2007-09-23 : 10:59 p.m.
Sorry about the broken images but I didn't feel like shelling out cash to renew my gold membership with a low bank account. Luckily I'm doing pretty good with my new job and I'll probably buy it again.
So on the Ravelry forums there was a post about someone's yarn being stolen and the yarn shop being nice enough to replace the half of it that they couldn't find. After four pages, it kind of turned into a debate about which shipping companies you can trust.
I think I've been lucky because I've only missed getting 1 thing and it was from Prairieland Herbs in Woodward, who obviously replaced it when they found out that USPS didn't get it to me.
In Perry, IA, there's really no way you're going to have a problem with a driver ignoring the signature requirement. The drivers are full-time employees with set routes and you know their names. DHL delivers to the post office rather than your house, so no problem there. And they know where to stash stuff at your house so it won't be stolen.
Ames was a real delivery service litmus test. The postmen there were regular but flakier. They never tried to see if we were home for a package larger than the two package boxes in the apt buildings, but left postcards for us to go pick it up at the post office. Which sucked if you got to the mailboxes right after they were there and knew you had to wait for them to get back to the office.
It got to the point where I recognized the UPS people, so I know they didn't switch out their staff alot. The only problem I have with them is their unpredictability. There seems to be 3 'zones' in the day at which they will deliver. If they don't catch you the first day in the first zone they try, the next attempt will come in a different zone. The third zone will be the final attempt. It was pretty annoying when I was a student and my class times lined up with the zone they tried every time.
FedEx is actually two services: Express and Ground/Home aka Fast and Less Fast. If you were getting an express package, the guy showed up with it usually before 10am. If you weren't home the first time, the package got transferred to ground service for the next day. Like UPS, they showed up at unpredictably different times of the day. One time I got saturday delivery service, which was actually left outside my door. Luckily it was like two skeins of cheap yarn, but i was still kind of peaved that they'd leave it out there in an unlocked apartment building full of dumbass college students. It may have been that they gave it to a neighbor but i never found out if/who signed for it.
DHL was the service that irritated me most in Ames when they actually delivered to the apartment (thank god for the usps partnerships). The first time they delivered, the delivery driver and box reeked of cigarette(or pot?) smoke. Everything inside the box was fine, but it was still irritating. After that, everything was fine until they stopped requiring signatures for a while (or didn't bother even though they were supposed to). Then they went back to requiring signatures just in time to keep missing me. I had to sit at home all day the last day in order to avoid having to drive all the way down to des moines to pick it up. They don't have local offices like ups, they just have one near sec taylor stadium.
Anyways, thats my experience with all of them. I prefer the usps just on cost and speed though. It really doesn't take as long as most estimates.