Customer Says OnTrac Is Ruining His Amazon Prime Membership

Brian paid for an Amazon Prime membership in order to expedite shipments. Unfortunately, the company contracted to deliver the goods to him doesn’t seem up to the job.

He writes,

I order books, electronics, etc. from Amazon quite frequently, so I went ahead and signed up for Amazon Prime a few months ago for the free two-day shipping. Little did I know what a pain it would be to actually receive items in two days. I live in San Diego, and Amazon has started using this regional shipping company called OnTrac for West Coast states. To put it bluntly, they suck. I ordered a couple books last week, that package was promptly lost. To their credit, Amazon sent out replacements (via overnight FedEx). However, I had really needed the books quickly, and it was over a week before I got them.

Then last week I placed an order for a new laptop mouse, which, again, I needed quickly for work. I paid extra this time for one-day shipping, and was not happy when I got the “shipped via ONTRAC” email. Not surprisingly at all, I received an email today that OnTrac had attempted delivery, but needed my phone number and gate code before they could bring me my item! I live in a regular apartment building, and all the driver had to do was scroll the callbox to get my name, but apparently that was too complicated. Both UPS and FedEx NEVER have this problem, since they use drivers who know their routes and know their customers. Again, to their credit, Amazon responded promptly and refunded the delivery charge, but the point is that I shouldn’t have had to waste time on this in the first place, and I wouldn’t have had to if UPS or FedEx had delivered the package! I feel like Amazon is just trying to cut corners to save a few bucks on shipping costs, but they’re doing it at the expense of their customers who pay $79 a year to be Amazon Prime members.

I’m wondering if your West Coast readers have experienced similar problems with OnTrac shipping over the past few weeks? Maybe these problems are more widespread since Amazon started using them. Thanks!

Comments

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  1. Ben_Q2 says:

    Sounds like the US Mail to me. I live in Apple Valley, 100% of all my boxes I have to pickup. When they fit in my box. Where 100% of all my FedEx and UPS gets to me. On a side note. I had 13 netflix DVD come up missing in 8 months. Netflix said what they said, 4 months later I started to get DVDs in the mail. None of them my DVDs.

    • Antiks says:

      @Ben_Q2: I never have problems with U.S. mail.

      • TechnoDestructo says:

        @Antiks:

        All the carriers vary by region. In interior Alaska there are and have long been problems with some post offices. Like the one at the University of Alaska used to take as long as 2 weeks to send outgoing mail to North Pole, while stuff going the other way would get there the next day at the latest. In Tucson, UPS sucks. I ordered a textbook which showed up a week and a half late and not in any sort of packaging. Oh, and things show up as “out for delivery” for 3 or 4 days before they get to me.

    • Damocles57 says:

      @Ben_Q2:Nice answer to an entirely different question.

      OP’s original question: “I’m wondering if your West Coast readers have experienced similar problems with OnTrac shipping over the past few weeks? Maybe these problems are more widespread since Amazon started using them. Thanks!”

      At least reference the original question before you segue into something unrelated.

  2. VaultComplex says:

    I’d say the OP’s problem is less OnTrac and the employees in his region that suck. I have this exact same problem, except with UPS, where FedEx and OnTrac are consistently on time, and manage to get into my complex without a problem, and even placing them on my porch when I’m not home instead of leaving an attempted delivery notice. Obviously, UPS is perfectly competent where he lives, but where I live, some of the drivers are idiots, and (and this is just a theory) outright lie about attempted deliveries, as they don’t leave a notice or even knock on my door, or try to get buzzed in.

    Anyways, after constant complaints to UPS, I was able to get my local branch’s direct number. I suggest you do the same for your local OnTrac branch, and report to a manager that the driver is being lazy about your deliveries.

    • dreamcatcher2 says:

      @VaultComplex: I agree, it all depends. I’ve lived in 6 different addresses in San Diego, and the mix of which delivery companies are great and which suck changes each time I move. Fedex sucks right now.

      If I was OnTrac (or UPS or Fedex) I’d be begging Amazon to help me collect data for regional quality of delivery, so I could keep my company on top. Amazon could just sample 10% of the customers on a route, and ask them if they were satisfied with their most recent delivery. Do that twice a year and make it part of the drivers’ performance review. Heck, Amazon should want to know that data too, to prevent articles like the OP.

  3. brickothy says:

    I’m an Amazon Prime customer in Seattle, and OnTrac has been pretty reliable so far. Everything shipped to me via OnTrac has arrived on or before the estimated date, and once I was lucky enough to get same-day delivery.

    I have had other shipping delays with Amazon Prime shipments — but FedEx was the slow shipper in those cases. Every time I’ve had an issue, Amazon customer service agents have been only too happy to issue my account a small credit ($5 or $10, depending on how bitchy my e-mail was).

