Friday, May 1, 2009

There is Something Wrong at UPS

This story beings on a happy note. For Christmas, my lovely wife gave me VA Wine of the Month. It's great. Every month I get a red and a white from a different Virginia winery with an article on the winery and detailed description of each wine with matching recipes! This month's wine first came to my door on Tuesday. I get home to see the ugly UPS sticker. I had to get my son to baseball so I placed on the counter to deal with later. We won the game and came home tired around 8pm. My wife asks about the package. I read the fine print and after a bit I see the phone number and the fact that you have to call before 7pm to effect delivery. I hope that on the second attempt the delivery person comes at a time when we are home. Also this is just the first attempt ( a little foreshadowing :-)

Wednesday I get home to yet another ugly sticker. That's two straight days before 5pm...hmmm I think I should call them. My wife had to run an errand and the kids needed dinner so low and behold it is after 7pm before I remember to call. I see on the "helpfull" sticker that you can also do this from! Great! I go through the broken process of trying to find out how to change my delivery and enter in Friday with a note that I will be at home after 1pm. All is going well until Thursday. I get home guessed it..another bloody sticker. The delivery times were all between 2 and 3pm on three consecutive days. I call customer service because now I am a little upset and I need to find out how to get my package. The lady of phone was nice enough and told be that the 7pm deadline applied to online as well (what's the point of having it then?) She politely gave me the address of the location to pick it up. It was 28 miles from my house and 12 miles, in the opposite direction, from where I work!

I was leaving early on Friday so I figure I'll just "swing" by and get home about an hour later than planned. A hassle, but the wine is worth it :-) I show up and there are two employees and one customer in the customer service area of the massive shipping facility (with two guards at the entrance no less). One employee tells me the other one will be with me shortly as she quickly departs the area. The customer leaves and the employee takes my slip (the one from the FINAL shipment notice) and quickly walks out of sight. Two more customers come in. One with a pakcage and another in my line to pick something up. 

I engage in conversation to learn she called just before 7pm to change shipment to today, but when she asked to speak with a person to verify she would be home, the person told her it was after seven, so they couldn't change delivery! She was told to call at 7am on Friday to verify the package would be at the shipment facility before she picked it up between 10am and 6pm. She called at the required time and was told they couldn't find her package in the system and it would be best if she called the facility when it opened at 10am. She called at 10 and after escalating she got someone to say they would find her package and have it waiting for her by noon. She asked them to call her when they found it, but no call came. She called at noon and they had it. At this point I am thinking "at least I have it better than her."

Another employee entered and took care of the other customer and then she takes the slip from the lady I was talking to. She comes back in seconds with her first hint there a problem. I ask the employee if everything was OK with mine as I hadn't seen the person who took my slip for a while and I hoped it wasn't being delivered to my home right now. The employee that took slip walks in and asks me if anyone will be home around 3pm. I say yes, then she tells me it is on the truck!?!

I drive the 28 miles home trying to forget this whole ordeal. My mom arrives and we go to the bus stop to get the kids just after 2pm. As we are waiting a UPS truck drives by. My wife tells me to hurry home. I walk as fast as possible to catch the guy waiting for me with my wine! A happy ending after all.

I know I only have two data points, but I gotta believe the shipping market is ripe for the picking with customer service as bad as this! 

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