Customer Experiences Superior UPS Service, Then Heart Attack

The last UPS delivery I received was hurled at high speed out of the moving van window and into my gutter like Henry Huggins chucking a daily on a newspaper route. Unfortunately, it was my MacBook Pro.

But I’m not the only one who’s had issues with UPS: from delayed service, stolen packages and delivery men in tight shorts that horrifically accentuate their junk, everyone’s had a problem with them.

Luckily, sometimes random chance in a godless universe causes the spheres to align and a balanced equinox of truly excellent service between UPS home office and remarkably competent delivery guy comes into being. Laura recently experience such an equinox, and she was kind enough to email us about it. It’s after the jump.

I know you want to hear the good as well as the bad, and I had an amazing customer service experience with UPS this morning.

I am expecting two packages from two different sources, both to be delivered by UPS. My faithful UPS guy, Raul, arrives at my house at about 2 PM in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I leave for work at noon, so getting packages I have to sign for often involves driving to the main UPS distribution center in downtown Los Angeles to pick them up – a 20 minute drive each way in light traffic.

One package was already on the truck to be delivered today, Wednesday, and the other is scheduled for delivery on Friday. Since I really want this Friday package before the holiday weekend, I attempted what I thought was a clever arrangement. I would have them hold the Wednesday package, and then pick both up on Friday morning, necessitating only one freeway trip to downtown L.A.

I called UPS customer service and reached a human by clearly enunciating “I want to speak to a customer service representative” when I reached the voice activated system. This is not a menu choice they offer, but I took a chance and received the recorded response “I am transferring you to the next available customer service representative.”

I was immediately (!) put through to a real person – no waiting on hold. I explained my temporal problems, giving her both tracking numbers. She told me she’d put it into the system, and they’d contact me if there was a problem. She was friendly and acted like a human being.

About an hour later the phone rang. It was Lindy from my local UPS office. She suggested an alternate solution to driving to downtown L.A. – I could meet my local UPS guy 3 blocks from my house in 1/2 an hour and get my package before I left for work, and I could make the same arrangement directly with him for Friday. She sent him a message and called me back in about 20 minutes with the go ahead.

Leaping into my car, I sped the 3 1/2 blocks to a back alley behind a car dealership in Santa Monica, where I got my package off the back of the UPS truck. When I asked Raul, the driver, about doing the same thing on Friday morning, he gave me his cell phone number to contact him directly. (Raul, who has had the same route for 16 years, recognized me and remembered my delivery history.)

So, a pain-free avoidance of the CSR robot-voice, and then productive interaction with three efficient, human, corporate employees who went out of their way to cheerfully help me, and to ease my interactions with them in the future. For just a brief moment, I felt that I had entered an alternate universe, and life in corporate America was good.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    I always leave a note on the door saying to leave my package with my full signature. They just peel it off and use it as my sig for the delivery.

    just because they have those stupid digital pads, doesnt mean they only use them.

  2. Fancy Pants says:

    If there’s a history of package theft in your neighborhood, or if you live in an apartment building, notes with signatures won’t help you. After I had a package stolen — with excellent customer service from both UPS and J. Crew — my UPS man would never, ever leave a package, no matter how much the sorostitutes upstairs pleaded for the timely delivery of their platform sandals.

  3. Ran Kailie says:

    I just have anything I know I need to sign for, or are worried about delivered to my work address here at the university. Makes like a lot easier overall.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Kevin writes:

    “I have a “particularly juicy story to tell” regarding UPS, and was wanting to leave it as a comment in the UPS story you posted today.

    I have a friend who has worked for UPS for years. She works in the warehouse department, where she sorts through packages and ships them on their way.

    She has told me that one should never label a box shipped through UPS “Fragile.” “Fragile” apparently means “drop kick” or “throw repeatedly” to them. Labeling a box “fragile” basically allows, nay, requires, them to throw your box.