  4. jonquil says:

    I had a bad OnTrac experience about a month ago; a “next day” shipment didn’t arrive for a week. By that time, Amazon had shipped the replacement. Furthermore, the tracking notice for OnTrac kept saying “out for delivery” when it turned out it had never left the depot.

  5. Nick says:

    I am also a prime member and just got my first shipment via OnTrac today. It seemed to go well, but I happened to be home when the delivery person came. God help them if they start pulling the “driver doesn’t know where to leave a package, so you’re overnight order will now take 3 days until you get it because they only attempt residential deliveries at 2pm on weekdays” crap.

    • Rob says:

      @schwnj: I hate that. They always come between like 1-2pm and I call them and explain “I have a job, I have things to do, I can’t drop everything for a package.” “WELL. I guess we will just have to throw it in a puddle near the back of your house and forge your signature then.”

  6. californian says:

    I had pretty bad experience with OnTrac too. I was supposed to get the package on Wednesday. No package arrives. On their tracking website it says: “Delivery failed, business closed”. The address is not a business, it’s a house, in a residential neighborhood, and my wife was home all day. So, wondering what was happening we called later that day. We were told that the driver didn’t want to come to where we live (Santa Cruz, from their office in San Jose, CA) because there was fog on the road. While it is true that there was fog,it’s not uncommon for that to happen, thousands of people drive that every day (I commute that route, including that day). We were told the package would be delivered the next day.
    No package on Thursday even though it was supposed to be delivered according to their website. We called. Apparently they were overloaded, Amazon had sent too many packages or something, so they decided not to deliver our package. They were going to deliver it Friday.
    Friday, no package. Website doesn’t say why. My wife called to see if I could pick the package up on my way back home from work. They said the driver would bring the package back around 8. I decided to go home, since they were going to deliver for sure on Saturday.
    Saturday no package. Well, the driver doesn’t work on Saturdays. And, it turns out, the driver kept the package in the truck (with him) Friday night, so I can’t even go pick it up at the warehouse. But hey, on the bright side, the driver delivers on Sunday.
    Sunday. We didn’t expect the package to show up, but it did. I’m kind of thinking the driver came to spend the weekend in the Santa Cruz boardwalk and decided to drop the package.

    I understand delays, but come on! You have to know how your delivery system works!

  7. pivory says:

    I’ve had horrible experiences with my prime membership and Amazon’s new contractor A1 International delivery services starting in October.

  8. mrsam says:

    It’s a dirty little secret but for the overwhelming majority of people, expedited shipping is utterly worthless.

    About half the time I order stuff, I end up getting it a business day after it ships. A quarter of the time it’s two business days later.

    Large retailers strategically locate their warehouses where most folks live, to optimize. On Wednesday afternoon I ordered stuff from Thinkgeek, who are located in Virginia (they’re not that big, actually). The stuff went out Wednesday evening, from a warehouse about a dozen miles from me, and I got it on Thursday, about 24 hours after I placed the order.

    If you live out somewhere in the boonies, premium shipping, like Amazon Prime might make sense; but for the majority of folks its wasted money.

    • Darklighter says:

      @mrsam: Amazon doesn’t have any warehouses in California to avoid collecting sales tax, so it’s really useful here.

      • VaultComplex says:

        @Darklighter:

        Are you sure? I’ve been getting a lot of video game shipments that are picked up by UPS at a warehouse in about 30 miles or so south of Los Angeles.

        • Taint_Too_Proud_To_Beg says:

          @VaultComplex: I’m in California, have Amazon Prime and have never received an Amazon package from California (and I’ve ordered from Amazon maybe a hundred times over the years). Maybe that one you mention is just a video-game supplier – I don’t buy video games. I pay extra for Amazon Prime, though I’m in LA, certainly not the boonies, and it pays off for me because non-Prime shipping used to take about 5 or 7 days for me. Prime Shipping saves me 3 to 5 days, a significant amount of time. I shelled out for Prime after years of getting fed up with Amazon packages taking about a week and I feel it’s worth the money.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @mrsam: i live a bit out in the boonies and i still had a UPS Ground package get to me so fast this week that i didn’t realize it had been delivered for two days. [it’s been stormy and the delivery person tried to protect it from the rain by hiding it in the bushes on the side of my front step and i don’t use my front door]

      i went to look at the tracking for UPS ground the day before i expected it and saw.

      11/09/2009 9:00 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
      11/10/2009 12:37 P.M. DELIVERY

      and no, it wasn’t coming from around the corner.

    • GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

      @mrsam: On Amazon Prime, I must disagree. All of their deliveries have been on time over the years of membership for our family. It has been via a service other than what the OP has named and there are people home to receive regardless of the day. I would consider those extenuating circumstances that might explain the consistent delivery that has lived up to the promise over the years.

