WWYD: The Abandoned Package

In this installment of “What Would You Do?,” Shannon considers what her time is worth.

I ordered an ethernet cable from Newegg because my computer is 4.5 years old and refuses to connect to the Internet unless I am directly next to the modem (which is in the living room). The cost of this was $14 total, including shipping.

It was apparently shipped by a company called Purolator (a Quebec thing? I don’t know), and I was out when it arrived, so it went to the shipping warehouse, which is roughly 60 minutes away from campus via public transit (or 40 minutes from my apartment, but this close to exams and I was studying, and campus = apartment for intents and purposes).

My WWYD is: Do I decide that it’s worth my time to travel two hours roundtrip to pick up the cable? Or do I abandon it?

I decided that my time was worth more. I can pick up a cable at Staples for about $20, but I could pick it up downtown, which would take maybe 20 minutes, including standing in line at the cash register and everything.

Of course, it feels incredibly wasteful to just order something and then leave it for dead, and I’ll definitely check the delivery method twice the next time I order something. I don’t mind a longish bus ride, even to fetch something monetarily insignificant, if I have the time, and a good audiobook.

The shipment ended up going back to the manufacturer/warehouse/wherever it came from, and I was refunded fully, including the cost of shipping. This makes me feel slightly guilty, but not too guilty.

Here’s what I would have done: Like, Shannon, I value my time a lot, so I would have called the warehouse to see if they could have the package redelivered, and asked if the delivery person could leave the package at my door if I wasn’t home. If the warehouse told me that I had to pick up the package, well, I’d go pick up the package and make sure I had something substantial to read on the way there and back. Fourteen dollars isn’t a substantial sum, but I’d rather have it than cross my fingers and hope that the money will be refunded to me. Plus, I would have calculated the cost of having to buy another cable ($20 + the $14 cable I abandoned), and would have been bothered by the idea of spending $34 on an ethernet cable.


Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. Photo: MC4 Army



18 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

I call them and yell at them and tell them to deliver it again or I will eat their family. (They do)

Also I feel like they would save so much gas if they either a)only did residential addresses in the evening, or b)called to set up a time to drop off so you are actually there.

I probably would have left it. 2 Christmases ago, I ordered a $40 video game offline. For that for reasons I can’t remember right now, it just could NOT get to me from the post office after multiple tries, and I just gave up. I was never refunded. I wonder where it is now…

blair (#1,962)

SHANNON. This reminds me of the time that I stopped by the UPS depot in Chicago to pick up a package, which I wouldn’t have done ordinarily but 1. I had a car 2. I was going “out” “dancing” that night anyway and 3. the package in question was a voice recorder that was expensive and I needed to produce my amateur podcast THAT WEEKEND

Well, after three hours of waiting in the Grimmest Place On Earth while dressed in “club wear” (meaning a short dress and higher heels than a giantess like me has any right to own), I finally got the package. It was not the recorder I needed. It was a battered Stoli vodka box with an Easter basket in it from my mom.

Moral of the story: Either go clubbing, or go to the UPS depot, but never both at the same time. Actually, neither. Ever.

probs (#296)

@blair “clubbing at the UPS depot” can be a modern update to Dante’s Inferno.

shan@twitter (#2,836)

@blair I read that as “It was a bottle of vodka” at first. Vodka would be a positive twist ending.

aetataureate (#1,310)

@blair The giantesser you are, the shorter the skirt/higher the heels, always. I just bought a truly ridiculous minidress made for an average-height lady. OOPS, not sorry.

probs (#296)

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of transit going to the warehouse. If it costs you 4 bucks round trip, then you’re only saving ten bucks. If I had finals going on, I’d do like Shannon, instead of paying myself five dollars an hour in ethernet cable.

airgonaut (#2,470)

Probably I would have bought the cable from monoprice for like $3.50 including shipping and it would have been delivered by the postal service like a normal piece of mail. Newegg is great for a lot of things, but monoprice is unbeatable for any kind of cable.

Worker Parasite (#2,292)

In this situation? No question, have it sent back for a refund. But I probably wouldn’t have ordered it for delivery for a $6 savings. If I can physically pick it up myself without too much hassle it’d take more than $6 savings to deal with a courier/shipping across borders/possible return headaches.

BTW – I’m on the other side of Canada and my last Newegg package was also sent Purolator. Thankfully my wife was home to accept the package when it arrived.

EM (#1,012)

You should be able to ask them to redeliver it to a location nearer to your house! Anywhere that does shipping and receiving should be able to receive it; I know in downtown Vancouver there are two places that hold Purolator packages that are within easy walking distance.

Megano! (#124)

@Michelle If there’s duties on it though they sometimes won’t do that, and you have to go to the depot, which is ALWAYS in the middle of nowhere. Always.

I ran into a similar situation this week when Canada Post delivered my package to the wrong city and refused to send it to the right one. Luckily I had a friend there who could pick it up for me, because I was definitely going to drive the 8 hour round trip to get it. The package was worth $200 though so I figured it was worth it.

lavendergooms (#1,978)

I did something similar a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a pair of headphones from Amazon and somehow chose to have them shipped to my previous address instead of my current one. UPS will not leave packages at my previous address and I never got around to calling to have the package held at UPS (my friend still lives at my old address and gave me the slip), so eventually the headphones just returned to Amazon and I was refunded the money. Oops.

Fig. 1 (#632)

Fortunately I can have packages delivered to work, where I can sign and pay duties. This works well for the rest of my family, since many places will not ship to a box number (what you have when you live in a rural area in my province).

Purolator is a Canadian thing, and they are much better, at least out here, than UPS or DHL.

What I would have done (if I couldn’t get it shipped to work): most likely sucked it up and bought one from a physical store, one that was on the way to the grocery store so I could trip-chain and save gas/transit fare/time. While it’d be more expensive, not having to worry about when the delivery van would show up is worth it.

Maladydee (#909)

In the middle of exams? Leave it, definitely. In that case, the time is more valuable than the $14.
If it was a quiet week and I had a bunch of spare time? Then I would go pick it up, and bring a good book on the bus.
Looks like the more time I have, the more willing I am to waste it.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

I would have done like you, Mike Dang. But, if email had been an option for contacting the warehouse instead of by phone, I would have done that because I value not having to be on the phone with customer service.

PurolatorHelp (#2,843)

Hi Shannon,

If you missed a delivery attempt and picking up at the local depot is a problem, we have a few options for you. The simplest would be to request a second delivery attempt for the following business day. If you can’t be there from 8AM to 5PM, you can authorize the driver to leave the package at your door (see form: http://www.purolator.com/assets/pdf/forms/SNR_single.pdf). Another option would be to have the package redirected to another address in the service area where someone will be available to receive it for you (e.g. work or family member’s house). Alternatively, we can verify if there’s an Authorized Retail Agent our Shipping Center closer to your home, work or school which might be easier for you to access.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Social Media Coordinator / Customer Care Team

Purolator Inc.
E-mail: customer.care@purolator.com

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Whiteflash93 (#2,276)

I love that the carrier company left a comment. Basically, they’re saying it wouldn’t have been hard to get the package if you had any common sense or courtesy. Some people have neither.

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