Monday Musings

Nope. Sorry. I’m going back to bed. Wake me up when it’s Friday.

Holiday Delivery Delays + Food Delivery Services = 😦

I tend to order from services like Plated a lot. I’ve even done a full review on Plated, and I’m working on a comparison review between it and two similar services. I’ve already tried out Blue Apron, and my first HelloFresh delivery is next week. Usually everything arrives on time and in excellent condition, and there’s nothing to really worry about.

Delivery drivers are overloaded this time of year, however, and quite a few deliveries tend to arrive late. If you’ve ordered a remote control car or a Barbie Dream House, it’s not a huge deal as long as it gets here before Santa is supposed to deliver it. If you ordered food that has to be kept at a certain temperature, and the clock is ticking on the ice it was packed in, that’s a whole other ballgame if it’s not delivered on time.

In two years of having frozen or refrigerated perishable food delivered to my door, I’ve never had an issue– until this weekend. FedEx had my order from Plated on their truck at 6:30 a.m. ready to be delivered on that day as scheduled before 8:00 p.m. The hour rolled around, and… nothing. I gave an extra hour and then checked for an update on my FedEx tracking. That’s when I noticed that the delivery date had changed and would be arriving on Tuesday before 8 p.m. So I called FedEx Customer Service.

Now, while I expected there would be delivery delays for most things, my FedEx driver knows I order a lot of food, and I thought surely some priority would be given to deliveries that were time sensitive or perishable. FedEx, after all, has a vested interest in not destroying the merchandise it transports, and when food spoils because it isn’t delivered on time, that’s what they’re doing. According to the two Customer Service representatives I spoke with, that’s not the case, and no priority is given to perishable shipments.

And so somewhere in Birmingham, Alabama right now there is a FedEx truck, and in the back of that FedEx truck is a box that contains raw chicken sausage and dairy. In the box with that chicken sausage and dairy are ice packs that have long melted. And according to Customer Service, nobody will even open that truck until tomorrow morning, when they’ll be loading new packages to be delivered.

I would not want to be the person who opens that door.

None of this is of course Plated’s fault. They got the order to FedEx on time as always, and the order was in Birmingham on time and on the truck ready to be delivered. This probably isn’t even the driver’s fault, though it’s definitely a FedEx screw up. A simple protocol that would have them note when a package contains perishable items and adjust the driver’s route to insure it’s delivered on time would solve this– if FedEx had it, which their Customer Service told me they don’t.

Upon calling Plated yesterday morning, I learned that I wasn’t the only one. FedEx apparently notified Plated that some 500 orders were delayed. And if the comments on Blue Apron’s and HelloFresh’s Facebook page are any indication, they had the exact same issue.

Plated of course reimbursed me plus an extra dessert as credit to my account, and they’re sending me an order for Wednesday, so I still won’t have to run to the store. (Hat tip, by the way, to Plated’s AMAZING customer service. Their reps are very friendly and helpful.) I’m not out anything except the fact that I was really looking forward to eating chicken sausage and gnocchi this weekend, and while I have the recipes online, I have to track down ingredients that might be hard to find. Plated, on the other hand, is now out of the money I paid them for the order, and they’re also out of the ingredients that have spoiled, as they can’t exactly have the items returned and resell them. if FedEx reimburses them or loses Plated’s business, FedEx is out money. Any customers who don’t understand that this isn’t Plated’s fault will simply cancel. That’s not good for anyone’s business.

The CS rep at Plated said she didn’t expect it to be a continuing issue throughout the holidays, so we’ll wait and see. The good news is that most of my deliveries are on Wednesday, and Plated packs their food in such a way that it should be fine in the box for an extra 24 hours after the scheduled delivery. In other words, if it’s delivered the next afternoon, it should still be okay. I just need to move it to the fridge ASAP.

So to FedEx-proof my orders during Holiday Delivery Hell season, there are a couple of ideas that I figured I’d share:

  1. Don’t have deliveries scheduled for Saturday.
  2. If a delivery is scheduled for Saturday, get the tracking number ahead of time and arrange for the package to be picked up at the nearest FedEx facility. This sucks, but it might be a necessary precaution.

Retriever-Proofing the Christmas Tree

In nearly 13 years of having a terrier mix, I’ve never had any real issues with the Christmas tree, but this is our first year with Kato, the lab/boxer/possible pittie mix that we adopted from the local shelter. And in true retriever fashion, he… well… retrieves. Nothing in the house seems to be off limits for this dog’s mouth, and while I’ve been able to train him and even reign in his high energy a bit, we’re still having mouthing/chewing/retrieving issues, which I realize is the nature of the breed. I’ve even taken advantage of that nature in training, teaching him to bring me certain items on command (which he loves) and playing fetch (which he loves even more) to add to his daily exercise. I’ve also trained him to hold things in his mouth without chewing when instructed and to drop or give items on command. We did the lab “soft mouth” test a few months back, and he was in fact capable of picking up and carrying a raw egg without cracking it. (Me dropping the slippery slobber-coated egg after he was done making me chase him down with it resulted in a broken egg, which he happily helped me clean up.)

I make sure he’s always got at least two heavy duty chew toys on hand, and while I’d rather he not chew his blankets, they’re his blankets. As much as I’ve tried to stop that, I’ve just decided I’ll have to buy him a new blanket every few months. Outside of that, he hasn’t chewed anything he shouldn’t in months with the exception of my husband’s lip balm. (When we first got him, I lost two bras.) That said, he does still bring me things. He brings me all the things. All the time. I often will sit down to my computer and look behind me 30 minutes later to find a pile of gifts. That’s more humorous than anything. Again, I understand the breed. Of course, the issue now is that the pile of gifts includes Christmas ornaments, which I’d really rather not have to put back every couple of hours.

So if anyone has any ideas aside from just leaving the tree bare, please let me know. Someone did suggest to me that we keep a toy box near the door where he has an assortment to grab and can just take whatever he wants and keep it in his mouth. That way, he’ll know that the things he can have are located there. I might try that.

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One thought on “Monday Musings

  1. Ugh don’t get me started on delays for deliveries in our area!!! Mine is just a Christmas present that should have come last week…nothing perishable…but still! Plated sounds like they took care of you though, so thumbs up for that!

    My youngest dog has the hardest time leaving my tree alone. Every year he takes ornaments off and treats them like chew toys. He is my 9 pound dog, and so he cant reach too far up the tree. I have been placing hard ornaments towards the bottom and leaving some limbs bare down there to tempt him less. That little jerk gets up on his hind legs like a bear and reaches further up now. So clearly I have no advice to give to stop this other than to say I have one of those too. Haha!

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