Dick tells Consumerist that his recent Amazon order was more of a comedy of errors than the simple business transaction that it should have been. It wasn’t Amazon’s fault. Their delivery company Ontrac somehow managed to not deliver his package, then send it back to Amazon, then deliver both the replacement item that Amazon sent and the original package to Dick within an hour of each other. Something is terribly wrong here.
I ordered an item that cost more than $100 from Amazon. I received a notification saying it was shipped via Ontrac, a name I had never heard of before. They said their delivery date was 8/20/2010 (Friday). Because this item was important to me, I stayed home that day all day waiting for it, but they never showed up. I used their website to track the package, and it said, “Undeliverable – Gate code needed.” First of all, I live in a normal apartment. There is an intercom, which has a button next to each unit listed like this:
Unit A [Button]
Unit B [Button]
Unit C [Button]
How can anyone not figure out how to push a button to buzz an apartment? Not to mention, the entrance door does NOT have any keypads. How can anyone manage to think that a “gate code is needed” when there is no keypads installed? I called them right away and explained them that there was no gate code system here and that it was a regular apartment. I also explained them the location of the intercom and how to use it (duh). The operator told me that she was going to make sure the package was going to be delivered for sure by sending this note to the driver. Unfortunately, the next business day was Monday, so I had to wait for extra days. I’m good natured, understanding, and patient, so I did not complain or anything and told them it was fine.
Monday, 8/23/2010. I stayed home all day waiting for the package to arrive. I had things outside home I wanted to attend, but I didn’t. I literally stayed home all day for the package again. THEY NEVER SHOWED FOR THE SECOND TIME. I used their website to track the package, and there was another entry that said, “Undeliverable – Gate code needed.” I hope you can imagine the frustration I felt when I saw this. I could have scratched all my hair off my skull.
Naturally, I called Ontrac again. I did not want to be mean to the operator because I knew it was not her fault but the driver’s. So, I regained my composure and politely explained these ridiculous mistakes their delivery person had been making. The operator was understanding. At this point, I could not afford to waste another day waiting for the package, so I asked her if they could make sure to deliver the package “tomorrow morning” (morning of 8/24/2010). After all, Ontrac owed me that much. She promised me that the package was going to be delivered to me in the morning next day.
Tuesday, 8/24/2010, in the morning. I was waiting, waiting, and waiting. NOBODY SHOWED UP. At this point, I no longer could count on Ontrac, so I contacted Amazon to complain. Amazon, to their credit, replied back quickly saying they had made a replacement order overnight via UPS. They also said if the original package arrived, I shoud refuse it. I was finally feeling good and was spending time at my gym (my favorite time) around 6 PM. I received a call on my cell from an unfamiliar number. I answered the call, and it was someone who did not speak good English. It was an Ontrac driver telling me that there was a package for me and that he was right in front of the entrance. My first reaction inside was anger of course. They had screwed up my delivery and caused me such painful delay and yet even after promising to prioritize my delivery in the morning, they had the nerve to deliver it to me at the end of the day. This is such insult. But, I still spoke politely to the guy because I did not want to be rude.
When the guy tried to just leave the package unattended, I was this close to yelling at him, but I just had to tell him repeatedly that he was not to leave the $100 package unattended. I actually tried to explain that Amazon had made a replacement order, but the guy was not able to understand anything I was trying to explain. I don’t know if it was his English or his intelligence. I asked him questions, but all he could say was, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ll just leave the package here, OK?”
After I managed to refuse the package, I called Ontrac to speak to someone who could actually communicate. I explained to the operator that Amazon had placed a replacement order and that they should not deliver the package to me anymore. The operator asked me if I wanted the package to be returned to Amazon. I said yes. She promised me that the package was going to be sent back to Amazon.
Wednesday, 8/25/2010. I received my package. I was finally happy and felt my anger subside…. FOR AN HOUR. An hour later, my roommate comes knocking on my door and said, “Here. Another package for you. It just arrived.” I felt really lost for a moment, not knowing what just happened with two identical packages in my hands. I was finally able to realize what happened. I called Ontrac. VERY LONG WAIT. I tried Amazon. They were busy as well. I tried Ontrac again. VERY LONG WAIT. I had no choice but to wait. Oh, and, I was using up my cell phone minutes for all these times that I had to contact Ontrac. I finally got their operator and politely and nicely asked her, “Could you look at your note or record or whatever you call it and tell me what it says?” She said, “You mean, it needs to be returned to Amazon?” I said, “Yes. Now, could you tell me what actually happened instead?” She then tried to justify this screwup by telling me their policy and what not, the very favorite thing many customer support workers do.
This was when I finally ran out of my patient. I am not proud of it, but I truly had enough of Ontrac’s BS. I raised my voice at her and told her that I did not care about their policy. I also told her that they needed to fix regardless of whatever policy they had because they were the ones that kept screwing things up MULTIPLE TIMES. I told them that they needed to fix it without my having to do anything and that I was not willing to lift a finger to solve this anymore and that I had had enough. I demanded that they sent someone to come pick up one of the packages and that they would make sure it got back to Amazon without any responsibility on myself. So, yes, the pain was finally over.
This was the worst experience I had ever had with any delivery companies (well, maybe except when USPS took 1 month to deliver my package to a city next to mine, like 10 miles away. So, my friend got his b-day present a month late). Ontrac is truly the worst. It’s a company that can’t make a simple delivery. They can’t deliver a simple package when they are supposed to, but they manage to deliver it when they are NOT supposed to. I plan on refusing anything sent via Ontrac for the rest of my life. I am going to make sure anything I buy online is sent using other companies.
I am sorry that this became such a long email, but I hope this can warn other consumers about Ontrac. Thank you for reading this.
Ontrac drivers seem to have a very difficult time with apartment buildings and phantom gate codes.