The song that comes to mind is The Ballad of Charlie & the MTA …
“he will ride forever…the man who never returned”.
We shipped our battery to Burlington Vermont on Monday August 28. We fully anticipated receiving it at our friend Drool’s home in ample time to start riding beginning September 8, a full 12 days later. No such luck. We had little choice but to bravely carry on with our 50 pounds of gear and no electric assist. The USPS tracking code told us it was still in Seattle, but surely that couldn’t be right?! Someone must have forgotten to scan the bar code, right?!
By the time we arrived at Quebec City 300 miles and 11 days later we were told it was being delivered to Drool’s home. We asked him to officially refuse it so they’d have to send it back to Seattle at their expense. And in case you’re wondering, no it could not just be sent to us where we were. Lithium Ion batteries are not allowed to fly anywhere. And they cannot even be shipped ground internationally. So that was a NO-GO. Nor could we get the proper battery in Canada.
We arrived home on September 24 fully expecting that our battery would’ve beat us back to Seattle. But it didn’t arrive at the Seattle distribution center until October 4. Surprisingly, it remained there until suddenly the tracking reported it was in Springfield, Mass. on October 15. No need to bore you with all the details but for the curious you can read the full tracking saga from the bottom (right) to the top (left) of this image. You can click it to see it larger.
To recap, the battery had now crossed the country 3 times and still needed to complete the return journey back to Seattle. That is significantly more miles that our current tandem has on it all together! Since Sheila is known for tenacity, she worked diligently to find the right person to help explain all these delays and to assure we would eventually get back our $500 bike battery. Connecting with the New England Regional Consumer Affairs Office of the USPS in Maine she got on a first-name basis with Laura Stanley. As our advocate Laura worked to get the parcel captured, repackaged, and relabeled. With a new tracking number it set off on its final leg of this long journey home on October 19. We would’ve received it on October 28 however because we shipped it via our nearby authorized Postal Service Branch, it was being returned there. They are closed on Saturdays. Hence we were finally reunited with our long lost battery on October 30 a full TWO MONTHS after we shipped it and 2 round-trip cross-country journeys! The image at the top is our local PO friend Edward delivering our battery today!
Did it ever return, yes, it finally returned and there were some lessons learned.
If you want your power without a second guess, next time ship it UPS!