Ontrac Delivery Staff Unsure How To Operate Intercoms, Actually Deliver Packages

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.

He writes:

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.

PREVIOUSLY:
Customer Says OnTrac Is Ruining His Amazon Prime Membership

Comments

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  1. 108socks says:

    Breathe.

  2. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    OnTrac, the sub-DHL of package delivery.

    Out of five packages I’ve had “delivered” by OnTrac, they have screwed up every single one. By comparison, out of about fifty packages I’ve had “delivered” by DHL, they had managed to screw up about half of them, including all of the most time-crucial ones.

    I don’t know who these OnTrac people are, but they’re doing all they can to at least fail quickly, so there is some mercy in all this.

    • DarkPsion says:

      I was just going to say I was glad to see DHL drivers got new jobs.

      They could never get my 2-day delivery to me in 2 days, I think their record worst was 9 days.

  3. FrugalFreak says:

    Must be in Ontrac’s policy not to deliver anywhere the is intercom or gate. They drivers want immediate drop offs and don’t want to have to wait for people to come down. That is what it seems like to me.

    • Pax says:

      I just had an experience like that with FedEx.

      First, background: I live in an apartment building, and yes, we have a door with a keypad, into which you must enter a 3-digit code … that rings the resident’s phone, so they can dial “9″ to let you in to the building.

      Oh, and the box has an LCD screen, which displays a publicly-accessible directory, so you can look up the code needed based on the last name of the person you’re looking for. My door-code is listed in that directory, for anyone who bothers to look.

      So. I’ve got a $50 (S&H included) shipment coming, a very SMALL item (camcorder battery), via FedEx 2nd Day delivery. Monday, August 22nd, the driver comes by, and … leaves a door-tag on the outside of the building. I have no idea why he couldn’t look the code up – the UPS drivers are under the same time pressure, and THEY always look it up!

      But, okay, I call FedEx, and with the door-tag number (I didn’t have a tracking code), have a note attached for the next day’s delivery, telling them my door code.

      Tuesday rolls around … and keeps rolling. No delivery, and not even a door tag this time. WTH? So, I head out to their distribution center in Wilmington, Massachusetts – half an hour away, EACH way. And there, to my horror, I discover … the package was delivered to someone else. In the wrong CITY. At an address that bears zero relation to mine whatsoever, except that it’s in the right State and County.

      Somehow, it had gotten placed on a truck that didn’t even deliver in my city. And then mixed with a multi-package delivery for a business. */facepalm*

      Now, to their credit, the guy behind the counter was very polite, and immediately accepted (without prompting) that the problem was entirely FedEx’s fault, and that fixing it was entirely FedEx’s responsibility. He promised they would get the package to me the next day – even if they had to send someone out for ONLY that single purpose. And, the package _was_ finally delivered to me, just after noon on the newly-promised day.

      So, while their driver, and at least one person in their shipping area, were goofs – the CSR in Wilmington did an excellent job, was friendly and polite, and clearly did everything he could think of to fix the problem as soon as possible. Even gave me a direct phone# to call them, that bypasses FedEx’s 1-800 number entirely, in case there was a problem.

      … so that means, I guess, that in this case it was “driver=fail, loader=fail, but CSR=WIN”.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        This happens from time to time with FedEx. They are usually pretty good about fixing it. UPS is generally not as good about fixing, but better about delivering.

        • Pax says:

          At least it wasn’t as bad as my first, last, and ONLY experience with DHL. I sat on my front stoop (there wasn’t even a buzzer/intercom, there) and waited for them all day – only to see the truck whoosh by without even slowing down.

          Operator at their offices then tells me the driver attempted delivery, and couldn’t get in the building.

          I hope (but doubt) he got FIRED when my response was “Impossible, as I spent the whole day sitting in the July sun, without shade, waiting for the delivery – and then watched the truck drive by without stopping. If he’d tried to get to the door, he’d’ve TRIPPED over me on the way.”

