UPS Dumped My Christmas Presents All Over The Street

Warren was expecting some gifts to arrive via UPS this week, and understandably hoped they might be dropped off in front of his door. That didn’t happen, he says, thanks to a snow storm and some less than diligent delivery efforts. He found his packages nowhere near his house.

He writes:

My name is Warren Wells and I live in Annapolis, MD. As I’m sure you know, the East Coast got hit pretty hard with a snow storm last week, leaving us with 21 inches. Though it stopped snowing late Saturday, the streets of our neighborhood were not cleared until Tuesday. Even then, the court that I live on was not plowed, leaving the 100 yards from the top of the street to my house covered with packed snow.

We were expecting a number of packages from Amazon and from relatives to arrive this week but wondered about the delivery truck’s ability to drive onto our street (which runs slightly downhill). Finally, on Wednesday, we found that our street had been cleared. On her way out of the neighborhood Wednesday night, my mother noticed what looked like a package buried in the snow on the side of the road. Stopping the car, she found that two packages for us and one for our next door neighbor had been simply placed in the road 100 yards from our driveway by UPS (we knew they were responsible by the labels on the boxes) before the street was plowed, and had subsequently been nearly completely buried after the plow came through.

Perhaps this is UPS’s policy when it comes to impassable streets, but had a small amount more snow been pushed up over the boxes, we would never have seen them. We would likely not have discovered them until the rain forecast for the next few days melted the snow and soaked the boxes and their contents. My mother is planning on contacting UPS today to lodge a complaint. I will keep you updated as to their response.

This sort of snowjob could have ended badly, but apparently Warren picked up all the sorta-delivered packages intended for him. Have you ever had packages suffer similar fates thanks to inclement weather?

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  1. Dominar Rygel the XVI says:

    UPS is usually kind enough to skip this kind of service for me. In my case, the driver usually decides to spend some serious time tracking down someone of good moral fortitude and character (I assume the screening process takes some time) and just hands my stuff over to them. Because a quality service like UPS would never just hand your stuff to anyone….right?

    • theysaidwhat says:

      That’s happened to me beofre as well. They let some neighbor I had never met sign for it. Said neighbor would not give me the package. Vendor would not refund my money because once it’s been signed for, it’s been ‘delivered’, even though to someone other than the person who ordered it. Nightmare. Never did get it sorted out, either–just never saw the package.

      • coren says:

        I’m pretty sure that constitutes as theft..the police probably would have gotten involved if you asked…

        • NinjaMarion says:

          Or at the very least, UPS should have been on the hook for the refund / compensation over the item. They were never given permission to just hand over the package to whoever. It’s therefore their fault.

      • Difdi says:

        The proper procedure in that case is to go file a police report for theft against the neighbor, and on your way back from the police station, stop in at the local court house and file a small claims lawsuit. Serve the papers on the neighbor as he/she comes home from work (you may need to lurk in the hallway to do so). As OJ found out, even if they beat the criminal side of things, the civil side is almost entirely separate.

      • Pepster says:

        Wiffe had this sort of thing happen before when UPS delivered to another simmilar address (Street/Terrace confusion) and the occupants would not cough up the package until the cops were called.

        Usually you don’t need to do much more than have a uniformed officer show up and ask for the boxes.

    • Sky75 says:

      A friend of mine lives in a somewhat shady apartment complex, and UPS delivered his MacBook Pro to his neighbor because they were too lazy to walk down the stairs to the rental office. Fortunately he happened to know this neighbor, but imagine what a less scrupulous person would do with a box labeled “Apple Computer”.

  2. Leela says:

    A few years ago, UPS delivered my amazon-purchased Xmas gifts…somewhere else. Then insisted that they had delivered them to my house. Amazon was great. They re-sent all the gifts overnight no extra charge. Then, two days before Christmas, all the packages but one showed back up on my doorstep, opened. I have always assumed whoever got them originally was also expecting packages from amazon.com and didn’t open the boxes or look at the labels until Christmas Eve Eve. Then I had to get return numbers from amazon and send back all the duplicates. My children were still young enough that UPS would have ruined Christmas if not for the kind people at amazon.

  3. tkates says:

    Thankfully, all of my packages have gotten to me safely despite a lot of snow. I helped push the FedEx guy out of an intersection this weekend. It turns out he had a package for me, so I signed for it right there.

    The UPS guy wasn’t paying attention to the shoveled sidewalk, so he did unnecessarily trudge through some snow, but he eventually found my door and my package awaited me there safely.

