Why I Hate UPS, And You Should Too

UPS Hates Customers

UPS Hates Customers

For the most part, I try to avoid writing about my own personal troubles and frustrations with companies, because come on, you all have enough problems, you really don’t need to hear mine.  Here at Dad Does we like to focus on real world product reviews, but sometimes we run into a company that performs so horribly, that it seems like a disservice not to share our experience with our readers.  So, excuse me for a few moments while I bore you with the details of my horrible experience with UPS, but don’t worry, there is a bigger lesson to be learned…

Just The Facts on How UPS Lost My iPhone 5

Short story, I preordered  an iPhone 5 and UPS lost it.  For the much longer story, let me lay out the facts of how things transpired…

1. On 9/25 I got an email that my iPhone was shipped from China and received the UPS tracking number

2. On 9/28, UPS attempted to deliver the iPhone, but no one was available to sign for it.  Here is the tracking –

UPS Lost Package

3. Impressive, from China via Korea and Alaska, to my house in 4 days!  I am told a second attempt will be made on Oct 1st, Monday.

4. Monday comes and the iPhone is not delivered.  I call UPS and have to wait on hold for 45 minutes while they put a message in the system for the local center to call me back.

5. I am told they will call me back by 10am on 10/2 with an update.  I have the operator repeat back my phone number three times and she guarantees I will get a call at 10am on 10/2.  I receive no apology or explanation for why the package was not delivered even though the system showed it would be delivered by end of the day 10/1.

6. I wait until 10:30am on 10/2 and do not receive a call from UPS.  I then call UPS back and the operator tells me there is no record of me calling the other night and no request for the center to call me.  The operator can not explain why, after spending an hour on the phone with UPS the night before, nothing is in the system.  The operator states she will put an Urgent request for the call center to call me.  No apology is offered for the lost package, lost record of my call or time I have wasted.

7. One hour later, I receive a response to my URGENT request.  The UPS center states, “Your package is lost, call the sender and ask them to file a claim”.  No reason or apology is offered.

My Story is Not Unique and That Is What Makes UPS So Horrible

I know, who really cares about the fact that UPS lost my package and I don’t have an iPhone 5.   What makes my story so troubling is that it is boring, repetitive and not at all unique.  In venting my frustrations with others, I heard time and time again horror stories about the customer service at UPS.   This is exactly why I am writing this post, because I believe it shows a pattern at UPS that is extremely troubling.

I Am Not Upset That UPS Lost the Package, I Am Furious In How They Handled The Situation

Let me be 100% clear about this – every single company makes mistakes, I do NOT fault UPS for making a mistake.  If I had a nickel for every mistake in business I have made, I could buy a new car.  On the other hand, if I had a nickel for every time I apologized for a mistake I made with my business, I could buy a car dealership!

Yes, it seems odd that UPS could get my phone through China and Korea and then manage to lose it within a 5 miles radius of my home.  Still, mistakes happen.  What is completely unacceptable is how UPS handled the situation. They took a spark and turned it into a forest fire.  This is a text book example of how not to deal with consumers.

What Did UPS Do Wrong? Let Me Count The Ways

As busy parents, two of our most precious resources are time and sanity.  UPS exhausted both of these resources with amazing indifference.   Not that the specifics are that important, but here are the obvious mistakes that UPS made –

  • I have to call UPS and report there is a problem
  • I waste 45 minutes of my time reporting the problem
  • UPS does NOT do as they said they would, call me back with information
  • UPS does NOT have any record of my 45 minute call
  • I have to call UPS Back
  • I have to spend more time explaining the problem to UPS
  • I am told I have to call Apple to report the problem
  • No apology is ever given

The above specifics are not that important, but the pattern that they show is alarming.  When there is a problem, the whole UPS customer service system is created to make the customer do all the work.  Why in the world does the pronoun “I” appear so frequently in the list above?  I do NOT work for UPS.

Sure an apology would have been nice, but even if I got better trained reps, who actually apologized, the UPS problem solving system is still structured in a way which is destined to waste your time and drive you insane.

