Last week I ordered some stuff from an online German ham dealer. A new switched mode power supply, some plugs and most of all the cable to connect my second K3 rig to the MK2R+ SO2R controller. No bad word about the German firm. As usual shit hits the fan as soon as the box crosses the border into Kafkanistan (counts as ON for DXCC). Here’s technological progress for you: follow the parcel online. Actually there’s nothing new or shocking about this. But it can be fun to watch when you need to get interactive with the parcel service.

Here’s what the box IS doing:
Here’s what the box SHOULD BE doing:

> box intercepted by ON5ZO
> box should be stored until 09/10/2009
> box should be on the road
> box should be on the road
> box back in warehouse

The box took a weekend break and got finally scanned on Monday for delivery on Tuesday. So far things go as predicted. Predicted because this past Tuesday there would be no one at home to collect. Murphy! I get home and call GLS (toll number, no free lunch here). A friendly lady tells me the box is reloaded and scheduled for delivery on Wednesday between 09.00 and 10.00 AM. Great, I’m at home all day so I can accept the box. With still no box after 16.00 and the tracking website telling me the box is ‘Stored’, I call GLS (toll number, no free lunch here). Yes they told me it should be delivered but no it didn’t work out due to a crash in the processing system the night before. The kind lady is willing to reschedule the box for delivery on Friday because I’m here. Not on Thursday but Friday October 9th. I hear her typing and clicking so I assume the new date was entered into the GLS data system.

This morning I get up and anxiously consult the GSL tracking system. Yeah right: “Out for delivery on GLS vehicle”. Perfect miscommunication. The box should be ‘stored’ until tomorrow but in fact is underway as I’m having breakfast. At 10.30 local time I leave for work so once again I’ll find a note in the mailbox later today. About 1 km from my doorstep I spot a GLS van with a GLS dude delivering a parcel. I pull over, step out and address the guy. In French, of course, since all delivery guys only speak a low level form of French. While Belgium is supposed to be bilingual. I tell him he’ll probably be bringing a box to my doorstep later on and tell him my name and address. Sure enough, I’m his next stop on the list and my box is sitting on top of the pile ready to be delivered. So I sign for acceptance and load the box into my car and proceed.

“Stories only happen to those who can tell them”, so here’s my story for today. It cost me two calls with my cell phone, to a company that charges their customers for some service, and then it turns out these calls were made in vain because the arrangements just aren’t lived up to. That seems to be a constant when dealing with big companies. Their attitude is: ‘Screw them!’ because they know we can’t do without utility companies and telcos. And don’t get me started on the government!

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