The utter lameness of UPS
As most of you probably know, I'm a little strange by most standards. I only leave my house b/c I'm forced to make a living which requires me to. Other than that, I'd probably never leave other than to go to the bookstore. So I shop online for everything. When I say everything, I mean it pretty much literally. As such, I'm a huge partisan when it comes to the UPS/Fedex distinction, I'm a much bigger Fedex fan. However I shouldn't be. To be honest, UPS has proven a little more reliable over time. They've made fewer mistakes and have delivered early more than a few times. But the problem is their tracking, it sucks. Sucks isn't really the word for it. I'm looking for a much stronger verb here http://blah.winsmarts.com , if you're reading this, help me out with a verb (I promise I won't tell Paul or Tom or any of the other tattletales ;-) ). Anyway, how lame is this, seriously.
I am expecting a ton of stuff tomorrow. So I go to Fedex, see the progress and stop worrying about it b/c I know it'll be here. Then I go to UPS. All I see is Billing Information Received. So as luck would have it, some dude in the elevator today was talking about how lame UPS's tracking is and how he uses http://www.iship.com . So I figure, WTF. I go there, and low and behold, up to the minute tracking info. So I see my packages have been picked up and are scheduled to be here. At first I was pretty stoked Then I though, how lame is that. Some third party business partner of yours can provide better information about your service than you can. Now, I know I can't be the only one that finds this hard to believe b/c well, I learned about it from some dude in the elevator.
Admittedly, I'm very impatient. But as I thought about it, I had to think, doesn't anyone at UPS eat their own dogfood? Certainly some higher up in the company, or some programmer with an ounce of self respect, has to buy stuff online that needs tracked. And they have to have noticed that their site doesn't update very well. And then at some point, one of them had to be in an elevator with some dude who was bitching about their service and said "Screw it, I just use IShip b/c they have the up to date info.". And that person had to think to themselves "How unbelievably lame must this look to most of our customers. Sure, our service is great as far as delivering packages, but tracking is pretty important and this is just sucky."
I can almost hear the excuses now. "They pay for some premium access level." Or "We have a ton of legacy code and don't have the budget to update it". Whatever the hell it is, seriously, fix it. For God's sake, just screen scrape IShips site. Unless IShip is UPS's site or something, there's absolutely positively no excuse for something this lame. If you were running stuff over there, wouldn't this screw with your ego a little? It would mine.