UPS Rant

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How can this happen?

A tale of my strife with UPS

What might you ask? Well, how can a multi-billion dollar company, moving packages around the world every day with extreme precision and care, not be able to deliver one package to one person.Let me begin my tale….

I ordered Civ:CTP from this egghead site. I wanted to support Loki and show that you can make money selling games for Linux. I made the order online around mid-may, and was told to expect 4-6 weeks delivery (as is normal).

Thursday, May 26, 1999
The package arrives via UPS at my front door, but since they don’t have the buzzer number (and comparing the list of names at the front door to the package was too hard I suppose) they couldn’t deliver it. That’s fine. I got a call that night around 5pm asking if I still wanted the package (of course!). So I gave them the buzzer number and was told to expect it before 5pm the next day (Friday).

Friday, May 27, 1999
At 5pm I call UPS (1-800-PICK-UPS) and ask where my package is. I am told that they didn’t have the buzzer number so they couldn’t deliver it. I told them I gave the buzzer number yesturday, but that’s ok, mistakes happen right?

I’m told the package will arrive on Monday.

Monday, May 31, 1999
I had no idea if I was working in the office or at home last week, so I had asked if I could make an address change (if I was working in the office) on monday morning for the delivery. I was told at the time that it would be no problem, and to call early.

Today I found out I was indeed in the office, so at 8am or so I call and have the address changed to my work address. I’m given a confirmation number and sent on my way.

Tuesday, June 1, 1999
I am in the office all day, and while I do leave for lunch, the boss knows that UPS normally arrives around 3, so I didn’t worry. Besides, if they do come and no one is home they’ll leave a sticker on the door.

No package.

I call in the evening and am told that address changes take 24-48 hours to take effect… I’m a little disturbed, but I didn’t know, and if that’s how long it takes, that’s how long it takes right? The nice lady tells me that it’ll arrive most likely on Tuesday or Wednesday for sure.

Wednesday, June 2, 1999
12:15. Lunch hour. I decide to check to make sure things are going all right… the package was supposed to be delivered today after all.

The lady nicely informs me that they don’t have an address for the delivery of that package.  Huh? Did they take the information and then not put it in the system or something? My work number was attached to the tracking number so why didn’t they try to call that? Maybe they just take the phone number for fun? The confirmation number that was given to me didn’t seem to get anything out of the system either.

Anyway, I gave the UPS person my work address again and was told that they’d fax the information out to the office right away, and it “would” be delivered tomorrow by 5pm (I got her personal assurance this time).

Thursday, June 3, 1999
No package arrives.

Friday, June 4, 1999
I called UPS again this morning and talked to Janine (at this point I started taking names). She told me I’d have to give her the address again. What??????????This is the second time now. And of course all the trucks are gone and the soonest they’ll be able to get it to me is Monday.

Monday, June 7, 1999
I called to find the status of the package and was told that while they did have the address of my office, they didn’t have the unit #. Now, could anyone tell me why I’d give my work address without a unit number? I didn’t think so, therefor it’s left to assume that I gave them the right address, and it was lost, or partially lost in between my mouth and the fingers of the 2 people I told it to.

This time I talked to Mandy. Realizing that it wasn’t her fault, and she couldn’t do anything about it, I moved up a little in the UPS ranks, and talked to Peter (1-800-PICK-UPS extension 2341). He couldn’t give me an explanation as to why it was so hard to get a package delivered though. I got both Peter’s and Mandy’s personalassurance that the package would be delivered on Tuesday though.

As a sign of the way that they’d assure that the package got to me, Mandy had a fax which she read to me which included the full address (with unit number), name and phone number for my work address, along with a note about how the customer is “most annoyed”. Peter was going to follow up on the fax to make sure that the dispatch center got all the information.

Tuesday, June 8, 1999
No package.

A call at 6 or so revealed that they didn’t have the unit number again. I called UPS again, and talked briefly to someone who told me that the package was in Vancouver and going to be sent out tomorrow morning. I then talked to Peter again, and must say he was good at handling my questions as to how this could happen, what he can do for me, and how this whole situation had gone beyond ridiculous. After getting off the phone with a promise to find out what went on and call me back, I waited for a half hour for a call back. When he did call me back he couldn’t tell me anything new. He had been on the phone the whole time with various supervisors though, so I have to give him credit for trying.

Peter is going to call the supervisors or whomever is needed to find out what is going on and make sure that my package is delivered (and you’ve heard it before) “tomorrow for sure”. He has no idea what happened today, as he too read me back the correct address last night.

Tomorrow I’ll be calling to get them to email their records of this whole fandangle. I’d like someone else’s notes on what happened here when I go to UPS head office.

Side note:
Interesting… the UPS FAQ says that they guarantee the “on schedule delivery of your package”. Wonder where this all fits into that. I hope that there are shipping charges now!

Wednesday, June 9, 1999
I called Peter again today around 12 and asked that he email/fax that information to me. He questioned me as to why I’d want it and then said he’d check and get back to me.

The package actually arrived at work, but as I wasn’t there no one paid the $30 (!!!) for shipping/border fees or whatever.

Thursday, June 11, 1999
I got someone at work to pay UPS today, so I finally, 2 weeks after the first time it showed up at my door, have my package.

Monday, June 14, 1999
Finally got a hold of Peter again today and asked again about getting their information to me. He said that there might be a problem with it as the company is very structured and giving a customer information from inside could be seen as a security risk. However, I would hope that simply providing a record of what has happened to a package in trying to get it from point A to point B would not be a problem, unless it is to avoid embarassment.

I gave Peter this URL so I hope that he can see the frustration I was going through. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do when I get their info, but all I know is that if that happened to every package, they would be out of business… and if it only happened to mine, why?