I got a package today, stuff I ordered about a week ago as a birthday present to myself. Motorcycle stuff from Louis.de (good online store).
But first, let me tell you about the Swedish postal system and how complicated it can be to get a package, especially if you order stuff from abroad.
Here is what I learned today from a disgruntled (but very helpful) employee at Posten‘s (The main Swedish postal service) helpdesk:
What most people doesn’t know is that the mail part and the parcel/logistics part of Posten are two separate companies. They do have the same name, logotype, homepage etc., but they are in fact separate. And more, they are rivals. Even though they seem to work together, they apparently don’t. Or, at least not very well.
Example from today; I awaited a large package, around 1 x 1 x 0.5 meter, arriving from Germany. I followed the current location of the package online, using my tracking ID at Posten’s common homepage. When I checked the status during lunch, I could see a new note from 11:49, saying “The recipient’s door code is not stated on the package. The postal item is notified”.
Question 1: Why didn’t the guy delivering the package have the door code, when his colleague that delivers letters and smaller parcels every day have it?
Answer: Because they are rivals, and rivals don’t share information. The competition between the two parts of Posten is so stiff, despite the fact that they work under the same umbrella, that they will not even share the door codes, allowing the delivery men to enter the apartment building.
Question 2: So if the door code is not known on the first round, when will they actually deliver the package?
Answer: They won’t. It’s not possible to schedule a new delivery time, even if you provide them with the door code and stay home for an entire day. Instead, you are forced to go to Posten’s company center, 6.6 kilometers away. And 1 kilometer to the closest train station. During business hours. So if you don’t have a car and can leave work early, you are pretty much screwed. Unless you want to carry a big ass package a kilometer, then try to get it aboard the train, followed by the walk home. Luckily, I could get away from work earlier today and have a brother that could give me a ride.
But seriously, do they really expect people to be home in the middle of the day (and they will not inform you before which day or time they are coming)? And do they expect that there won’t be any door codes in apartment buildings whatsoever? Even so, they have probably made a number of deliveries to this very address this year alone, and should have the code by now. They didn’t even bother to call, even to just get the code. If they would, the package could actually have been delivered since M was in fact at home that time today.
All of this for a package that you actually paid for to be delivered to your doorstep.
Seriously Posten, get your shit together.
Ok, let’s move on. Oh yeah, what was in the package?
First off was a set of saddle bags, about twice the size of my previous bags (27 liters each). They are also better looking and more practical, allowing you to take them off without unscrewing the passenger seat. They should be more water proof as well, but just in case I also bought a set of rain covers for them that can be rigged as shower caps. Or actually, I bought two sets. I thought they were sold one by one, but them came in pairs so now I have a spare pair.
Since the saddle bags are removable, I also bought a matching 3 liter tool roll. I generally don’t like the looks of them, but this was pretty clean. I intend to use it only when the saddle bags are off, to keep a first aid kit and some emergency items like tire spray and cable ties in. To go with that roll, I also bought a water proof inner bag in roughly the same size. Wouldn’t want the first aid kit to go bad.
Additionally, I bought a lightweight nylon cover for the entire bike to protect it from the weathers when it’s standing outdoors.
Aside from the luggage and covers, I also bought a new set of mini bullet turn indicators since the original ones on my bike are huge and not very stylish.
The last items were some valve caps with built-in pressure monitors. If the tire pressure drops with 0.2 – 0.3 bar, the indicator in the valve cap turns from green to red. I had a slight pressure drop in the front tire last summer, so this should be useful as I won’t have to stop by gas stations every 500 kilometers to check the pressure – a glance at the indicator should be enough.
On a side note, I have started to assemble my roadtrip music album for 2011. I did this last year, and had a great selection of around 130 songs that went great on the road and got good feedback from others who received a copy. I might write a separate post about that later.
All I need now is for spring to come.