At end of December I ordered some items from an online retailer. The package was going to be sent via Canada Post and by their estimation, it would get to me around the first week of January.

One day, a weekday, in the first week of January, I got a notification via e-mail from Canada Post that my package had been delivered and left in my mailroom. I read that e-mail about 50 minutes after it had been delivered. I went downstairs right away because package thieves are known to be working in my building.

As I was going downstairs in the elevator, I actually it was weird that they said my package had been left in the mailroom. Unlike Amazon delivery people, Canada Post rarely, if ever, place packages in my mailroom if the package doesn’t fit in the actual locked mailbox for each resident. They almost always leave a notice card and we’re supposed to pick up the package at a post office. At least from our building, theft from Canada Post should be way less frequent. I knew my package wasn’t going to into my tiny mailbox.

When I got downstairs, my package was nowhere to be seen. I looked several times around the mailroom but none of the packages there were mine. I went back upstairs and e-mail the online retailer and to their credit, they got back to almost immediately. They said they’d start an investigation on their end but told me to wait at least ten business days before contacting them again. As these items were less than $50 in value and not critical to my well-being, waiting ten business days was not a big deal to me.

On the twelfth business day I e-mail the retailer again to get an update. They immediately offered me either a refund or a new order shipped out again. As these items were non-essential, I briefly toyed with a refund but since a new order wouldn’t cost me any more money, I went with a re-order.

The new order shipped out the next day and it would take about a week or so to get to me. Such wonderful customer service from the retailer, who was so quick to respond and didn’t hesitate to give me options to make things right.

Two days later, I get a notification in my e-mail that a package was waiting for me at the local post office. This was unexpected because I have no other outstanding orders from anyone in flight, other than the one that was going to take several more days to get to me. What was this?

I clicked on the tracking link and it revealed that this was the original tracking notice from the beginning of the month! The latest set of status updates went from “delivered to mailroom” to “item available for pickup at post office”. What happened here? How does a supposedly “delivered” item get transported to a post office? I have no idea where my package was for the last three weeks or so. I went down to my mailbox and sure enough there was a notice card there so I could go get my package.

I immediately realized I had a problem here. My original package was now at the post office and the replacement was probably somewhere near Manitoba right now. I didn’t need a double-set of these items and frankly, it seemed kinda low if I just took both packages. I do, however, know that if I don’t pick up the package from the post office, it will just get sent back to the sender, without additional charges.

I came up with the idea that I’d just not pick up the package from the post office and the retailer would just get it back that way. I’d just wait for the new package to arrive and accept that one instead. Of course, I wanted to clear this with the retailer first. I e-mailed my solution to them and they agreed that would be acceptable.

I feel slightly bad for the retailer because in the grand scheme of things, they had to pay for shipping twice but they still get one set of the items back. I hope it won’t be too much hassle to re-stock them. I plan on writing a good review somewhere for them because their customer service was excellent.

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