UPS Randomly Delivers Unordered, Damaged TV, Charges You For The Pleasure

Matt didn’t order a broken 42″ plasma TV, and he didn’t ship one either, but that didn’t stop UPS from plopping a big box with a broken TV on his porch, a service for which they charged $120.12. UPS explained that the TV Matt didn’t ship was being returned to him by the recipient because it was damaged, and it was now his responsibility to arrange for re-delivery. “If I was the shipper,” asked Matt, who lives in Ohio, “why would the package have come from Ontario, CA, not Medina, Ohio?” The TV sat in the rain overnight, and it wasn’t until Matt reached the local depot, where his father worked for 27 years, that he convinced someone to take back the mystery box. Two weeks later, a bill arrived…

I am writing to tell you about an experience I have recently had with UPS (United Parcel Service). I have had a shipping account with them for about 3 years. I use it maybe once a year to send the occasional item to family or friends. This is the story of the package that wasn’t mine.

I came home from a long weekend to find a voice mail on my home answering machine. The lady, who identified herself as Karen from the Damaged Claims department at UPS said that a package that I had shipped was reported as damaged by the recipient. It was to be sent back to me and I would have to take care of the claim. Immediately, I wondered to myself, did I ship something recently? No, I didn’t. Especially a 42” Plasma TV as that was what Karen indicated the package contained. I quickly called them back at the number provided, but the department was closed on Sundays.

First thing Monday on my way into work, I called the customer service center. I gave them the tracking number that Karen provided for me and the representative said that the call was accurate and that I would be receiving the package to fix or replace within the next few days. I told the representative (Paul) that I hadn’t shipped anything with UPS on my account in at least 6 months, let alone a 42” plasma TV! I told him this, but he didn’t believe me. I kept insisting that the package had nothing to do with me. I even referred to the tracking information (provided by UPS). I live in Medina, Ohio. Last time I checked, that is pretty far from Ontario, CA. “If I was the shipper, why would the package have come from Ontario, CA not Medina, Ohio?” I asked Paul. He told me that he would look into the situation and that I’d be on hold for about 5 minutes. I waited and waited, my morning drive was coming to an end and he finally came back on just before I walked into the office. He said that “someone had entered the wrong account information in the claim slip and that there was nothing they could do.” The package would be sent to my house, regardless of my non-existent involvement with it. I would then have to (on my own time) arrange for the package to be picked up, sign a piece of paper and hope that everything else went as planned. All I could do was agree, I had nothing to go on, nothing to say, I just said ok and hung up

Two days later, this massive TV showed up at my house. It sat outside in the rain on Tuesday night (I was at a friend’s house) and most of the day Wednesday. Finally around noon on Wednesday I made it home and made the call to customer service that the package was there and it needed to be picked up. I once again referenced the tracking number. This time, the representative apparently didn’t read the notes (or most likely there WERE NO NOTES) on this package. I had to explain the entire situation again. I told her that I didn’t care about the damage claim, I didn’t care where it was going, and I just wanted it off my porch. She made a call to the local depot, which ironically my dad has worked at for 27 years. About ten minutes later, a gentleman from Middleburg Heights depot called and said there would be someone there that afternoon to pick up the package. He said I would not have to be there to sign anything (what a relief) at least something was going right. At this point, I had spent 4.5 hours talking on the phone about, waiting at my house for and researching UPS’ problem. I thought it was over.

Two weeks passed and I didn’t really think about the situation. Until my American Express bill came. I checked the bill, as I normally do each month for the charges I made. I ran across two that immediately stood out: UPS – United Parcel Service. One charge was for 27.47 and the other was for 92.65. I immediately called American Express. The woman was so very nice (as they always are!). She said that since the charge hadn’t been billed yet, I couldn’t dispute it. Fine I thought, they’ve always been good before, I’ll just wait.

Meanwhile, I decided to call UPS to try to resolve the wrongful charges. I referenced the tracking number and again I had to explain the story. The agent was very, very nice this time. She was very helpful and understanding of my frustration. I was able to get the charges credited to my American Express and the situation was resolved.

I guess my moral of the story is that I spent over 5 hours of my time fixing a UPS mistake. And although I don’t ship thousands of dollars in packages a year, I should’ve still received better customer service. If nothing else, I would’ve expected that someone would’ve caught the error when none of the names involved with the package matched my account. In the end everything worked out ok, but it still frustrates me that stuff like this happens. I have a liking towards UPS, as I said my Dad has worked there for 27 years. However this incident really makes me want to shy away from using them again.

We sure hope the real shipper insured his 42-inch broken, drenched pile of fail.

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