  4. sweetpea12 says:

    The only thing this year that has bothered me about UPS is that they frequently deliver my packages when no one is home and then when I check the tracking online it says delivered and signed for. Is it legal to sign for my packages?!?! What if they delivered to the wrong house, both UPS and the company would just point to the signature as confirmation. These postal companies REALLY bother me.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      If the shipper has a signature release on file with them, then they can just put it outside the door. At least with FedEx, it then costs extra to have a direct signature required.

    • fantomesq says:

      You are saving yourself hassle especially over the holidays to have a signature release on file with shippers. How is UPS supposed to know when you’ll be home? They are saving you the hassle of having to go down to the depot to pick up the missed package. Be grateful that they saved you the work. If you don’t like that, the packages come with tracking numbers and you have a pretty good idea when they’ll arrive… have someone there to receive it if that bothers you.

      • larkknot says:

        UPS always, always, always ignores “signature required” flags and leaves packages on my doorstep without obtaining a signature. Even when I’m actually home – they don’t bother knocking, they just drop it and run. I know they’re there because my dogs start barking, but often I can’t get to the door before they get back in the truck.

    • halo969 says:

      If the item is of significant value, can you have it delivered to your place of employment? That’s what I usually do to avoid the anxiety of having my expensive item sitting outside.

    • El-Brucio says:

      I had almost the reverse problem in my neighbourhood, where rather than take the time to get a signature while I’m home, they would silently creep to the front door and affix a “sorry you weren’t here” type sticky.

      I suppose they’re trying to save time because they have a mean boss or are lazy, but it certainly isn’t good for the consumer.

      • mcmunchkin says:

        UPS is horrible about the sticky notes. I worked at home for three years, so I ordered a ton of stuff online because I knew I’d be home. I got a sticky note saying they’d missed me about 2/3 of the time.

        • The Cynical Librarian says:

          Similar situation, I was sitting on my couch in my boxers on Tuesday (the 23rd). The couch is literally three and a half feet from the front door and has a big window with a view of the front porch. I watched the UPS guy come to my door, put the box on the ground and slap a sticky note on the door. No knock, nothing. When I saw him turn around I made sure to quickly open the door, grab the package and yell out “Happy Holidays” and wave like a fool. Sure I was in my underwear, but I just wanted him to know that I knew what he did (or didn’t do).

      • SunnyLea says:

        Mine sneaks up, yells “UPS” and thenrunsawayrealfast!

      • Difdi says:

        The front gate at my parents’ house makes a rather loud and distinctive sound when opened or closed. Due to the shape and size of the yard, it’s usually possible to beat the UPS guy to his truck if you duck out the side door when you hear the sound. It’s kinda hard for the driver to sign for you, and/or claim you weren’t home, if you’re between them and their truck…and the look on their faces is priceless, especially if they see you with a camcorder in hand (whether it’s on or not).

  5. fantomesq says:

    So has the OP contacted UPS for an explanation?

    • Miraluka says:

      “My mother is planning on contacting UPS today to lodge a complaint. I will keep you updated as to their response.”

      So…technically yes.

  6. Bohemian says:

    UPS just started dumping packages at random doors in our neighborhood Wednesday. I was home all day but for some reason they dumped a package for us at our neighbors. It didn’t require a signature or anything and our sidewalk was cleared. We found someone else’s (other end of the street) Christmas card mail in our snowbank yesterday morning. So our postman seems to be using the same “throw it in the neighborhood” strategy.

  7. Jeff-er-ee says:

    I’ve actually had good luck with UPS, although that’s probably partially due to the fact that I get the same driver every time we get a delivery, and he knows the neighborhood. We get a fair number of packages, and so got to know the driver a bit. I guess it always pays to chat ‘em up a bit so they know that YOU know who’s responsible for getting them into your hands!

  8. baristabrawl says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I don’t believe in having Christmas delivered. Too many things can go wrong. Some stuff, maybe. But not everything. That’s crap.

    • Anathema777 says:

      Well, it sounds like the OP only ordered a few things. Several of the packages were also gifts from relatives. Do you find that acceptable? Or do you demand that your relatives who can’t be around for the holidays hand deliver your gifts?

      • humphrmi says:

        The commenter said he/she is old fashioned, so I assumed he/she hand delivers gifts to relatives across the country in a sleigh. Preferably pulled by reindeer. And if you want to get really old school, they should fly and one of them should have a shiny red nose.

    • tape says:

      That’s fine if you live within, say, 2000 miles of your family members, which I don’t. And I wasn’t able to travel this year. so package delivery it is.

