The UPS epic fail

If I get a package delivered to me via the U.S. Postal Service, and I’m not home, then Mike the Mailman will leave a note on my door letting me know I can pick up the package at my local post office, or I can sign the note and the package will be delivered the next day.  Easy-peasey.

If I get a package delivered to me via FedEx, and I’m not home, I can go to FedEx’s distribution center, show some ID, and pick up the package.  Plain and simp simps.

If I get a package delivered to me by UPS, however…

Hoo boy.  This is a story.  Bear with me on this one.

Last week, I made arrangements to get my mitts on the new BlackBerry PRIV smartphone.  I paid a little extra to get the phone delivered as quickly as possible because, hey, BlackBerry.

On Friday night, I came home from the day job to see a sticky-note from UPS on my front door.  Okay, I missed the package, I can live with that.  I just need to call the number on the UPS sticky-note and arrange for a pickup.

I called the number.

“Your package has been re-routed, at the request of the customer, to another location.”

WHAT???

What do you mean “re-routed at the request of the customer”?

Of course, this is what’s going through my mind right now.  Someone figured out that I’m getting the best cell phone in the world, and tried to steal it.  That, or maybe there’s another Chuck Miller running around the Capital District.  Wow.  Two Chuck Millers in the Capital District?  That’s enough to make some people scream in terror. 😀

A few phone calls later, I finally got in touch with UPS Customer Service.  It’s now 5:45 pm on Friday night.  Pay attention.  Time stamps are going to be important for this little adventure.

“Oh, Mr. Miller, your driver makes one attempt to deliver your package, and then it will be shipped to an Access Point.”

A what?

“An Access Point.  We have Access Points where your package will be delivered if you are not home.  Your package has been delivered there, since you weren’t home.”

Okay… where is this Access Point?  I’ll go pick up the package right now.

“It’s in a hardware store in a place called Water… I can’t pronounce the town name.”

Water?  Waterford?  Watervliet?  Watertown?  Stillwater?  What?

“It’s in Water-vellett.”

Obviously not a local.

Here’s the thing.  UPS started adding these things called “Access Points,” where you could drop off and pick up packages if you’re not home.  Supposedly it deters theft, in that the package is delivered safely to a secure location.  Of course, not knowing where the “secured location” is kinda defeats the purpose.

“Okay.  Hardware store in Watervliet.   Do you have an address?”

He gave me the address.  It’s 5:50 pm.  “They are open until 6:00 p.m., and then you can pick up your package on the next business day after that.”

Next business day, my toenail.  I jumped in the car and drove to Watervliet.

The hardware store was just about to close.  5:59 pm.  I just made it.

“Hi, do you have a UPS package under the name of Miller?” I asked, showing the proprietor the UPS sticky-note that was left on my door.

The proprietor looked at a handheld computer tablet.  “Maybe it’s in the back.”

Ten minutes later… “No, we don’t have a package for Miller.”

Good thing I kept my UPS customer service representative on the phone.

“You said the package would be delivered here.  It’s not here.  Can you please find out where my package is?”

“Well… it’s very possible that it was delivered to a UPS Store location in a town called La-Thame.”

Again… obviously not a local.

I knew the location of the UPS Store in Latham; one quick shoot up Route 7, onto the Latham Circle, Route 9, boom here I am.

“Do you have a package that was delivered here for Miller?”  I asked the UPS Store worker, showing her the sticky-note.

“What are you talking about?” she asked, looking at me as if I was trying to sell her door-to-door encyclopedias.  “We don’t get deliveries like this.”

Wow.  A UPS Store doesn’t get deliveries from UPS.  What’s next, are you going to tell me that McDonald’s isn’t a Scottish eatery?

So finally, I figure out that the package MIGHT have been brought back to the UPS distribution center in La-Thame – sorry, Latham – specifically, 24 Avis Drive off of Wade Road.

Mind you, I still have the UPS customer service representative on my working phone.  You ain’t getting away that easily.

“If you want, Mr. Miller, we can track the package and give you a call back in one hour.”

Right.  You’ll call me back.  Suuuuuuuure you will.

7:00.  I arrive at the UPS distribution center.

Two ladies are at the front package desk.  I patiently wait until they are done with their customers.

“Do you have a package that was delivered here for Miller?” I asked the ladies, showing them the sticky-note.

One lady leaves the front counter.  90 seconds later, she returns with a box.

Return address – Verizon.

“It was the first package I saw,” she said.

After showing proper photo ID to confirm that I was me, I opened the package.  Yes indeed.  BlackBerry PRIV cell phone inside.

“Wow,” one of the UPS ladies said.  “That’s a pretty phone.”

“Best phone ever,” I replied.

Went home.  And at no time did I receive any “call within an hour” telling me the location of my package.

And over the weekend, I debated as to whether I would write this blog post.  Whether I would ever consider ripping UPS a new one over this event.  This was just a comedy of errors.  No way in the world this could happen again.

Besides, I’ve got other things to work on – I ordered some products from Amazon for a future art project.  They should arrive any day now.

Monday.  They should arrive any day now.

Tuesday.  They should arrive by now.  It’s not like they’re being shipped from Japan or something.

Wednesday.  No dice.

Thursday.  Seriously?  No package?

Friday morning.  I checked my Amazon alerts in my e-mail.  Amazon said the package was delivered Monday.

oopsLAST Monday.

And it gets better.

A quick click of Amazon’s tracking software revealed this little bon mot:

“Your package was delivered to a nearby store.”

So wait… that slip from UPS was supposed to represent TWO packages?