How Could UPS Do Better?  I’m Glad You Asked (because heaven knows UPS never did)!

I feel it is unfair to bash a company if you don’t have a feasible plan of how they could have done better.  So, let me take you on a ride to a parallel universe where UPS actually cares and respects its customers time (my suggestions are in red)…

1. On 9/25 I got an email that my iPhone was shipped from China and received the UPS tracking number

2. On 9/28, UPS attempted to deliver the iPhone, but no one was available to sign for it.

[Parallel Universe Where UPS Cares…]

2a. UPS is able to see that the package is never scanned back into their warehouse.  The fact that a package went out for delivery, was not delivered, but never came back to the warehouse is all in the UPS system and triggers a report.  A UPS supervisor is notified, the shipper in notified and an investigation is started and the customer receives an email explaining that there may be a problem and an investigation has been launched.  In this email the customer gets a case number and a contact person.

3. Impressive, from China via Korea and Alaska, to my house in 4 days!  I am told a second attempt will be made on Oct 1st, Monday.

4. Monday comes and the iPhone is not delivered.  I call UPS and have to wait on hold for 45 minutes while they put a message in the system for the local center to call me back.

[Parallel Universe Where UPS Cares…]

4a.  Step 3 and 4 are basically avoided if Step 2A was done by UPS.  If somehow the system missed triggering an automatic investigation, my call should take 5 minutes and an investigation as explained is 2A is launched.  I now have a case number and contact person.

5. I am told they will call me back by 10am on 10/2 with an update.  I have the operator repeat back my phone number three times and she guarantees I will get a call at 10am on 10/2.  I receive no apology or explanation for why the package was not delivered even though the system showed it would be delivered by end of the day 10/1.

6. I wait until 10:30am on 10/2 and do not receive a call from UPS.  I then call UPS back and the operator tells me there is no record of me calling the other night and no request for the center to call me.  The operator can not explain why, after spending an hour on the phone with UPS the night before, nothing is in the system.  The operator states she will put an Urgent request for the call center to call me.  No apology is offered for the lost package, lost record of my call or time I have wasted.

[Parallel Universe Where UPS Cares…]

6A. Again, if 2A or 4A happens, we never reach 5 or 6.  If UPS OWNS RESPONSIBILITY for the problem, I do not have to waste time, get aggravated and do the job that UPS customer service employees are paid to do.  I am off being a Dad and UPS is off being a shipping company.

7. One hour later, I receive a response to my URGENT request.  The UPS center states, “Your package is lost, call the sender and ask them to file a claim”.  No reason or apology is offered.

[Parallel Universe Where UPS Cares…]

7A. Once UPS discovers the package is lost I get a call, email or text which says, “Our investigation shows your package has been lost.  We apologize for this situation and will continue to investigate to determine how we can do better in the future.  We have already contacted the shipped and notified them of the problem.  Again, we apologize for this experience and please accept this coupon code for free shipping so we can try to win back your business in the future.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

In this Parallel Universe where UPS Cares, they own the problem, are proactive and the customer is not responsible for doing the investigation and follow-up. Does this require some great advancement in technology or new staff ?  Absolutely not, UPS could start doing this today…if they cared and respected our time and sanity.

Conclusion: UPS, The Company To Use If You Hate Your Sanity

When we do product reviews we always look for products that make a parent’s life a little bit easier, better or more fun in some way.  If we hold UPS to this standard, they are a complete and utter failure.  Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that UPS could easily do better, but they just don’t care enough about our time or sanity to make any effort to improve.

Hey UPS Tell Your Side Of The Story! We would love to hear UPS tell their side of the story, so we have tweeted this post out to their customer service team. UPS guys, the comments are all yours – go ahead and explain away, we will do our best not to lose your comments.

UPS, The Shipping Company That Thinks You Work For Them, Gets a 1 D (scale of 1 to 5) -

1D Review
Here is our complete rating chart –

Dad Does Rating System

Click Here For our Disclosure Policy