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UPS Inefficiencies

I just wanted to make a small rant against UPS. Generally, UPS and most of the big shipping companies are known for their innovation and ever-lasting pursuit of efficiency. They have large computer networks to track shipments and deliveries and optimize routes.. fleets of hundreds of planes and thousands of trucks.. and can manage to get a box from one side of the continent to your front door on the other side in a day for less than the cost of fuel to drive a couple hours out of town.

And yet, even though I am basically never home during the day, I cannot get them to not try to deliver a package to my front door. They put my package on their truck, drive it to my house, and then drive around with it all day, before bringing it back to their warehouse, where they repeat the same process for the next two days. Finally, they leave it in their warehouse, and I can finally stop by after work to pick up the package.

I’ve previously emailed their customer center, and asked them if there is a way to set up my address so the package is always held. Apparently, this is not possible – the best I can do is open an account at a UPS Store, and then have it delivered there (which also means registering the UPS store as a valid shipping address on my credit card). I’m also assuming that opening the account is not free.. so I have to pay them for the privilege of not wasting their drivers time and gas attempting deliveries. That’s innovative.

To send it to my office, I have to add my work address as a shipping address on my credit card, and waste my co-workers time dealing with my personal shipments. This doesn’t really seem like the best way to handle this, although this is probably what I will do from now on.

Today, they’ve only tried to deliver my package once so far. I tried to request my package be held via their website (which both their website and phone system say is possible), but I simply cannot figure it out. I can track the package.. but even after creating an account, I see no way to modify anything about this shipment. So I gave up, and called the number on the notice they left me, again, and this time pressed 0 until it let me speak to a real person. (And then said yes about 8 times, because yes, I really do want to speak to a person.)

Finally the agent was able to stop them from trying to deliver.. maybe. It might have been too late, so they may try tomorrow again anyways. I asked if in the future, I could just call as soon as I got my tracking number. She admitted it would sound strange, but apparently, no. I can’t do this. They have to try to deliver it at least once first.

So even though this package gets from the other corner of the continent and across an international border in just over a day, it is doomed to be driven around in a truck pointlessly for at least two days, and stored in a warehouse over the weekend.

I must have a different definition of “efficient” than UPS does.

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