UPS…bad…then good…then baaaaad

November 18, 2008

damaged-boxI have a long history with buying things over the Internet and having them shipped to me.  Because I like to build my own computers and I’m just a general gadget freak, usually the things I want are only available through online retailers because brick-and-mortar stores just don’t have the shelf space to carry much selection.

So, obviously, I’ve come into contact with UPS.  My first real dealings on a large scale with UPS were not good.  I would order several items from NewEgg and they’d be shipped in a few different packages.  I would have packages arrive that were damaged (luckily, just the exterior cardboard shipping box was damaged and not the contents!).  I would have “Sorry we missed you!” notices on my door even when I was INSIDE my apartment and never heard a single knock!  Sometimes, the lazy driver wouldn’t even bother to come to my door.  Because I lived in apartments, UPS can just drop packages off at the management desk and leave.  This is usually what would happen.  I’d go in to the manager’s office to pick up a package that FedEx left for me and the manager would tell me that I had another package there from UPS!  No notice on my door or anything!

I didn’t much care for UPS at this point, so I started to insist that any packages I ordered from anywhere be shipped by FedEx instead.  FedEx was consistently on-time (sometimes they were even a day or two early!).  The driver was always courteous and helpful.  And they just seemed like they had their shit together better than UPS.

Then I moved to another apartment in a different city.  Talk about night-and-day difference!  Suddenly, UPS was always on-time and never left a notice if I was in the apartment at the time.  I never lost a package with them and the packages were always in good shape when they arrive.  FedEx on the other hand slipped.  Same thing that UPS was doing in my other apartment.  Late shipments.  Rescheduled deliveries because the driver was too lazy to come into my apartment complex even though I took off work to receive some of these bigger, higher priced packages.  So I started to lean more toward UPS as my shipper of choice.  FedEx was still good, but they just weren’t the shining light they once were to me.

Which all brings me to today.  Christmas is right around the corner and I bought ALOT of stuff from Amazon.  Several DVDs, CDs, video games, camcorder, etc.  Amazon shipped this stuff all in one big box.  Needless to say, UPS screwed the pooch on this one.  First off, I came home on the delivery date and there was no package but a tracking notice left on my door saying that they tried to deliver but the package required a signature.  Not a big deal.  It was my fault for not being home.  The driver checked the top box on the notice which simply states that a signature is required.  According to the instructions on the notice, if you sign the back of the notice, that is sufficient and the driver will leave the package at the door when he or she tries to redeliver.  So I signed it and posted it back on my front door so the package would be there waiting for me the following day.

The next day came and again, no package.  There was, however, a new notice with a checkmark in the SECOND checkbox from the top, which states that, not only is a signature required, but a human being must accept delivery IN PERSON.  I called up UPS and said that the driver had only checked the first checkbox on the first notice and I had signed it and left it on the door so they should have left the package.  I was informed that I was mistaken and UPS couldn’t leave the package without someone being there in person to accept it.  I can’t take off a day of work to sit around and wait for the UPS man, so I told UPS to hold the package at their local delivery place so that I can come pick it up after work.

That day was today.  I take off for lunch break from work and head over to the UPS center which is about 5 miles away from my work.  I stand in line and I get my package.  And I swear it looks like Ace Ventura delivered it.  Remember the beginning of the first Ace Ventura movie when he’s kicking the package and doing handstands on top of it, generally beating it to shit before delivering it?  That’s what my Amazon box looks like.  Now, remember how I said I had a camcorder in here?  Well, it’s a good camcorder.  Canon Vixia HF10, which sells for about $750.  $750 and UPS treated the box like it was a jungle gym.  I was pissed.

I am home now and I opened the box a few hours ago.  Luckily, everything inside appears to be okay, except the 2008 Holiday Barbie (my girlfriend has one thing that she collects and it’s the Holiday Barbie dolls…).  The plastic over the Holiday Barbie is all bent, which obviously ruins it’s potential for a Christmas gift.  I’ll have to head out to Wal-Mart and pick up another one that isn’t damaged now.  I just hope and pray that the camcorder isn’t damaged in some unforeseen way.

UPS just made the naughty list…



  1. sounds to me like you should go to walmart and get it yourself more often. damn hermits…

    • If Walmart or any physical store actually carried anything I was interested in buying, then I would go there myself. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like paying $30 for a 15′ cat5 cable, or $15 for a 2GB flash drive. I’d rather pay $4 online for the cable and $15 for a 16GB flash drive. I’m not a shut-in. I just prefer to get more for my money, and in order to do that, I am forced to order things online. Physical stores simply can’t match the variety or prices of online stores. They have too much overhead to pay for and not enough space to carry everything that I want or need.

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