          My experience with UPS has always been problem-free, and the CSR at FedEx handled things so well that I’m very inclined to forgive-and-forget the relatively minor hitch in this most recent delivery.

  4. chucklesjh says:

    I’m just waiting for them to get something extremely time-critical like…an organ for transplant.

    “My (insert relation) is going to die because of you”.

    “I don’t know.”

  5. Pax says:

    Amazon switched to a new delivery service?

    F*ck. I liked it when they were with UPS. I will have to reconsider doing further business with Amazon, until they change back. :(

    • pop top says:

      Maybe it’s just certain parts of the country? I just got two deliveries from Amazon that came by regular mail.

      • Pax says:

        Yeah. I’ll have to pay close attention to the shipping methods offered. If it doesn’t SAY either UPS or USPS … I think I’m not going to make the purchase. Not until I hear they’re back with UPS, anyway.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Amazon uses either UPS or FedEx with me (I do have Amazon Prime), and I live in Houston.

    • Dover says:

      All of my Amazon packages come UPS.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      I just ordered textbooks from Amazon last week (using my free student prime shipping so thanks for telling me about that Consumerist!) and it came UPS. I wonder if it’s just certain types of items or a certain warehouse that uses OnTrac. I’ve never had any Amazon deliveries that weren’t UPS.

    • qwickone says:

      As far as I understand, it has to do with certain products. I ordered a TV through Amazon and they used OnTrack (and they effed it up, but not this badly). I have Prime and they still delivery everything else the usual way.

    • TheRealDeal says:

      Amazon delivered my TV through CEVA Logistics last December. It was called “White Glove” service and the drivers brought the TV into my home, tested it to make sure it worked and then helped me clean up the boxes (which I wanted to keep).

      It was a very painless process and I had absolutely no complaints.

      • NotEd says:

        That’s pretty common with larger TV delivery. It avoids having to send out a truck again to take back a broken one or needing to dispatch someone else to repair it, depending on the damage.

  6. HalOfBorg says:

    What this country needs is MORE people who don’t speak the language well, probably can’t read it either, can’t seem to figure out how to work a button and who would rather spend several trips and wasted discussion time SIMPLY to save waiting for someone to ‘come down’.

    • tbax929 says:

      Judging from the OP’s post, the OP’s English isn’t that great, either. I’m going to chalk it up to his being worked up over what happened, but it’s amusing to me when people criticize someone for their lack of language skills in a post riddled with grammatical errors.

  7. benson304 says:

    Is this the same story you posted back in November 2009?

    http://consumerist.com/2009/11/customer-says-ontrac-is-ruining-his-amazon-prime-membership.html

    It appears that Ontrac is the shipper that Amazon is using to fulfill Prime orders where they ship and deliver from your city.

    • pop top says:

      It’s interesting how Laura posted that link in the very last line of the article. It’s even in bright red text. I wonder if she meant for us to draw the same conclusion too? Hmm.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        What’s sad is, he had to go searching for it to post here, when it was right in front of him.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      So you pay extra for the amazon prime service (it has annual fee) and in return they use an even worse shipping method? How dumb can they get?

  8. HannahK says:

    Well part of the blame does lie with Amazon… they choose to use small shipping companies like this. I know they use A1 couriers in urban areas (people driving around the city in their personal vehicles attempting to deliver packages) and OnTrac sounds similar. They might be more efficient in theory, but there are forums filled with complaints about them, because the drivers are simply less professional and reliable.

  9. Alessar says:

    This story feels very familiar as I recently had a very similar experience but the company was Prestige shipping. I noted that the item had been shipped to the carrier on a Monday. On that Thursday evening I checked the tracking info through the Amazon website and noticed they listed a delivery attempt for Wednesday night at 7pm. My apartment’s buzzer interferes with my DSL and I was online chatting with friends at that time; there was no way I missed a delivery attempt! I emailed Amazon and their first response was unhelpful and restated the delivery attempt failed. Irked, I called and explained to the person I got that I was home and no way should they have missed me. They called on my behalf (since I had no direct contact info) and said it would be redelivered. Then the next day I got 2 text messages (I turned that option on through Amazon’s website) saying there was a problem with the address and there’d be a delay. I called back to Amazon and the rep I got said that the package was scheduled to be delivered on Monday and it would definitely happen. I was told they would overnight UPS a replacement if it wasn’t. (Note that this order was super saver shipping.) In the meantime the tracking info on the web got edited and I got 2 text messages saying it was out for delivery (1 for Saturday and 1 for Monday — yes, in advance of those days).