  9. Dominar Rygel the XVI says:

    The best one that I have experienced was a fedex delivery that when status showed “delivered” and “left with staff at apartment complex office”, I kind of wondered what was going on….due to the fact that it was the day before thanksgiving, and the apartment office was closed. I called and they did an investigation, turns out the driver forged the signature and kept it on his truck to duck out early. delivered it the day after

  10. MumblesFumbles says:

    Ugh… who DOESN’T have a horror story from the shipping companies. I think UPS tends to land more complaints because they seem to have more home deliveries than Fedex. My biggest complaint is typically the drivers will simply leave packages in a very visible area. Even worse, they don’t bother to ring the door bell. No matter the weather they will leave the packages out and exposed.

    • Leela says:

      I had a UPS driver open my front door and throw a package inside recently. That got me pissed enough to contact UPS and complain.

    • odLott says:

      That is when they can actually be bothered to dump the package in front of the correct door.

    • TexasMama37 says:

      That’s my main complaint, too — that they never ring the doorbell. I homeschool my kids so I’m home most days to accept packages. We NEVER hear the doorbell and we have our schoolroom set up in the front of the house. Yet we will invariably open the front door and see a package sitting there with, sometimes with a sticky note on the storm door. The post office is actually the best about at least ringing the doorbell. I’d have to say Fed Ex has been the worst this Christmas season.

    • savageboredom (formerly Benguin) says:

      Indeed. Just last week UPS left a package ( a book from Amazon) on my doorstep without bothering to knock or ring the bell. In the rain.

      I was less than enthused.

  11. Kevin5280 says:

    I don’t work for UPS, but a competitor, and it’s possible that the person who left the package wasn’t even the regular driver but a temp worker. We’ve had some that do some bizarre things. This may be the result of poor training, bad advice from management or someone who just doesn’t care. I’ll be spending the next week or so apologizing and correcting mistakes made by temp drivers.

    I always encourage customers who have problems to e-mail or write; don’t call because CSRs are paid little and aren’t much help. E-mail and letters start a paper trail and get better results. The problems won’t get fixed unless people speak up. My company will terminate drivers who get repeated complaints. Hopefully a better person will replace the poor driver.

  12. SabyneWired says:

    I’m not too fond of any form of delivery right now, since an order I placed with B&N early last week still hasn’t arrived in spite of my choosing the “Expedited” 3-day shipping. Last I saw, it had been handed over to the USPS up in L.A., but nothing since then. What a colossal pain.

  13. JackieEggs says:

    The UPS driver was kind enough to knock on my door to deliver a package to me.

    The USPS mail carrier left a package out in the pouring rain, no knock on my door, didn’t honk the horn on his vehicle…. I didn’t discover it until the next morning when it was still raining from the afternoon before… rain soaked, home-made cookies- Yum!…..not.

  14. jayphat says:

    I’m fortunate enough to have my uncle be the driver on my UPS route so if for some reason I am not home, he’ll leave it at the depot about 7 minutes from my house and call me to let me know it wasn’t delivered.

  15. 339point4 says:

    The snow on my roof was melting and there was a constant drip in only ONE small spot on my fairly large porch. The rest of the porch was dry and cleared of snow. Guess where the UPS driver put my non-waterproof package?

  16. humphrmi says:

    Stragely, our UPS service this holiday season was *much* better after I wrote a written complaint last season. Last year, the UPS driver would pull up, run up to the door, stick one of those “while you were out” stickers on the door, and drive off. Nary a knock or doorbell ring. While I was standing in the front window watching him. So I wrote a politely worded complaint and sent it off to UPS. Since then, much better.

  17. Razor512 says:

    The only problem I have had from them was a damaged package with content missing and the occasional UPS worker who only knock on the door like once then begins walking away, sometimes I am able to catch them and other times I am not and it gets a second delivery attempt the next day.

  18. RichL says:

    A few days ago my Amazon order arrived unexpectedly early. I got home in the late evening and found the package on the porch. It was already approaching freezing, but none of the jars of baby food had yet frozen and shattered. The UPS driver did not ring the doorbell. If I been inside the house already we would have found a box filled with 24 shattered jars in the morning.

  19. xspook says:

    UPS once claimed to deliver a package to my front door. The problem was, my front door is up a flight of stairs…stairs that weren’t there thanks to a hurricane.

  20. Pants McCracky says:

    I actually have an awesome, super-competent UPS driver. I spend my days fervently praying he never quits or gets reassigned.

    • looneytunes says:

      I’ve been really lucky with UPS too. If it’s raining, he always wraps my stuff up in a plastic bag so that it’s protected from the elements. Plus, we live in a condo complex so sometimes he’ll make an executive decision and not leave something if it isn’t small enough to hide between our screen and front door. Yes, it’s a pain to have to have to drive out to the depot (it’s about 20 minutes away and they have inconvenient hours) but I’d rather do that than have someone steal my stuff.

