Getting packages at home - pay more for evening delivery?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by bryanska, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...

    > Fed-Ex (but not Fed-Ex Ground) allows this, if the merchant approves
    > (merchants are worried about thieves using stolen credit cards to ship
    > merchandise to will-call).
    >
    > I've done this on numerous occasions. Sometimes it's difficult to get
    > approval, i.e. on a Compaq laptop which was FedExed from the factory in
    > China.
    >
    > UPS cannot divert to will-call, they must attempt a delivery.


    In my experience, if you call UPS as the recipient, after the package
    has been shipped, but before it is out for delivery, they will hold it
    for will-call rather than attempting delivery, *if* you tell them that
    the shipping address is not deliverable. (Had that happen while I was
    moving offices, several items were shipped to my future address, where
    nobody would be there to receive them. Called tracking, got patched
    through to the local hub, and they held the packages for pickup at the
    UPS warehouse.)

    --
    [email protected] is Joshua Putnam
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/>
    Updated Bicycle Touring Books List:
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/bike/tourbooks.html>
     


  2. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...

    > If you live someplace where theft is unlikely, you can sign a form with both
    > FedEx and UPS that allow the driver to simply leave the package without a
    > signature.


    Unless the shipper thinks they're getting extra safety by selecting one
    of the options that doesn't allow signature waiver.

    Just had that happen recently with a premium check from a client's
    mortgage company. If they'd simply sent it FedEx, I would have found
    the envelope inside my door, the driver could have just slipped it
    through the office mail slot. Instead, I found a door tag when I
    stepped out of the restroom, and her homeowner's insurance was out of
    force a day longer than it needed to be.

    --
    [email protected] is Joshua Putnam
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/>
    Updated Infrared Photography Gallery:
    <http://www.phred.org/~josh/photo/ir.html>
     
  3. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    bryanska wrote:
    ::: If you live someplace where theft is unlikely, you can sign a form
    ::: with both FedEx and UPS that allow the driver to simply leave the
    ::: package without a signature. I've done this for the last 15 years
    ::: or so and have never, ever had a problem, and we get lots and lots
    ::: of packages in the mail (two avid cyclist, and one motorcyclist in
    ::: the household ;>)
    ::
    :: Where do you live? Aren't you afraid of someone noticing? I'd wait
    :: for a nice Dell or Gateway box (or maybe some late December
    :: packages, when it's dark outside) and drive up in a plain van. Hop
    :: out, cherry-pick, and a neighborhood unused to the speed of a thief
    :: is none the wiser! Hell, everyone's at work, who would see?

    Some things can be shipped "for signature only" meaning if won't be left on
    your door. You generally won't be getting big box /big money items that
    often. I get lots of stuff left on my front porch. I had a great big box
    left on my back deck once. Yeah, while people could do what you suggest, it
    doesn't happen that often.
     
  4. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    >Yeah, while people could do what you suggest, it
    >doesn't happen that often.


    Just needs to happen once (wink)
     
  5. gds

    gds Guest

    bryanska wrote:
    > >If you are not available to receive the packages how is that their
    > >problem ?

    >
    > I guess I'm saying there is an incredible opportunity for these
    > companies to exponentially increase satisfaction.
    >
    > Imagine if packages were delivered when you were home, and available to
    > receive them. Wouldn't that be fantastic?
    >
    > >The fact is that the systems works for the vast amount of
    > >folks.

    >
    > I agree the system works, but so did open-incision gallbladder removal
    > that required weeks of rest. When laparoscopic "keyhole" surgery meant
    > you could go home the same day and be back at work in days, the system
    > worked for many more folks.
    >
    > Next time you are waiting at the customer service counter, or risking
    > the theft of a $700 bike package by leaving it on your doorstop, think
    > of that dramatic paradigm shift and the difference it could make.


    The probelm is that satisfaction wouldn't increase exponentially. Your
    problem, and it is a real problem, is the minority situation. So what
    you are proposing will more likely incrase costs far faster than
    satisfaction and the result overall would be negative not positive in
    terms of overall effciency, cost and thus satisfaction. You are
    basically arguing that you knw more about the package delivery industry
    than everyone in it. If that is so there is a fortune waiting out ther
    for you.

