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April 20, 2006

UPS Sucks

UPS sucks. It's not their fault. I mean...well...it's not the driver's fault. It's the CEO's fault. The CEO's fault that they're not capable of providing a service that works for humans. Let's consider the following. I paid $61.66 to have a package that weighs 4 pounds shipped overnight from Ohio to Colorado. UPS gives me a tracking number, but no clue what time the package is due to arrive. So, I'm kind of in a bind because, they won't leave the package without a signature, but I have no idea when they'll be here. So, basically, I'm a prisoner of UPS for the day. I can't even take a shower or go to the bathroom without fear that this mindless drone will roll up to my house in his ugly brown panel van, knock once on the door, afix a little yellow post-it and flee before I can get to the door.

If I call UPS, they say they have no idea what time he'll drop off the package. Then, they lie...outright lie...and say "we have no way to contact our drivers." Like...right. This is 2006, and you have no way to communicate with your trucks. Whatever.

As I'm not one to just cast stones without offering suggestions for improvement - here's how a real company would be run.

1) Throw away the little yellow post-it notes. This is 2006. Get with the program. When you accept shipment orders, make an a attempt to get a phone number or two and an email address. You'd be surprised how willing people are to give this information out when they're expecting a package.

2) Have the drivers estimate their delivery day. Presumably, this is something that they are capable of doing, otherwise, how would you know how many packages they should attempt to deliver. This would then give a rough estimate for the delivery of each package. The time doesn't have to be exact, but if you know that a package will be the last one he delivers, you may have a good idea that there's no way in h3ll that he'll be able to drop it off befor 4:00 p.m. No point in this poor soul killing their whole day waiting for him when he can't possibly be there for another six hours.

3) Track the trucks. The world now has GPS. I know the UPS drivers have little digital computer-smartpads they're using. Why not use these to update their schedule on the internet in realtime? This way, as a driver gets closer to delivering the package, the estimated time of delivery becomes more and more accurate.

If you have to leave a little yellow postit on the door, consider this a failure. And a major one. Call the person. Email them. Ask them what time they would like the package delivered, or if there is an alternate delivery address. Do you see where I'm coming from here? Do I need to take the company over, or are you capable of figuring this out? I hate those little brown bastiches at UPS. I would use FedEx, but the seller didn't offer it as an option. Arrrhg!

Update: Paul came out, and he's the nicest guy you'd ever meet. And, as it turns out, he didn't need a signature. This is frustrating because, had I known they were shipping the package without requiring a signature, I wouldn't have felt so pinned down.

After he left, I did some research on this problem and I discovered the following: If you look at the UPS tracking number, it's generally of this format: it goes "1Z", followed by six numbers, followed by a 2 digit number. My 2 digit number was "13". "13" means no signature required. There are many other codes that mean no signature required, such as "01","03", and "02". The 2 digit codes that require a signature are "4Z', "38", and "A8".

Why they don't put this information on the web site is anyone's guess. (Note: This is not my real tracking number. It has been photoshopped to fool stalkers.)

(Note: This is not my real tracking number. It has been photoshopped to fool stalkers.)

Posted by Peenie Wallie on April 20, 2006 at 12:22 PM


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