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Monday, November 22, 2004
I fucked up first here. We use UPS Automated Office or whatever the hell it's called here at the office. You set your package up to be shipped online and then print out the label on your printer. Well I mixed up labels for two packages. Sent the 1 lb package that was supposed to Tennessee across town and the 5 lb package that was supposed to Tennessee across town.

I learned about it the next day when the office across town called to say that they received a dog calendar that looked like it was supposed to go to someone in Tennessee. I immediately recognized my mistake and phoned UPS to arrange to have everything sent back. UPS told me that the package meant to go across town and now on its way to Tennessee wasn't scheduled to be delivered until Friday (this was Tuesday). I would have to call back then to intercept it.

So I monitored the package all week on line, waiting for it to reach Knoxville. It arrived late Thursday night. I tried to call then, but their customer service office was closed for the night (I thought this was a 24-hour operation.)

So I got up at 5am the next morning (because we're always 3 hours behind here on the west coast) and called and told UPS to STOP THAT PACKAGE. Was told by the support guy that a call would be put into the Knoxville office and someone would call me back. Never got a call back. So I called when I got to work a couple hours later. Same request. Same reply. Told I would get a call back. No return call. So I checked later online and saw it said package was out for delivery (I'd include the tracking number and link here, but I guess it's against their terms of service to put this on a website.) When I saw this, I called their customer support line again and was told that the change in status wouldn't be reflected until the next day.

So I check back this morning and what do I find? THEY DELIVERED THE FUCKING PACKAGE. Goddman it! The UPS online system is pretty smooth. But the fact that they couldn't stop this package floors me. Absolutely floors me. I'm on the floor right now typing this. Pony Express shipping control was more sophisticated than this. It's like I'm trying to stop the nuclear payload in Dr. Strangelove or something. Got some insane UPS dispatcher holed up in a command center with Peter Sellers raving about P.O.D. Purity Of Delivery. Paid On Delivery. Print On Demand. Meanwhile, Slim Pickins is out yahooing to the doorstep with my package.

It wasn't even my package. I had just offered to send it out as a favor to a friend in the office who was trying to figure out how much postage it was going to cost to send to his parents a dog calendar. Now their lives have been ruined by this, too.

I don't know how UPS could ever make this right. So far, they haven't even tried. But, I promise you this, someday, somewhere, a package will be intercepted.
Blogger Tomohiro Idokoro comments:
UPS's response:

Please include the following line in all replies.
Email Reference Number: NT20041122_0000012490

Dear Tomohiro:

Thank you for your response. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this matter. Please note for future reference, we are unable to intercept a shipment while it is in transit. If you want the shipment to be returned to you, the merchandise should be refused by the receiver when the delivery attempt is made. If the receiver is not home, a note can be left on the door for the driver indicating that the receiver wishes to refuse the shipment.

If the shipment is left without a signature and is unopened, UPS will retrieve the shipment for return to the shipper at no additional charge. Please call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-PICK-UPS (1-800-742-5877) to arrange the return.

If the shipment is delivered and a signature is obtained or the shipment is opened, we are unable to return the shipment free of charge. You can use one of UPS' Return Services to retrieve the item. For more information on UPS Return Services, please visit WWW.UPS.COM. You may also refer to the following links:

http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/select/sending/options/returns.
html

http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/resources/select/sending/options/returns_plus.html

If we may assist you in the future, please feel free to contact us.

Thank you for using Internet Services.

Carlos
Well that's pretty fucking archaic.