02 December, 2013

UPS, I Think You Need to Rethink Your Agreement

UPS, I think you need to rethink your end-user agreement.

Every now and then, I order something online and it gets shipped via UPS.  (More often, it gets mailed or sent FedEx, but it depends on the vendor...in this case it's Monoprice.)  In other words, I get maybe 4 or 5 delivered packages per year.  So...you have this wonderful-sounding service where you'll send me an email (or an SMS) when the status of my package changes.  That's a WONDERFUL idea!

But let's see...in order to do that, I must register as a user with your Web site.  That's not so unusual.  A lot of sites want visitors to identify themselves, for all kinds of reasons...in this case, the least of which is so that we don't have 5 different people wanting to know what happens for a specific package so they can go steal it from outside my door :-).  But...in order to do that, I'm supposed to agree to your terms...also not unusual in our litigious society, you folks just want to limit the no doubt steady stream of angry hornets who think they've been somehow harmed by you providing a service which pretty much benefits them, but of course something went awry.  It's just the way things happen these days, because "everyone" always wants someone else to blame, someone else to take the hit, because they want their lives to be a utopia.  They'll find a way to link their misfortune to your big, (theoretically) money-soaked corporation.  I get that, I really do.  But...

I decided to follow the link on your registration page, which goes to another page with a PDF of the agreement text, which I downloaded.  Are you serious?  Seventy-nine pages?  I'm supposed to read through 79 pages in order to receive an email telling me about arrival scans, departure scans, destination scans, out for delivery, and delivered?  I get it, this is to turn the polling (refreshing the page over and over) to push notification when the events are actually posted to your system.

I know I don't have a job right now, but do you honestly think, for a few uses per year, I'm going to read through seventy-nine pages to do this?  Sorry, no, I'm not that bored.  I have better things to do.  I think I'll continue to load down your servers by refreshing the package tracking page.  Even if I refresh 200 or so times, it's likely I'll have spent far less time doing that than reading through your agreement.  Isn't there anything you can do to simplify it?  Please?

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