• One of the reasons I don’t ship Purolator

    by  • 1/26/2005 • geek • 12 Comments

    The only reason I’m shipping via Purolator at all is on account of it being someone else that’s paying; a laptop being serviced under Toshiba’s warranty program is returning from the depot in Ontario. I’ve had no luck with Purolator, having them damage pretty much every shipment that they bring me, or damaging them en route to my vendor’s location from his supplier; they’ve done nothing but get in the way of my job.

    I have a bit of a laptop emergency; I normally have spares, but I took the opportunity to get a couple laptops serviced that had been overdue, but that were otherwise engaged. I freed them up, got them service tickets, and out the door… and now everybody needs laptops. So, I checked in with Toshiba’s support techs to see if one of the laptops had been shipped yet, as it only required them to swap the user-removable DVD/CDRW drive and return the unit to me. I get the Purolator tracking number from the tech support person, so that I can check its estimated arrival, and determine what to do to answer my marketing department’s need for laptops for a trade show they have coming up.

    I head over to Purolator and get this;

    You likely can’t read that error message without clicking on the image to zoom it, but let me put it here in a nice, Google friendly format so that the search engines can index it. Purolator says the following when using Firefox as your web browser;

    Microsoft 4.0+ or Netscape 4.7+ (excluding Netscape 6) is required to use Purolators ‘Online Shipping’

    My first complaint is that they don’t even know what the possessive version of their own name is; it’s “Purolator’s”. That’s just dumb. The second part of my complaint is that they have such a broken system that I can’t LOOK UP a tracking number with any other browser than what they list. All I want is information at this point, and you require a special browser? Learn how to code a web site properly, or hire someone who can. My resume is online if you’re looking, and I do contract work.

    I filled out a “customer contact” form on their site with a link to this entry as the content of my feedback… let’s see if they can use web browsers inside Purolator. I can only imagine that they will come back with (assuming they respond at all) “Well, most people use Internet Explorer 6, why don’t you?” Can you imagine your barber denying you service because he only cuts black hair? Oh, he’ll cut it if you dye it, but not until then.

    Update @ 4:27pm PST:

    We are currently investigating usage of Netscape 6+ / Mozilla browsers and
    what changes are required to allow our Online Shipping to work trouble-free
    on these platforms. While we are making good progress and most of the tests
    are running very positively we have identified critical issues that require
    adequate sizing, decision and subsequent scheduling.

    Neil Chiasson
    Customer Automation Professional
    1-800-459-5599 ext (3172)

    Wow, a completely predictable reply. I’d like to remind the fine folks at Purolator that Netscape 6 came out nearly 4 years ago. Is there only one person in IT at Purolator, and they’re busily building out the site in FrontPage? The menus and such in the displayed pages on the site are the only thing that could possibly break in non-IE browsers — bad looking javascript menus that I haven’t seen the like of in years. A simple, clean menu structure in HTML goes miles toward making things work, rather than relying on broken JavaScript. I know it’s not easy to retrofit an entire site; it’s typically easier to burn it down and start again.


    12 Responses to One of the reasons I don’t ship Purolator

    1. 2/2/2005 at 11:03 pm

      Perhaps you can point out to them that Netscape 7.2 isn’t Netscape 6, so they should let that through :-)

      I signed up for the Netscape browser beta back in (I think) November. The new browser is based on Firefox, and includes a user agent switcher built in. When I tried visiting the Purolator site, I could trick it into believing I was using IE, and so I could get past the error message which appears in Firefox.

      That got me thinking I should install the User Agent Switcher for Firefox. It works for the Purolator site when you select the IE 6 option (too bad the existing Netscape UA tag is for 4.8, which trips the error message you saw as well).

      I didn’t look too much, but the only page I saw with the (IMO) crappy JavaScript menus was the “Get Estimate” page.

      Good thing I’ll never need to make use of their services.

    2. 3/14/2005 at 3:37 pm

      I had the same issue. I got an email today saying that they’ve finally fixed it.

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    4. Mg
      11/16/2007 at 3:29 pm

      yea your right purolator is shit i work for them last 7 years
      i love my job but i know how much purolator suck
      purolator was parthner with post canada,and post canada
      is a gouvermental businness.so look how gouvernement rules the country
      is the same shit with purolator lots of incompetent work for them

    5. Me
      5/13/2008 at 6:45 pm

      This post is totally lame. You state you won’t use Purolator because of a simple spelling error? Or that it doesn’t support your old-ass IE 4? If you’re such a hot-shot programmer then why are you using the technology of the past?

      As for the reply you received from Purolator, it was typical? It was advising you that the issue has been addressed and being worked out. What else did you expect to hear? And since then, it’s been fixed so you decide to complain about the way the rest of the site is designed?

      This whole post is one large complaint from the original poster because he was declined by his lack of skill to do the website design himself. Now all he can do is rant about whoever did it and how crappy it is and feel sorry for himself. The post itself has nothing to do with the company’s main goal which is picking up and delivering packages as quickly as possible.

    6. xinit
      5/13/2008 at 7:06 pm

      Shane; you need to read and think before you post from your work computer.

      First, this is a post from January 2005, when the Purolator system was bitching that you needed to use IE 4.0 or greater; when in fact I was using greater than IE 4.0. It has nothing to do with my jokingly suggesting that they need a programmer. Christ, no wonder my packages go missing.

      For the other reasons that I don’t use Purolator… general incompetence of their delivery people and the people on the phones doing dispatch. Every single time I have shipped a server with Purolator, it has arrived non-functional with damaged corners and impact marks. I spent more time talking about filing insurance claims than I’d like to think about. Where was also the laptop that was run over by a driver, but I’m sure my experiences are nothing.

      Quick? Sure. It helps if you aren’t shipping anything important or valuable. Value for money? Fuck no. Do you have nothing better to do from your work computer than hunt out people bad mouthing the people who write your cheques?

    7. Euphoria
      5/13/2008 at 7:37 pm

      You are so wanted.

    8. xinit
      5/13/2008 at 7:59 pm

      Man, I would so love to work for CGI and have nothing but time…

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    10. Jon
      11/6/2009 at 11:57 am

      I think purolator should just give out coupons for Fedex.

      BTW, the apostrophe stands for a missing letter or letters, and is not required for the possesive.

      ‘Purolator is’ shortens to purolator’s, as in ‘purolator’s a diseased, pus-filled blister on the udder of a dead goat’.

      Purolators or purolators’ are both accepted possesive spellings, as in
      ‘purolators attempts at customer service are best described as masturbatory’ or
      ‘purolators’ name should probably be shortened to just plain later.

      Even if you don’t know how to spell perfectly either, I agree with you that purolator really is a very poor company.

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    12. xinit
      11/6/2009 at 1:39 pm

      Jon; I was going to reply fully on this thread, but your comment was important enough to warrant a brand new blog post by way of response.

      Thanks for your help!

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