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2 November 2007 @ 4pm

General, Rants

UPS Urgent Delivery! Yea, right….

I have to say that in this day and age I have come to rely on companies like FedEx and UPS to deliver items often purchased over the web. Occasionally, I use them in order to conduct business and it is with these deliveries that I most rely on them. Most of the time they are excellent but when they’re bad… they’re really bad!

The past few days I have been embattled with UPS over an Urgent next day delivery from a financial institution with whom I have had an account. At the outset things seemed to go ok and the requested overnight letter size package was sent out to me without issue and I was given a UPS tracking code. So, naturally the following day I checked the UPS website and was pleased to see that the package was ‘Out for Delivery’. Finally, the UPS driver arrived at my house and delivered two packages that I was not counting on. He then proceeded to rummage through his truck looking for ‘another’ package which his systems told him was due at my place. Of course this was my overnight delivery. After about ten minutes of searching he proclaimed that he did not have the item and that if he found it during his day he would return with it. Naturally, I was concerned. After a few minutes of explaining to him the importance of this item I managed to get him to confirm the tracking code of the package and to obtained from him a number to the customer service center that I was to call in the event that he was not able to find the item. The number was located on a UPS InfoNotice that they use as a redundant tracking number. Little did I know that this number was not linked to my package by the driver like it apparently should have been. So, off he zoomed. I mean If the guy can’t find the package he can’t find it. Right? At this moment I knew I was the one in for a ride.

The day came and went with no further contact from UPS. I made the first move. Dialing up the customer service number I was greeted with the first line of defense. An automated answering service that only knows about packing slip numbers. After negotiating with the computer for five minutes or so it gave up and I finally made my way to an agent at which point I was informed that the UPS delivery day lasts until 7pm and that I could not file an issue until after that time. “Okay”, I thought. “This might not turn out so bad after all. The delivery guy has a few hours more to make it”. Not so lucky. Seven o’clock, no delivery. After a suitable ‘grace period’ I approached the automated customer service drone with my unidentifiable InfoNotice number. After a few more minutes of unsuccessfully telling it my number I just started saying ‘Agent’, ‘Agent’, ‘agent’… what’dya know… it sent me directly to an agent. A backdoor into the faceless beast? Maybe.

The next agent in a long series of agents to handle my case let me know that the driver had entered a note into my account saying that the address on the package was incorrect. I swiftly let the agent know my correct address and she entered it into the system. I now expected to have the item delivered the following day, a Friday. This was not to be however since as I was informed, I made the correction after 7pm which is apparently some sort of daily cutoff for UPS. Let’s see, I can’t file and issue until after 7pm and then that is a cutoff for the day. Yea, right. This meant that the package would be re-delivered on the next business day, on Monday. Whoa, hold on there pardner’, this was supposed to be a next day delivery and now it’ll be here Monday? Well, what came next is a bit out of character for me but desperate times call for desperate measures as they say. I pulled the ‘supervisor’ card and after about 20 minutes of waiting I was graced with her presence.

The supervisor let me know that pretty much the only one in control of the package at that point was the distribution center in Austin. You know, the one where my package was to be spending the weekend whooping it up with untold personal items making their way into and out of the city. The best I could hope for was a call from the distribution center by 10am the following morning. I once again expressed the urgency and importance of this parcel to me and made sure that it was conveyed to the distro center. During this exchange I managed to extract from the supervisor a direct line to her, but only after employing advanced pressuring techniques only known to the worlds underground governmental agencies. She was extremely hesitant in handing over this precious piece of info several times inquiring as to why I needed her number. What amazing customer service.

The next morning what you expect to happen did. No call by 10am. After more conversations with customer ‘service’ I am notified that the parcel is at the distribution center and if I am willing to make the 40 mile round trip I can pick it up personally rather than wait over the weekend for it. How’s that for service? At least they got it within range. Begrudgingly I bow to my fate and prepare for the journey.

After a pleasant drive up I-35 through the center of Austin in stop-and-go traffic with 18-wheelers I make it to the distro center. The attendant immediately saw my InfoNotice in hand and happily agreed to get my package. Ha, sweet revenge. Little did she know what she was in for. After hooking her in I spilled the story and she schlepped off to hunt the bowels of the place for a single letter sized package. After what I can only assume was a marathon trek she returned with these simple words, “It’s on the truck to be delivered today”. I stood there frozen as that ton of bricks hit me in the face. All I had to say was that I really had to question the validity of an organization such as this which didn’t know where in the system their packages were. This time I wanted assurances. My face must have been a book as she could see that I was about ready to stage a sit-in until I had my package. She quickly volunteered to call the driver and verify that the parcel was in his possession. By grace, someone who can actually do something.

Another long sit through traffic and I was back at home, still no package. I opted for one last call to customer service in order to verify for my own piece of mind that the address was now correct. The agent searched through the file and let out a quizzical laugh. She informed my that the address was correct in the first place and that it was changed to be the same address. Huh? I had her read the address back to me in order to confirm. Yep, that was it. We chalked it up to gremlins but I knew better. After a short wait at the house I was greeted by a different driver with my item. Finally, all that ends well… just ends. It was over.

Now riddle me this: How did the first driver know that another item was due at my house (and even have its tracking code) if the address was completely wrong preventing delivery? My bet is the guy finally found the package buried in his truck on the first day but did not care to backtrack his steps to my house to deliver it. Instead he probably opted for a phony incorrect address charge on the item in order to have it sent back out another day. Ah, gotta love it…


Posted by
aalizara » UPS Urgent Delivery! Yea, right….
10 December 2007 @ 7am

[…] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptAt the outset things seemed to go ok and the requested overnight letter size package was sent out to me without issue and I was given a UPS tracking code. So, naturally the following day I checked the UPS website and was pleased to see … […]

Posted by
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4 January 2008 @ 3am

I once did some work with a delivery company like this, and the “wrong address” response is the standard practise for drivers who can’t be bothered and want to get home early!!!

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Wait until you are promised urgent medication and have to rely on shipping. It’s almost as if I felt I would need to put myself into a self-induced coma until my medication arrived. When I finally got it, it wasn’t “URGENT NEXT DAY” as I was told, it was “NEXT DAY AIR SAVER” which I received after 8pm. I do believe USPS FLAT RATE and FEDEX has overcome the usually reliable UPS delivery service, but it also may depend on the route each takes to your home. USPS gets to my house before UPS or FEDEX, as long as the package isn’t lost or damaged.

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