    Here’s where the story gets REALLY interesting. The other half of that order came USPS and arrived Saturday while I was at brunch. I took the delivery note to the apartment complex office. They routinely take major shipper packages for tenants, so I asked them if they would take a Prestige delivery on Monday. (I was planning to put a sign on the door of my building for when I was at work.) The staff member I asked said they would and in fact, HAD. She then told me she had received a package from Prestige for me on TUESDAY and pulled out the check-in log to prove it. She also said she’d specifically asked the driver if he left a “delivered to office” notice on my building and he told her he had. I emailed Amazon and let them know all about this. The package was eventually marked delivered and backdated to that Sunday, about a week later.

    So to summarize: The carrier delivered the package on Tuesday but didn’t leave a note or mark it in their system as delivered. At that point I am deducing they thought the package was lost and began to stall for time while looking for it. Every single piece of tracking info that was provided after that date, such as “Delivery attempted,” “Error in Address,” “Delay in delivery due to external factors,” and my favorites, “Package is loaded on delivery vehicle for delivery on…” seems to me an outright fabrication.

    To their credit, an Amazon rep called me and went over all these details and was going to submit an internal report on this incident. So I feel pretty good about Amazon. But here’s the catch. Whenever I do retail therapy shopping on Amazon, I get super saver shipping. But if there’s even a chance this company (or the one the article refers to) is going to be used, I’d rather go with “standard” USPS/UPS. And that’s going to make me think twice about impulse purchases.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      As an IT troubleshooter, I can only emphasize the importance of screenshots. I hope you got screenshots. They help so much.

      For instance, I’m dealing with a strange EBay seller who cancelled my order saying they were out of stock, and took down the listing. I was mildly annoyed, but they refunded my payment immediately, so no harm no foul. Then I noticed an hour later that they relisted the item. I reordered it, thinking they had made a mistake and that they actually did have stock. They cancelled my order again. But I have screenshots of all this.

    • Pax says:

      “My apartment’s buzzer interferes with my DSL [...]“

      Yours, too?

      In our building, the door-access system taps in to the phone line (it has a different ring, and we dial “9″ to unlock the door) – and we lose the internet for a minute or two.

  10. Dalsnsetters says:

    If it were me, I would have gotten upset a little earlier. Like a coupla days earlier. I think the OP should send his complaint in writing to amazon.com so they can be informed and perhaps find some other delivery service that works.

    Also, his friend lives “like 10 miles away” and he ships a birthday present instead of delivering it in person? (I’m trying to beat the “blame the OP” posters this morning…..)

    • Marshmelly says:

      Eh…sometimes you just don’t get around to seeing someone because of scheduling conflicts and all. I have friends I haven’t seen in months even though they live very close by, just because we can’t find a time to get together. He could have just not been able to see him around his birthday, but wanted to make sure he still got a present on that day (which unfortunately didn’t happen lol)

    • j_rose says:

      If you’re buying it online, and you have to pay for shipping anyway, why not? Maybe the friend wasn’t having a party :)

  11. fairandbalanced says:

    Next time use USPS. They are the cheapest and deliver the fastest.
    The best part is if you have to pick up the package the post office is always close by.

    • pop top says:

      It’s not your choice as to who Amazon uses to ship you your orders.

    • LastError says:

      There is no best part if you work a 9-5 or 9-6 sort of job.

      How are you supposed to go to the USPS if you are at work? How are you supposed to make allowance to stand in line for an hour?

      The USPS’s operating hours are not compatible with anyone who wants to keep their job.

