UPS Breaks, Steals Computer

Nick paid the UPS store in Woburn, Massachusetts $600 to ship his computer with insurance to and from England. UPS smashed the computer somewhere along the way and insisted that Nick would need to wait 4-6 weeks for a decision on his claim. After a month, Nick called the UPS store and was told that they needed additional documentation. Another month later, Nick decided to get a new computer and asked for the damaged computer back so he could use it for parts, only to find out that the UPS store had inexplicably shipped it to headquarters, which then delivered it to a stranger in New York named Ken.

So. I’ve been dealing with UPS in several forms, now, for nearly six months on the same issue. Long story short: I paid them $600 to break, steal, and then give away my computer.

I was shipping it to England in early October 2007, as I was expecting to move there, and it turned out I got a customs exception that made it cheaper to ship my computer than to buy a comparable system in England (especially with the dollar-to-pound exchange rate tanking). Fine, right? So I packed it up, insured it, and shipped it out from the UPS Store in Woburn, MA the day before my flight left (total: $300 or so). For a lot of other reasons (is there a “”?) I ended up needing to cancel the trip while the computer was stuck in customs limbo, awaiting several forms that I needed to fill out to get my exception. So, I talked to the customs people, and they said there would be no problem with simply returning the shipment to the sender. I told UPS to do so, and they agreed, provided I pay for return shipping (another $300).

So after some problems with the tracking info, it finally gets delivered. I’m happy – until I get home and see it. One corner is completely crushed. It’s OK though: my power supply broke the fall. So the computer is now heavily dented, and refuses to start. I called and filed a claim, thinking that it was pretty cut-and-dried, especially as I had taken that handy-dandy insurance. Right?

Not so much. First, I’m later told that I committed a major faux pas by filing my own claim, rather than going through the UPS Store, as apparently he is the actual shipper, and in charge of such claims. Fine. I call the UPS store, who quickly take my number and promise to call back. A bit later, they do so – but with the most unexpected greeting of “Hold a on sec, bro, lemme finish chewing.” The person calling me back, who turned out to be the owner of the franchise, set up the claim, all while berating me for doing it wrong (because heaven forbid I should want to be involved in getting my money back) and calling me bro, dude, etc. It is, by this point, November. My claim should be done processing in 4-6 weeks. Fine. I ship out the package for inspection, and I wait.

It is now December, nearing Christmas, and my list is populated by sad games that will not be played, and peripherals which will see no connections for some time yet. I call the UPS store again. They claim that I had refused to give them the package and so no work was done. Despite the fact that this was not true (he was apparently misreading the readout – I had been unavailable on their first scheduled pickup attempt, so the package stayed inside, but shipped out the next day). They also need information on the original price, so they can evaluate it. Note that this is a custom-built, two-year-old system – I don’t exactly have the receipt handy. The UPS Store owner advises me to find a similar-looking product around the same price. I do so. He says that my claim will be processed in 4-6 weeks. He also mentions that he has my computer in his store, already inspected, so if it’s refused, I can get it back ASAP.

Now, it’s January, nearly four months into the debacle. There has still been no decision on whether or not I can get my money for the computer. I have written off the computer as a loss, and begun building another one from scratch. I assume that I will be receiving nothing from the insurance, and at this point really just want the computer itself back, just to see if there’s any viable hardware left that could save me some money. I call the UPS store, and they inform me that my claim was denied. Well, fine. Return it to my address, then. They say that they can’t, as the main UPS office has it. What? You had it in December, and now it’s gone? They claim that they never had it in December. Of course, the main UPS office claims they don’t have it, either, but interestingly they claim it was returned to someone named Ken in New York. Apparently, that was the name listed as the original shipper when they started the return-to-sender process in England. How? I have no idea. I know no one named Ken, much less one from NYC.

Needless to say, I ship FedEx now.

(Photo: zyphbear)


Edit Your Comment

  1. spoco says:

    I had something very similar happen to me. It took quite a while to settle the claim, and they kept trying to settle for significantly less than the computer was worth.

    The thing I found out was that shipping claims are handled by a third party, which is profit driven. UPS pays a set amount to this company and their job is to pay as little as possible. For instance, I got two quotes from reputable repair shops here that pretty much said that they could not fix it. They denied those claims and made me drive 50 miles to “their” shop who claimed they could fix it for a few hundred bucks. (significantly less than replacement. I fought it long enough for them to give up.

