Monday, January 03, 2005

So Much For My Powers of Numeracy

by Tom Bozzo

Last week, I compained about the stiff price of shipping to Madison, via FedEx Ground, some of the books and records still by my mother in Delaware since my original move to Wisconsin. (There's still an awful lot of records left behind pending the acquisition of more shelf footage.) Some time before that, I had entertained a couple of my blog pals by locating and correcting a (large) decimal point error in a figure reported in a news article.

Now, when the dude at the mailing shop quoted the price to me, I had a momentary loss of consciousness, but upon recovery paid up without confirming the coherence of the rates and services.

Today, I decided to visit the UPS and FedEx web sites to see the underlying rate tables. It turns out I was charged a two-day rate for the ground service. As it happens, the packages did arrive in two business days anyhow, though one of them looked like it had been transported via catapult shots.

The other error was by a factor of one million, and this was only a factor of 2.5 — though this one was on my credit card. Plus, while I could say that I work predominantly on the cost rather than the price side of such things, I am supposedly an expert on postal services. D'ohh.
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