This UPS Center's Package Pickup Could Not Be Much Less Pleasant Or Efficient

Chantell thought that it would be simpler and more efficient to pick up a UPS package declared “undeliverable” at the shipper’s local facility near her home–a large city somewhere in the southern half of the country. Her experience at the local distribution center could be described as many things, but “simple” and “efficient” are not even close.

I’m writing about the most ridiculous circus I have ever had the misfortune of being forced into, and I’m amazed that something so brutally inefficient with such blatantly horrible customer service exists for a company as large as this one is.

It all started with a late Christmas present, sent from my father via a website to my apartment in [redacted]. Of course, being an order from a website (and thus a company), it was shipped using UPS as the postal service. Not a big deal, normally, but my dad somehow managed to leave out the apartment number, which made the small bubble envelope undeliverable. I got the notice via email that the package was deemed undeliverable, so one of us (my dad, the sender, or me, the recipient) had to contact UPS to either correct the address or arrange for pick-up at the local packaging center. Since I work from 8 in the morning until 7 at night and can only get packages on weekends from my apartment complex’s office (where such are delivered when renters aren’t home to receive packages), I opted to call UPS and arrange to pick it up at their local facility, which was about a 10 minutes’ drive down the road from my apartment. The customer service assured me this would be no problem, and told me simply to show up sometime from 8-8:30 PM at the center with a photo ID, and I could pick it up then.

My boyfriend had been desperately trying to warn me as I made these arrangements on the phone against such, but I couldn’t keep track of what both he and the customer service representative were saying, so I didn’t catch what he was trying to say until after I was off the phone. Apparently he had done the same thing at the same center before, and had ended up spending an hour and a half doing the same horrible routine I endured. It was too late, though; we both crossed our fingers and hoped that his previous experience was just a fluke.

So at 8:15, I got into my car and drove over to the center. I got in just a few minutes before 8:30. There was a crowd of about 15 people standing around waiting to pick up their packages, and no UPS representative anywhere to be seen. 8:30 came, and out from the back emerges a worker, who walks up to the door, shuts it in a gentleman’s face as he is trying to come in, and locks the door. The fellow protested, saying he had already signed in, but the worker refused to let him in, saying “It’s 8:30, tough luck.”

I was starting to wonder what kind of establishment they were running here, that they were that rude to a customer. Finally the worker brought out a single package. It turns out that only two people were manning the whole operation (or disaster, really). The whole room waits while he calls out ONE address at a time. The person who had the address then had to walk up to the worker, wait for him to punch in all sorts of information, sign for the package, then finally be handed the package–anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes per customer. That really adds up when you have a room full of people waiting at such a ridiculous hour.

So I waited, and waited, and waited for my address to be called. The second worker came from the back and said “Who has address X?” A teenage boy came up and said, “That’s my address.” The worker then responded that because of a mistake on UPS’ part (the driver “must have gotten confused because [the customer] had asked for same day will call, cancelled, then asked for it again” according to the worker) the package was not there for pick-up. It was on the belt at the hub across the street and would be irretrievable until tomorrow. The boy was furious; he had driven 45 minutes to come pick up the package, which a driver had repeatedly “tried” to deliver, and waited an hour for his address to be called to get the package. The worker literally shrugged and said there was nothing he could do about it, and it “wasn’t his problem”. He told the boy he would either have to make the same arrangement tomorrow or have another delivery attempted. He asked if he could sign the paper and leave it on his door for the driver when he came to deliver it, but the worker said “No, he won’t leave the package without you signing it physically in person.” I can’t really put into words how rude this worker was to the boy, who was obviously frustrated and upset but not being rude in any way about it. The boy left, and came back with his mom (I’m guessing), who really verbalized her anger with a few colorful words after the worker blew her off, too. To be honest, I was indignant for her. While it was true that it wasn’t the worker’s fault that the package didn’t arrive, he still should never have treated a customer in such an insulting, rude manner. Finally the woman left, saying she would be in touch with the supervisor tomorrow and UPS, and asked for the worker’s name, which he mumbled out.

Three of us were left at this point waiting on our packages. We waited for 10 minutes while the two workers are in the back doing who-knows-what. It was 9:10 PM when I got annoyed and walked back to the door to the back and politely said “I do not mean to be rude, but I have work early tomorrow and would like to pick up my package and go home, if you don’t mind.” The same rude worker said “What is your address?” I gave it to him, twice, and he responded, “Did you sign in?”

Well, no, I hadn’t signed in, as a matter of fact, because there was no worker in sight when I came in to tell me I had to sign in to get my package. Not that it mattered, anyhow, since I was obviously there before 8:30, or else I would have been locked out, and obviously I had no other reason to be there than to pick up a package that I agreed to pick up when I called UPS earlier today. I explained this to the worker, who then accused me of not arriving before 8:30, acting as if he wasn’t going to give me my package. I looked at him and said, “Excuse me, sir, but I had to have been here before 8:30, since we got locked in. I have two other people here who can confirm I arrived before 8:30. I am not responsible for your inability to run this establishment and inform the customers of the proper procedure.” He continued to be rude and complained that “there was no way they could confirm I was here before 8:30”, but finally the other worker brought the package and began the process of giving it to me. I signed and left, more than an after I had arrived to pick it up.

I am infuriated at this ridiculous procedure. I have picked up packages from Fedex and USPS by going to the local facility and never had such difficulties. It’s always been a matter of standing in line, presenting your photo ID, and having your package brought to you. You sign and leave. I’ve never seen such a poorly-run establishment. Not only did they limit you to a thirty minute window to arrive, they had us waiting for more than an hour to get the package (and I’m sure most of the people there arrived at 8 promptly, so even longer for them). They were understaffed, and their customer service was the worst I have experienced in a long time. I will certainly be making several phone calls tomorrow to complain to the local management and to UPS’ customer service line, as well. And I’m sure I won’t be the only one. I will certainly never take my business there again; I’ll let the package sit at my apartment complex’s office until Saturday before I endure that nightmare ever again. And UPS can count me out if they hope to have me ship via them as a consumer.

This center’s treatment of customers is unreasonable and ridiculous. We’ll update this post with whatever Chantell hears back from UPS–if anything at all.