[Update 02-02-2013: I was recently in contact with Airborne because they wanted this tracking number for a conversation they were going to have with UPS. As it turns out, they decided to switch to FedEx because of poor shipping experiences with UPS. I think that it’s awesome they followed up and decided to switch companies!]
She has arrived!
My new MOUNTAIN bike: an Airborne Skyhawk.
A few weeks ago, I posted that we both purchased two new mountain bikes online at a great price. For more on how that unfolded, read this.
The bikes were delivered via UPS Freight while our normal UPS guy was on vacation. J was away at class, so it was just me and the dog. I waited anxiously all day for the doorbell to buzz, checking the window about every hour. Even though I was waiting, the buzzer still managed to scare me and I just about jumped a foot off the couch. I dashed to the door and buzzed them in, then dragged the dog into the bedroom and shut the door. (I could not have him dash out the door and knock over the delivery person today)
I peek out our apartment door (we’re on the second floor) and see that the UPS delivery person propped open the main entrance door.
I stood at the door, lightly hopping up and down out of joy. It took some restraint on my part not to start clapping and singing a happy song. But my joy quickly disappeared as the UPS delivery man carried in the first box. I did not simply see a man carrying a box, as it should be. No. I saw a UPS man carrying a box with a bike hanging out of it.
Yes. I saw the bike actually hanging out of the box.
He dragged the boxes upstairs and shoved them into the apartment. “Looks like the bike poked outta the box?” I inquired. “Sign here” he huffed as he shoved the electronic box in my face. Good to know he cares, I guess. I signed and texted J the update, then immediately snapped some pictures. The boxes looked like they have been thrown around and stabbed.
Then stomped on.
Then thrown out of the truck.
When J arrived home, we began unpacking. Him pulling the bike parts out of the box, and me snapping pictures along the way. We started with the box that looked the least damaged (i.e., the bike was at least not poking out of the box). We saw that Airborne did a nice job of protecting the bike.
Unfortunately, the first bike did get scuffed. It wasn’t a big deal, and it didn’t look like it would impact the performance (and is barely noticeable), so we were happy. We weren’t sure whose bike it was yet, as J got a slightly larger one than me. After we unpacked the other one, we realized that this one was mine. So we knew that at least I could ride my bike.
Then it was time to unveil the second bike. This bike was not so lucky. Here’s a picture of it fully packaged–you can see that Airborne took this job very seriously.
But, unfortunately, when a box is torn open and the merchandise is hanging out of the box…there’s not much one can do to prepare the item.
Once the damage was assessed, J placed a call to the Airborne company. Voicemail. Eric (awesome dude from Airborne) called him back the very next day and left a message asking J to call him back so that he could arrange to ship him a new bike. (Wow!) When J spoke with him (the day after we received the bike), J offered for Airborne to just send the new parts because he could replace them. Eric said that it’s actually just easier for their system to send a new bike, plus it’s possible that there is something wrong or broken with the bike now. So, he arranged to have a new bike shipped to us and to have someone pick up the damaged bike. A new bike was shipped to us in 1-2 business days–we don’t remember as it was getting close to Thanksgiving and things got a bit hectic. But it was quick.
My Turn to Ride
While J was waiting for his new bike, I had a chance to ride mine. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this post I have only ridden her once, and it was just on a bike path, so my “full” review is still forthcoming. This is more of a “preview” review, I guess. And what I have to say is that so far, I’m in love.
The bumps that I’m used to…The cracks…The tree roots breaking through the path…all the things that I avoid when I’m riding Mildred were trampled over with THIS beauty. I barely felt them at all, it was smooth riding all the way. I felt a connection within my first few pedal strokes. As much as I love Mildred now, it took two summers to get there with her. With this bike, the connection was instantaneous. I rode on the grass on purpose. I sped through the fallen wet leaves on the bridge. I was fearless. It was amazing. I actually almost thought about doing a cyclocross race…how crazy is that?!
She doesn’t have a name yet. I have one in mind, but I have to see if it fits after I ride her on a trail. The forecast says this Saturday is supposed to be nice!!
Waiting for his Replacement
Stood up by UPS
So Airborne shipped the bike using UPS again on Monday, November 19th. The estimated delivery date, according to the UPS online tracking system, was Friday, November 23rd. On Friday morning we checked the UPS online tracking system and it was official! “Your shipment will be delivered by the end of the business day.” UPS said. “Fantastic!!” we replied.
…2pm rolled around and nothing from UPS. We started getting annoyed, as we refused to go out anywhere just in case we were to miss the UPS delivery person.
…5pm rolled around and we started googling what “end of business day” means to UPS. Apparently, it means midnight, but they usually try before 7pm, or at least don’t usually deliver past 9pm to residences. So, yea…that was helpful.
…7pm hit. Still nothing from UPS. For the five-thousand-hundreth time that day, we checked the UPS website, the warehouse hours for the location by us, and the tracking system. No change.
Okay, we thought. It’s Black Friday–they just must be super busy. We’ll wait.
…10pm. Still nothing.
…11pm…Fuck it. Let’s go see a movie.
The Morning After
Saturday morning…The UPS tracking information said exactly the same thing as the day before–That we’d receive it by the end of yesterday’s business day! Ugh! J was ready to call UPS and looked up the number. But something was different this time.
NOW the UPS website said that UPS was closed on Friday!! Gee. That sure would have been nice to know on Friday, don’t you think? It also would have been nice for the online tracking system to actually state the correct delivery date as well.
The Arrival, Part 2
But we finally received the bike on Monday afternoon. Our regular UPS guy delivered it (along with a biscuit for the dog! He’s so cool) and even though there was a gash in the box, J’s bike arrived in fine condition.
All in all, I must emphasize that we are extremely happy with Airborne so far. The customer service was excellent, and it was a breeze to deal with this problem, which was not their fault. So far, I love my bike and she rode beautifully, so that’s a good sign. Unfortunately, UPS can be a complete nightmare to deal with and we refuse to ever voluntarily use them again for anything important.