Tracking Packages With RSS

What will it take for USPS, FedEx, DHL, and the USPS to offer RSS feeds to track packages. It seems like such a natural idea. Yet none have implemented the feature themselves. It appears the USPS is trying to modernize their image, but still no RSS tracking of packages.

There are several third party sites out there that do this, but to me that’s just asking for trouble since:

  1. What are they doing with my info? Is this really secure to use a stranger as a middle man?
  2. Screen scraping can be unreliable and break. I like reliability.

It’s not that complicated to build, it’s essentially a different template on an existing system. I’d bet they even have it since many large retailers show tracking info within their order status pages. They just don’t make it available to consumers.

Am I really the only one who wants this?

FedEx Furniture

FedEx Furniture is pretty cool. Strong furniture made out of those really strong FedEx boxes (great packages BTW as they ensure your package arrives in 1 piece. Leave it to them to get really upset about this free advertising.

Typically, if your company gets good free advertising about how great your product/service is, and fans doing eccentric stuff to show how great your stuff is: It’s a big win.

But to FedEx management, this isn’t the case. Positive press for solid packaging is a big problem. So the executives got together and got FedEx legal to harass the guy to ensure that FedEx gets some bad press (in hopes that things balance out).

Amazing how dumb some executives can be. They are handed some good free advertising, and intentionally create bad press in hopes of preventing good press. Yea, try that logic out.

Yup, that’s really going to help you out.

Brand Recognition folks. It’s insanely hard to get. Building it costs tons of cash, and rarely works out. FedEx has it, and has fans who encourage the brand and spread it for them. And FedEx is surprisingly against brand recognition. Amazing. There are thousands of companies across the US who would pay for that type of free press.

Backorder Fun

It’s like waiting for paint to dry. CDW still says on it’s website that my new HD usually ships in 3-6 days. OK, great, but I ordered on 7/5/2005. Oh yea, Seagate keeps changing the date of the delivery for the next batch. They initially told me it was supposed to be July 11 (aprox), then July 22, now August 1. Not that I’m optimistic it will ship on August 1. Sigh. What an absolute pain in the butt. And here’s the best part. Depending on the sales rep you ask, they may or may not have gotten a shipment in the end of June. Seagate says they haven’t shipped as of 2 or 3 weeks ago. So somebody is making up stories.

Oh yea, FedEx isn’t exactly an angel either. As others have noticed FedEx has a policy against 1 day delivery for ground or FedEx Express shipping. Even if you ship within the same town, or neighboring towns, you will almost definitely wait 2 business days. Most likely so you cough up $20 or whatever it is for overnight shipping if you want things next day.

So yea, ordering online is great, but backorders and delivery can totally suck.