      It’s worse for people who don’t happen to work near their home post office.

    • tbax929 says:

      I don’t ever get to choose the shipper when I order from Amazon, and I have a prime membership. Most things come UPS. Once in a while something will come via FedEx. I’ve had OnTrac deliver a couple of things as well.

  12. GMFish says:

    it was someone who did not speak good English

    Irony so strong… it’s killing me… must resist… can’t resist….

  13. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So, he made OnTrac return one of the packages? Why didn’t he just keep both. Consider it payment for your frustrations. And most likely on OnTrac’s dime.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      Um, wow…because the first one belongs to Amazon, since he agreed that it would be returned?

  14. Minj says:

    “I stayed home all day waiting for the package to arrive”

    Time isn’t apparently an issue here…so go pick it up! It is nice to have packages delivered but going to pick them up at the distribution center isn’t that big of a deal and for most people, it’s relatively close.

    Oh, and I had to LOL at “This was when I finally ran out of my patient”.

  15. jimmyhl says:

    To the OP: a very frustrating experience indeed. Permit me to make a suggestion.

    Contact Amazon and Ontrac in writing with an (abridged) account of the delivery issues.

    1. Remind them that you did everything you were asked to do to get the package into your hands every time you were asked and that Ontrac still managed to mishandle a simple delivery.

    2. Commend Amazon for their quick thinking in shipping a replacement via UPS, but take care to remind them that doing so was necessary only because the first shipper that Amazon chose was not equal to the job.

    3. Remind them that your time and personal mobility have value to you.

    4. In loving but firm words, remind them that ‘free delivery’ doesn’t mean incompetence and botched communication and that Ontrac’s performance was riddled with plenty of both.

    5. While you’re at it, demonstrate your financial savvy by reminding them that the cost of ‘free delivery’ actually finds its way into the purchase price you paid.

    6. Transition this thought into the assertion that a five day lag between the promised delivery date and the actual delivery date is no bargain even if it is ‘free.’

    7. Let Amazon know that Ontrac may not be the best choice of shippers and indeed this case shows how Ontrac turned a routine purchase into a serial mess.

    8. Tell Amazon that you love them. Tell them that you like being their customer and want to buy more stuff from them.

    9. Ask them for a substantial credit or a voucher.

    10.Go blissfully into the next phase of your life.

    • Dory says:

      Seriously?

      Wouldn’t voting with your dollar make infinitely more sense?

      • jimmyhl says:

        Of course it is. That’s one of the reasons I proposed my approach as a suggestion. My guess is that the OP already knows that she never needs to buy from Amazon again. On the other hand, she may like what Amazon has to offer and this recent incident may have been her first and only negative experience in an otherwise positive business relationship. If so, why trash it without giving Amazon a chance to keep the OP’s business? I agree with you that some consumer snafus are so obviously unsatisfactory and unacceptable (deception, incivility, refusal to communicate, etc.) that withdrawing your business permanently is the only sensible resort. In this case, I think you would agree that Amazon’s performance has not been of that magnitude. Amazon’s only misstep has been in using a subpar delivery service and they may welcome the OP’s feedback on that score and actually re-consider their relationship with Ontrac. Or they might blow the OP off like a strong wind. Obviously that would be her cue to kiss Amazon off for good. IMO, it’s worth a stamp to find out. Peace.

  16. lucifa says:

    I think this is an international problem, with Amazon choosing the cheapest delivery company – not actually one who can deliver. I have had the exact same problem with the Home Delivery Network here in the UK trying to get Amazon parcels, it’s got to the point that I am seriously considering dropping Amazon and ordering my Uni books in the local store and paying 3x as much for them.

  17. tweeder82o says:

    either complain about unemployment or deal with it when idiots are hired to do grunt work like jobs

  18. GolferTrav says:

    I had to ‘fire’ OnTrac (California Overnight) earlier this year. I run a business out of my home and receive daily deliveries from my supplier that are often time sensitive and refrigerated. This is why it needs to be overnighted.

