March Madness: Automated Notification

 Let me start off by saying there is a LOT of madness going on in our world right now.  Stuff that scares me.  News that saddens me.  Things that horrify and sicken me.  Acts that just don't make sense in my mind.  I think that MOST of us are in the midst of a myriad of emotions and conflicts.  This is one of the reasons why I usually write about topics and things that are NOT serious.  We all need a break.  So with that in mind, today's post reflects on some of the insane silliness that exists in our electronic world. Stuff that is irritating, but not earth shattering.  In the end I hope we laugh a little.

 Let's start with a prescription reminder that I got via text yesterday.  I had already been thinking that I needed a refill soon, so I waited until this morning to reply to the link and order the refill.  I had options to have it delivered (for a fee), but since the pharmacy is not too far away (I'll walk it if it's warm enough and get a good workout), I opted to pick up.  I did all of this before 8 AM; knowing that while the store is open 24 hours (that will let my local friends know where I picking up the script), the pharmacy itself does not open until after 8.  I immediately got an email that said:  

Your Rx is ready
for pickup, Elizabeth!

To avoid cancellation, pick up your Rx as soon as you can.


Don't see how this is possible since the place isn't open yet, so no one would be there to get my order and fill it.  25 minutes later I got a TEXT that said:  "Elizabeth, we're processing your Rx order. We'll text a barcode when it's ready for pickup."  So clearly it's not ready (and still isn't as I write this...no text.)  So why send an email saying it is?  I KNOW its auto generated, but maybe it shouldn't be?

Let's move onto another example of automated notification madness.  I completed an online order on Thursday (March 10). Got immediate confirmation that my order was received.  This morning I received an email that it had shipped.  So far, so good.  So I click the link for tracking (that was sent today) and see:  Pre-Transit

Estimated Delivery Saturday, Mar 12

Last Updated: March 14 12:52PM UTC



See the issue?  It's estimated for delivery TWO days ago, but this update was done today!  Must be SOME delivery service if they are able to go back in time to get me my package.  (And what a blog post that would be!)

Finally, at the end of February, I placed an order for an Easter decoration with a company that advertised on social media.  (I know RED FLAG.)  I liked the look of what I wanted to buy and placed an order.  After a few days a charge went through on my credit card.  Now it was NOT the charge for the item, but a charge for SHIPPING the item. (A yes, it was the correct shipping price.)  The charge wasn't the name of the company that I ordered from, which is when I realized (and why you SHOULD do your research BEFORE you order anything...I am ashamed to say I did not) the company was in China.  Their website has the option to chat so I wrote:  "Placed an order last Tuesday. SHIPPING has been charged to my credit card, but not the product. Why is this? Is there any reason why the charge is NOT in the company name? Also how long does it take for a package to ship."  The answer came more than 12 hours later (good thing I agreed to see the answer in an email before I closed down...that’s a pretty long wait for a chat):  "I checked your order, your product is in production."  Great, except that DOESN'T answer my question.  So I "chatted" back: "You have not answered my question!  Also, new question why did it take over 12 hours for a reply? I thought this was a direct message not an email. You are not being very transparent."  The reply was:  "Our company not only has the brand M***** but also other brands, so the charge is NOT in the company name."  That SORT of answered one of my questions, but...I didn't respond and a couple of days later I got a notice that my shipment was on the way.  But when I clicked on the link to see where it was it said NOT FOUND.  (Uh oh.)  Finally today, I checked again and saw: 

  

  • 2022-03-13 18:16:23CHINA, CHINA, Arrive at international airport
  • 2022-03-13 16:16:23SHENZHEN, CHINA, Shipment departed from origin hub
  • 2022-03-12 22:53:27SHENZHEN, CHINA, Item processed at origin hub
  • 2022-03-12 22:05:38SHENZHEN, CHINA, Item processed at origin hub
  • 2022-03-11 23:50:12Shenzhen, Departured from SFC warehouse
  • 2022-03-09 20:57:07Shenzhen, Arrive SFC warehouse in processing

Well, Easter is about a month away.  MAYBE it will get here in time?

 So what have I learned from all of this?

  •  Check CAREFULLY before placing an order as to where it is made and being shipped from.  (Note: I have ordered from other companies that have advertised on social media and are out of the country, but was made aware by said company that the package would take a while to get here.  Once my package did arrive, it was good quality and I actually ordered from them again.  So this is not a slam against social media advertising or purchasing items outside of the US...it's more about communication.)
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  (How could I pick up a prescription BEFORE the pharmacy was open?  How is that shipment arriving two days ago?)
  • When it comes to all of this automated notification; don't take it too seriously.  You've got to laugh...because there is too much else in this world to cry about.

 



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