How long is too long to wait for a package--is 45 days too long? I hope so because I could only suffer through 44 days in my most recent circle of hell. Here is the timeline:
April 10: Order package.
April 27: Email company to find out why package hasn't shipped.
April 29: Package is shipped (no reply from company). I receive a tracking number!
May 1: Tracking number declares package "Out for Delivery or Available." Package never arrives. Tracking number never updates. How would you feel if you were waiting for your wife and her flight status said "Out for Delivery or Available" 23 days after you arrived to the airport? I would feel worried. Gratefully, I had a present delivered and not a wife.
May 5: I send the exceedingly polite email: "I wrote earlier checking on my package. You sent a tracking number, which is helpful, but it seems from the tracking number that the package should have been delivered on May 1 (see below). Am I missing something?"
May 8: I receive the mostly-polite-and-ultimately-unhelpful response: "You are right, according to the delivery confirmation it looks like it should have been delivered on May 1st, but the post office has not updated the information which is strange. The best thing to do is to bring that delivery confirmation number (that's why we use those numbers) into your post office and ask them where your package is. Perhaps they had a hard time delivering it to your apartment so it's back at the post office, or some other reason that only the US Post Office can come up with. Let me know if you find it at the post office, and if not we can figure out something else"
Two follow-up points:
1) If it's so "strange," why don't you call the post office and fix this for me?
2) If by "figur[ing] out something else," you mean ignoring my emails for over ten days, well done!
May 11: I send this slightly-less-cordial email: "After physically going to the post office with the tracking number and twice calling the secret phone number they gave me, a post office woman just now assured me that the package was lost and they "don't compensate lost packages unless they're insured." I'm really disappointed because I ordered the package in early April as a present, and the guy's birthday is on Saturday. It seems insane that on May 13 it's still not here."
May 15: We celebrate my friend's birthday 35 days after I ordered the package without the package.
May 20: I send this no-longer-cordial-but-also-not-particularly-vindictive email: "It's been a week since I wrote you. See message below. Obviously, you never resent the package, but I still either need you to resend the package very, very, very late (the order was placed April 10) or refund the order."
May 24: I implore you, the loyal half-dozen readers of the Customer Service Circle of Hell, to never, no matter how thirsty you may be, order a dog collar bottle opener from Bark 4 Beer, also known as Bark4Beer L.L.C. They will take your money and not deliver you a package and send you to the post office to look for the imaginary package and not respond to any of your emails. If you are thirsty, do what I did last weekend at a hotel when I had no bottle opener or even a dog, and call the front desk to have them bring you a bottle opener. Failing that, purchase one for one dollar.
Also: happy 30th birthday to this guy.
June 7 (UPDATE!): Good news: "We have concluded our investigation into your case and have decided in your favor." You know you've had a truly excellent consumer experience when two months after your purchase an investigation is concluded.
Bad news: "If the seller's account has insufficient funds to complete the refund owed to you, please be assured that we will take appropriate action against the seller's account, which may include limitation of the seller's account privileges." Is there any doubt that this is the case?