Friday, January 2, 2009

UPS Drops the Ball in Washington - Black Eye for Brown

I'm writing this post reluctantly because UPS has been my carrier of choice both as a shipper and receiver for many years but their performance the past few weeks has been awful. We had some snow in the Puget Sound area in December 2008 and some services were briefly disrupted. This was not a disaster; virtually no power outages, no fatalities and very few road closures. The mail was delivered every day and the shopping malls were open. UPS deliveries however came to a virtual halt.

This is January 2, 2009 and I'm still waiting for packages, most shipped before Christmas. We had a small delivery today of 4 boxes but the bulk of a large shipment that I need to fill a PC order is still missing. I checked the tracking numbers again and most of the missing boxes are listed as ''in transit'' with 1/2/2009 as the revised delivery date. I decided to call and ask about the situation. The rep at 1-800-PICK-UPS told me that all the packages should be delivered today because that's what the tracking information shows. I told him that I already had a delivery and these packages were not included. He said that maybe a second truck would come later. Since we've been checking and seeing similar hopeful information for days with no results, I have no reason to believe this will actually happen this time.

I decided to ask about two other packages that did arrive today, one a 2nd day air that shipped on 12/20/2008 and another 3 day select that shipped on 12/19/2008. I asked if there would be a refund due to the fact that neither parcel arrived anywhere near the date one would expect after paying for expedited delivery. No, there would be no refund due to the ''EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS' CONTROL''. So if they make a note in the file to this effect, all bets are off.

Next step... ask for a supervisor. The supervisor started with about the same information and script I heard from the first person; nothing. She did add an excuse about high volume. I explained that this was not a disaster, merely a snow fall of 4 to 8 inches and that incompetence played a greater part in the shipping delays than the weather or the volume. I also added that in the future, volume should not be a problem because the black eye that ''Brown'' now sports in our area will mean a shift to Fedex and USPS. I suggested that she pass on this information to her boss and that UPS should issue an apology and spell out corrective action that they are taking to keep this from happening again. She told me that she would do that and that if it were up to her, she would give me refund, but the system was blocking her from doing so.

For my part, I'm going to be specifying anyone but UPS and switching my online store customers to Fedex. UPS will need to win me back and not just pass on excuses that don't hold up under scrutiny.


1. Kelli said...

Now we know who the senbilse one is here. Great post!

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