    First it started with my driver’s pick-up truck breaking down. Then his tailgate failed and he lost a package and paid to replace it out of his personal checking account (he told me it was better then getting in trouble). It was annoying enough that he was always delivering around 7pm, but I’m pretty rural and was last on his route.

    The last straw was when I had a VERY important order that was to be delivered on a Friday because I needed it for Saturday. Never came. They wouldn’t/couldn’t deliver it on Saturday and wouldn’t let me drive the 3 hours to the sorting center to pick it up. Only option was to have it delivered on Monday (at 7pm). I explained to OnTrac that the THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS of product (my cost) would be ruined by Monday and that I wanted to refuse shipment. They assured me it wouldn’t make it on the delivery truck. Called my supplier and has a replacement shipment on it’s way. Sure enough, Monday comes and he tries to leave the package without us noticing. Luckily, we catch it and refuse delivery and the supplier filed an insurance claim.

    Thankfully I didn’t miss out on the revenue, but did miss out on the time because I had to reschedule for the following week with my client. Now I use UPS. Ground comes next day for me from my supplier and is delivered by 3pm from an actual UPS brown truck.

  19. JonC says:

    Why does Amazon insist on using these unknown shippers that screw up so often? I can’t believe they’re actually saving money. I’ve never had a problem with UPS, Fedex, and USPS. Last year, they sent a book via A1, which they ended up returning because they said no one was available to sign for it. At a business address. In the middle of the work day.

    I’ve just ordered some more books from Amazon, and some are being delivered via Lasership. We’ll see if they can deliver on time, but I don’t have much hope due to what I’ve read about them in Amazon forums.

  20. Dutchess says:

    Jesus…all that for a missed package…people like to get worked up….Yawn….

    I stopped reading after 2 paragraphs.

  21. MickeyMoo says:

    These bozos left an $700 computer on my stoop with no signature or proof of delivery. I emailed their customer service to remark that this is perhaps not the best method of delivering expensive electronic items due to the massive fraud possibilities and the reply I got was basically: “Amazon doesn’t make us so we don’t.” Delivery time was impressive though – ordered at 1am, they trucked it from Reno to SF and I had it by 3 that afternoon.

  22. Nick says:

    Let me tell all of you a more telling tale of what hell OnTrac creates:

    As we speak, OnTrac has “lost” yet another package I ordered from Amazon. This is the third time I’ve ordered something that was shipped by OnTrac, only to have it never arrive. I’ve had no such problems with UPS or FedEx in my 3.5 years of Amazon Prime service. Two of the occasions involved a delivery driver who was too lazy to finish his/her route so the package was marked “delivered” when it never was. When I called to complain, OnTrac, of course, blamed me for the error (“the package must have been stolen from your house” “maybe you simply can’t find the package when it’s dark out” “maybe your family is hiding the package from you”). Then when I threaten to call the cops on the driver — praise god a miracle!!! — the driver discovers that it was all a big mixup and that he/she simply “forgot” to deliver the package after it was marked delivered.

    This time, I ordered a very small item via 2-day Amazon Prime, and it’s now been four days without any indication of where the item is. (Bonus: I live in the same city as the warehouse from which it shipped, so all they needed to do is drive it 6 miles down the road.) I’m pretty sure my package is between or under the seats of the driver’s car.

    I would like nothing more than to have Amazon let me opt-out of using OnTrac.

  23. Anakela says:

    Similar experience, with an Amazon Prime delivery that was being sent via A-1 Courier Services (NYC) in my case.

    Preface: package was being delivered to an office building with 24 hour security, so packages can be (and are) left at literally any time of day or night.

    Received an email on Monday morning saying that package was “delivery attempted” on prior Saturday. Called A-1 Courier Services to see why package wasn’t left on Saturday, only to be told that they don’t *actually* attempt to deliver packages to any office buildings on the weekend, they just mark them “delivery attempted” and actually attempt to deliver them on Monday. But, the package was out with the courier at that moment, and would be delivered sometime that day (Monday.)

