UPS is Holding My Package Hostage!

UPS SucksIt was Christmas last week, though one wouldn’t know it. In Seattle, we had record, if not at least near-record snowfalls over the last week and a half, essentially crippling the roads with snow and ice that most Seattle drivers have no clue how to handle. Hell, two buses nearly slid off a 50-foot drop-off onto Interstate 5, and another one jumped the curb and landed in someone’s back yard. Some drivers are only now able to get out of their homes to do daily chores.

So, when FedEx and UPS were unable to deliver their packages for a few days, I understood, even though the biggest holiday of the year was fast approaching. I live partway up a steep hill, and needless to say not a lot of people were driving on the hill much while there was a foot of snow and ice on the roads. People were driving here and there – including myself – but FedEx and UPS have some pretty wieldly trucks that probably just barely squeeze between the parked cars on either side on a dry day. So I understand the delays.

What I don’t understand is why UPS still hasn’t f**king delivered my most expensive package that was sent from New Jersey on December 17th. On December 19th, it was sent out for delivery, but returned due to “adverse weather conditions.” That’s fine. December 19th was a nightmare. So was December 20th. December 21st… not so much. December 22nd, a little worse, but not that bad. December 23rd, almost clear. December 24th, certainly driveable. The road two blocks from me was plowed. December 25th, completely driveable, the snow all but gone. December 26th – no snow. December 27th – no snow. December 28th – no snow. December 29th – it’s f**king 45 degrees out.

So, UPS, where… the… f**k… is… my… f**king… package?

This is absurd. FedEx started delivering to us on December 23rd. USPS only missed a day or two of deliveries the entire snow storm. Yet UPS, for some reason, is unable to haul their brown vehicles anywhere near my place, when in fact there hasn’t been any snow on the ground for over four days. Yet it still says adverse weather conditions.

What’s worse… I called them on Friday orSaturday and asked how I could pick up my package. I know it’s sitting in the South Seattle UPS center, yet they tell me I am unable to retrieve it. So UPS is unwilling to deliver it and I am unable to get it… what the f**k?

As you can tell, I’m pissed off. I’m pretty sure the UPS driver assigned to my neighborhood decided he or she wanted an extra week off around the holidays. I’ve heard stories of a FedEx driver parking at the bottom of our hill and calling people, saying if they wanted their packages they could walk down and get them. That’s awesome. Yet UPS can’t drive on dry roads to deliver my big Christmas present for my dad? What the hell?

They’re doing the same thing to my parents in Redmond, though granted there is more snow over there. Still, it’s flatter and just as driveable. Do we have to pay a ransom?

UPDATE: I did, of course, receive my package  – on December 31st (and my parents’ on January 2nd). Shortly after posting this blog, however, I did receive an email from UPS public relations offering some assistance, and at the very least showing that they are out listening to customer concerns. As a marketing guy who is responsible for PR at my company (no, not FilmJabber), I give UPS props for being fast to get out on the Internet and quell mean blog posts such as mine. Here’s the response I received from UPS:

While we’re used to working in bad weather during the holidays, every storm is different. We were making the best judgment we could on when it was safe to put our drivers on certain roads. Our package volume is much greater than our competitors during the holidays, which means that delivery delays affect a larger number of people. It’s my understanding that deliveries and local services in Seattle varied by neighborhoods due to the weather and road conditions.

I also received a letter in the mail from UPS today apologizing for the delays. While it was a form letter, I still respect their marketing efforts to tackle the public relations aspect of the fiasco.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Miscellaneous
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  • Simply put, UPS fails at life. To expound on the tweet I sent back to you earlier, I’d ordered a book for a friend from Amazon, used 2-day Prime shipping, and I was all incognito-like- but I messed up. We’ll say her apartment was #4, I put #2 by mistake. They attempted delivery, I contacted them, gave them the correct address, they tried to deliver again- to apartment 2. After that, I contacted them again, no one had changed the address in the system, so they fouled that up again for a suspected 3rd time. I finally contacted them a third time, and this 2-day ship order got to her in about 5 days. Not counting the weekend.

    My last order from Amazon(Bluetooth headphones FTW, btw) was apparently delivered to someone else. When I contacted UPS, they informed me I could do nothing about it outside of contact Amazon, they wouldn’t contact the driver to find out where he’d left it- they were just plain asses, in short. Here’s to hoping Fed Ex does a much better job.

  • Jim

    It’s logistics..from what I have found out they parked the trailers from the 19th in the backs of the lot and all the new trailers are being packed in front making it impossible to get them. That’s why we’ve seen delivers before, during and after the 19th…

  • Hi tygr20, wow, that sucks. I’ve generally had pretty good experiences with them, but not recently.

    @Jim, love that logistical planning…

  • Erik, thanks for publishing the update to your blog post. At UPS, we take pride in delivering outstanding service to our customers. But as pointed out in your blog, your encounter did not that standard. I hope you and your readers will give us another chance to regain your trust.

  • c2nah777

    UPS needs to change the wording on the front or the back of their door tags to be more logical.

    If the box stating “A signature is required for delivery.” is checked, the back states someone either can sign in person, OR sign the back of the tag to have the driver leave the package the next day.

    If the other box is checked which says something to the effect of The sender requests a signature for delivery (milder than demands), the back explains this to mean someone must be present for the driver to hand the package to and sign for it.

    My driver uses logic and checks the first box when he means I must have someone present. I have filed no less than two complaints as this makes me miss the second attempt automatically, when I expect him to leave the package on my porch because I have signed the tag and he doesn’t follow the instructions. Do I need to start my own blog?