    If you really have something that is fragile, label it “glass.” Usually “glass” means “beverage” or “liquid in glass container,” and they don’t want to have to deal with that mess.

    In other words, if you’re trying to get something in one piece through UPS, act like it’s booze.”

  5. BigTDog says:

    I live in an apartment and UPS will not accept my signature on their post-its. I generally call the 800 number and have the shipment re-routed to my office. That arrangement works every time.

  6. trixare4kids says:

    “…and delivery men in tight shorts that horrifically accentuate their junk..”

    Look, I have a wickedly hot, very flirty UPS delivery guy and just in case he’s reading along, I wanted him to know that he can wear all the tight shorts he wants.

  7. PR Flack Brian says:

    I have to say, my UPS guy is Mother Theresa reincarnated. The guy not only comes once during the day, but then comes AGAIN at 5-6pm to try to drop off the packages for people that he missed earlier. Hell of a guy.

  8. Smoking Pope says:

    I’ve also had nothing but good experiences with UPS, although in this case I believe it’s the driver who takes the initiative to provide good service.

    I get packages on a semi-monthly basis that while not containing anything terribly expensive, do contain things I’d rather not have stolen. The problem is that if it needs a sginature, no one will be home to sign for it necessitating a Saturday morning pickup (which isn’t always feasible). But we’re not to keen with leaving it at the front door either.

    Since these packages started coming via UPS, the UPS driver has taken it upon himself to open the gate, walk into our back yard, and leave the package on our patio. This was not requested, and even more surprising is the fact that we’ve got dogs that like to bark a lot (although they’re harmless). So at some point the UPS driver decided to risk a potential mauling to make sure his customer got their package. Bravo.

  9. billhelm says:

    notes with sigs do not work for me, and I live in a fairly safe neighborhood where packages that don’t require sigs often get delivered.

    I used to work in a smaller office as an assistant where we had a regular UPS guy – and he would bend over backwards to serve us- even coming back later in the day for packages that were not ready yet but had to go out that day even though it was out of his way.

  10. The good UPS driver knows when we open, knows when we close, and knows who works here, so anything sent to our house (we live in a small town) is dropped off at the office. Excellent service. FedEx does the same, so I can’t complain.

    Guys like Raul rock.

  11. Elvisisdead says:

    Sounds like you got a good one.

    My driver is an asshole. They constantly leave things on my doorstep. That’s on a good day. On the bad days, they put packages in my flower beds and kill the flowers. I’ve even tried to have a permanent hold on my address and pick everything up. No dice.

    The worst was when they lost and then found my wife’s engagement ring. They left that on my front porch, too. A mere 45 minutes before I was supposed to propose to her in the White House. I had to pull every frigging favor that anyone has ever owed me to make it happen and UPS did their damnedest to fsck it up.

  12. Dustbunny says:

    My UPS driver won’t accept a signature on the delivery slip either. I read that FedEx has a delivery service — different from regular Fed Ex — that delivers in the evenings and on Saturday. I can’t believe nobody’s thought of that before, considering how much extra time they usually spend having to make 3 delivery attempts.

  13. GrantGannon says:

    I’ve had some pretty good UPS drivers as well. One guy delivered so much to my house in college that we finally just started leaving the door unlocked on days we expected a package and he’d drop the packages inside the front door (Small-town Miss. zero crime). I’d come home and there the packages were, sitting on my couch. Never had a single problem.

    There was one unfortunate incident where a college roommate’s girlfriend ordered him an IPod and had it delivered to the Tri-Delt house. On an average day I would say UPS dropped 10 packages off at the sorority house and the driver accepted a signature from whoever was near the door. Well the IPod was delivered and promptly stolen (some sisterhood huh?). Long story short UPS faulted the driver for not accepting individual signatures and he had to pay for it. In the end the greediness of the thieving tri-Delt screwed everyone because the driver stopped leaving packages if the girl to be delivered to wasn’t there.