  2. agency says:

    The same thing happened to me. I shipped through the UPS Store, the package looked like someone jumped up and down on it by the time it arrived, and I couldn’t file a claim directly with UPS because the “UPS store was the official shipper.” The store filed a claim, it got denied for “insufficient packaging,” and I couldn’t convince the store manager to file an appeal. And I was out a $200 a/v receiver. Since then, I never ship with UPS, especially not through the store.

  3. edrebber says:

    If the claim is denied, the item must be returned to the shipper.

    Contact the district attorney in the UPS store’s locality and explain the situation.

    You may have to sue the store owner in small claims court.

  4. mr_ziy says:

    I also had something similar, except from DHL (I hate them). After shipping my iPod to Apple and not recieving it, no one took responsibility. DHL Said they delivered it yet they had no signature. Eventually Apple (through some quality phone time) shipped me a new one. Screw DHL and now, UPS. FedEX ftw i guess.

  5. bohemian says:

    They can have my laptop when they pry it from my cold dead hands. Why didn’t he just take it with him in the plane?

  6. Mollyg says:

    @bohemian: It was a custom built desktop.

  7. racermd says:

    Fight UPS on this. From the sound of things, it’s their fault and they need to either pay up or return your equipment (if they can even get it back from ‘Ken’).

    That being said, anyone with high-dollar goods should get their OWN insurance policy on them. If there’s ever a loss, you can let your insurance company go after the goons that screwed up. It’s much easier to let Goliath fight Goliath than to get yourself too heavily involved.

  8. Pro-Pain says:

    NEVER use UPS for anything of value. They simply don’t give a fuck. And if you really DO have to file a claim, they all go EXACTLY like the OP’s post. Use FedEx. They arn’t perfect either, but they are better than UPS anyday of the week.

  9. MustyBuckets says:

    @Mollyg: Yeah, I was wondering if anyone else noticed that, as Carey must not have.

  10. I’ve worked at a UPS Store for 3.5 years now. That owner sounds like a total douche. We rarely, if ever, have problems with UPS. I’d bet that if the Store packed the PC, they did a shitty job with it. If it was customer packed, that could cause some issues.

    We always go the extra mile or more for our customers(even the shitty ones). I guess there’s a lack of pride in work over there.

    We’re the #1 store in WI.(bragging)

  11. Oh. And all those UPS whiteboard commercials are total BS. Don’t believe anything on them.

  12. DeltaPurser says:

    Just curious: WHY was the claim denied? Was a specific reason given?

  13. matto says:

    At least UPS managed to deliver the computer.
    More than they could do for me.

  14. evslin says:

    Maybe I’m failing at reading comprehension today, but:

    Now, it’s January, nearly four months into the debacle.

    Does that mean this was written in January? Have there been any new developments in the last 3 months?

  15. se7a7n7 says:

    You can save yourself A LOT of money by packing yourself and shipping USPS. UPS pack and ship charges an arm and a leg. I do shipping every day of the week and the ONLY time it makes sense for me to use their service is if I had something that was very valuable and tricky to pack, like a KORG keyboard or a large sculpture. Otherwise, like everything else it’s cheaper and better to do it yourself.

  16. flidget says:

    @evslin: He also says “now it’s December” a paragraph earlier, and at the start of the article he mentions he’s been dealing with this problem for six months and that it originally shipped in October. I guess he’s been in touch with them since January, but nothing’s changed? Strange that there’s no mention of the last three months, though.

  17. Parting says:

    @matto: This could happen if the shipper used international waybill, instead of USA’s.

    People who organize packages are doing it by hand, at high speeds. So when they see “international” colors on the box, they just throw it in the pile with the rest of out of country shipments. No one read your address.

    But it still sucks …

  18. Parting says:
  19. Parting says:

  20. Parting says:


  21. Parting says:


  22. Parting says:

    OOps, sorry for repeat post

  23. @DeltaPurser: Probably customer packed.

    FYI: Any damaged item that is packed by The UPS Store is to be automatically approved.

  24. primo.avanti says:

    i used to work for UPS in shipping and i can tell you, some of the people unloading/loading the trucks simply dont give a ****. better make sure what youre shipping is packed securely and insure

  25. Addison says:

    Have you tried contacting UPS executive customer service?


  26. Layzie says:

    Ive been working at a UPS store for 6 months and can’t wait to quit in june when I start my internship elsewhere. I feel like I’m ripping people off all the time. Charging people 60 dollars to package a single picture frame, 20 dollars to put something in a box, etc. Shipping through UPS is already expensive enough as it is, and most of the time the packaging of simple things doubles the total price. so a 15 dollar shipment will cost another 15-20 to pack. Now, I do give the usual BS I have to get people off my back, like the value of packing and the procedure and all that fluff, but really it takes no more than a minute to pack most things, and 5 minutes to fragile pack.

