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Shipping Status Confusion

Be extremely clear in your message if you point everyone to their online account to get status updates.

I ordered new internet service back in May with a changeover in mid-July from the old service. I like to be prepared. The ordering went smoothly enough. I was informed I need to get a new modem. I opted for theirs. “That’ll get shipped out to the address provided. You’ll receive tracking information when shipped.” How is it being shipped? I’ve had trouble with packages being stolen. “UPS” Excellent. I’ve given them a code to leave inside the lobby. 

A few weeks went by with no package. I check the order online.


Screen of my order shipment saying it is processing and I can link to Check the shipment status.

Hmm. Processing. 


Oh, but there is a Check shipment status link. Let’s see what the status is.

Screen of shipment status. It says processing with an estimated delivery of May 31st. It was mid-June when I checked on it.

Uh oh. Estimated delivery is May 31st. It’s now mid-June. 

I’ll click on Track shipment. That should clear things up. Hmm. Error. I better get in touch with customer service. 

Oh, look. There is chat. I’m sure I can get a quick answer there. 

Turns out I couldn’t. It was a chatbot that kept telling me to check order status. When I told I was frustrated and that this wasn’t working for me it told me to check my online account. ???

Ok. I’ll call. Let’s go to the contact page. Hmm. No number to call but I could click to have them call me. I’ll try that. It’s 7:40 am. In my mind, I’m thinking I’ll get a call back within the next hour. 

Nope. It tells me someone will call at 11:45 am. I’m going to be in a meeting. Where is the button to have it choose another time? There isn’t one. Ok. How about cancel? Nope. Can’t do that either. 

In meeting with the client. I failed to put the phone on do not disturb. 11:45 am. Vibrate. Silence it. 11:50 am. Vibrate. Silence it. 11:55 am. Vibrate. Silence it. Look embarrassed. No. A good example of user experience that needs to be tweaked.  


Tip: Clarify Shipment status messages. 

My version of the screen to try and take confusion out of the messaging.

If the shipment is processing provide an estimated ship date. 
If the order has shipped provide tracking or a link to track. 

My version of what the screen should say - which is Shipped, when shipped with a link to track.


Tip: When using a chatbot make sure there is an option to contact a real human. Even if it is to link to a call scheduler or creating a ticket for follow-up. 

Tip: Provide options for Click to Call that might not fit in with the user’s schedule. 

About the Author

Michael Collins
Michael Collins

I’ve been working in the creative and digital space for 25+ years in varying positions from graphic designer, web designer (UI)/developer, Development Manager, Director of Product Strategy (UX), Creative Director, and agency owner. Before that, I worked in business administration. Out of all those my passion is with UX strategy. I approach projects with both the user and business goals in mind. For fun, I like to photograph things. Most of the time, I come upon the subjects, and sometimes they come upon me.
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