UPS Gets A Twitter Monitor To Solve Your Problems

Looks like UPS has set a guy on Twitter to search for complaints and offer help as well as act as customer service ombudsman. If that package just never seems to be coming or you’d like the guy to just stop playing skeeball with it on your front porch, and regular customer service isn’t of help, Thomas looks like your guy. In addition to being a web-dude at UPS, he’s been blogging since ’99 and founded a theater company in ’06. Sounds like a cool cat to me. You need a real human being non-drone your face-fronting Twitter presence. He’s ThomasAtUPS on Twitter.

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  1. FrugalFreak says:

    What would solve my UPS problems would be to hire Good people. Rather than throw crushed packages on steps and porches, Follow the policies and leave pickup or redelivery notes. It seems Gas usage has dictated the shoddy service.

    • oneliketadow says:

      @FrugalFreak: I’ve always had good experiences with the UPS drivers, it’s the phone reps and strange policies that bug me. One for-instance is that I refused delivery on an item shipped accidentally, I assumed naively that I could just drop it at the improperly named “UPS Store”, but no, they don’t take it there.

  2. Brad Brown says:

    I went to “New Management Orientation” with Thomas when I worked at UPS. He’s a very competent guy; hopefully the old farts at UPS won’t shut him down. The IT staff tends to be very conservative, so a Twitter presence is surprising.

  3. dronnac says:

    It’s funny, many companies have adopted the Twitter approach as new way of offering Customer Service online, I think it is effective but let’s face it this is only a drop in the ocean. These guys don’t have a life as they are called on duty on graveyard times. For instance today which is President’s Day, these guys (I’m not just mentioning Thoas@UPS here) have no time off which is saddening. What is the price of customer Service, overworking your own employees for the sake of being hip?

    • TVarmy says:

      @dronnac: I think the twitter accounts are a great gesture, but I think they shouldn’t have just one employee work on the twitter page. Instead, I think they should just encourage people in the customer support department as a whole to check the twit replies and help with them at their discretion.

      Twitter does have some key benefits, too. Every time a person complains about UPS or asks for help on twitter, all the friends who follow that person see what’s happening, and they also get to see how UPS follows through. There’s much more accountability than with a live chat or phone call.

    • floraposte says:

      @dronnac: In my experience, Presidents Day off is more unusual than the converse. It’s not what you’d call yer major holiday.

  4. downwithmonstercable says:

    This is awesome, I have never had a good experience with UPS. I’ll keep this guy in mind.

    BTW, UPS’s phone tree system is the worst I’ve ever experienced, and their phone people are absolutely terrible. They don’t listen, they only read from the script, and basically offer zero help. I was very sad when DHL withdrew fromt he US market :(

    • milk says:

      @downwithmonstercable: That’s interesting. I only ever had problems with DHL and haven’t had any with UPS. We moved almost two years ago and still miss our old UPS guy. We got so many packages he knew us. He’d honk and wave when he saw me walking through the neighborhood. ;(

    • JonThomasDesigns says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Thats crazy .. I love UPS .. my Driver is the coolest guy ever .. he even calls to see is i want my package left out or wait for tomorrow

    • ecwis says:

      @downwithmonstercable: I miss DHL as well. They were always very accommodating. If a package was in their warehouse and I wanted to pick it up there, they would personally look for the package, and allow me to pick it up. With UPS, they won’t even try to do that until there is a failed delivery. Also, DHL allowed me to drop off packages at their warehouse well after the drop off time and they always managed to get them out that night.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ecwis: FedEx Express (don’t think this is true with Ground) allows you to do that as well. During the winter snow up here in Seattle, FedEx Express allowed customers to come to their station (if they could get there due to the snow) to retreive their packages since so much of the city was snowbound. UPS simply said “no” and they couldn’t give any date or time that the packages that were sitting there would be delivered. Had 3 Christmas presents arrive a week late due to them. Here’s the story… http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/394845_shipping06.html

        • ecwis says:

          @TheronDaedalion: That’s good to hear, although FedEx’s warehouses always seem to be at least 30 minutes away. DHL’s locations have been pretty close. In New York for example, they had one in Midtown Manhattan which was pretty convenient.

  5. s25843 says:

    Does Consumerist have a list of all the Corporate Twitter Contacts out there?

    If you guys don’t, you should make one.

  6. scoosdad says:

    Charter cable just put a few people officially to work putting out fires over at DSLreports.com.

    So far the gesture has been well received.

  7. Corporate-Shill says:

    In other news, UPS will be increasing rates by $0.01 per package effective immediately to pay for Thomas’s salary and shutting down their two largest call centers as they will no longer be needed.

  8. sicknick says:

    Will he respond to logical questions about why UPS sucks so hard on a daily basis?