  27. Oddly enough, it’s FedEx that I always have problems with and UPS that’s always golden for me.

  28. chrisdag says:

    The UPS Store != UPS. Totally different companies.

  29. @edicius: That’s pretty much what ALL of our customers say. Except for the one that apparently this I sabotage the copy machines right before she comes in. God, I hate that bitch.

  30. *thinks, not this.

  31. Wynner3 says:

    I try to avoid UPS any way possible. They never ship to my address on time, they are always 1 to 2 days late. Once it took a detour across a bridge and back the next day before I got my package. I’m disappointed that more companies don’t use FedEx.

  32. MyPetFly says:

    Never, EVER use OOPS. Why do you think their uniforms are brown? They’re shitty. I’ve seen videos of their drivers tossing packages to the door, etc.

    Never, EVER use USPS. They haven’t been the same since they got rid of the Pony Express.

    I’ve personally had good luck with FedEx (some haven’t) and with DHL (some haven’t), although I reported a dangerous DHL driver (speeding in two school zones and running stop signes) and was pretty much stonewalled by their corporate office. (Thanks for nothing Traci.)

    File a suit in small claims court if it’s not too late.

  33. stopNgoBeau says:

    @DikembeMeiztombo: Not so. I had UPS Store pack and ship a rather large and expensive sound board for me. It was damaged, and UPS denied the claim to to improper packing. I had to threaten the UPS store in order to get it fixed.

  34. Since Ken didn’t give us the reason, it’s wholly possible that the claim was legitimately denied, say, for insufficient packing. Even so, the store owner really does sound like a douche.

    A quick Google search suggests that you do indeed have to deal with the UPS Store if you shipped through them. I’m retroactively glad that I avoid the UPS Store (or any “authorized” shipping outlet). No offense DikembeMeiztombo, but I personally like to remove a layer of bureaucracy when dealing with a company by dealing direct if possible.

    @edicius: In an objective reality, UPS and FedEx are like peas in a pod.

  35. @stopNgoBeau: Well, then they lied to you.

    @Michael Belisle: None taken.

    UPS Stores are all franchised. Apparently some owners/operators are asshole.

  36. @MyPetFly: I’ve seen videos of their drivers tossing packages to the door, etc.

    I’ve seen those videos too. You’ve just never seen the videos of FedEx doing that. Why do you use an unqualified negative statement for UPS and USPS, then use a qualified statement based on your own experience for FedEX and DHL?

    The unqualified “never use x” is not useful to anyone. The only way it helps is that now I can tally the votes:

    UPS: 1 yea, 3 nays = -2
    FedEx: 3 yeas, 1 nay = +2
    DHL: 1 yea, 1 nay = 0
    USPS 1 yea, 1 nay = 0

    Currently FedEx is winning with a net score of +2! Readers are advised to avoid UPS, and no recommendation is made regarding UPS or DHL.

  37. LAGirl says:

    i would definitely sue in small claims. seems like you have kept very good records to prove your case.

    would also contact attorney general’s office, as suggested above.

  38. tmlfan81 says:
  39. PeteyNice says:

    All delivery companies are sketchy. Some anecdotes….

    I live in between two DHL distribution places. They routinely hold packages for several days. They told me if I really wanted it I could drive there (~20 miles) and pick it up. They also are known to deliver things at 11PM.

    I once caught a FedEx guy walking around inside my house. I was home so I didn’t lock the door and he came in to deliver my package.

    I always get mail for people who have my last name or my house number (on a different street) that are not me. I wonder who is getting my mail sometimes.

  40. USPS is the worst. Hands down.

  41. jonworld says:

    Oh…thats what the random laptop that got delivered to me was…

    Just kidding :) lol

  42. WraithSama says:

    I usually ship FedEx whenever I order anything from NewEgg and have been nothing short of pleased with the service of both.

  43. @Michael Belisle: Well, this is completely unscientific evidence of course, but I’ve had friends who worked for UPS, the USPS, DHL, and FedEx in the LA area, and the consensus is that they all try to take care of packages in general, but if the courier is having a shitty day (and it can happen often), then they could give a crap about your freakin’ box.

  44. says:

    @MyPetFly: The Pony Express was never affiliated with the US Postal Service. It was a separate company that was contracted to carry US mail on its ponies.

    Either way, I wouldn’t trust Pony Express to ship my computer overseas :)

  45. Wreckoner says:

    FedEx has always been good to me.

    UPS screwed me over a couple years ago, but I’d try them again if it came down to it.