  9. crichton007 says:

    Everything I order using my Prime membership is delivered by UPS. I do know that I have complained on the rare occasions that my items do not arrive on the designated day and Amazon has been very accommodating. I recommend actually calling Amazon every time. They’ll usually offer some kind of compensation (especially since they can look up the tracking number) and it also get’s the track record of the delivery company on the record.

  10. docshar says:

    I signed up for the trial “free” month of Amazon prime about 2 months ago, and was happy enough with the service to keep it. I was surprised the first time I saw that OnTrac was the shipper because I’d never heard of them. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but so far, so good for me.

  11. benh57 says:

    Yes, Ontrac failed to get a package to my condo as well. USPS is best (since they can get in), 2nd ups and fedex.

  12. outlulz says:

    I switched my office to OnTrac for local deliveries because $7.50 through the entire west cost is much cheaper than the rate we were paying for FedEx. That being said, Ontrac had the bad habit of delivering packages at 7:30 in the morning before businesses were actually open. The items we would be shipping would be confidential legal documents and I wasn’t happy with them leaving them outside front doors.

    • LastError says:

      @outlulz: Did it ever occur to you that you often get what you pay for with delivery services?

      Do you REALLY want Cut-Rate Box Delivery Company handling your stuff? Sure it’s only a $1 and you’ll save a TON, but what if it’s two guys and as beat up old converted schoolbus doing the deliveries? Ontrac is better than that but they’re still leaving your confidential legal docs outside??? Dude or Ma’am, please. There is TOO cheap and I think you have hit that mark.

      Pay Fedex or UPS and get it done right. Bill your clients or write it off. If you ship enough with those two, get an account rep to visit and setup a discounted rate for your office. That can be of great help in reducing costs.

      We ship a ton with one of them. They send a worker to our office to pre-prep all our daily outbound stuff. And they pay for it. And we still get a discount rate.

  13. BrooklynKnight says:

    On the East Coast they are using some company called A1 Express or some thing like that. What a horrible company. I was much more satisfied when they stuck to UPS, USPS and Fedex.

  14. StanTheManDean says:

    Amazon is using the Lowest bidder.

    You got what you paid for.

    The only solution is to stop using Amazon or tell them to take their prime service and shove it up their butts and give you a full refund. Either one of my suggestions will get the attention of Amazon to rectify the problem.

  15. twophrasebark says:

    I would suggest that the OP cancel his Amazon Prime membership and ask for a full refund of the $79 fee.

    Somehow I have the feeling though that the OP is going to keep the membership and keep complaining about it. Some people like to suffer.

    • DarkPsion says:

      @twophrasebark: Oh No, complain loudly and often!

      Back when they shipped DHL, that company had trouble counting to 2. I would complain by email and phone and would almost always get a $5 or $10 gift card for my delay.

      I got my Amazon Prime membership back in Gift cards with all my complaints.

  16. hills says:

    I’ve had 1 package delivered by OnTrac recently, and was nicely surprised. They used the callbox to call my condo, and the delivery guy looked professional. I’m in Portland, OR….. so far, so good….

  17. MickeyMoo says:

    OnTrac left a $600 computer on my doorstep without ringing the bell or getting a signature. I was tempted, but didn’t. I emailed them and suggested that they might want to address that shortcoming in their delivery policy. They didn’t seem to care much. They were fast though.

  18. oldgraygeek says:

    Amazon Prime is great back east… we rely on it for at least three items per week, both personal stuff and hardware for my PC repair business. If I ever see OnTrac coming to Delaware, I’ll promptly freak out.

    Once, I ordered an item I needed on the day it was supposed to be delivered. Our regular UPS guy drove through our neighborhood without stopping at my house, so I checked online and saw that UPS screwed up: it got to our local depot at 9AM, and the truck had already gone out. They had changed the expected delivery date to the next day.
    I called Amazon and told them I would be returning the item, and that I would not pay for return shipping. They said I could just refuse delivery, but I said I would not be home the next day to do so. The lady E-mailed me a shipping label…
    …but it wasn’t needed: an hour later, a different, smaller UPS truck pulled up and delivered the item. Imagine Amazon’s clout, forcing UPS to send a special truck just for one package.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      @oldgraygeek: That might not have been Amazon’s clout. This exact same thing (with a different shipper) happened to me, and they sent out an additional delivery truck with the items that arrived late at the local depot.

      Several times, in fact, have I seen the dreaded ‘rescheduled delivery date’ and still gotten the item on the original date.

      • erin_w (formerly femme_dork) says:

        @doctor_cos: That’s happened with FedEx as well. I ordered a laptop for Mother’s Day for my mother this year, and on the date that it was expected to be delivered, my stepfather was watching like a hawk for the delivery guy. One FedEx truck showed up and delivered most of the packages they were expecting, but the laptop was nowhere to be found. A couple of hours later, a second truck showed up and delivered the laptop.

