Icom IC-9100 Troubled Deliveries

By Jose B Rivera - N2LRB

May 11, 2016. I recently purchased an Icom IC-9100 for use on 2 meters and on 70cm SSB. I will use the radio on FM, but I highly prefer the SSB mode on all my bands, HF, VHF and UHF. Lately it seems that any radio I purchase in May becomes an exercise in frustration. Last year, I purchased my Elecraft KX3 radio and wouldn’t you know it. The City of New York chose to fix a pipe in front of my building and close off the whole street! blocking any UPS deliveries. I thought UPS would return the radio! You can read about it by going back to my article of last year. This year something different happened. Actually a few things happened. And I was not loving UPS for what they made me go through.

First of I came across my regular UPS man the day before the delivery. I told him what was coming and that I would be in front of my building at an appointed time to await his arrival. He assured me that he will see me the next day at the appointed time.

The day of the Icom IC-9100 delivery came and I counted the seconds until I could bolt out work and rush home to be on time for the UPS delivery. On my way I usually see one or two UPS trucks parked along the avenue. But this day there were none. I was also sure to see my UPS man as he parked along the street next to mine where he usually is. But nope, no deal. In fact I then expected to see him parked on my block, but nothing, nada.

I get home and see a package slip. At first I thought it was ‘you were not home when we delivered your package’ slip from UPS. But upon closer inspection it turned out to be a US Post Service slip for a delivery. Not that the USPS tries to delivery where I live. They bring along a green slip and deliver that. Meaning, one then has to wait till after noon the next day to pick up the package. Again, a package they did not actually attempt to delivery. So my question is, why make us wait a day? If it’s already at the Post Office? No problem, I was not expecting that package until the next day anyway.

I get upstairs to my apartment and log online to track my Icom IC-9100 status. UPS did attempt to delivery the radio at a time when no one is home. In fact they never deliver at that time on my block because everyone is at work. I was incensed. But I also immediately knew that my regular UPS man was not the one who drove the truck that day because of the attempted time of delivery.  I chatted online and then called UPS and attempted to have that drive come back and delivery that package. UPS customer service told me on the phone that the driver would call me within the hour. An hour and a half later UPS central calls. I explain the situation and they said they would have the Bronx Depot where the trucks go call me. Another hour later the depot called. They said I could pick up the package at the depot after 8:00 PM. I thought about it, but decided that spending $40 in cab fare to do UPS job was beyond reason.  I was told the package could be delivered the next day by the regular guy, but I had no assurance that would happen. For all I know the regular guy was sick and would also be out the next day. Allowing for the same thing to happen again.

They offered me an option of having the package delivered to a local drop off point in my neighborhood. But it would cost me $6.00. It that not a shame that one not only has to do UPS job by picking up a package that should have been delivered, but that one also has to pay for it. I told the person on the phone that this sounded like a scam. Deliver packaged when they know people are not home and then make a profit by delivering the package somewhere else. But it was the only option I had. I had them delivery the package to a local UPS store less than a 10 minute walk from me.

The next day I took a chance and walked the 16 city blocks to the UPS store from my job. I stopped at my apartment along the way to pick up a hand truck. The IC-9100 weighs 35 LBS!! Believe it or not I covered that much ground in 23 minutes. I walk fast, always have. 

I get to the UPS store and the clerk at the counter begins to act like a postal worker by asking ‘when did you get that slip’ Again, it’s the old postal trick of having you come back the next day to pick up a package. I was having none of it. Besides, I paid for delivery to that UPS store for that time. And I received a notification from the UPS iPhone app that my package was at the UPS location, ready for pickup.

But, guess what! The counter dude said that they were not ready and that I would have to come back in one hour. I was incensed! I felt like I would never get this package! The app said it was ready and that was 3 hours previously! I tried to reason with the man and then told them how valuable my time was.  They had my package and were not going to make any attempt to do whatever they still had to do (logging it into their system?) to make me happy. I explained that was on my lunch break and just walked 16 blocks to pick up the package. They would not budge. I was furious!

When I got back to work I reported the incident to UPS. I was told that the store had to scan and properly input the income packages. But I countered that the UPS iPhone app notified me that the package was ready for pickup. What would you do? I lodged an official compliant against the store and waited for the end of the work day to attempt to get my IC-9100.  On my way back from the UPS to my job I went to the Post Office and picked up my other package. No problems, No hassles. Who’d think that the USPS would be easier to deal with than UPS?

By the end of the work day, I was a lot calmer and took my time walking the 16 city blocks to the UPS store on East 116th Street and Lexington Avenue. When I got to the store there were three other people in the tiny waiting area. The same dude who refused to give me my package was there. When it got to my turn he took my slip, looked around him and fetched the 35 lbs box and gingerly placed it on the counter. He said, “here it is boss’. I took my box and left before I entertained any ideas of curt comebacks.

I could not believe it! I finally had my package. 24 hours late and a total of three attempts. Needless to say, I was and am not very happy with UPS.  I did meet my regular UPS man the next day and he apologized for all that had occurred. He knew all about it because I guess they received reports of things that happen along their route. Read my next article on the radio itself.

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