UPS Tells You To Pick Up Package From Station, Closes Package Station Due To Nemo

It was just Manu’s bad luck that the computer he really, really needed was due to arrive at the same time as an East Coast superblizzard. The storm wasn’t as bad as expected in New York City, where Manu lives, but it was still bad enough that work closed early on the day that they didn’t deliver his computer to his home, so he could go fetch it from the depot. So he left on an epic trek through the snow to the UPS depot to… well, not pick up the computer, as it turns out.

This is a story that gets more and more absurd as it goes on.

So, I ordered a new laptop a week or two ago from Lenovo. It’s rather important, as mine has died. UPS tries to deliver it to my door on Friday, but I’m at work so I obviously can’t pick it up. Luckily for me, work ends up being closed early on account of Nemo, so I call UPS to see if their driver is still on the Upper East Side (I’m a New York City resident).

UPS gets back to me at 5:20 (after their main office promised me that the local office would call me by 1), and tries to schedule a second delivery. But, it turns out that they cannot because it is a “high value” package and they can’t do a roadside drop-off. I have no problem with that, and so I ask them if I can come down to their main package station, at West 43rd street and 11th avenue. They tell me I can, and that I should come after 7:30 because that’s when the delivery trucks return to the station.

I leave my apartment at 7:30 – I figure, with the ice and snow, that the trucks might get back a bit slower than usual, and I don’t want to get to their office before my package does – and get there at 8. There isn’t a subway station close by, so I end up walking .7 miles, through Nemo nonetheless.

Of course, they’ve closed the office without telling me. They could have reached me anytime between 5:20 and 8 (worst comes to worst, leave me a voicemail when I’m on the subway), but they didn’t. Meanwhile, I’m freezing, having walked through a literal blizzard on their instruction, and soaked from head to toe.

Here’s where it starts to get ridiculous. I call the UPS hotline, to file a complaint. The UPS agent then spends the next 20 minutes trying to tell me that it was my mistake. She blamed me for not picking up the package at 5:20, alleging that I could have arranged for a roadside delivery but had opted not to. It was only after continuously reminding her of UPS’ own policies (that it was a “high value” package that couldn’t be redelivered, apparently) that she conceded. She then told me that she was going to forward the complaint to the local office (on West 43rd street), and that they would call me Monday morning.

Of course, they never did. I even waited until noon today, just to give them the benefit of the doubt. In any case, I then contacted their online chat support (which, in their defense, has been fantastic – I have always gotten through to someone within 15 seconds), and had this absurd conversation. The best (worst?) part is in bold.

Initial Question: Filed a complaint with the UPS office at West 43rd and 11th avenue in NYC. They still haven’t gotten back. They made me walk through a blizzard on Friday to pick up my package, then closed early without telling me.
J: Hi, this is J. I’ll be happy to assist you.
Manu: Hi J.
Manu: Here’s the thing: I refuse to trek back to the UPS store on West 43rd to pick up my package. I do believe I’m justified: they called me at 5:20pm on Friday
Manu: They called me at 5:20 pm on Friday and told me to come down after 7:30. I got there at 8 (to make sure I didn’t arrive before the delivery man got back to the station), and they had closed. I walked through a blizzard (Nemo) on their account.
Manu: I don’t care if UPS does a late delivery (I get home at 6) or if they drop the package off at the closest UPS store (there’s one very close to my apt). I just refuse to spend any more of my time dealing with this nonsense.
Manu: Add that to the fact that I filed a complaint on Friday night with the local office and they still haven’t gotten back to me.
J: I’m sorry to hear that.
J: Just a moment while I review your tracking information.
Manu: One note on the tracking information. The 5:15pm note that I’ve made ‘arrangements to meet the driver to pick up on area” – I did make arrangements. But then I was told by UPS that because my package is “high value” (it’s a computer), the driver could not do a road-side delivery, and that I needed to pick it up personally. UPS told me that at 5:20ish on Friday (and then told me to come after 7:30pm to their main shipping store)
J: Unfortunately we don’t have the option to have the package redelivered, in this case you may contact your shipper to discuss a future delivery request from them, since the package has been held already for pickup until 02/15/13
Manu: Why can’t you have it redelivered?
Manu: Also, you (UPS) are the shipper. That’s why I’m contacting you.
Manu: I would contact the local office but they never respond.
J: Due to the request, hold for pickup, we are not able to override it.
Manu: It was not a request. They told me that I could not have it redelivered on Friday and that I could come down.
J: I’m sorry they do not have a line open for public, I’m happy to help you through live chat. However, if you’d like to speak with someonJ:e, please call our customer service number at 1-800-782-7892.
Manu: Absolutely.

It baffles me that (1) somehow agreeing to pick up my package from the local handling store means I can never have it delivered again, (2) that the main UPS office cannot ask the local office to deliver my package, and (3) that main UPS told me to “contact [my] shipper to discuss a future delivery request from them,” as if that wasn’t what I was doing.

By “shipper,” of course, they meant Lenovo, the company that had shipped the laptop to Manu.