    DHL..ugh..had a small nightmare with them. I ordered a wireless router, DHL was shipping it. I live in an apartment complex. The day it was supposed to arrive…nothing came. I check the website. Some random guy signed for it. Thus began a back and forth game, resulting eventually, two weeks later, in my router in my mail box. Apparently some other guy at my complex was reluctant to give up something that was never his.

  46. I get shipments from UPS about every other day. The key is to be super nice to the driver. On hot days I give him a bottle of cold water. He gets Christmas and Birthday gifts (yes, I know his birthday). In exchange, he hauls my shipments of 7-10 heavy boxes up 3 flights to stairs to my office and will make a second attempt to deliver the same day if I send him a text I’m home. He’s even helped me ship stuff at a discount. A little kindness goes a long way.

  47. MyPetFly says:

    What about seahorses? : )

  48. stevekal says:

    Nick, you’ve done more than your fair share of work on getting your laptop reimbursed. You pay the UPS store to pack it properly, and clearly that wasn’t done.

    Just file a small claims case at the Woburn district court. Name the official corporate entity that owns that UPS store, plus name United Parcel Service corporation in Delaware, plus personally name the owner of the Woburn store. That way, if it ever got as far as court, every possibly responsible party is present.

    When filling out the small claims papers, make it short and sweet. Factual only, no emotions. Seriously, the shorter the better.

    Sue for the replacmeent cost of a new, comparable laptop, plus the cost of shipping.

    My guess is that once delaware gets their copy of the court summons, they’ll kick the ass of the Woburn store, and you’ll get a check way before the court date.

  49. fon_win says:

    Did you pay for the shipping/insurance with a major credit card? If so i’d get them involved too.

  50. BillEccles says:

    I’m still pissed at UPS for the debacle that was a PowerMac G4 shipped by a snot-nosed, zit-faced… well, I never saw the guy, so perhaps I’m being a little harsh.

    I bought a PMG4 on eBay for $250. It arrived, poorly packaged by the UPS Store somewhere near Seattle, so the shipper was the UPS Store and the contact info was the UPS Store. When it arrived damaged, I filed an online claim with UPS, which, inexplicably, retrieved the package and then sent it back to the shipper.


    Now the shipper had both my money and my merchandise. I could not get hold of snottynose, because all I had was a now-defunct eBay account, and the UPS Store did not do me any favors, either. They didn’t do “the paperwork” that the website wanted to be done.

    It was too late to do the stiff-them-with-a-chargeback trick, and small claims is out of the question (CT to WA is a bit of a stretch).

    But what the hell was UPS doing sending the package back to the shipper in the first place? They said they picked it up to… well, I don’t know what, because the website was inexplicably unclear.

    In other words, when UPS drops it on the ground, call MasterCard. Then UPS. In that order.

    This was three years ago and I’m still pissed.

    (Calm down, Bill… Calm down… Deep breaths… Think happy thoughts…)


  51. ecwis says:

    Another reason to use FedEx rather than the UPS Stores. FedEx Kinkos are actually owned by FedEx. Most UPS stores are franchised out and can make just about any rule that they want. They’re basically an unnecessary middleman.

  52. scoosdad says:

    For $600 roundtrip you could have almost bought the computer its own coach seat on the plane. “I’ll be taking the computer’s snacks, thanks.”

  53. chartrule says:

    we have UPS but most people use Purolator here

    with Canada Post owning 75% of purolator
    all you need to do to send anything is to pop into the local post office

    and the service is pretty good

  54. chartrule says:

    UPS sucks ! if you have a mail box with them (did in the past at one of their stores) they will not accept anything from a rival courier company

  55. Layzie says:

    chartrule that is simply untrue. At my UPS store we accept packages from every couriers. Most boxes are owned by local homebusinessmen and they get packages delivered daily from dhl, fedex, and even from freight trucks.

  56. sirwired says:

    For the folks that are wondering why the package goes back to the shipper. The way insurance works, is that all damage claims are filed by the shipper. This is the same no matter the carrier.

    UPS Store != UPS. The two don’t really have much to do with each other.

    Random side note: Just as the UPS Store and UPS are not really related, FedEx, and FedEx ground also don’t have much to do with each other. While FedEx drivers doing pickups will transfer packages to FedEx Ground, that is the last time an actual FedEx driver will touch the package. FedEx Ground delivery drivers are actually independent contractors that have some bizzarre relationship with FedEx corporate to deliver Ground packages. They don’t deliver Express packages.

    At work, we routinely ship a piece of equipment that runs $85k retail. Since it is so pricey, we just have to “ship and pray” since we can’t find anyone outside of courier services, that will agree to insure it.

