2016: A Package Odyssey (Days 3-4*): Spin Cycle, For The Moment

Well, I figured this would happen at some point, but yep, it happened. Step back from your viewing screen and hold onto your butts, folks… this post is going to suck. Up to a point.

(Thanks, virgilio72!) 

I didn’t post yesterday because I decided to try and work a bit and I was in a crappy mood because I decided chronicling this ongoing nonsense wasn’t all that therapeutic after all. I was just getting more annoyed at every person involved in this mess I’m (still) a victim of not being very helpful. USPS was giving me a slow runaround, the seller is kind of lost and asking me what to do (I’ve been passing along as much help as I can), and despite being a longtime fan, I’m about to go postal and recommend anyone I know just NOT use their local post office for anything but whatever passport services they offer. But let’s not pull that rabbit out of the hat just yet, folks.

Anyway, after a suggestion from a message board that I call the number on the USPS web site and another user comment that

The postal service is very serious about employee mail theft. They will get to the bottom of it.

Well, I would hope the hell so. I decided to pick up the phone this morning and try my luck. That turned out to be both a terrifically terrible and (very) good thing to do. Well, maybe on the “(very) good” part.

(Thanks, remhq!)

For the record, calling USPS’ service line is a nightmare like any other customer service hotline that does its level best to get you to solely use its automated features. I chose the Tracking option, entered my number (twice, as the voice recognition didn’t get my coffee-less mumble correctly the first time) and as expected, was told my package was refused and sent back to the shipper. RECAP: That DID NOT HAPPEN. Period. Okay, TWO periods, as I have to make this point twice.

As I wasn’t having any luck with the recording, I had to listen for the options to run out to get told to hang on to speak to a representative. My next mistake was to choose not to wait on hold the estimated 16 to 23 minutes to speak to a not robot. Instead, I left my home phone number and hung out by the phone… until I got thirsty and dashed into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water. Yep, the phone rang twice before I grabbed it and remembered I forgot to temporarily reset the answering machine to pick up after 4 rings as opposed to two. Derp. I called back, skipped the tracking nonsense and this time, stayed on the line for the now longer 23-34 minutes noted. Amusingly, when I called this time, I was asked by the robot voice if my call referred “to the tracking number ending in…”. So, I guess the two-ring fumble thing is something that happens a lot.

(Thanks, emimusic!) 

By the way, unlike the music in this post, the hold tunes USPS uses are fabulously wretched. Okay, just wretched.


When I finally got a rep to rap with, she also checked the tracking number, told me it was refused and returned (uh, only if you go by your eyeballs) then listened to my tale of woe about me not only being home waiting for that box, but of getting other mail and packages with no problem. I figured I’d get some gentle nudging about firing up a case report then and there, which meant filing on the phone and getting put in the pile with the other missing mail cases. But nope. She surprised the hell out of me by gracefully offering to give me the phone number of the Department of Consumer Affairs, right here in NYC. Yay!

Wait, what?

About three minutes and fifty-four seconds later…

I’m indeed on the phone with Consumer Affairs and repeating myself. Tracking number, issue with the box refused twice, all that jazz. I wasn’t expecting much help, but the woman at the other end took down my info and noted she’d call me back with some info… but I’d probably want to speak to someone at USPS’ Postal Inspection office. Ahem, Darth? DARTH?! Dammit. He left. Ate the fish & chips I fried for my lunch too, the Sith bastard. Feh. Just go here and push the button, please.

“Okay, at least we’re getting somewhere!” one half of my brain says. The other half that was still working noted that it was close to noon and that’s when employees on the state and federal front take lunch. Which was a good idea until I realized my lunch was swiped very much like my PS4. I had a flatbread pizza instead that I threw together from stuff in the fridge. Braving my loss of sanity one final time, I dialed and was greeted with an OFFICIAL SOUNDING VOICE that made me feel secure, or at least the ear hearing that OFFICIAL SOUNDING VOICE was feeling more secure. Say, did you know that the Postal Inspection division uses the SAME wretched music the USPS service line does? Well, now you do.

(Thanks, Hasbro Studios Shorts!) 

Long story short, the inspector was great at inspecting my problem and seeing that the box being refused at that location that was NOT my local post office was a bad thing. As in yep, someone very likely got my PS4 who didn’t pay for it, committing a federal crime in the process. Wonderful. So, I now have an official case number and the location my box went missing from has my phone number and is supposed to follow up with a call somewhere between 48 to 72 hours about who knows what (as I just want to hear they caught the guy and he’s out of work and in a cell somewhere). I have no idea how long this bit of investigative mayhem will take, so I’m going to go apply for a refund and sit back with a bowl of popcorn.

Or not, actually. I do have a ton of PC and other reviews to catch up on, as this insanity has been bad for my overall focus (well as bad as it would be for anyone else, I’d imagine). Between this noise and the whole PS3 gone missing in plain sight crap (still unresolved!), it’s been one of those weird-ass years for me on the tech front. Well, if this goes my way as it should (he said, crossing his fingers while typing before uncrossing them as it’s hard to type that way), I’m hoping that I can at least get some peace of mind that one larcenous dope with very sticky fingers gets taken off the street before more mail gets stolen. Crime, after all, isn’t supposed to be a legitimate profession with a great success rate, right? Ah-ha-ha-ha, yeah, I know, I know…

(Thanks, musicvideospart12!)


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