(Updated… a lot)
Recently I’ve seen signs that may suggest the occasional UPS glitches are not-so-occasional, and there may be deeper systematic problems with our favorite delivery service. The brown truck driver is as friendly as he ever was – it’s the systems that appear to s***w customers left and right.
- Four out of five packages I dropped off at the same UPS store disappeared – i.e. they were never entered in UPS’s tracking system.
- Since the system is always right, customer service accused me of never having shipped them in the first place, then of not applying the labels properly.
- When the recipient, Shoebuy.com, a major UPS customer initiated a trace, the previously non-existent packages miraculously all showed up at the destination UPS center, without any indication how they got there.
The above example may not be rare, as demonstrated by this commenter:
Texas-to-Texas package disappeared (was never scanned in) and 30 hours later showed up in Alabama. UPS has no clue how it got there.
Finally, my third shipping experience within a month: I’m expecting a Sony Reader sent from NY to CA. It was originally due to arrive on 7/28 but now I see it’d rescheduled for 7/29. A one-day delay is not the end of the world, until you look at the details:
-The package arrived at Vernon, CA Thursday, 7/24.
-Next arrival scan is in Los Angeles, Friday 7/25 evening. (Great progress!)
Now, I don’t know why it sat a full day virtually in the same place, but even with this delay, if it’s in Los Angeles on Friday, why on Earth can I not receive it on Monday in the San Francisco Bay Area? Why the Tuesday delivery? That’s 5 days within California!
Admittedly my statistical sample is rather small, but 3 failures out of 3 deliveries within a months suggests these may not have been accidents, UPS may just have more serious logistic / system problems than they care to admit.
Update: Rob’s story below is so shocking, anything I’ve experienced pails in comparison. You just HAVE to read it in full.
Update #2: On second thought, it’s a story worth bringing it up to here in full:
I’ve got one for you….
My sister-in-law has MS and receives very expensive injections delivered once a month, packed in dry ice because it has to stay refrigerated.
My sister-in-law lives with her mother. Well, her mother had decided to cancel her Dish Network subscription. Dish told her to put all of the hardware in a box and they would pay to ship it back to them via UPS. Only problem was, there was no hardware to return since she had already done that through the retail store. Dish claims that they notified UPS to cancel the pick-up…given the rest of this debacle, I’m inclined to agree with them.
Meanwhile, my sister-in-law gets her medication delivered via FedEx (because there’s no way UPS could get it there in time before the ice pack failed). FedEx leaves the package containing the medication on the front porch.
Now, UPS shows up a little bit later and TAKES THE WRONG PACKAGE. Apparently, the instruction to cancel the pickup never made it to the driver. The package they took was clearly in a FedEx box, with FedEx shipping labels, etc. There were no UPS shipping labels anywhere. UPS essentially stole her medications right off of their porch.
You would think, given their commercials about “delivery intercept”…you know, “there’s a problem with the gizmos” that it would be a simple matter to stop the package and turn it around….NOPE. Their advice was to call FedEx (what the *&!@^ does FedEx have to do with it and to call the pharmacy to get a replacement). They said that it was en route to Dish Network and they couldn’t stop it, but that Dish could send it back (which Dish would have to pay for…how is it Dish’s problem?). The problem, which was explained to them, is that by the time all that happens, the medications will have reached ambient temperatures and will be useless and that my sister’s insurance wont pay for the $1500 meds twice in one month.
They eventually rectified the situation by reimbursing my sister the money, but only after she paid out of pocket to get the replacements and after spending countless hours on the phone with UPS customer service.
What can Brown do for you? I don’t know, but I know what I’d like to do to brown….
Update (7/29): Today is the rescheduled delivery date. The latest scan info shows yesterday my package was in Sacramento, 90 miles NE of me (remember, it was coming from LA, South!). I smell another re-schedule 🙁
Update (7/29 evening): UPS just confirmed they really have no clue where the package is and recommended I contact the sender, as only they can initiate a trace. Deja vu 🙁
Update (7/30): The sender initiated a trace and the expected delivery date field completely disappeared. A few hours later new scan information showed up: Out for delivery. This means I should get it today. Hooray! Except… the package is in Vancouver, WA, and I am in California. If UPS keeps on randomly driving around the West Coast, they might just accidentally find me one day 🙁
Update (7/30): I called UPS with my concern that it cannot possibly be “out for delivery” from Vancouver, WA. They confirmed I should ignore the status, the package indeed will find my way to CA today. Yeah, right. A few hours later someone woke up. Now delivery is rescheduled for the third time, adding two more days, with this status message:
|07/30/2008||10:43 A.M.||INCORRECT ROUTING AT UPS FACILITY / THE PACKAGE WAS MISSORTED AT THE HUB. IT HAS BEEN REROUTED TO THE CORRECT DESTINATION SITE|
|07/30/2008||7:25 A.M.||OUT FOR DELIVERY|
This is beyond pathetic…