    Your comparison with a surgical procedure is interesting. While we all
    applaud the advance in bio medical research it can also be argued that
    the advances have come with a price tag so high that increasing numbers
    of folks are unable to take advantage of the potential good they
    provide. The health care sytem has become so expensive (and exellent in
    potential) that for folks at the top of the economic ladder- that is
    folks with money and good insurance are able to take advantage of
    wonderfull health care. But folks with less money and poor no health
    insurance are frozen out of the market and really do not reap the
    benefits that scientific progregress offers.

    So, perhaps the comparison is apt. you'd drive the price of delivery up
    and fewer folks could afford to send or receive packages. The service
    would be great- for the folks who could affford it. Everyon else would
    have reduced access to the delivery system.
     
  6. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    >Your problem, and it is a real problem, is the minority situation.

    I beg to differ. I believe research, if conducted, would back me up.
     
  7. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    >So, perhaps the comparison is apt. you'd drive the price of delivery up
    >and fewer folks could afford to send or receive packages.


    Let me use some different examples.

    1) The Minneapolis library allows you to order books from other
    libraries and reserve them for pickup online. Costs have gone up, but I
    can access millions of texts across the metro and have them delievered
    right to my little local library. My family has access to almost any
    book now and our library use is WAY up. More users = more funding for
    the libraries, through need-based grants and private donations. All
    from a customer service intiative.

    2) T-Mobile allows you to purchase phones at new-customer cost if
    you've been with the comapny 11 months. They also often provide unlock
    codes. Cingular does neither. Both customer-centric services
    undoubtedly cost T-Mobile, but they are the highest-rated wireless
    company. They are also the fastest-growing, all on a foundation of
    outstanding service. Cingular is bleeding customers.

    3) General Motors saw increased sales and satisfaction with their
    24-hour test drive program. Subaru then launched its own. Very
    expensive propositions, no doubt. If GM is a market loser, Subaru
    certainly is not. Both realize the value of convenience.

    4) Convenience issues are a clear business indicator that an industry
    is immature. Further development is possible. From the Harvard Business
    Bulletin:

    In "Patterns in the Evolution of Product Competition," his study of
    four industries - hydraulic excavators, disk drives, diabetes care, and
    executive education - Christensen found that when new product
    innovations go beyond what people really want or need, customers will
    follow a predictable pattern of changing the criteria by which they
    make their choices of which products and services to buy. "Once the
    technology has overshot the market, consumers look to reliability,"
    says Christensen. "When several products are equally reliable, they
    look for convenience. And when convenience is no longer an issue, they
    base their choice on price."
     
  8. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    bryanska wrote:
    ::: Yeah, while people could do what you suggest, it
    ::: doesn't happen that often.
    ::
    :: Just needs to happen once (wink)

    Hasn't happened yet and I get lots of packages (wink). Life is short, you
    can choose to hassle or not. if something is really expensive, take more
    caution. If not, relax a bit.
     
  9. gds

    gds Guest

    bryanska wrote:
    > >So, perhaps the comparison is apt. you'd drive the price of delivery up
    > >and fewer folks could afford to send or receive packages.

    >
    > Let me use some different examples.
    >
    > 1) The Minneapolis library allows you to order books from other
    > libraries and reserve them for pickup online. Costs have gone up, but I
    > can access millions of texts across the metro and have them delievered
    > right to my little local library. My family has access to almost any
    > book now and our library use is WAY up. More users = more funding for
    > the libraries, through need-based grants and private donations. All
    > from a customer service intiative.
    >
    > 2) T-Mobile allows you to purchase phones at new-customer cost if
    > you've been with the comapny 11 months. They also often provide unlock
    > codes. Cingular does neither. Both customer-centric services
    > undoubtedly cost T-Mobile, but they are the highest-rated wireless
    > company. They are also the fastest-growing, all on a foundation of
    > outstanding service. Cingular is bleeding customers.
    >
    > 3) General Motors saw increased sales and satisfaction with their
    > 24-hour test drive program. Subaru then launched its own. Very
    > expensive propositions, no doubt. If GM is a market loser, Subaru
    > certainly is not. Both realize the value of convenience.
    >
    > 4) Convenience issues are a clear business indicator that an industry
    > is immature. Further development is possible. From the Harvard Business
    > Bulletin:
    >
    > In "Patterns in the Evolution of Product Competition," his study of
    > four industries - hydraulic excavators, disk drives, diabetes care, and
    > executive education - Christensen found that when new product
    > innovations go beyond what people really want or need, customers will
    > follow a predictable pattern of changing the criteria by which they
    > make their choices of which products and services to buy. "Once the
    > technology has overshot the market, consumers look to reliability,"
    > says Christensen. "When several products are equally reliable, they
    > look for convenience. And when convenience is no longer an issue, they
    > base their choice on price."