        It happens.

  19. CrashMurphy says:

    I have Amazon Prime and have had few problems, although I don’t live in an area where OnTrac serves and hopefully never will.

  20. doireallyneedausername says:

    I got my first OnTrac delivery from Amazon this week. They never bothered to ring the doorbell when they dropped off the package. I discovered that it was delivered because I had previously setup a delivery e-mail notification.

    OnTrac used to be known as Golden State Overnight. They’re pretty darn cheap to send stuff intra-CA (and a handful of other states). But not all the drivers are professional. And they use sub-contracted drivers sometimes (i.e. like FedEx Ground/Home delivery). I don’t mind OnTrac but I wonder if this is all due to initial growing pains.

  21. HankScorpio says:

    It seems that most of the people complaining live in some kind of limited access community. Maybe you should work with your neighbors/association to make it easier for these companies to deliver to you.

    For example, I have signature waivers on file with Fedex and UPS for my SFH. That way my package is waiting on the porch for me when I get home from work.

    • elangomatt says:

      @HankScorpio: How do you get UPS and FedEx to take a signature waiver? I have tried looking in to doing that and I have never found anything out about any kind of waiver.

  22. citizensmith: I may be stupid but: says:

    Nothing but good luck so far with Prime, had it for a couple of years. It’s 75% UPS which has great drivers in my area (Sacramento, ca), and 25% Fedex who are also good.

    Last holidays I ordered an item, 2 day, on sunday around lunch. It arrived UPS, monday at 10.00. I was amazed. Getting an overnight from a local distribution center isn’t too uncommon, but having them working sundays as well was pretty surprising.

  23. feckingmorons says:

    I have prime, but I am not a big fan of UPS. I use prime and select 3 day delivery. That always comes USPS. I’m OK with that, in fact I prefer that to UPS.

  24. meehawl says:

    Yeah, I have Amazon in SD and have recently noticed roughly a 30 fail rate for deliveries when items are shipped via Ontrac. I’ve even had identical items, ordered within days of each other, that happened to have been shipped by UPS and Ontrac. The UPS items usually arrive within a day or two (using 2-day Prime shipping) The Ontrac deliveries are a comedy of errors, with bizarre notes left at front doors, complete failures to actually buzz intercoms, and odd messages left on my voicemail by delivery people asking me to please be available 7:30am-6:00pm, thank-you-very-much. The Ontrac items eventually made it, after a week or so (ie, 5 business days).

    Amazon is really scraping the bottom here.

  25. Torchwood says:

    Don’t have Amazxon Prime. Most of the time, my packages from Amazon comes from Fernley, NV, which is next door to Remo. That’s overnight delivery. I end up using the “Free Super Saver Shipping” because I really don’t need the stuff right away. Also, I always ship to where I work. There is always someone at work to receive deliveries during working hours, unlike home.

  26. jenjen says:

    I live in San Diego and have Amazon Prime and have not yet had the pleasure (?) of OnTrac. So far everything has been UPS or FedEx. I would actually MUCH prefer USPS since they have keys and can leave packages behind our apartment complex gate. I hate UPS and FedEx where you play post-it-note roulette – will it blow away? Will they get it? Will they leave the package? Will it get stolen? Really sucks. Delivery is definitely the weak link in the whole online shopping chain. What I REALLY want is to be able to designate who I want my shipper to be. Prime has shown Amazon people are willing to pay more for shipping convenience, let’s take the next step and give us CONTROL too.

  27. FLConsumer says:

    Very satisfied Amazon Prime customer here. No OnTrac in Florida, thankfully. Varies between UPS & FedEx, still haven’t figured out exactly which products get shipped by which carrier, but they’ve almost always arrived on-time.

    As far as UPS vs Fedex vs. others, this is highly variable between locations. I’ve found downtown (NYCers:Midtown) locations to have the best service, followed by wealthier suburbs. After that it’s a crap shoot. Fortunately I have decent drivers at my homes now. No major issues in awhile other than the FedEx driver occasionally taking packages back to the depot if I’m not home.

  28. [DFX] Deimos says:

    OnTrac absolutely sucks. We ordered some stuff from Amazon a while back and it got shipped through OnTrac. They left a notice since we weren’t home and when I called their main number to see if they could re-route the package to my job (since I wasn’t going to be home in the near future at that time) they said that they couldn’t do it.

    Also, even though it was a signature confirmation package the lady on the other end said “Oh, they just should have left it outside.” to which I replied “Are you kidding me? It would be stolen within 30 seconds, you don’t just leave shit outside an apartment building in the middle of the city.”

    I had them hold it and we had to go down to their little hole in the wall (extremely hard to find) facility about 20 miles south to pick it up.

    What a joke. I am going to write a letter to Amazon (as I urge others to do) to have them switch back service to UPS.