    We recently switched from DHL to UPS (despite the fact that my company gets something like a 75% discount with DHL) because DHL almost lost it several times.

    Once, we shipped this thing one state away. It was so close, you could have driven the thing in five hours. It didn’t arrive. After they looked for the package for a few days and didn’t find it, we started getting concerned. Our shipping guy drove to the local terminal and told them, in no uncertain terms, that we were going to look for the package until we found it, given that this thing costs about as much as the annual salary for a skilled Engineer. He told them that they would continue to look for it, even if it meant riding in a jump seat to DHL’s hub, and looking for it there. They make it as far as the backroom of the local terminal, and there it is, leaning up against a wall. (It was easy to spot, being a 50lb crate originally designed for the military.

    UPS hasn’t even delayed it yet.


  57. madanthony says:

    img src= []

    This seems to be par for the course for UPS claims. I sold an ISDN modem, which UPS destroyed before delivering. Filed a claim, was denied because “too much of the bubble wrap was popped”. Finally got them to pay it. They then shipped the item back to an address I haven’t lived at in almost 2 years. Finally got it rerouted. The delivered it, then a few days later tried to pick it up from my old address. Requested they pick it up from where I actually live, and it sat on my porch for three days.

    Oh, and they did mail me a check. To my old address.

    Complete story on my blog:



  58. dialing_wand says:

    UPS is the best advertisement for FedEx ever.

    I’ve only ever had trouble with UPS. Culminating in a $60 package that had $70 of additional “Fees” mostly due to UPS “brokerage” fees. The driver laughed and said we should send it back. We did.

    Fed Ex on the other hand has been nothing short of amazing. Two weeks ago I had an express (international priority) package coming in from England. It weighed 32 lbs and was going to cost about $400.

    FedEx dropped the ball and the package sat for 4 days in England before being flown out.

    What did FedEx do? They waived the ENTIRE charge citing a “service failure.” I wasn’t even calling to ask for the charges waved… I just wanted to know about some other discrepancy on my account.

    Great company.

  59. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    @chrisdag: No. UPS Store and UPS are not totally different companies.

    They are the SAME company. UPS bought Mailboxes Etc. and renamed it… the UPS Store.

    It is true that the stores are franchised, but this story sounds like a major class-action suit. And a good one for once.

    What reason would a UPS Store have to care about filing a customer’s insurance claim? The store has no incentive to complete the process and the customer has no recourse. What a deceptive and misleading system…

  60. Speaking of UPS, apparently UPS “delivered” a package to me yesterday. Guess I have to meet my neighbors now and see who received it instead of me. The shipper released the package, so after that I get to find out if Despair’s Customer Disservice lives up to its name.

    Back to Nick’s story, having now read the UPS claims FAQ, the official line if you shipped at the UPS store is to file the claim directly with UPS, then contact the store to check the status. This owner is an asshat if he really derided Nick for contacting UPS first.

    @PeteyNice: The status “package not due for delivery” on a ground package is one of my all-time favorites. “Train derailment” is another good one.

    @ceejeemcbeegee: You might be on to something here. I’ve never had a problem with any shipper and will continue to use the most convenient or inexpensive one, despite anyone’s personal conviction.

  61. BillyShears says:

    Somewhere between New York and San Francisco, UPS played rugby with my computer when I moved three years ago. I filed a claim, they sent an adjuster to document it, and without blinking she told me that they’re not accountable because “they’re not engineers” and can’t verify the damage.

    And obviously my word – the word of someone who’s been using and building these things since Reagan was in office – wasn’t enough. I tried to push the claim as far as I could before I just got TIRED of dealing with the red tape, which I suspect is the resolution UPS strives for.

    Bunch of douchebags. Don’t ever get the insurance at the store, it’s nothing but a profit engine; you won’t get a payout unless they LOSE the stupid thing.

    (I also now ship only via FedEx and only begrudgingly accept UPS when it’s the only option to have something shipped to me.)

  62. Gannoc says:

    Wow. The almost exact same thing happened to me, 10 years ago while shipping a PC across the country.

    It came smashed. Looked like it had fallen downstairs. First I got pushback because I built it myself, and they tried to make it sound like that made it impossible to set a value on.

    Then, they claimed that the packaging was inadequate even though a UPS store had done it.

    In the end, they ended up paying me about $400 less than they should have as a “Settlement”.

    So, here we are, 10 years later, and I still choose FedEx whenever I can. I guarantee UPS has lost a lot more than $400 in business from me…

  63. Gannoc says:

    I wonder if anyone from UPS will read this?