    No argument with any of your references.
    And of course if something is the same price, same quality, and MORE
    convenient it will have a competitive advantage. That is why I'm
    suggesting that the convenience issue isn't such a big deal- in the
    sense that most users feel the service is quite convenient.

    Remember also that UPS, FedEx, DHL etc. are paid for by the shipper not
    by the receiver (yes, you are paying in sense of reimbursing the
    shipper but you are not the carrier's customer). And from the shippers
    point of view the carriers have invested a lot into increased
    convenience. If you are a business you can set up an account and the
    carrier will come to your office each day to pick up you outgoing
    shipments. If you are a retail shipper they have devloped a large
    network of place that will conveniently recieve your packages for
    shipping. All the old Mailbox stores, many copy centers, and office
    supply stores now effectively serve as shipping centers for one or more
    of the major carriers.
    The carriers have also invested heavily in systems for easy package
    tracking and so on. That's another convenience feature.
    So, I'm not arguing that convenience isn't important. I'm simply
    arguing that what you are defining as inconvenient to you isn't as big
    an issue to others. As others have posted they have found lots of was
    to make the system work without much hassle. You reject most of the
    solutions that appear workable to others. That's OK, but recognize that
    you seem to be in the minority position.
     
  10. gds

    gds Guest

    bryanska wrote:

    >
    > Just needs to happen once (wink)


    Lot's of bad things just need to happen once. The issue is the
    probability of it happening times the cost of the badd event vs. the
    inconvenience you are feeling. That calculation will be different for
    diffeerent folks both from a risk tolerance point of view and because
    of differences in actual risk.
    For example I live in an area where it is impossible to see my front
    door from the street or my driveway. So a casual,passing thief would
    have to drive in, park and walk to the front door. Not likely!

    But, of course, that isn't the case for every one. And for high value
    items I stil prefer to have them go to my office. That reflects my
    personal rissk tolerance.
     
  11. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    > You reject most of the
    > solutions that appear workable to others. That's OK, but recognize that
    > you seem to be in the minority position.


    Of the others, they must not work 9-5 jobs, or maybe they have
    permissive workplaces. At my office, in a building with 3,000
    employees, we cannot receive packages here, or be home to receive them.
    I imagine most major corporations with large metro offices have
    similiar policies.

    Anecdotal evidence suggests many working parents and late workers can't
    make the evening customer counter that closes at 7.

    I must dismiss the idea of leaving a $700 package unsecured. That's
    irresponsible and more open to theft than having a $700 debit card with
    no PIN and no theft insurance. (At least your wallet is on your person,
    and thus supervised.)

    So I am curious - which of these workarounds work for you?

    In sum, according to all the folks to which I've related my tale, I am
    certainly in the majority position. In fact, among the 8 folks at lunch
    today, there is no minority position to speak of. I am not the dominant
    personality of my group and hope I haven't influenced them.

    Again, I believe research into my "solution" would reveal a preference
    for it, even at a $15 premium. My other "solution", depot-pickup-only
    at a discount, may also have critical mass.
     
  12. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    >All the old Mailbox stores, many copy centers, and office
    >supply stores now effectively serve as shipping centers for one or >more of the major carriers.


    We agree - shippers have more customer service for the shipper than the
    residential receiver. Whoever breaks the mold will reap the benefits.

    By the way, in the FedEx Ground office (where the receptionist was
    holding several packages for people in my position) hung a mission
    statement mentioning FedEx Ground will strive to become the premier
    business and residential delivery service. With receptionists holding
    packages and answering phone calls.

