October 3rd, the day UPS rolls out their new “My Choice” service, marks the end of one reason people hesitate to buy my wine online – missed deliveries.
Nobody likes to come home after a long day of work – or looking for work – only to be greeted by one of those “Sorry We Missed You” sticky notes stuck to your door. Miss three in a row and you have to pick up your wine at the UPS facility. Miss that window, and the stuff comes back to me. UPS has (finally!) leveraged readily available technology to put an end to all this with a service called “My Choice”.
The Basic Service
With the basic service (which is free), users are contacted via text, email or phone with an approximate delivery time (a 4-hour window – about as good as the cable company) for the next day’s delivery. And get this, if your package requires a signature, you can do so via your computer or mobile phone (caveat – because liquor authorities force common carriers into a policing role to protect against selling expensive wine to minors, which of course they try to do all the time (not), let’s wait and see if this feature extends to the “adult signature” requirement. I’m betting it won’t).
If you receive your My Choice notice and then realize you won’t be available for the delivery, for just $5 more My Choice allows you to re-route your package to a different address (say, a work address, which is usually the best way to assure your delivery) or to a nearby UPS store. And while $5 bills don’t grow on trees, giving one up is sure a lot more attractive than paying to have your package re-shipped.
The Premium Service
Or, for $40 a year, a frequent buyer would be well advised to sign up for the premium version of the UPS My Choice. With this service level, members enjoy a narrower 2-hour delivery window, access to online delivery planning software and the ability to leave the driver special instructions. I only wish that I could sign up for this service as a shipper, and provide it to all of you. Maybe someday.
Dave “the Wine Merchant” Chambers