    Maybe he can answer why they put a clause in contracts so that between Dec 23-26, even if a customer for my company pays 30.95 cents for overnight delivery, they can claim they don’t have to do it on time during those dates. No restitution, no refund, no apology. All I got from the clerk was being told “Well, there are so many packages at this time, some can’t fit on the truck.” because that’s what happened. The package was in the local distribution center, but didn’t make it on the truck. So some kid’s Christmas was ruined and I got to take the irate call. My company got to refund the cash to the customer, even though we got squat but an SOL motion from UPS.

    UPS is fine for business to business shipping, but the home service is appalling.

    Wonder if Thomas can answer about this.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @sicknick: I am one of the many furious about this.

      I am with a corporation that uses UPS WorldShip (UPS computers).

      The computer was able to accept a package for overnight delivery at holiday time, but no warning screen such as “No guarantee applies – do you wish to proceed”.

      When the package wasn’t delivered overnight, and I complained, I was told notice was provided in our monthly invoices. That’s great if our accounting department decided to take over shipping.

      No notice on our UPS issued computer

      No notice on the FAX that UPS sent us indicating holiday pick up hours (hey, wouldn’t that have been logical place to include!)

      There are THOUSANDS of unhappy UPS shippers and package recipients. All this could have been avoided with simply, logical and clear communication.

      But that would have resulted in a loss of revenue when people would have opted out of overnight shipping (if they knew it wouldn’t be guaranteed to be overnight).

      Maximize revenue at all costs, even if it results in customer disappointment.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @sicknick:

      Do ya one better.

      Back a few years ago we would receive advance WRITTEN notice of the dates to be affected.

      Usually it was the 15th through 28th, give or take.

      In 2008…. UPS employees did not have access to the information…. before the fact.

      NOBODY knew the dates… until the guarantees were off.

      Farking great idea.

      My shipping department solved the problem by telling every customer the guarantees were off and provided the contact info of our A/E.

      The A/E either quit or was demoted (promoted). I suddenly have a new A/E. I wonder why.

  9. Amiga_500 says:

    My wife Twittered “F*CK*NG COMCAST!!!” (without the asterisks) and within a few minutes Comcast technicians contacted her to help out. Every time I call Comcast, we get the “We will need to send a technician out and if it’s not a problem on our side we will have to charge you for the call.” How many times can a cable and modem be replaced?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought I’d chime in on the conversation. My name is Debbie Curtis-Magley and I work with UPS Public Relations.

    Thanks for the great mention about @ThomasAtUPS! He is indeed a cool cat and we’re glad to have him on the team. We’re still learning our way around Twitter to help support customers. My apologies in advance if we miss your UPS tweet – we’re a small team but we are eager to help.

    For those of you who shared your frustrations about UPS, I am truly sorry to read about your disappointment. Please know that UPS employees like Thomas and me do value the trust and business our customers give to our company. I hope we’ll have another opportunity in the future to regain your trust.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @SugitaBird:

      How about publishing your contact information including direct telephone number answered by the live body assigned to the number?

      I think my six digit expenditure with UPS each year entitles me to a live body from time to time.

      Unfortunately UPS thinks their employees are soooo important and as such are not allowed to answer their own telephones.

      And while I am in bytch mode…. why doesn’t UPS publish the telephone number to the local UPS Terminal?
      Not important you say? Then why does my website have 300+ hits per month by people using the phrase “UPS terminal in XYXABC” or “UPS telephone number in XYZABC”.

      That is 300+ pissed off UPS customers per month in just one town.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Corporate-Shill:
        My apologies for the frustrations you experienced. It certainly sounds like we haven’t met your expectations for service.

        Please send me your contact details to upsfeedback@ups.com so that I can connect you with the team that addresses these issues.

        I look forward to hearing from you.

  11. danthefreakinman says:

    Maybe I’m the only one but I love UPS. I do almost 100% business to business shipping and I’ve had maybe 1 or 2 problems that I can remember. I accept that home delivery can be somewhat slower because business shipments take priority if the home deliveries aren’t technically due yet. I get around this by having personal shipments shipped to my office and I just take them home from there. I’ve never had to wait for anything more than 4 or 5 days at the cheapest available shipping option.

    Anyhow, regarding the topic, I can foresee myself never using this Twitter account thing. I’m 26 and can’t figure out to cool-factor of Twitter. Am I old? Has it come to that?

  12. maevealleine says:

    How about actually GETTING THE SIGNATURE for packages instead of launching them on my porch and zooming off. Do you know how many times I could have claimed never to have received such package and get a second item for free on UPS?

    HUNDREDS!

    • mermaidshoes says:

      @maevealleine: oh man, i always have the opposite experience with UPS: i am never able to get my package because they won’t leave it without a signature, even if i sign the little slip thingy they stick on the door. just put the package on the step! nobody wants to steal my books or my socks or whatever i ordered online, i promise! rarr.

  13. Joe Johnson says:

    This Twitter site has gone from 30 to nearly 300 followers. How many will it have 30 days from now? I’m watching it closely.