Foaming at the front door…

Earlier this month, we discovered a large box on our front door mat that appeared to be leaking some sticky and high viscosity clear liquid.

Upon further investigation, we determined that it had been shipped by UPS from Sam’s Club. We were pretty sure it was an order we had placed for two refill jugs of hand soap.

When we opened the box, the packing material and the sides of the box had been soaked in leaking hand soap. At first, I suspected one of the jugs had been accidentally punctured during the shipping process.

Nope, that’s not what happened. It appears that at the time it was shipped, the cap on top of one of the jugs was very loose and fell off during shipping or was simply never attached at the time it was shipped.

The offending jug, as it arrived at our home. More than 3/4 of the bottle had spilled before it got to our house.

I guess we’ll never know how the cap actually came off the jug. If it was just loose, I think a quick visual inspection of the product before it was placed in the shipping box would have prevented the spill. I guess no one had time to do that, even while stuffing packing paper around the jugs in the box.

At any rate, I think the jug began leaking almost immediately when it began its journey to our home. That means that when the UPS driver delivered it at our front door, he or she could clearly have seen that it was leaking. He or she seemed to not want to deal with the problem. However, I suspect the delivery person found a gooey mess inside the UPS delivery truck which probably got onto other packages delivered that day. It might have even dribbled all over the cargo hold of a UPS Boeing 777 aircraft before it was placed in the delivery truck. And yet, no one seemed to care. What it if had been some kind of really toxic liquid?

Once dropped off at our house, the soap leaked on to our very absorbent front door mat and I had to spray off as much as I could. It created an embarrassing sea of white foam in our front driveway which took at least half an hour to disperse. I don’t think I got all of it out, and I suspect the mat will continue foaming until we finally decide to pitch it in the trash.

I get that pushing stuff through the shipping process is a fast-moving and largely unappreciated job. But don’t you think that at least somewhere along the line, the packer or the UPS driver could have noticed that something was amiss? 

The good news is that Sam’s agreed to a refund of the entire order. So we got one full jug and one jug about 1/8th full for free. The compromised door mat, however, was not part of the refund equation. We’ll probably have many sleepless nights wondering if a white foam monster might appear at our front door when we step out to get the morning newspaper.. 


One thought on “Foaming at the front door…

  1. There is a plausible story from pre-WW2 that may provide a clue here. A n unspecified number of indigenous porters were hired to carry cargo for a ex-pat party traveling from lowland Popondetta to Kakoda (of the infamous Kakoda Trail), high in the rugged Owen Stanley range. As the story goes, after a couple of days, one/some of the more astute of the porters observed that whatever was sloshing around in the square metal containers (probably 5 gal) they were carrying made them rather heavy. So, they (some of them at least) emptied them out…


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