Bridesmaid Dress Drama

People who read my blogs regularly may remember an entry from the summer, where I mentioned a fiasco at a restaurant celebrating my role as a bridesmaid for the upcoming wedding of my best friend. Well, my bridesmaid dress arrived in the mail yesterday. “Yay!”, right? The dress is beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it, but making sure I had the box in my possession was a bit of a headache.

I got an email from UPS early yesterday afternoon saying that they’d attempted delivery, but they missed me. I was home all day, my phone never rang; no one called from the lobby to say they had a package to deliver. I went downstairs to check the intercom pad and there was a note from UPS advising me that my package would be available for pick up at an “access point” located right across the street. “Yay!”, right? Wrong. That “access point” is a convenience store in a strip mall with no cutaway and a sizeable lip on the door.

What irks me is prior to about a year ago, if I missed a UPS delivery it was brought to an actual UPS store located about fifteen minutes down the road – flat entry, no fuss, no muss. I went to the UPS store, explained my situation and had them call the main shipping line to make a note that my default drop-off location had to be the flat entry store. I didn’t try and fix it myself – I had the owners of a UPS store call their centralized number to have it fixed. UPS’s default line was, “Oh, but the other place is much closer to you.”

I said, “Yes, I realize that. But let me explain this to you again: I use a wheelchair. The fact that the convenience store is geographically closer to me does me no good since it has stairs and I can’t get in the door. Change the default delivery address back to the proper UPS store, please.”

So imagine my frustration when the address I see on the notification slip tells me that my very expensive bridesmaid dress is being held at the convenience store across the street that I can’t get into.

The first thing I asked when I called is why the delivery person didn’t think to look up my buzz code, being that my apartment number is clearly stated in the address. Common sense dictates that I cannot receive a package if I don’t know it’s being delivered and I certainly have no reason to idle hours away in the lobby on the off chance that a package will arrive. I was told that it is not the delivery person’s job to look up my buzzer code; I had to specify it in my address.

I ordered the dress in July. Typical order forms allow you to specify a unit number if you live in an apartment, but there’s no option to include a buzzer code and that wouldn’t necessarily occur to you to include it.

I explained that I used a wheelchair and the default delivery location was unacceptable and that I had also made the effort to rectify the issue last year – I was told that it was rectified. So why is this happening again?

Again, I’m told the convenience store is closer to me. Again, I explain that geographical location is not the issue, nor is it an acceptable answer.  Then, the woman apologizes to me for the “inconvenience” and assures me she’ll forward my “concern”. I have to explain the difference between an inconvenience and an unacceptable and inappropriate situation. I have to explain that no, I don’t have a “concern”, I have a problem that isn’t going away and it needs to be fixed; it should have been fixed last year.

The woman flip-flopped on the phone between, “We can attempt delivery again tomorrow. What’s your phone number?” and “Do you want us to have it sent to the other location?”

I told her I didn’t trust them to attempt delivery the next day – this was a bridesmaid dress worth several hundred dollars and I couldn’t afford for it to be lost, or sent back to the company in California. I asked her if it was at the convenience store already and she said yes. I told her, “You make sure it doesn’t move, I’ll find a way to go and get it tonight.”

Luckily I’m small and petite and my manual wheelchair weighs a meager twenty pounds. My attendant happened to be over at the time that I was in the midst of this very infuriating call, so at the end of it she pushed me across the street, got my chair up the ledge and in the door and I signed for my dress. That was the other thing: UPS deliveries require photo identification and a signature, so it’s not like I can send someone across the street to get it for me.

All’s well that ends well, because the dress is safe and secure in my closet – but UPS hasn’t heard the last from me.

Layla Guse Salah
DT Network