  29. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Hey, I’m still ticked at Amazon’s outsourcing of merchandise. Remember the days where 90% of items on Amazon were eligible for free Auper Savings shipping? Now hardly anything is, because they contract with other countries for their merchandise and rely on them to ship it for them. What used to be a real bargain has just turned into an online mall.

  30. kexline says:

    I had my first Amazon Prime delivery snafu last week (with FedEx, not OnTrac), and Amazon’s initial reaction was… well, insane. I called to say that my saw was marked “Delivered” but wasn’t. I had checked my immediate neighbors’ porches, but the CSR didn’t want to do anything until I’d canvassed the neighborhood and questioned everyone personally. Jigga-wha?

    To be fair, the CSR did relent and call FedEx after I said his suggestion was unreasonable. What’s weirder is that it turned out that the FedEx guy knew exactly where he’d misdelivered the package. He couldn’t get the misdeliveree to answer the door at 9am the next day, so he came down to MY door to ask if *I* knew where that neighbor was.

  31. gingerCE says:

    I have amazon prime and live in CA and have had no problems with any of my packages being late–I have used the 3.99 1 day shipping option recently as well and my packages was delivered on time. I do no recall anything mentioning OnTrac so they may not be used in my area.

  32. Clerkerist says:

    I’m also in San Diego, and have gotten all my packages from Amazon through OnTrac recently. I admit I was worried when I first found out that they were formerly California Overnight, as we had had so many problems with that company at my previous job, we finally refused to use them to ship documents to customers, even when the customer provided us with a prepaid California Overnight envelope. We would contact CA Overnight every day to schedule a pickup of the same package, and they would never come–literally for weeks. The customer was better off if we just put their order in the US Mail, along with their prepaid envelope, with an explanation.

    That said, though, I have had no problems with them delivering packages sent to my home. In fact, they are the only couriers who come to my apartment door. FedEx and UPS now just deliver everything to the front office, and put their sticky-notes on everyone’s mailboxes.

  33. everygirlever says:

    OnTrac is the worst! I did a trial Prime membership with Amazon. At first I loved it and was definitely gonna keep up the prime membership…then they switched to OnTrac delivery where I live in Los Angeles. They are terrible! Not once…once!…have they delivered within 2 days. They’re ruining Amazon’s reputation in our area. The customer service people are rude and have no idea where a package is at any given time. The last time Amazon shipped through OnTrac I had to call a week later after ordering 2 day shipping. Ontrac tells me Amazon never sent a package to them to deliver out. 2 hours after this I find the package in a bush in front of my house. My boyfriend uses Amazon for work related needs, but he hates Ontrac too. We’re convinced the delivery guys are wannabe actors because they deliver every single package he orders for work to NBC…3 buildings down from his and not even close to the same address.
    We’re ready to give up on Amazon all together because of OnTrac.

  34. MarkRaymond says:

    Same thing here. I was always happy with Amazon – until they started using Ontrac. They say they’re unable to deliver packages – even when I’m home all day, and even when I leave a note on the door with my signature specifically saying that it’s okay to leave the package at the door.

    Even worse, they’ve called me a couple of times and left messages saying they need a gate code to get into my community. Well, not only is the gate open all day until 5pm, but the number they give me to call them back leads only to a recording. There’s not even an option to speak to anybody! What a scam. I’ve sent a complaint to Amazon.

  35. mcbane says:

    I switched to Prime a few years back as a way of not having everything shipped USPS – I paid not for speed but to ensure UPS delivery. It is well known that different carriers have better service in different areas, and for me, UPS offers the best service by far. In my case, I live in a ghetto so no carrier will leave packages for me. But UPS has a will call counter a few blocks away that has evening hours. Any other delivery company means taking time off work and sometimes driving out of town to pick up each package (sometimes only to find out they cant locate my package). I was very happy with Prime until a month ago but now they have Ontrac. I am canceling the Prime subscription and will be unlikely to buy anything from Amazon in the future unless they provide some way for me to specify UPS.

  36. John says:

    Ontrac couldn’t find my address in the San Francisco Bay Area, even though Fedex and UPS can. I had to give driving directions to the Ontrac customer-service rep, we’ll see if it gets delivered tomorrow. The CSR said that Ontrac has no way of recording permanent delivery instructions in their system.

    If this continues to be an issue with Ontrac, Prime looks much less attractive, to say the least.

  37. SPhoenix77 says:

    If there were any stars less than 0 I would give it to OnTrac.

    I ordered Tropical Fish and stay home form work to receive them. When I noticed my shipment was over 1.5 hours late from the estimated delivery time, I contacted the OnTrac customer service. I was told I would be contacted in 40 mins. This never happened. I contacted them 2 hours later only to me told my package was “missing” (what is the point of tracking numbers if someone can’t track a package?)

