Thursday, August 15, 2013

Updated: Re-routing Shipments from a Purchase

Update:  I ended up finding out that the packages never made it to my old address and the FedEx Ground package ended up getting damaged in transit and was sent back.  I emailed them (remembering the nightmare of talking to them) and surprisingly everything worked out.  I got a full refund and was able to reorder everything.  The FedEx ground option was $20 more expensive, but they happily gave me the less expensive price for it.  I was really surprised.  So, if you can, work through email, that's probably why they make it difficult to find the number, because they don't trust their own phone customer reps.


I recently had the unpleasant experience of trying to re-route a shipment from via FedEx Ground and SmartPost.  Walmart was not very helpful at all (I wasn't totally surprised, but still disappointed).  I had to dial 1-800-966-6546 and then select option 2 and then option 4 (for order cancellation) and then hit 0 three times in order to get a human on the phone.  (Pressing 0 three times at any other point of the call got me disconnected).

They first directed me to FedEx (since I had already received tracking numbers).  FedEx said that Walmart owns the shipment and is the only one that can re-route it.  So I called Walmart back, they gave me the same go around (that I had to call FedEx).  I proceeded to tell them that I spoke with FedEx and that I was told that Walmart was responsible since the purchase was made through them and that FedEx was only the carrier.  The Walmart rep said OK and supposedly cancelled the order and told me that I should receive an email notice about it all in the next 20 minutes.

I never received an email notice.  Three hours later I called them back and they told me to call FedEx as soon as they were in possession of the packages, since they were currently in transit.  That kind of made sense to me, since FedEx had the packages I could tell them to change the address.  I waited till the next morning and called FedEx.  They still told me that Walmart was the only one that could authorize the change since it's their product, but that they were going to try to do it from their end.  Kudos to FedEx.  Since one of my packages was shipped via FedEx ground, it could have the address changed easily, and would be re-routed once it hit the facility in the state of my previous residence (if there were any issues, they'd call me, and I'd potentially pay extra shipping charges).  If they needed Walmart's authorization to re-route it, I could call Walmart and tell them they need to provide that information to FedEx (I was given a Case ID to provide them for reference when they called Fed Ex.  The Case ID should have all the info needed).

SmartPost gets shipped to the recipient's local Post Office and is delivered from there.  I had a few other items that got shipped via this method.  There's nothing that can be done from Walmart or FedEx with that type of shipment.  So I had to hunt around for the phone number for my old local post office (they only give an 800 number on the website).  Google maps was good to me.  Luckily they told me they still forward all packages within a year of moving.

Here's to hoping that everything arrives.  I'll update this post once I get everything.  Hopefully this comes in handy for someone else.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lay Not This Thing to Our Charge! - Gideon and the NSA

Gideon is a person of great character in the Book of Mormon and for whom I have a lot of respect.  His strengths are very much needed in our leaders today.  One such account of his strength of character and wisdom is recounted here.

King Limhi and his people are enslaved to the Lamanites and are burdened with paying taxes to them to the amount of 50% of all they have and earn (this is taking place around 145-123 B.C. somewhere in Central America).  The Lamanites have "agreed" (they are historically not a very honorable people up to this point in time) to not fight the people of Limhi if they continue to pay their taxes.  

However, one day they come up against the people of Limhi to fight them.  Due to the great leadership and preparation of King Limhi, he was prepared and likely suspected something like this could/would happen and was able to soundly defeat the Lamanites (even though much more numerous) and also capture the King who was wounded and found among the dead.  It is without a doubt that God had helped them with this battle, knowing of their softening hearts.  (The people had previously been called to repentance by a prophet named Abinadi who was sentenced to death by Limhi's father, Noah.  As a result of their wickedness, the Lord reprieved them and let the Lamanites enslave them, to the end of softening their hearts and turning them back to Him.)

The Lamanite king is brought before Limhi (showing much restraint by his men by them not killing him on the spot for the unwarranted attack).  Limhi questions him about the attack, and the following ensues (Mosiah 20:15-17, emphasis added):
15 And now the king said: I have broken the oath because thy people did carry away the daughters of my people; therefore, in my anger I did cause my people to come up to war against thy people. 
16 And now Limhi had heard nothing concerning this matter; therefore he said: I will search among my people and whosoever has done this thing shall perish. Therefore he caused a search to be made among his people. 
17 Now when Gideon had heard these things, he being the king’s captain, he went forth and said unto the king: I pray thee forbear, and do not search this people, and lay not this thing to their charge.
King Limhi, does not immediately see the wrong in searching his people, or jumping to the conclusion that his people are likely guilty.  He is a good man, but only at his best when he listens to wise counsel from righteous men like Gideon.  Gideon persuades the king to not unlawfully/unethically search his people or assume them guilty.

This sounds awfully similar to what is happening today with the NSA surveillance leaks.  It seems that President Obama has not heeded any wise counsel to "forbear, and do not search this people" and is wrong in allowing this surveillance to take place.  With all the technology and skills available in the 21st century, there are better means to securing our nation than by infiltrating every phone call, video chat, emailpostal letters, undersea cable, social media content and content of mobile devices, etc. and requiring us to go through such ridiculous rituals at airport security checks.  Don't fall into the fallacy of, "I don't care if I'm monitored, I have nothing to hide."  We are not all terrorists, or even potential terrorists.  The fact that we are assumed to be terrorists is preposterous.

The laws passed so hastily after 9/11 were not clearly thought through.  Laws of such magnitude should not not be allowed passage so soon after a traumatizing event.  A cool-down period is necessary for wisdom to prevail.  Hopefully enough people will care about what is going on to call on their representatives to revisit these laws, make necessary changes, and allow the American people to live in peace and not in fear.