Who Knew Ordering an iPad Would Expose the Seedy Underbelly of Shipping Contracts

April 03, 2010

I ordered an iPad on the first day from Apple to be shipping to my home address. Seemed simple enough.

Now it will be delivered to an address at a place I worked 6 years ago to a division I never worked at. Despite alerting both UPS and Apple to the error it will be delivered anyway, and I will likely never see it (ooh free iPad!).

I called Apple on Tuesday and told them it was the wrong address but they said it had been prepared for shipment and they couldn't do anything, but to contact UPS once it appeared in their system. Since Apple made sure no orders went out early the shipping information wasn't delivered to UPS until early this morning (Saturday). So I called UPS and told them the problem.

Sorry, they said, we can't alter the order until a delivery attempt is made due to our contract with Apple, so I should call Apple, which I did. Apple then said they couldn't alter anything that UPS had until made a delivery attempt. Meanwhile the package itself is sitting at the UPS facility nearby waiting to be put on a truck on Monday. Catch-22.

You would think in this modern 21st century networked computerized world that an error could be corrected before delivery. Sorry, no can do.

Apple at least said to call on Monday evening and if it was signed for, they would send me another one after 3 days (assuming they have one). So at least I won't be out the $500 dollars.

Being a programmer this kind of stupidity is especially galling. A hundred years ago I could have called someone on the phone (maybe) and had it intercepted, or even driven my horse and buggy to the shipper and picked it up myself. I told both UPS and Apple that I would be happy to drive to the UPS facility and pick it up.

My recent orders from Apple all went to me home address so where this one came from is a mystery.