  21. Lady Shopalot says:

    The UPS guys I’ve dealt with are wonderful; I wonder if this driver was a temp for the holidays? Now ask me about DHL, which once delivered a package to the inside of my neighbor’s home. I came home expecting to find the package in the location (at the side door) listed on the confirmation email. Got home, no package anywhere. A few panicky hours later my next door neighbor knocks on my door. She’s a trusting sort who leaves her doors unlocked while she’s home and sure enough, while she was occupied elsewhere in the house, DHL had simply walked in, left my package on her living room floor and then just drove away.

  22. Spider Mann says:

    Yes, and I sent it to you folks. Really bad UPS is when it comes to weather.

  23. LESSTHANKIND says:

    UPS is just the suckiest carrier. I’m in NY, and a package I’ve been waiting for since it was shipped on Dec. 17th has been sitting in NJ–the state right next to me–for three days. It’s now Dec. 26th, and it was scanned in there the morning of the 23rd. So it just sat there at the depot for two full delivery days (the 23rd and 24th) instead of being put on a truck, then Christmas Day, and of course today because God forbid UPS should deliver on Saturdays. So IF it gets here on Monday the 28th, that will be ELEVEN DAYS. That’s insane. MEANWHILE, my friend sent me something from snowy Minnesota on Monday the 21st using FedEx GROUND, and it was here the morning of the 24th.

    I dread when anyone I order from uses UPS, because I know there’s a very good chance I’m going to be waiting forever and chasing that package all over town. They’re the most incompetent and unreliable carrier in the country. If I have a choice of carriers when I order something online, I’ll always pay extra to avoid UPS.

  24. Alessar says:

    I could understand if UPS wouldn’t deliver down an unplowed street — but in that case they should leave the packages at their warehouse and call/email to notify they were unable to deliver them, the same thing they’d do if a really valuable package requiring a signature arrived. (Well, in theory … I had to go pick up a $350 computer monitor in person from them once…)

  25. econobiker says:

    UPS does not deliver to signatures unless paid extra…

    And apparently the efficiency thing is getting to them with the front door run aways…

  26. SyntaxError says:

    I guess I’ve been incredibly lucky over the years. I’ve never had a package left out in the rain uncovered, thrown inside the house, left in the street, etc that all of you seem to have experienced. They do leave stuff in plain sight though, but many times that just can’t be helped as there’s nowhere to conceal stuff.

    I did have one box get wet on the bottom due to the bag the driver put it in having a hole in it, but the items inside were bone dry, as they were sitting on a layer of foam peanuts.

    My dad once had a package hidden under an upside down trashcan in the rain, which he didn’t discover until days later. The contents were destroyed (food items). UPS quickly replaced the package at their cost and fired the driver. Seems he was doing the same thing to everyone and cost UPS lots of money.

    I’ve had UPS knock and leave many times. Don’t have a problem with it.

    My current UPS man does a great job. There’s several steps to climb to my front porch and he always climbs them and places the packages next to the house. Stuff is partially concealed due to the design of my porch too.

    As a former delivery driver, I know what it’s like for these guys. I used to deliver restaurant and janitorial supplies, and was stuck on the road until my truck was empty. 12 to 15 hour days were all too common, and at $6 per hour, I didn’t really care about anything except going home.

    I also had to deal with the people I was delivering to as the customers were all businesses of some sort. Turns out, there’s lots of assholes out there more than willing to attack innocent delivery drivers because of false promises made by the company’s salesmen.

    That made me care even less, about both the customers, and their orders.

    The point is it’s a thankless job with bad pay and very long hours, and even when a problem isn’t the driver’s fault, the poor bastard still gets the blame for it because he’s the face the public sees.

    So instead of treating your delivery people like incompetent morons, how about thanking them once in a while? It might make a difference.

  27. GildaKorn says:

    Stories like these pretty much require a photo.

    My personal policy: Whenever possible or practical, avoid UPS. UPS used to put those “we’ll retry the delivery” sticker on our apartment door, and then go and drop the package off at the main apartment office never coming back to correct their mistake. So we’d wait, like suckers, for them to try to redeliver. And that’s one of the *good* stories about UPS.

    I’ve never had this sort of trouble with FedEx, although I’m sure some folks have.

    • Difdi says:

      The local delivery companies (Seattle, WA) have a sticker they use that lets them check off exactly what they did. Since I live in a secured building, and only USPS has keys to the (child-sized) shoebox-sized mailboxes, the office has a package storage room. They check off “left in office”, the name on the address label and the apartment number, then stick it to the front door of the building. Since they didn’t check “we’ll try later”, people know not to expect that.