And UPS decided to drop my second package at the hardware store on Monday, without a second attempt at delivery to my location?

And I’m sitting here waiting for a package of art supplies from Amazon, not realizing that they’re over in Water-Vellett somewhere?

Another call to UPS.  I want answers.

“Well, Mr. Miller, we totally apologize for the inconvenience we might have caused you…”

Easy, Chuck.  Deep breath.

“If you want, we can send you a link to have you sign up with My UPS, where you are automatically notified if you receive any packages sent to you, and where they are at all times.  Can we get your phone number and e-mail, and we’ll get you pre-signed up and send you a link to the service?”

May as well.  At this point, anything’s better than nothing.

A quick Friday night trip to the hardware store, and sure enough there was my SECOND package.

One quick signature, and my box of art supplies – which now put me a week behind schedule for an art project – were in my possession.

Frustration all around.

Oh, and before I finished this blog post this morning, I checked my e-mail.  No links to My UPS or any other UPS package monitoring service in my e-mail account or in my spam folder or anywhere else.

So here’s where I stand.  If I get a package from UPS, I should expect to not receive it on the day of delivery, that I MIGHT get a note from UPS saying they tried to deliver, that the package MIGHT be at something called an Access Point in a town or hamlet or village that UPS customer service representatives can’t pronounce the name, and maybe – just maybe – if I’m lucky – damn lucky – it might be at the UPS distribution center.

I guess I know why UPS’ motto is “What can brown do for you?”

Because this week, UPS treated me and my packages like something else that’s brown.

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15 thoughts on “The UPS epic fail”

  1. Before I moved into my house, I had a long list of strange things happen over UPS packages. USPS delivers fine. FedEx is fine. UPS just can’t figure out what the hell they are doing.

    One of the most recent stories I posted has links to the others: http://derryx.com/other-thoughts/whats-ups/

    It’s funny. I buy a lot on Amazon, and 95% of my packages are now delivered by USPS. I think Amazon got tired of dealing with UPS bull crap.

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  2. Amazing you had such problems with your delivery of your phone or any package for that matter.
    I had used UPS for over 35 years both as a shipper and receiver. My driver drops off my packages to my patio and they are there as my text message states.

    I have had other non regular drivers leave the missed me message. However on my door notice it states it is at the Latham facility, or I can have UPS redeliver the package.

    Now as far as Fedex is concerned I have on a few occasions been not home and if again the driver is not the regular driver I have had a notice to alert me to pick up the package in Menands. Again the opportunity to have it delivered again is on the door sticker if it just needs a signature. I have signed the receipt and the package was left. On Fedex and UPS packages you can set up a “Delivery Release Signature on File” which makes the safe delivery your responsibility instead of the carriers or their drivers.

    Now depending on where you live the USPS has the worst delivery record of any of these carriers outside of first class mail. The postal service states they have this tracking but it is not in real time and I have found it to be totally useless. My last Amazon package was sent UPS and USPS and that two day delivery was perfect on UPS but 6 days later the postal service still had not delivered my package. Personally I prefer UPS or FedEx any day over USPS.

    And Blackberry (RIM) is a dying company. It is not the same as when they were in their prime, and now their operating system is going to be using Google Android so I would not jump up and down over that phone.

    But I am glad it worked out for you.

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  3. I had a delivery from UPS with only 3 buildings on the street and the driver drive across to get back to hoosick st he could not find the street. Oh and by the way I do have My UPS ha ha ha

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  4. If I get one of those sticky notes from UPS, I have to drive 1/2 hour to their distribution center and pick up my parcel.
    What’s nice about USPS is you have a pretty good idea where your post office is and can pick it up then next day, or, as you mentioned, sign the slip and your mailman will drop it off the next day. Even Saturdays!

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  5. ICYMI ARA: What does one do when UPS lets them down. Well, let’s see, first I pick up my iPhone (even though I loathe Apple products) with my Go-Go Gadget arms and hurl it at B. Then I typically stomp around the house for ten minutes, because online shopping is SO in, but terrible customer service is SO out. Then I go on Fly Morning Rush and complain bitterly so my mind-numbed followers can hear my outrage ICTMI (in case they missed it) on Twitter, Facebook and in my blog. Then, because first I am a journalist, I publish a poll so my readers can tell me if they also hate UPS. By the time I’m finished, UPS will say, “What must we do to make this annoying woman STFU (shut the… nevermind)?” And I win. Hahahaha.

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  6. One New Years Eve, I was waiting for the promised UPS delivery of a Christmas Present that was already late. It was a Friday. I was home all day. The UPS driver posted his attempted delivery stickup on my door without any attempt to deliver the package.(the package probably never left the truck) I imagine he was in a rush to get to his New Years Eve Party. I immediately went to the UPS distribution center, a 10 mile trip to pick up my much coveted gift. A sign on the door informed me that this office was closed at 3PM due to the holiday weekend and will reopen on Tuesday. Ahhhhhhhhh

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  7. I had one occasion where I was home all day, 20 feet from the front door watching TV. I open the door to check for mail at about 11am and lo and behold, a note from the OOPS driver that they made an attempt to deliver, time stamped 10:30. Seriously?! Your lazy ass couldn’t even be bothered to carry the package 10 feet to the front door and ring the doorbell?!

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  8. I’ve had amazingly successful deliveries from UPS,. Recently, I got a notice that the package was being returned (for bad ZIP Code – long story), but it got delivered the next work day.

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  9. Signing the 3849 instead of going to the post office is a two day turnover, the day your carrier picks up your signed notice, and the following day he delivers your parcel.

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