    I am extremely upset with this entire situation. It’s bad enough that my package ended up ‘mysteriously’ missing but the response of the OnTracCustomer Service is beyond anything I have ever encountered.

    Firstly, in all the years I have ordered things from online via FedEx, UPS, and even the USPS, I have always received the courtesy of some form of response. Since noticing my package not arrive at the estimated arrival time and being over 2 hours late, it was ME contacting OnTrac customer service agents despite talking to over 4 different representatives. Each one promised they would contact me back in “40 mins” or less and not a single representative seemed to be able to fullfill this promise to me. I find that quite pathetic. If OnTrac can not keep their word then I can’t see a very bright future for their business.

    Secondly, I still can not believe that multiple agents actually had the audacity to tell ME that I had to contact the shipper to inform them of the missing package.That is just pitiful and lazy. What kind of customer service is that? Am I supposed to believe that OnTrac makes the mistake and while it cowers behind it, I am supposed to “break the bad news” to the shipper? Words simply can not convey my depth of disappointment in this fact. But I will say the word ‘accountability’ comes to mind and OnTrac really needs to incorporate it into their mission statement and training practices.

    The business practices OnTrac has make it no surprise that an actual package could end up “missing” like mine. There either needs to be some serious retraining or perhaps they should not be in the shipping industry at all.

  38. lozen says:

    In mid-November I placed an order for pantry items, resulting in a box that weighed 12 lbs. (Caned goods are heavy.) Instead of knocking or ringing the bell, the delivery person chose to wedge the package between the wall and a potted plant, crushing all of the leaves on that side of the plant. I heard noises on the balcony and went to the door and found the package just moments after it had been placed. I told the delivery person he had crushed the plant, but he denied doing anything. He just walked away like it was no big deal.

    A month later, I ordered a book, which came in a small package. Again, the delivery person didn’t ring the bell, nor knock on the door. I got a notification from Amazon that the package had been delivered, but I didn’t even find a note on the door saying the OnTrac delivery person had been there. A day later, I found the package hidden between two potted plants.

    Then, on January 27th, another 12 lb package was delivered from Amazon. The delivery person didn’t ring the bell, nor knock on the door. This time, he propped the package against the screen door. I heard noise on the balcony and opened the front door, but I couldn’t open the screen door. The package was blocking it. I shouted at the delivery person, telling him he’d blocked me in, but there was no reply. I had to kick at the door multiple times to dislodge the package enough to where I could get out the door. It is a good thing I have strong legs. A lesser person would have had to call a neighbor to get out. By then, the delivery person was long gone.

    I’ve complained to OnTrac, and to Amazon about this guy, but so far nothing has come of it. The most recent complaint, moments after being barricaded in my own apartment, the OnTrac Customer Service rep didn’t even ask for my name, nor tracking number. She simply said, “Your complaint has been noted.” Well, how do they know which driver the complaint was about? It really pissed me off, so I hung up. I sent them an email. Hopefully someone will take it more seriously.

    I have another package in transit via OnTrac and if there’s another incident, then I’ll refrain from making purchases from Amazon.

    • lozen says:

      The first estimate was Wednesday and since I had to cancel appointments so I wouldn’t miss the delivery I checked the tracking on the web first thing Monday morning. The tracking said the package had already been marked as “delivered in good condition”. I opened the front door, but no package was found. I called OnTrac, but got lost in their phone tree. (They don’t have an option for customer service, so you have to select one of the others, then asked to be transferred, but sometimes the people who make the transfer send you somewhere else.)

      Ten minutes later, while I was still on hold, I met the delivery person on the stairs and told him to put the box down on the top step because I don’t want him anywhere near my front door. When I told him he had blocked me in with the previous delivery, he showed no sign that he understood what I said and simply asked where should he leave packages in the future. There was no apology, no regret, no indication at all that having to struggle to get out of an apartment is a bad thing. He was only concerned with where I wanted him to leave the packages. Each time he said that, my anger increased. This guy was oblivious to my anger, showing no reaction whatsoever. I told him, “I’m not using this service ever again! Instead of doing your job, you do idiotic things like crush my plant and block me in my apartment.” He did react to the word “idiotic”, saying, “I know what that word is and if you use those kind of words to me, then I will use those words on you…You’re the one who is stupid.”

      That is the last straw.

      Minutes after this incident, I called customer service and canceled my Amazon Prime account. I asked them to make a note: until OnTrac is removed from the Amazon shipping process, I will not make any more purchases.

      An hour after the delivery, the regional OnTrac manager called me in regard to the email I’d sent over the weekend. The manager was shocked at the latest transaction, saying he had spoken to the driver at 5am and thought everything had been sorted out. I told him the delivery guy has absolutely no clue what he is doing, let alone have any awareness of how his actions affected me. Everything the manager said went in one ear, then out the other. The manager apologized and said he’ll have another talk with the guy. I doubt it will do any good.