  28. Difdi says:

    I do this sort of thing all the time at my apartment complex. For years we had a regular carrier on the route, who knew everybody by sight if not by name, and rarely made a mistake. Nobody at the complex knows if she got transferred, promoted or fired, but she’s not delivering our mail anymore. We haven’t had the same carrier two weeks in a row in months now, and most of the temps are completely useless and/or incompetent.

    The worst problem I used to have with mail was mail for a previous tenant. Now, I get to go hand-deliver a letter to a neighbor at least twice a month; Since there are 66 units per building, and 10 buildings, it’s rather improbable for one guy to get every misdelivered piece of mail. I could just return to sender I suppose, but it’s more neighborly to make sure people get their mail. I just wish I didn’t have to do it so often…

  29. NotEd says:

    FedEx had left a envelope with a replacement AmEx giftcard on my front stoop while I was out of the state for Christmas last week. I found it Sunday afternoon while I was unloading my car. I had been left on the front door matt, so was buried under 2 inches of snow.
    I’m still not sure why they did not put it between the storm and front doors. Luckily it was soaked, but not stolen. In some previous neighborhoods I’ve lived it wouldn’t have lasted overnight after it was first delivered.

  30. The Commenter Formerly Known as StartingAces says:

    UPS has been so nice to me! When a retailer insisted that I get my computer delivered to my billing address rather than my work address like most things, I figured I could just use a day off or dial in to work to wait for it.

    The driver “attempted delivery” on the ETA day… by slapping a sticker on my apt building door and never ringing the buzzer. They attempted again the next day, this time I had left a note on the door saying that if the buzzer doesn’t work (I checked, it did), “call my number, I am here”. Again, they just affixed a sticker saying I didn’t answer the buzzer or the phone.

    Final delivery attempt was the next day, and all of a sudden I get a “package delivered” text message on my phone. My $1000 worth of computer and accessories was left OUTSIDE MY APT BUILDING DOOR ON THE STREET (IN BOSTON), signed for by “me”. I ran out my back door and pretended to be coming from a neighbor’s house. The driver’s explanation for how I signed for a package without being present was “it’s been signed for, you can’t do shit”.

    The CSR was glad to offer me a refund on my free shipping (would have been $35), though. That certainly pays for the two unpaid days off I had to take.

  31. KennyS says:

    Last year my brother sent a package to me via UPS. According to the tracking it was left on my front steps (which is in full view and only 20′ from the sidewalk). I finally found it several weeks later under snow in the only place in my back yard that you can’t see from the windows.

  32. kallisti5 says:

    Eh.. i hate all shipping providers in the US now with good reason after lots of shipping.

    DHL: Great service, fast, never lost a single package. (too bad they no longer serve the US)
    FedEX: Probably the lesser of all the Evils. Lots of late packages, no lost items.
    USPS: A few lost packages, generally USPS priority mail is the fastest option. (and most reliable)
    UPS: Horrid…
    many, many lost items.
    many, many late items.
    last Christmas, packages thrown at incorrect houses.
    items which require signatures kept on truck and marked as delivered.
    No delivery notification labels,stickers,etc when occupant not home.
    Never even attempt to ring DoorBell if signature not required
    Last year, UPS site said package was in my city… said item was delayed for a week due to weather… It was sunny and ~75F. Called to complain, UPS said the time frames for delivery were not guaranteed. I asked what I paid for and the UPS guy said the service of trying to get it to you in that time frame.

    • SyntaxError says:

      DHL does still deliver in the US. I know, I read they had closed their doors in America as well.

      But, twice this year I’ve had packages handled by them. Once they delivered directly to me, and the other time they handed my package off to the US Postal Service.

      DHL actually has a contract with Newegg, according to the Newegg CSR I spoke to earlier this year.

  33. Not Given says:

    UPS, USPS and FedEx are usually pretty good. DHL, not so much. My modem went out and I ordered a new one over the phone. A couple of weeks later after calling around for days, unable to locate my package, a business down the street called me and said they found an opened package addressed to me in their parking lot. It did not work, I sent it back and Amazon replaced it, this time, UPS in 2 days.

  34. skinnypup says:

    UPS did that to me too. We have a driveway that is over 1200 ft long. It had been raining, so my driveway was muddy. UPS did not bother to drive up to the house. They threw my package in the mud- no plastic bag, nothing. Then, he drove over it! Mud and tire tracks! I called UPS and got that driver in big trouble.