    Monday late afternoon, still no package. Package’s status has been “out for delivery” since 7:19am, we’re now at 6:30pm. Called A-1 Courier Services, only to be told that the courier had LOST the package at some point during the day. (Perhaps A-1 Courier Services was planning on contacting *me* at some point to let me know this? I don’t know.) Was told that I, as the recipient, needed to call Amazon and report package lost, and Amazon would send me a new one.

    Called Amazon, the Amazon rep said that actually they needed to hear from A-1 Courier Services that the package was lost, as A-1 Courier Services hadn’t updated the Amazon system to show it as lost. Yep, status was still “out for delivery.” Tried to conference A-1 Courier Services onto the phone with Amazon, but it was now 7:01pm, and A-1 Courier Services offices close at 7pm, so was unable to get anyone from A-1 on the phone.

    Somehow got the Amazon rep to set up opening a new order and sending me a new package that night, even without A-1 Courier Services official say so that package #1 was lost. Begged and pleaded that package #2 not get sent via A-1 Courier Services. Amazon rep said she could not control that aspect.

    Package #2 (of course sent via A-1 Courier Services) arrived on Wednesday.

  24. Generally_Agitated says:

    ah yes….I ordered a grill. It was an expensive grill – $700+ so some delivery company (might have been them, not sure) was supposed to deliver it. I too had Amazon Prime. So I have a date and a time window to be there for the delivery (3-5PM). I race home, get there at 3PM and find a grill sitting on my front porch. They left a $700 grill on my porch with no one home.

    Invoice that required signature stuffed in the side of the box, of course unsigned. I call the company – waste of time. “Duh, don’t know why delivery guy came 2 hours earlier”. I said – “umm, this is a 100lb+ box – how am i supposed to get this off my porch (which has steps) and into my garage”. They say “Duh, guy is out of your area now, he can come back tomorrow?”. I said “AND LEAVE A $700 GRILL ON MY PORCH UNATTENDED OVERNIGHT?”.No answer.

    So my husband comes home and says, “did you notice this isn’t the right model?” Of course not… So I call Amazon – as it turns out, they offered us that less expensive model at a discount. They made it worth our while and thank god because the alternative of trying to get someone back to pick up a 100 lb grill that day and reship us the new one sounded irritating. I’m just thankful that what they delivered was at least sort of right…

    bottom line, I’ll keep my amazon orders to books and small electronics from now on.

  25. moth says:

    On trac has been disappointing for me too. I wish Prime would let me know which carrier they are using so that I could change shipping to avoid them. I think I’ve had them a handful of times when I’ve ordered next day delivery. Since those cost extra for delivery I usually need them for some reason and keep closer track of them. Twice I’ve had to call them because on the morning of the delivery day the tracking for the package would show”held at warehouse” with a rescheduled delivery for the next day. I call, they don’t know why it’s rescheduled and the package eventually does come. I’ve also had to call to remind them that it’s delivering to my office and that we close at 5 when as of 2pm it’s still sitting in a warehouse.

    I’d never ever want to use them for a high $$ value item or anything actually urgent.

  26. Arcaeris says:

    I’ve had terrible experience with OnTrac since Amazon started using them. I buy a lot of stuff with Amazon Prime, and OnTrac has sucked every time.

    I have a little water heater closet next to my front door, and the UPS and FedEx guys all know to put stuff in there. Not only is all my OnTrac stuff days late, it’s always just propped up against the front door in plain sight. All the boxes always come way smashed up, and the dudes never even knock on the door, even when I’m home. I wish Amazon would stop using them,

    • Arcaeris says:

      Oh, I should also mention that despite there being no gate, no barrier, no anything preventing anyone from just walking right up to my door, I have gotten “undeliverable” from them 3 TIMES.

  27. Merricat says:

    For folk who have never heard of Ontrac or are worrying that their Amazon deliveries are going to have the same issues, OnTrac only services CA, AZ, NV, OR, WA, and UT. So unless your order is being shipped from and to those states, I wouldn’t worry. An if it is, I would worry.