    I mean, just from a business perspective, have they really shown that their insurance profits outweigh the loss of business from REALLY pissing off people?

  64. BillyShears says:

    @Gannoc: @Gannoc: Thankfully I was able to repair it myself. A hard drive and an optical drive came off their mounts, another mount was bent from stuff banging around inside and my video card lost a tiny heat sink off of some row of chips near the top.

    But yeah, an average Joe would’ve thought the thing was totaled. THAT’s what gets me all fired up over situations like this.

  65. LA_Longhorn says:

    This happened to me about 3 years ago, but the culprit was DHL. I sent my laptop off to Dell for a routine service; When I missed the courier at my new apartment, I went to the LA DHL distribution point (in a really bad neighborhood, BTW) on Saturday to pick it up in person. The jerk behind the desk wouldn’t release the package because my ID still had my old address on it. So, I went back the next weekend with my new ID, and when they brought the box up to the desk, it was opened and empty.

    After a week of raising hell with DHL customer service and the LAPD (both useless), I finally got in touch with someone high up at Dell; they sent me a brand new laptop, with comparable or better specs. So bravo to Dell, and I’ll never do business with DHL again.

  66. StevieD says:

    Protecting packages is the responsibility of the shipper.

    What is protection?

    Ever see a UPS/FedEX long haul truck? The boxes will be stacked, usually by hand, from floor to ceiling. The trailers are about 12′ high, so if your package is at the bottom and there are 10′ of heavy packages on top of your package all I can say is “good luck”.

    The dudes at UPS are suppose to load heavy at the bottom, not protect your package but instead to keep the trailer from being top heavy and hard to handle for the driver (or worse).

    No matter what, you can expect 50 to several hundred lbs on top of your package.

    At some point your package will go through a convey system that can drop your package a vertical distance of around 2-3 feet at speeds around 20 mph. If you are lucky, the guy that is shipping ski poles will properly package his ski poles otherwise you can expect his ski pole to shove it’s way through your package.

    One UPS dude bragged that way less than 0.1% of all packages are damaged.

    Don’t know if he was correct. My damage, lost etc rate since January this year is approximately 3 packages per 1000 shipped. According to UPS I have a high damage/lost rate, but my industry segement has a damage rate of 8 per 1000 so UPS is not taking corrective action against my company at this time. How Nice.

    I read these damaged shipping stories and I know who is to blame…. the shippers.

    It is always the shippers.

    Signed UPS shipper of ski poles, 100 lb rocks and tape and label eating acid in poorly constructed plastic bottles.

  67. unoriginal says:

    @chartrule: Sorry, that’s not true at all. I currently rent a box from the UPS Store down the street from me and routinely get packages sent via USPS and Fedex. All of them have been rec’d and held for me until I picked them up.

  68. create says:

    heh, at my last job we went through something similar…

    We had a particular customer who shipped their PC from like Pennsylvania to New York for us to fix, they used UPS, and paid shipping both ways.

    The computer arrived in one piece, and was fine, we repaired it, boxed it up and shipped it back to the customer (UPS)… when it arrived, it had a hole right through one side of the shipping box, through the center of the computer case and right out the other side of the shipping box. It has a great big fsking hole dead center through the computer tower!!!

    How the hell a UPS driver could even bear to show up at someone’s door with that in hand is beyond me. It took UPS like 3-4months to render a decision and decide that they would reimburse the customer for their computer. I only know because we had to wait for the check so we could build them a brand new one.

  69. Nighthawke says:

    Must be a regional thing. The company I work for ships IT hardware on a regular basis and never had problems with either DHL or UPS.

    We have shipped 80# pieces of hardware and have had dents in places on the boxes, but they were intact and operational.

    I believe the smart money would be to overpack the item, using stronger than usual corrugated, something that’ll take a beating. No labels, no markings on the boxes to give the shippers any ideas what is inside. Clear, concise mailing addresses, and if there is any complications in getting to your house, use the notes on the mailer to provide clear instructions. Cover your ass by using their tools to your advantage.

  70. Landru says: Pony Express was run by Wells Fargo. Whatever you think of them.

  71. frankthefink says:

    After 5 years of working for UPS as a damage claims processor, I have less sympathy than ever for the shipper. I’ll bet that 1 out of 100 packages I see is completely the fault of UPS. You would not believe the stupidity that people show when shipping things they care about.
    I would say that the biggest problem I see from day to day is using a box that is not tough enough to hold the contents. Check the box burst strength AND the edge crush strength before shipping- it’s one of the first things that an inspector checks.