      Two hours later, I got a call from OnTrac’s Amazon account manager. I told her the whole story and she was even more shocked than the manager. Plus, she’s the first person I spoke to at OnTrac who thought being barricaded into my own apartment is a big deal. She apologized and said she’ll personally oversee all packages delivered to my apartment. I said, “That won’t be necessary because I’ll never use this service again.” She then offered to have the regional manager personally deliver the packages to my door. I am still too angry to accept this offer. I’ve complained about this guy for months, but no one took it seriously. Only after I sent an email to Jeff Bezos did someone finally take notice. It is too little, too late.

      Later that afternoon, I got an email from “Executive Customer Relations” saying my account has been credited with $30. I replied that I am still too angry to come back to Amazon. He also added that he’ll investigate this issue. I hope he sees all of the complaints people have regarding OnTrac and realizes how much this is hurting them. I’d been a customer for over 10 years and now I don’t even want to consider making another purchase.

  39. RobOG says:

    OnTrack consistently leave “phantom deliveries”. We live in a large apt building and we will monitor the status when we see it is “out for delivery”. I am home all day, and as soon as the status changes to delivered (“left inside” whatever that means) I check outside my apt door and run down to the lobby and look there. No package.

    This has happened 5 deliveries in a row! We have taken a lot of deliveries in the dozen years that we have lived in this building (about 2 per week). And we have not had this problem with any other carrier, even those that just leave packages in the lobby. And we have been down to check within minutes of the status changing to “Delivered”. Not to mention that it is a pain to sit on pins and needles waiting to try to catch the ontrack delivery truck. .

    Each time amazon has reshipped UPS with and received it from ups without an issue. You’d think amazon would tire of double-shipping these products to us. We have complained to Amazon and they just pass the buck. Wake UP Amazon! This is Amazon’s problem because they have selected the carrier. They need to take responsibility for their decisions.

  40. claussen says:

    This is an old article, but the problem persists. I have been a Prime subscriber for a few years now. Only recently did my packages switch to OnTrac. Surprise! As soon as that happened, my 2-day shipping became 8 – consistently.

    I’d get phone calls from OnTrac asking how to find my house. We live in a fairly recently development – it’s been here for 6 years. UPS, FedEx, USPS, and the pizza guy can all find me without calling and asking for help. Google/Yahoo/MapQuest/Bing can all find me.

    The funny thing is when they would call, they said they didn’t have internet access. They are using a very old version of Microsoft Streets & Trips. No wonder they’d pull up an address across town when I gave them my cross streets.

    It got to the point, where I setup my GoogleVoice account to automatically send OnTrac to a special voice-mail – instructing them to return the package to Amazon.

    I’m seriously re-considering Prime as a result of OnTrac.

    • OnTracRob says:

      Hello @claussen,

      My name is Rob and I work for OnTrac. Could you please email me the tracking number to your recent OnTrac delivery? I’d like to research it.

      My email is rob@ontrac.com.

      Thank you,
      rob

  41. zellie65 says:

    I live in San Francisco and every time Amazon uses ontrac to deliver my packages they never arrive on time. This time I had to literally instruct their customer service rep (Danny) on how to use a call box. It’s like having to teach someone on how to ring a door bell. Look at the name on the box, match the name on the box in the directory select the name. After that insane conversation I was then told that was most likely the problem the driver didn’t know how to use a call box. You know who knows how to use a call box FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL.

    • OnTracRob says:

      Hello zellie65,

      Thanks for sharing your delivery experience. My name is Rob and I work for OnTrac. If you don’t mind, I have a few questions about your delivery location that I’d like to discuss with you offline (for privacy reasons). Could you please send the OnTrac tracking number to rob@ontrac.com?

      Best Regards,
      Rob

  42. evilpete says:

    I’m on the phone with amazon now trying to track a package OnTrac says was deliverer there this morning.

    I first tried calling OnTrac but was on hold for over an hour and a half.

  43. ontracsucks says:

    I’m also in San Diego, I ordered an Alesis Mixer, the delivery man LEFT THE PACKAGE SITTING AT MY FRONT DOOR. There was obviously no package awaiting me when I returned from work. I checked amazon, the package was delivered via Ontrac and supposedly had arrived days ago. How fucking retarded are Ontrac’s delivery men to just leave an expensive package out in the middle of the city. Ontrac fucking sucks, I would have much preferred to receive an attempted delivery notice than to have my package dumped in front of my apartment for anybody to grab. Amazon, don’t ever send me a package via On fucking trac, and thank you for the replacement.

