So with my ill-gotten (See Failing at your own business–essay writing) and legitimately gotten gains piling up in my Paypal account burning a hole in my virtual pocket, I decided to do some online shopping. First I went to Shop Amazon , however, nobody wanted to ship to Mexico and Amazon.com.mx, well had nothing that I wanted. So I went to Ebay Mexico. And yep, they’d ship it to me. Since the last time I used Ebay, oh some 8 years ago, they had started this global shipping program that would ship anywhere in the world. Sounded great! As it turns out, I apparently live in a parallel universe, but I was unaware of that until the shipping nightmare began.
I bought myself some pants and my husband an MP4 player. The shipping fees were incredible–and not in a good way. The jeans were $205 pesos and shipping was $391 pesos more. The MP4 was $617 pesos and the shipping added another $299 pesos. Well, the global shipping program said that there would be no surprise import tariffs at the border, so what the heck. I had the moolah and I spent it.
A week later, I also ordered an archery set for my son. Shipping doubled the price yet again. The archery set was $630 pesos and the shipping was $638 pesos. I thought it worth it because the only archery set we found here was over $2500, therefore, $1200 was a real bargain. And I sat back and waited.
About a week later, I checked on the shipping status—and low and behold, the first two packages were at the border. Yippee Skippy! Not long now! So I waited another week and checked the shipping status. I saw that a delivery had been attempted, but had been incomplete because the “business was closed or client unavailable.” Now, that seemed strange. I figured they’d try again the next day, and they did but found the address “undeliverable.” Now I started to worry. After three days of out for delivery but not delivered, I tried to contact the sellers to see if they had any information that might be useful. Ebay wouldn’t let me. My email was sent to Ebay customer service and my claims put on hold until January 6th. I wrote again and specifically asked if they could tell me who the carrier was from Morelia to Moroleon so that I could contact the company, meet the driver or pick up the packages at the facility in Morelia. Graciously, Ebay allowed that I could do that and that the carrier was Fed-ex.
OH! That explains it! I had listed our apartado (post office box) as our address since La Yacata has no street names. I had never had any issues before as the packages had been sent regular mail, which of course arrives at the post office box with no problems. When we had to use DHL for our passports (See Renewing out passports–DHL) we had the package sent directly to the office and picked it up from there. So my hope was to contact Fed-ex and pick up the packages that were “in transit” at the distribution facility in Morelia. According to MapQuest, it was 50 minutes from Moroleon, completely drive-able.
So then began my quest to contact Fed-ex. I spent hours attempting to contact someone in customer service. Of course, I expected a wait since it was right before Christmas and all, but really, hours? Then I finally was able to contact someone who regretfully told me that the Global Tracking number I had was not a Fed-ex tracking number, therefore, Fed-ex couldn’t track it. So I contacted Ebay customer service again and asked for the Fed-ex tracking number. I didn’t receive any response. So I tried contacting the sellers again to ask if they by chance had the Fed-ex tracking number, and they didn’t.
Meanwhile, the third package was winding its way down. I saw on the tracking form that delivery had been attempted. I had exhausted all my options for package recovery by this time. However, miracles of miracles, Fed-ex called me after Christmas to request a different address for delivery. The impatient young lady accepted the address and clumsy directions I gave to the school where I work. I said I would be there awaiting the package. She said would it head back to Moroleon that afternoon. I asked about the other packages. She knew which packages I was talking about but said that there was nothing she could do. I waited 5 hours at the school that day. Nothing. So the next day, I came back to the school. While teaching my classes, being the only teacher there as this was Christmas break, I had to lock the door but left a big ol’ sign on it that read “Fed-ex–toca la puerta fuerte” (knock loudly). And wouldn’t you know it, Fed-ex came and went while I was in class, leaving a tracking and contact number. Talk about annoyed! I called the contact number, which was local and the nicest man answered the phone. He was sympathetic to my dilemma. He said that he could ask the driver to leave the package with him at the office 4 blocks from the school and I could pick it up tomorrow at 9 am. That would be perfect!
So the next morning, I went over to Queretaro street and lo and behold, there was a Fed-ex office! Imagine that! The same pleasant man was there and was able to hand the package right over to me. He couldn’t do anything about the first two packages as I didn’t have the Fed-ex tracking numbers and he was sorry about that. He said the office has been there 4 years, but I found no listing for it when I did my desperate Google searches. Had anyone from Fed-ex called me about the failed delivery of the first two packages instead of allowing them to endlessly circulate in the delivery truck, I could have made the same arrangements and everything would have been hunky-dory.
January 6 came and Ebay declared the packages lost and issued me a refund as a “courtesy”. Well, thank you very much, kind sir. I was dissatisfied overall and won’t be using Ebay again. I think I was mostly disappointed because I had this vision of being able to receive items that just aren’t available in our area via mail delivery. Sort of like my own private trade route. Sigh. It just wasn’t to be.
I was also frustrated by the globalization of the global shipping program. I ordered products from Iowa and Florida. The customer service agent was in India. The Fed-ex driver and brisk customer service representative were in Morelia. But not until I was able to contact a local person (the Fed-ex employee four blocks away) was I able to complete the process. My problem wasn’t their problem. The sellers didn’t lose out as I had already paid for the items. The Indian customer service representative still got paid whether or not I received my items. The Fed-ex driver and snooty customer service rep also were paid whether or not I got the shipment. Ebay’s loss in refunding me my money was a drop in their earning conglomeration bucket. The location of my items was only important to the local guy, someone I might theoretically meet again on the street in our town. That’ll teach me.