  28. benh57 says:

    Ontrac did the EXACT same thing to me! I stayed home to recieve a package on their second attempt and they never even tried the door.

    Finally i drove down there and gave them the gate KEY, and they still managed to mess it up by not using the key i gave them on a subsequent delivery.

    This horrible shipping company has made me use amazon less. Fortunately amazon usually only uses them for grocery type or bulk packages.

  29. herekittykittykitty says:

    I just ran into a similar problem with a delivery company called Ensenda. This is in the Chicago suburbs.

    Been using Amazon Prime for at least two years, never really had a problem. First shipment sent via Ensenda and no box at my door despite a delivery confirmation on their website stating “Driver released for delivery”. Higher end electronic item, btw. Coincidence?

  30. Greyhound says:

    I signed up specifically to leave a comment on this post. OnTrac is the WORST and I have the exact same problem. EVERY single time I get overnight shipping from Amazon it comes via OnTrac and EVERY single time the status ends up being “could not deliver – not home” or something like that. I live in a condo building that requires dialing my unit from the callbox and they never do this on the first try. I always have to call them that evening and explain that the delivery person needs to ATTEMPT DELIVERY before saying I’m not home. UPS and FedEx have no problems delivering to me. The first time this happened I wasn’t aware of the issue so I didn’t check thed elivery status and they wrote “could not deliver” 4 days in a row before sending it back to Amazon.

    I’ve complained to both OnTrac and Amazon about this to no avail. One time the OnTrac rep told me that I needed to write the instructions in the comment box on checkout. The problem with this? There is no comment box on Amazon. They should know how to deliver a package without me telling them to call my unit. Most people in my city (San Francisco) live in condo buildings so they should be familiar with the process.

    I’m avoiding ordering anything that “guarantees” first-day delivery (video games, music, etc).

  31. sixhoursago says:

    Yeah, Ontrac has been less than adequate every time I’ve encountered them. Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t provide an option to choose a preferred courier. In most cases I’d be completely willing to pay a premium to choose.

  32. claussen says:

    I have had such bad luck with OnTrac – EVERY package results in them calling me asking how to find my house. It’s gotten to the point, where I setup GoogleVoice to send all of their calls directly to voicemail. They have a custom greeting that directs them to use Google/Yahoo/Bing/MapQuest/USPS/UPS to find my house, or return the package to Amazon. So far, most of the packages get returned to Amazon.

    For the “important” packages, I immediately contact Amazon and have them re-send it as soon as I get the initial ship notice saying ONTRAC.

    and yes, I use my prime account ALL the time. :)

  33. dwhole says:

    I hate OnTrac. I buy from Amazon on a regular basis, and when they started using OnTrac, things got sketchy. They either drop the package w/o even ringing the bell, or deliver to the wrong house. Once my neighbor got an expensive order placed at his doorstep that belonged to me. Our house number ends in 63, my neighbor’s is 66 – not easily mistaken, especially since they are on opposing sides of the street. Thankfully my neighbor isn’t a crook, and brought the package over to me, but what if he wasn’t so honest? Either OnTrac would have said they delivered the package to the right house (and maybe I’d be SOL) – or – Amazon would have filed a claim and had to resend the items, costing more time/money to all parties involved.

    Plus, OnTrac has never delivered on their ‘promised’ date, ever. At least with UPS/FedEx the only time delivery date was affected was due to weather delays (a blizzard in Colorado).

  34. Kuonji says:

    Ontrac sucks so much.

    My latest fun experience with them involved tracking information that said “Delivered” on a Friday afternoon. Me asking everyone I could whether or not they had seen it. (Shipping department at my company where it was delivered to), and me going home empty handed that weekend.

    Then a call to Amazon, a promise of a replacement sent out the next business day, as well as the the original package suddenly arriving on Monday. A follow-up call from an Ontrac ‘supervisor’ said that the package was likely left outside the shipping department’s door.

    They are open during business hours and their entire duty is to accept all packages. Why would a driver just dump the package outside the shipping department’s door?

    Ontrac sucks.