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In the morning, checked the status = Shipped!
4:30 pm, checked the status, Delivered!
Package was never sighed for. UPS Phone Confirmation says it was delivered on May 3rd of 2007 to Brooklyn, NY.
A farther investigation and a "hard talk" with UPS staff suggests that the tracking Number was reused! Got a confirmation from 2 UPS Reps on that note. The Answer to the confusing "Delivered Status" and the date of delivery was that "We REUSE tracking numbers". Holly X!@####$%".
Now, Just imagine the agony that your customers have to go thru, + your time on the phone, + UPS Reps Time on the phone.
It's 9:54 EST, The package was never delivered, Is this a UPS glitch?.. or they run out of numbers?
We have a custom built API to UPS System where we check for Status from XML returned. Is anybody in the same boat?
The package, and many others, was "lost in the fire." Following the UPS tracking, the tracking showed it not only made it through Colorado, it showed a scan in Portland, OR.
Now how could that be, if it burned up in Colorado?
A call to UPS revealed: "That was not a physical scan, that was a logical scan."
Turns out the UPS tracking system, in spite of the drivers you see physically scanning packages, has little basis in reality. Sticky for details, I still have the tracking results page saved somewhere.
Is this a UPS glitch?.. or they run out of numbers?
I used to work at a major shipping company and they almost did run out of available bill of lading numbers. The field size was set too small originally to handle the company's growth in business. It was a huge project to implement because the number was used in thousands of programs located many different countries.
Until the project was finished we did have to resort to reusing recently assigned numbers rather quickly.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:02 am (utc) on April 23, 2008]
OOOOO I made a big complain to them today.
Anyway, it made the landing at our location, haven't seen it yet but I hope in one piece.
Now all I need to do is change the code in my custom UPS API to sort the xml by DATE and then by the status.
On the other note; what is wrong with 2Z or anything higher than 1Z reserved for other planets.., :)
I guess the bigger you are the more ya can get away with.
I to would have made me one big complaint as well.
You'd think they would figure something out...
The problem at the place I worked was that the project would take many person-years to complete, but no one noticed the problem until they actually had to start reusing numbers, so there was only a year or so of lead time before the situation would become desperate. Then they put a couple of layers of clueless management over the project initially, which wasted many more months where no actual work got done, even though there was a full time manager on the project with a staff of five programmers in the U.S. alone. Then someone finally figured out that months had passed and the project had gone literally nowhere and that the company might not be able to accept any new shipments soon.
So then the initial manager left to "seek other opportunities" and they dumped the project on a very bitter, overworked and stressed out senior manager who was now responsible for installing a huge, international project with government and customer interfaces and a seven figure budget in a matter of months.
But the good news is I got it done in time. ;)
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 4:45 am (utc) on April 24, 2008]
What are the preventive measures one can take, to ensure that you have a uniform but flexible numbering system?
...and congrats in having it done :)
[edited by: Habtom at 4:52 am (utc) on April 24, 2008]
Jane_Doe, technically if you have a 10 digit number, part of which is the sender's account number, and you start running out of the the available numbers, how would you solve it? Y
I haven't been a programmer for a long time, so I think any solutions I would have come across would be as obsolete these days as my vinyl record collection.
One thing we used to do when numbers outgrew their field sizes as a short term fix was to store them in a format that took up less space, like binary format, though I have no idea if that is something that you can easily do in more modern programming languages.