Thursday, 21 May 2020

Why I Hate Using U.P.S.

WHY I HATE USING UPS

Recently I had occasion to buy a large item from a company in the U.S. Because of past bad experiences, I usually will refuse to accept shipping from UPS but the company informed me that this was the only carrier available so I plunked down the money for expedited shipping and hoped for the best. I knew that with customs and the Covid virus I wasn't going to get it as soon as promised but thought it won't be much later.

On Friday, May 15th my shipment of four boxes started its road trip in Chicago and winged its way eastward. I received confirmation and tracking numbers but they showed nothing until Tuesday. That is when I got a call from a nice lady in New Brunswick who told me that UPS was making a delivery the next day and that because the amount owed for tax (there is no duty) was over $500 and because, due to the Covid virus the drivers can't process any payments, I had to pay in advance. I could do so by phone or via their web site. Since I had phone in hand I tried that alternative- several times! In fact, I was still trying when my wife Vickie, who was sitting beside me said, "It's all taken care of. I went on the web site". Great! All paid for and it's coming Wednesday- sometime before 9 PM! Since I live in the far reaches of the province, I assumed late in the day but since I couldn't take any chances, and since the tracking now showed the packages in Dartmouth N.S and in transit to me, I changed my plans to go food shopping in town and waited.

The next morning, tracking showed all the packages in transit to me from Dartmouth. But at around 11:30, I received two emails saying two of the packages had been delayed at customs and would be a day late. Bummer, but at least I could check the first two. I needed at least 3 packages to be able to assemble the machine.

At 7:30 that night, I received two more emails saying that the other two boxes would not be delivered and when I checked the tracking, it said that customs was holding them because the fees (that had been confirmed paid a day earlier by UPS) had not been paid yet.

That was a little worrisome so I decided to call UPS (no small feat in itself!). Eventually I found a number and the nice answering machine said that because of the virus, the delay in speaking to an operator might be in excess of 25 minutes. 

She was spot on! An hour and 17 minutes later, a cheery voice picked up the phone at their end and started talking, unfortunately in a language with which I am unfamiliar. But after many attempts (try conveying a long tracking number when there is a language barrier) she was able to update me on the tracking. She confirmed that three of the packages had been released by customs and would arrive today (Thursday). Unfortunately, the 4th package had been "mis-sorted" and had gone to parts unknown but no worry, they would re route it and, while it wouldn't be coming with the others, it would arrive soon, probably sometime the following week.

I said, "So you lost one of the packages." to which she replied, "No sir it was mis- sorted!" So I learned something new. UPS don't lose packages, they "mis-sort" them.

At this point I must have sounded somewhat displeased because she said that she could reduce the shipping charges (remember I had paid 2.5 times standard rates for upgraded shipping) and when I didn't sound pleased enough she doubled the reduction. It is supposed to be processes through my PayPal account in 7-10 days. I'm not counting on seeing a dime!

So I went to bed comforted by the thought that most of my shipment (and hopefully all the machine components) were safely tucked away in Dartmouth N.S. a mere 2.5 hours from my home and would be in my possession by 9 PM tonight. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

I awoke with high optimism and over coffee decided to track the packages to see if they had moved from Dartmouth N.S and, indeed, it appears that they did because in the early morning hours the three were now in Dieppe, N.B.! And the 4th package? well, it was now supposedly sitting in Dartmouth!
So now once again, I wait to see if anything arrives and, if so, what?

Did I mention that I hated using UPS

UPDATE: 30 minutes after I had finished the original post, I got four emails from UPS telling me that the delivery on all the packages had been pushed back a day to Friday, sometime before 9PM. This item is actually an anniversary gift and since my anniversary is actually Dec. 11th, the darn thing just might make it in time!

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