks so much for reaching out. We’re looking into your parcel so we can get you up to date information on the delivery status. We’ll update you when we have the information you need, it might take up to 48 hours to get this.

All the best,

Today, a total of 38 days (a.k.a. five and a half weeks) later, after some 25 exchanged emails, which from my end included growing annoyance, increasing sarcasm, a formal complaint, two blog posts, and intervention by UPS Webcare, I received–and I swear I haven’t changed a syllable–this:

Hi Floris,

Thanks so much for reaching out. We are looking into your parcel so we can get you up to date information on the current status. We’ll update you when we have the information you need. It might take up to 48 hours to get this.

All the best,

And while I was still reeling from this blast from the past, their next reply arrived, in triplicate this time. To fully appreciate this one, the following facts and stastistic will come in handy:

  • Over the course of our correspondence, I-Parcel has suggested I contact Amazon about my order half a dozen times.
  • Every single time they did so, I responded that unless they knew more about it than I did, my shipment did not originate** with Amazon.
  • I was first informed that my package had been returned to sender on 14 February, by a status update on their tracking page (the only useful status update ever to appear there, I might add).
  • The return of my package to the sender was confirmed by I-Parcel a week later, on February 21st, the very day I discovered this fact, with the explanation that they “were unable to set up the shipping logistics successfully to The Netherlands”.
  • The return was again confirmed on March 1st, with the excuse that it was due to a “technical error”.
  • A week later, on 8 March, I-Parcel once more confirmed that my package had been returned, because they “do not service my location for delivery”.

To summarize: I’ve told them six times that my package did not come from Amazon. And they informed me on Feb 14th, Feb 21st, Mar 1st, and Mar 8th that my package had already been returned to sender.

Bearing that in mind, please enjoy their latest reply about the matter (underlines mine):

Hi Floris,

Thanks for your patience while we worked with the operations team to get an update on the return information for your order. We have been informed that your order was returned to Amazon on 03/10/2017 and will be arriving there any day now.

Once your order is received at Amazon your account will be refunded. Again, I am really sorry about the confusion and the troubles.

All the best

If ever words deserved to fail, this is the time.

I am so going to enjoy composing my reply!

* Or, indeed, nefarious.

** In all fairness, I should probably mention that my publisher confessed to me the other day that he had in fact shipped my box of author copies… through Amazon. Nevertheless, the sender was still EG&J press, so literally did not originate with Amazon, and despite my repeated invitations to correct me if I’m wrong, I-Parcel has pretty much ignored every single thing I’ve told them about the sender–or indeed, about anything at all. Ask me if I feel like conceding this minor point. Come on, ask.