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March 7th, 2000

Today’s Target of Anger: UPS

After my ordeal a couple weeks ago, I thought I had seen the worst examples of customer service, but my experience from last week tops even that one. It serves as the perfect example of how a mega-corporation can take their everyday business to a new level of incompetence.

About two weeks ago, a record label contact was sending me a box of 30 CDs that I was going to be selling through one of my web sites. He sent it UPS to my PO Box, which is not permissible (can’t UPS/USPS/FedEx all just get along?). The first thing that surprised me was that UPS let him send it to a PO Box considering they’re well aware they can’t deliver to one.

So, after quite a while (with typical UPS Ground “speed”), I got a notice in my PO Box that the item was undeliverable. I did, however, have the option of picking it up at the “local” UPS office (45 minutes away) or to have it redelivered. So I opted for redelivery.

I called UPS last Thursday to schedule delivery to my work address. The next day I checked the UPS web site to track the package (one of the few things UPS does well, apparently) and noticed a series of odd errors:

Mar 3, 20007:25 A.M.DULLES-LEESBURG, VA, USCORRECT STREET # NEEDED, NOT DELIVERED7:26 A.M.DULLES-LEESBURG, VA, USCORRECT STREET # NEEDED, NOT DELIVERED;ADDRESS CORRECTED, DELIVERY RESCHEDULED12:09 P.M.DULLES-LEESBURG, VA, USCOMPANY OR PERSON UNKNOWN, NOT DELIVERED9:00 P.M.DULLES-RESTON, VA, USP.O. BOX, NOT DELIVERED;RETURNED TO SENDER, NOT PICKED UP9:17 P.M.DULLES-LEESBURG, VA, USCOMPANY OR PERSON UNKNOWN, NOT DELIVERED9:18 P.M.DULLES-LEESBURG, VA, USCOMPANY OR PERSON UNKNOWN, NOT DELIVERED;ADDRESS CORRECTED, DELIVERY RESCHEDULED

Keep in mind that the above errors all came well AFTER I had called them.

So, on Friday I called them and gave them my address again, this time specifying the company and making sure that they had the suite number down. I rescheduled delivery a second time, this time on Monday.

So on Monday I tracked the package and noticed that it was listed as “Delivered” at 11:11am, though our receptionist said it had not been delivered (and the name of the person that signed for the package was not an employee of our company). I figured it may have been delivered downstairs by accident. But, it wasn’t.

A few minutes later I got an e-mail from the original sender of the package telling me that a guy at a Rent-a-Center had gotten the package and was wondering what he was supposed to do with it!

Get this — the street address I asked UPS to deliver to was: 21351 Ridgetop Circle / Suite 400. The street address they delivered it to: 9106 Mathis Ave. On top of that, it was delivered in a town over 20 miles away from here! How in the world could UPS have screwed up that badly? It absolutely blows my mind.

I can’t wait to point this out to their customer service. -ram

Posted in Consumer Commentary

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