    >The carriers have also invested heavily in systems for easy >package tracking and so on. That's another convenience feature.


    That's more of an investment for efficiency. Customer tracking is a
    beneficial bonus, though a good one. I work in data management - their
    tracking software is just beefed-up inventory software with a portal
    stuck to it.
     
  13. bryanska

    bryanska Guest

    >if something is really expensive, take more caution. If not, relax a bit.

    I hear ya. Little stuff is OK, but a bike... well, that's why I hang
    out here :)
     
  14. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    bryanska wrote:
    ::: if something is really expensive, take more caution. If not, relax
    ::: a bit.
    ::
    :: I hear ya. Little stuff is OK, but a bike... well, that's why I hang
    :: out here :)

    Yes, I'd be more concerned about a bike being delivered while I'm not home.
    Much more so.
     
  15. Cat Dailey

    Cat Dailey Guest

    "bryanska" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >> If you live someplace where theft is unlikely, you can sign a form with
    >> both
    >> FedEx and UPS that allow the driver to simply leave the package without a
    >> signature. I've done this for the last 15 years or so and have never,
    >> ever
    >> had a problem, and we get lots and lots of packages in the mail (two avid
    >> cyclist, and one motorcyclist in the household ;>)

    >
    > Where do you live? Aren't you afraid of someone noticing? I'd wait for
    > a nice Dell or Gateway box (or maybe some late December packages, when
    > it's dark outside) and drive up in a plain van. Hop out, cherry-pick,
    > and a neighborhood unused to the speed of a thief is none the wiser!
    > Hell, everyone's at work, who would see?
    >


    Nope. Every place I've lived here in suburban Philadelphia, I've had
    packages left at my door (and some VERY nice stuff, too) and never had one
    gone missing. Bike parts, computer stuff, clothes, motorcycle stuff, etc.
    Big boxes, little boxes, bags, etc.

    Cat
     
  16. gds

    gds Guest

    bryanska wrote:

    <sniP>

    > So I am curious - which of these workarounds work for you?


    High value items get delivered to my office. Lower value get delivered
    to my house "no sig required"

    I have never had a problem either way. I'm 60 so I've been getting
    packages for quite a while now.

    BTW, now I am a business owner so there is no problem with office
    delivery but I allow all of my staff the same convenience. I have had
    stuff delivered to me with no employer issues while in the military, as
    a student, as a univeristy faculty member, and while working in
    corporate America. Sad yor employer is so restrictive.


    >
    > In sum, according to all the folks to which I've related my tale, I am
    > certainly in the majority position. In fact, among the 8 folks at lunch
    > today, there is no minority position to speak of. I am not the dominant
    > personality of my group and hope I haven't influenced them.


    But I imagine that is not a representative sample but that the lunch
    bunch all work for the same employer.

    >
    > Again, I believe research into my "solution" would reveal a preference
    > for it, even at a $15 premium. My other "solution", depot-pickup-only
    > at a discount, may also have critical mass.


    All kidding aside. Go for it! This is how fortunes are made. Just
    griping and hoping someone else does it won't get you much. If you are
    correct and this is a large underserved market you should be able to
    raise capital to do so. I've ben involved as an investing "Angel" and
    in venture capital situations. There is a lot of money looking for good
    idea to invest in. Actually ususally there is a lot more money than
    there are good ideas.
     
  17. bryanska wrote:
    > All the technology in the world still hasn't enabled Fed Ex to deliver
    > to my house after 5 PM.


    Unless I missed it in this thread ....

    Last job: Director, Planning & Logistics, responsible for 2 million
    packages a year, shipped solely via FedEx.

    http://www.fedex.com/us/services/options/homedelivery/appointment.html?link=4

    In my experience--which included peak day volumes that were in excess
    of 50 times our non-peak volumes, and required months of advance
    coordination with FedEx, as we filled the equivalent of seven of their
    aircraft on a given peak night--these guys are uniformly excellent as a
    common carrier.

    Use FHD (Home Delivery)--it's the 'residential arm' of FHG (Ground) and
    designed to do just what you're talking about.

    Enjoy your bike!
     
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