Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here We Go Again

Yesterday, I was expecting an order from ThinkGeek, so I checked their online package tracking link to see if it had been delivered on time. No such luck. Seems the UPS driver decided the address just had to be incorrect and took it back to the depot.

Quelle surprise.

So I call UPS's 800 number and get to talk to a Real English Speaking Person after repeating "operator" four or five times to their voice response system (hint: GetHuman has a whole bunch of neat ways out of customer-non-service IVR hell).

Real English Speaking Person apologizes profusely, once again agreeing that a box marked "Parcels" is an absolutely acceptable delivery option, and my landscaping is none of their driver's business. He assures me someone will call me back within the hour.

I get a return call from some woman who tells me drivers are not allowed to leave a parcel in a box marked "Parcels" outside a locked gate. Oh really? Then how come every single time I've called UPS to complain about non-delivery, the 800-number folks assure me it is allowed and the problem will never happen again?

Yeah, right.

Not So Bright Woman refuses to just tell the driver to leave the parcel in the box on Monday and says I have to pick the thing up in person or it will be returned to the sender. Resisting the urge to use vocabulary learned from the racetrack backstretch and my military/LE friends, I ask if I can pick it up after work that day. Oh sure, she says, it will be here waiting.

The local Big UPS Terminal is in a crappy part of town, so of course it has "No Guns" signs posted about every twenty feet. I lock up Mr. Wilson and go in to pick up my shipment. Guess what? It's not there.

I inform Obnoxious UPS Clerk that's not what Not So Bright Woman told me earlier today. Doesn't matter, he says. The driver's not back yet and probably won't be until after 9:00 pm. So will they deliver the damn thing on Monday and leave it in the box? No, if Not So Bright Woman said they can't leave a package in a box It Must Be So, but I can come back on Monday and pick it up in person.

I am this close to refusing to do business with anyone who ships by UPS, and telling both UPS and the vendors exactly why.


Anonymous said...

I find that UPS does not manage to deliver to my house. My neighbors get a lot of my packages when that's used and many vendors will not ship via US Mail. Never once had a package not show up that way and usually very little difference in delivery time -- certainly cheaper cost. The problem is they won't set us up for delivery to the house so I have to go to the post office. Since walking there is my exercise that's not an issue -- for me.

Kicker is this -- my wife is a rural mail carrier. She is the final step in UPS delivery a lot of the time because they find it easier to have US Mail make the final delivery instead of one of their drivers.

DaddyBear said...

As a UPS'er, I'm sorry that you have to go through this.

The person you spoke to who told you you could go to the center that day should have known that the package car driver wouldn't return to the center until late that night. Due to her ignorance of how things really work, she wasted a customer's time.

I apologize for that. I also apologize for the parcel box fiasco. If a customer asks that a package be left in a certain location on a second delivery attempt, then it's usually no problem as long as there isn't a danger to the driver to put it there. Heck, we can even give it to a neighbor if you ask us.

Please accept my apology and the apology of all of us who work at UPS who recognize that making you happy with our service is the whole reason we're in business.

Aanoosh said...

I avoid using UPS as much as possible. I have much better luck with Fed Ex.

Hecate said...

Before the county put up rural addressing markers, my deliveries used to go to the vacant house across the road. Seems they were off a little when they named the gravel roads, and "13th Street" is actually 1400W, et cetera, right down the line into the triple-digits.

Thank you, DaddyBear. I just don't get why the parcel box is such a big deal. Before I put it out there, UPS drivers would just leave packages lying on the ground. Why is that okay, but putting the parcel in a box clearly marked "PARCELS" is not? Do you have any suggestions how I can communicate my delivery preferences to UPS to our mutual satisfaction?

Once when UPS had the driver call me after TWO refusals to leave the damn package, he actually tried to tell me that nobody lived at my address. Why? Because my property is heavily wooded, and he just couldn't believe anyone would want to live in the woods. I live out in the unincorporated country precisely so I can live out in the woods without zoning Nazis or homeowner associations telling me otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The key to dealing with such people is just assume that they're irrational, and that nothing that they do makes any sense. Then, you won't have any problems. It's when you start believing that people make rational decisions that everything starts to unravel.

Ruth said...

I have a similer set of problems. Because I "claimed" to have not received a package they now refuse to leave anything on my porch & no one but me can sign for a package with my name on it, not even my husband. (I didn't get a $50 camera lens that was supposedly left on my doorstep. I flat out told the driver who "came to investigate the claim" that if I was going to lie about it I would have done so about the $1000 camera they left on my doorstep DISPITE being marked signature required, not the $50 lens. His response: "Well I delivered it, so its not our fault, and from now on you'll have to be present with photo ID to receive packages".)

Infact ThinkGeek is pretty much the only place I order from any more that insists on doing only UPS, and thats because I enjoy their stuff so much. I get around UPS's idiots by having stuff delivered to my work instead, since I work for a small company and am the only person doing the mail/shipping/receiving its much easier.

You might check with the mailroom at your work to see if they'll accept mail for you, some companies will some won't. Its still a pain in the butt, but at least you'll get your packages.

Wraith said...

What do you expect from union labor?

Aanoosh is right. FedEx is the way to go.

Hecate said...

Well, Amazon chose FedEx to deliver an order I should have received yesterday. No such luck. I checked the tracking information online and it said "delivery attempted."

I called their 800 number (say "representative" repeatedly to escape IVR jail) and was told they couldn't deliver the package because the gate was locked. Did I want to pick up the box at the depot?

No, just come back and put the thing in the box next to the gate marked "PARCELS." FedEx Lady says they're not allowed to leave packages in mailboxes. I explain I live out in the country and the mailbox is across the road. This is a different box. We'll see if they get it right this time.

I think I'll try looking for a "comment" field when I order something. Maybe it'll help if I tell them up front, "Gate is locked, have driver leave delivery in box marked PARCELS."

Steve Bodio said...

I live in a small dirt road NM town that until recently had no street addresses- all POB. The UPS drivers here seem like DaddyBear-- they work with you and the PO, and get you your stuff.

But here at least, if you don't have a marked street address (and since we don't have street mail most don't) FedEx won't deliver-- they bring the package 100 miles back to Albuquerque and demand you come get it.

After one month when this happened twice AND (the same?) driver came to my door trying to find someone else's house on my street and yelled at me for having no number, I ask all companies to send USPS box or UPS, or I won't do business. I have not had to give anything up yet. Be intransigent!