UPS: More Excuses, Less Deliveries

[Updated November 21, 2017; see below]

Back in August 2016 I wrote about UPS and the repeated delivery failures I was seeing. Things have not really improved this year at all. My most recent UPS failure was a tablet ordered for work that we needed quickly, so I paid extra to get 1-day shipping (ordering on a Friday with a delivery expected on Monday).

On Monday, UPS was saying they estimated delivery on Tuesday. Already one day late. Then that date slipped and slipped. There were excuses about the address missing an apartment number (it doesn’t have one to be missing – the destination was our office in San Francisco where all carriers, including UPS, deliver daily). This particular package is one where they hand off to the USPS to do the final delivery, and according to their tracking, they finally managed that on November 14. But then today their tracking shows more scans of the package again:

Now they are estimating delivery on November 21 – that’s 8 days after the original delivery estimate, and 10 days after they first received the package. In that time, it has traveled about 20 miles. At 2 miles per day, UPS is not going to break any speed records that’s for sure.

Lack of Support

The Amazon support folks arranged a three-way conference call with UPS about this when it was clear it was going to miss the second delivery estimate. All they had were excuses about the address being in the wrong format (that is that comment in the tracking about needing an apartment number, even though it is being delivered to an office building and already had the correct address). It was also, maybe, not on the first truck that arrived in SF (nobody was sure about that). Decoding the tracking information accurately to determine where the package might actually be seemed to be impossible.

After the UPS person dropped off that call, the Amazon support person expressed some surprise that they had not been able to offer any information about how to resolve the obvious problems with the delivery. Instead, all they’d done was offer excuses and try to deflect the blame to somebody else.

Tonight, the UPS Twitter support people’s initial response to the tracking information was, once again, trying to deflect the issue to somewhere else (USPS in this case):

After pointing out to them that while the tracking did indeed state that the package had been given to the post office on November 14, there are clearly more scans in the history for today (November 20), they acknowledged something was odd. It makes me wonder whether the package was given to the post office at all. Or maybe they “fixed” the address to something incorrect before handing it off and the post office returned it to them.

The last I’ve heard as of 7:45pm is that the local center in San Francisco is meant to be contacting me today. Sadly, I’m not expecting anything more than more excuses about why they were unable to deliver the package, but you never know. I will update this post if I hear anything more tonight.

November 21, 2017 Update 1

No surprise that nobody contacted me last night. Also, no surprise that the estimated delivery date has moved yet another day forward to November 22, 2017. No additional information in the tracking; the date just moved by another day and no extra information from UPS at all. Seriously, at this point I’m not even sure they know where this package is. Want my advice when selecting a shipping company: just avoid UPS.

November 21, 2017 Update 2

I did (finally) get a call from the San Francisco center, and it appears that somebody at least can see that something is very amiss with the tracking. His answer was that since they haven’t scanned it in 24 hours, and they couldn’t locate it on any trucks, that it is probably missing. He suggested I call the 800 number for UPS customer service and initiate a tracer on it. I tried that, only to be told that their contract with Amazon prevents them doing so unless Amazon requests it. That’s crazy, but at least it means Amazon is aware of their failures.

To further illustrate the disconnects in UPS customer service, these two DM replies came through within minutes of each other in response to my sending them the feedback that SF gave me & commenting on the fact that I was not able to follow their advice:

Still there are people in UPS who believe that the tracking information is accurate, despite the obvious inconsistencies in it (and the fact that the estimated delivery date jumps one day forward every day). Thank you “AC” though for taking the time to look at what the tracking showed and giving the most accurate advice I’ve received so far.

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