  44. ontracsucks says:

    I’m also in San Diego, I ordered an Alesis Mixer, the delivery man LEFT THE PACKAGE SITTING AT MY FRONT DOOR. There was obviously no package awaiting me when I returned from work. I checked amazon, the package was delivered via Ontrac and supposedly had arrived days ago. How fucking retarded are Ontrac’s delivery men to just leave an expensive package out in the middle of the city. Ontrac fucking sucks, I would have much preferred to receive an attempted delivery notice than to have my package dumped in front of my apartment for anybody to grab. Amazon, don’t ever send me a package via On fucking trac, and thank you for the replacement.

  45. aburien says:

    I’ve been ordering from Amazon for years and have never had this experience before. The delivery company Ontrac claims to have delivered my items to my front door(TODAY). I had been tracking that order every day since I placed it. I work so I had someone at home waiting to receive that delivery. I also have a dog that goes ballistic whenever a stranger approaches the house,so we always know when someone is at the door. By all accounts, no one delivered a package to my home today and my dog was at peace all day long. I checked my account again when I got home and it showed they had delivered my package to my front door. I called Ontrac and was told their driver said he delivered to the right address and if it was stolen they just have the replacement sent. Because of this error, Christmas is ruined for one our family members.The driver is supposed to show up here tomorrow to tell me to my face that he delivered my package before starting an investigation. In the meantime, we have no money or time to replace what was lost, and while Ontrac will undoubtedly have to pay to replace those items, there remains damage that cannot be undone because Ontrac ruined Christmas.AMAZON – STOP USING ONTRAC.

  46. kmw2 says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock: It doesn’t actually cost Amazon any more to ship to four unrelated people than it does to ship to four related people.

  47. tackett says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock:
    I thought everybody has to have the same mailing address for Prime. I don’t understand how people are scamming it.

  48. SaraFimm says:

    @kmw2: @VaultComplex: There is a major hub for Amazon in Phoenix. That’s not far from most of Southern California.

  49. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    @kmw2:

    How is that relevant to what I said? If they weeded out the scammers it would either force those people to pay for their own memberships (more money for Amazon) or it would reduce the number of shipments associated with the scammers’ accounts.

    Additionally, I think you’d find that 5 members of the same household order less than 5 separate households. When I added my wife to my prime account it didn’t increase the amount of orders we placed, it just allowed her to order stuff without bugging me to do it with my account.

  50. VoiceOfReason says:

    @PLATTWORX: Using the least expensive shipper to deliver items at no charge to you is not what I would consider “cutting corners.” There is no such thing as free shipping – someone has to pay for the labor, fuel and equipment to get that package to you. So of course they use the lowest price shipper. And unless the warehouse is very near to you, fast shipping usually involves a jet, which isn’t cheap, or some type of priority routing which puts your parcel ahead of others. Convenience comes at a price.

    If the expectation for when the package will arrive is set at the time you place the order and the order arrives within the promised time frame, then all is fair – they did what they said they would do. However if they contract with a shipper who is unable to deliver in the promised time frame then that’s a problem – no matter what the price.

  51. West Coast Secessionist says:

    @PLATTWORX: That’s a bummer about your JCP packages. Fortunately for me, whenever I’ve ordered from them my stuff comes from their Reno DC and gets to SF (always UPS) in a day or two.

    I also hate hate hate those goofy UPS/Fedex/DHL->USPS handoffs. Combining the slowness of transferring packages between carriers, with the incompetence and refusal to deliver freaking packages of the USPS.

  52. seegull says:

    @wcnghj: Shhh.. don’t attract attention to us! OnTrac might notice!

  53. AstroPig7 says:

    @oldgraygeek: While it makes sense for a small business, it’s sad that non–business owners have to resort to this just to ensure that a delivery service does their damned job.

  54. ncpeters says:

    @tackett: No, the only rule that they use is they have to be family members, but they don’t check it out, so 5 unrelated people will each pay $16 and get a Prime membership. I’ve seen message boards where people that have never met pool their money for a membership.

  55. Raekwon says:

    @tackett: This used to be a requirement though I no longer see it. Looks like “family” requirement now is they have to know your birthday.

  56. HogwartsAlum says:

    @coren: You would think that they would. I can’t imagine it saves them much money to have to keep correcting OnTrac’s mistakes.

  57. coren says:

    @HogwartsAlum: Which is what makes me think the OP’s story, while crappy, is either an isolated incident, or amongst a small number of cases and isn’t as widespread as they believe (or the other shippers have similarly poor track records)

  58. kmw2 says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock: You’re assuming several things – first, that “household members” don’t make individual orders (they do), second, that non-related people will make five times as many orders as one household, and third, that Amazon actually makes any money on Prime in the first place.

    It’s not a direct revenue generation mechanism, Amazon makes money because people with Prime memberships buy more stuff from them, not because of the paltry $80/year in membership fees. Costed out to individual shipments, that’s much less than Prime members actually buy. I’d blow through it buying a single semester’s worth of books – however, if I had to do that I’d buy much less from them.