    And to the author- your UPS store is a jerk and you should really call corporate to complain about him. If the UPS Store packs your package and gives you insurance, they are essentially saying that they believe the packing is sufficient. They assume liability for packing your stuff if they packed it.
    But you’ve let this go on for WAY too long to start complaining about it now. It’s much too late to get anything out of UPS. But DO call and complain about that store owner.

  72. theblackdog says:

    @chartrule: That’s not true, my UPS store takes my FedEx, DHL, and USPS packages that come to my box there.

  73. cmcd14 says:

    I had to ship out a computer using UPS. The box I was using had a “Fragile” stamp on it from previous use. The guy at the desk told me that UPS “doesn’t do fragile.” Subsequently, the computer arrived in pieces to the person I shipped it to. Had it extremely well packed and secured. Must have been treated like a soccer ball.

  74. justininswitzerland says:

    Well, not the first to suggest small claims court, apparently, but it is the best choice. UPS made a small (and negligible) dent on a mountain bike frame I purchased online, then stonewalled when I filed a claim. Cost of fixing and refinishing was more than I actually paid for the frame.

    UPS sent some sort of a regional supervisor (read: no legal training) and although I was a university student (also no legal training but plenty of chutzpah), it was a pretty easy win.

    Morale of the story: free bike.

  75. freejazz38 says:

    UPS = Utterly Pathetic Shippers.

    Please, they’re the WORST in the business. Why? cuz they’re union, meaning they don’t have to answer to anyone but their unions. Most expensive, worst service.

  76. mmeehh says:

    computer requires a signature for delivery ,i checked on ups site for a customer that was waiting for his computer ,it was already delivered and the signature was HAHAHA.

  77. cde says:

    I’ve had packages stolen before, because they where left at the door. Filled the complaint with UPS, got my refund from insurance. Ask that all packages be held at the place or never lefted at the door. A month later, I get a laptop delivered. Also just left at the door.

  78. StevieD says:

    Those “notes” that you (the shipper) write on a UPS label or box are worthless. The driver must follow the instructions on the address label. Which means the driver delivers to the address, not to the notes.

    BTW, so is writing fragile on a box. Per the terms of the tarrif UPS and other small package carriers will not accept a package that requires special handling to insure breakage. Fragile written on a box could result in a package being refused.

    Same for “telling” UPS specific information. There is no communication system that lets the 1-800 CSR tell your local driver to leave the package on the carport versus the front door. Calling the local center is just as worthless as their communication system does not allow for minor communications with the drivers BESIDES they would have no way to verify your indentity and you could be giving the driver false information in order to allow you easy access to steal the package.

    The same things can be said for FedEX and DHL.

    The only way to get “special service” is to befriend your local driver and hope he/she is working the day you package is delivered. Even then, if what you are asking is far outside of the terms of the package you are SOL.

    Regarding adult signature required packages, it is up to the shipper to make such a requirement. UPS can waive the requirement under certain circumstances. Most shippers know the adult signature requirements are lax and the service may or may not be provided and since there is a fee for the service, all too often the vendor charges the customer for the service and then fails to tell UPS to perform the service. An easy $2.50 into the pocket of the shipper.

  79. StevieD says:

    One last comment.

    What is well packaged?

    Seriously, how do you know that a package has been well packaged?

    Could your package withstand a drop of 3-4 feet? No? Then is not even close to being well packaged.

    Could your package withstand a heavy 70 lb package being dropped a distance of 3-4 unto your package? No? Then your packaging material is insufficient for your products.

    Could your package withstand penetration of a minimum of 1 or 2 inches without causing harm to your products? If No, then your packaging is insufficient for your product.

    I recently received several dozen boxes from two leading computer companies. Computer towers, monitors and printers. The boxes were beat up a bit on the corners and in one case the box had penetration.

    But there were NO DAMAGES.

    Those boxes could meet the standards that I stated above.

    Bottom line is that some people have a clue how to pack their goods. The rest of us are just guessing.

  80. chartrule says:


    the UPS store here doesn’t accept anything other than UPS

  81. chartrule says:


    the UPS store here doesn’t accept packages from others – that is why i don’t deal with them anymore

  82. h0mi says:

    I ordered a phone a few years ago and the phone was shipped via fedex. The shipping was 3 day air or something but for whatever reason, the package arrived in town a day early and according to the web site, it was out on the truck for delivery.

    Except fedex would not deliver it that day at all because I’d paid for 3 day delivery and they weren’t going to do 2 day delivery. So I waited another day. Phone never arrived. It had been lost or stolen. Insurance took care of that but I was pretty angry.

  83. Siegeman says:

    I’ve had problems with both UPS and FedEx…

    FedEx: Dropping a package insured for $2000 on the neighbor’s front door, and insisting it was delivered. Wouldn’t show signature. Neighbor returned from vacation two weeks later and brought us the package.

    UPS: Failing to deliver packages because the house “could not be located.” Better yet, placing 2 “attempted delivery” stickers on the door in the morning and the third “last attempt” sticker in the afternoon and sending the package back to the vendor the very same day.

    DHL has been good to me, but I haven’t really used them in two or three years. That was back when they just started painting their trucks yellow and spamming TV with their adds. I lived between the local distribution center and the largest city and the county. Whenever I missed the morning delivery attempt, I could always call and have the guy drop whatever it was off on the way back. (Before 4pm)…

    With all the complaining I hear these days about DHL though,I guess the Germans realized they don’t need good customer service to compete in the US…

  84. DaoKaioshin says:

    Small claims court. If you’re a student, you can definitely still use the money. And if a franchise owner goes around calling people broseph, I think you’ve got the case already won.

  85. Consumer007 says:

    @edrebber: Right on, sue them for replacement cost, court costs and pain and suffering (all the lost travel, things you couldn’t do, etc. that were on your pc). Also, regardless of that outcome please do a clever youtube video about your experience so plenty of people are aware of it and give them a well-deserved hard time about their “reliability” claims in their advertising. Be sure and use their logo, their music, etc. and twist it to be your message UPS – We’ll lose it and lie about it – guaranteed – BRO! (After we’re finished chewing) lol

  86. BigElectricCat says:

    Many moons ago, back when I was in grad school, I worked for UPS during the holidays.

    Without going into detail, let’s just say that my three-week experience in Working For UPS is the reason why I won’t use them, and why I advise my friend, relatives and neighbors not to use them, either.

    UPS blows dead goats. But YMMV.

  87. thejynxed says:

    @Michael Belisle: I have to give a resounding NAY to FedEx. The FedEx delivery people where I live A) are suspected package thieves B) throw the packages C) deliver late if at all (they are rather quick to leave those notices on your door even without bothering to knock or ring the doorbell) D) not very courteous E) can’t follow simple instructions (example: leave package in bin on porch).

    My wife and I refuse to use FedEx in this area.

    UPS however, has served me slightly dented boxes, but nothing has ever come up missing, damaged, late or destroyed. And they know how to put packages into a package bin. Ditto USPS.

    I haven’t dealt with DHL at all.

  88. Optimus says:

    “What can brown do for you?” Apparently they got the color right for their service. Let’s hope they never modify their signature vans into Oscar Meyer style ones to match.

  89. ManiacDan says:

    UPS did the same thing to my wife’s computer. It took us 4 months, 3 visits to UPS offices, and more than a dozen phone calls to get our rebate. There are a few things that I noted from UPS’s policies, at least as they were quoted to me over the phone. These are the words of representatives, and therefore may not be (probably aren’t) company policy, but this is what I had to deal with:

    1) UPS cannot inspect the contents of the box when determining fault for damages. I attempted to send them images of the computer that was broken and was told that only 5 pictures were acceptable: Front, back, left, right, and top. All closed.
    2) I was told more than once that since I had purchased a replacement computer, I demonstrated that I did not have a need to receive the refund. That’s very “robin hood” of them, but since it took them 4 months and my wife was attempting to attend college, I had to get her a new machine.
    3) “Package inspection agents” are just UPS drivers, the ones that probably did the breaking in the first place.
    4) Don’t ever ship a package to yourself. I shipped the package the day before our flight up to school. Since the package was damaged, they wanted to ship it back to the sender. “I was the sender, and I live here now” kept my package in limbo for 2 of the 4 months. Have someone who is staying behind ship you the package, just in case.

  90. ManiacDan says:

    Forgot to add:
    5) I had a friend who worked part-time at a UPS warehouse, they call those guys “the package throwers.” Even the manager told him he was interviewing for a “package thrower” position.

  91. Hi corporate!

  92. frankthefink says:

    we’re also the only people in the business paying a living wage.
    people are so quick to be concerned about how their little chicken was treated before they eat it, but nobody ever seems concerned that a company mistreats its people.
    Fedex and DHL are horrible to employees by comparison.

  93. VladimirDamrit says:

    I just received a new custom computer from a person I did some work for as a gift.

    When I opened the box, the side panel was off and packing peanuts were all inside. My friend has assured me that the side panel was ON when he shipped. Is this normal protocol?