UPS MyChoice Feels More Like A Protection Racket

The UPS MyChoice program is supposed to be a good thing – it lets customers tell the company in advance whether to deliver packages without a signature or deliver them right ot a UPS store. But Holly ends up clicking in circles trying to find out how to sign up for the (free) program. The useful options, like redirecting packages to a UPS store or getting a delivery window, cost extra money.

I work M-F, and am out of my apt from 8am-7pm, so whenever I order packages, I have to CONSTANTLY ask my roommates to listen for the doorbell, and I still don’t receive my delivery. Plus, UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturdays, so I’m screwed.

So when I see that UPS has this My Choice option that allows me to designate a pickup location or authorizing them to deliver without a signature, I think, “Oh great! They took a lesson from Fedex. Good for them.”

However, the design of UPS’s site is so cumbersome, I spent 10 minutes in a perpetual loop trying to figure out how to frikin’ register for UPS My Choice, and then change my “preferences” so that they can deliver without my signature. But oh, if you want to designate a pickup location, like a UPS store? That will cost you $40- need I remind you this is something FedEx does for free- and THAT link was easy as pie to find.

I just can’t help but wonder if UPS charges shipping customers next to nothing so they can fleece their delivery customers…

If this MyChoice thing doesn’t work, I’m contacting the online stores where I predominantly shop to let them know I won’t be purchasing from them until they can ship with another method. Like THAT will work…

UPS To Launch Service That Gives Customers 4-Hour Delivery Window


Edit Your Comment

  1. SaltWater says:

    Have it delivered to your work place.

    • nishioka says:

      And… scene.

    • mikedt says:

      That’s what I do, but more than a few offices have strict rules against personal deliveries – especially since the anthrax scare of a few years ago.

      • SaltWater says:

        With two different companies I’ve worked for I’ve never had a problem with deliveries to my place of work.

        • SmokeyBacon says:

          You are lucky – I have yet to work someplace that would allow personal packages to be shipped to the company.

    • vorpalette says:

      +1 (If your place of employment allows it)

      I do this with gifts for my fiance all the time. My complex office is also amazing and will take packages from UPS/FedEx/USPS, and will leave them IN your apartment if you ask them to. They do this around Christmas automatically, if there are still packages in the office on December 23rd.

    • MathMan aka Random Talker says:

      If your company doesn’t allow it, you can also develop a rapport with the doorstaff if your company rents office space in a larger building. See if they’ll be cool about accepting a pacakge for you and in that way the package is addressed to:
      123 ABC Street
      Front Desk

      Company A
      123 ABC Street
      Floor 3

      There are ways around the company policy that won’t get you or your company in trouble and you can still get your package.

    • curiositykt says:

      We aren’t allowed because our company does not carry insurance for personal packages and “anything could happen to them after they arrive” which is so stupid, but what ever, they won’t even let us leave letters to go out with the mail so it’s mostly a lost cause. (This is a midsized office building)

    • Kate says:

      I have mine sometimes delivered to my sister’s business.

  2. madrigal says:

    Is this mychoice thing different from arranging to pick it up from the customer service center (not a ups store)? I picked something up last week and it did not cost me anything. They have weird hours but are open on Saturdays.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Yeah, it’s different. Mychoice lets you ship something to a retail location (not the central service center) for a cost.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah, I pick things up at our local UPS central service center all the time, and they are open until at least 6:30 but often are open an hour later even, it’s all a question of getting all the trucks back in, shipments out loaded and everything cleaned up.

  3. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I checked the box requiring a signature at delivery – but UPS still dumped, rang, and ran. I got to the front door in time to see back end of the truck as it disappeared down the street.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      I’m still gobsmacked that they do this. I mean, I can’t believe more people don’t just claim they never got the package, especially since there was a signature required and the recipient knows there is no proof of delivery. I wouldn’t do it, but I know lots of people would.

    • Difdi says:

      Well, if you’re a dishonest sort, since there is no signature on a signature-required delivery, you can claim you never got the package…or perhaps claim the driver stole it.

      Signature requirements exist for a reason.

  4. Lyn Torden says:

    Tell merchant to use Fedex.

    • elangomatt says:

      Nice solution if you actually have a choice. Unfortunately, it is a rare sight to see a site that allows you to specify the shipper.

  5. weave says:

    And I thought it was just me. Finally got signed up, went to waive a signature on a delivery and a few days later they ended up tagging my door and not leaving my package anyway.

    • dkc1026 says:

      Same here! Although I must have the best UPS delivery driver out there because he knows that I get packages everyday, and my house was tagged by UPS to require signatures for every delivery (a package was reported not delivered), so it is a constant struggle to race home after work to beat him to my doorstep. Anyway, he gave me a whole pad of InfoTag notices and told me that if I am expecting a package just to sign the back. Awesome.

  6. longfeltwant says:

    This is why I prefer USPS in all cases: cheaper, faster, better service. I’ve often surfed to a different website to buy things, when the first site doesn’t offer USPS.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Good luck if the package gets lost.

    • StarKillerX says:

      USPS does a good job, but has many of the same issues UPS does when it comes to delivering packages.

      My wife and I both work days so I got home to find a USPS post it on my door saying they tried to deliver the package but no one was home, etc….. It basically gave a list of options, one of which was signing the note in the provided spot and leaving it in the mailbox and that this would allow them to leave the package without our signing for it in person. Well it’s just a boxed dvd set, so I signed it and put it in the box and two days I got home to find the post it still in our box, although it was placed on top of our mail so I know it was seen both times.

      I called the post office the next day from work as was told “We can’t deliver it without seeing you sign for the package in person,” and when I asked why they would leave me a slip saying they could, and then just ignore the signed slip for two days I was informed that this was their procedure.

      As I work 7am to 5pm and the post office is closes by 5pm I would be able to pick it up after work and instead had to convince my boss to let me leave early to pick the stupid package up. Now locally UPS is much better as their local delivery terminal is open until at least 6:30pm (they are often there even later, it all depends on loading, unloading, cleanup, etc…) and if the truck wasn’t able to deliver your package you can pick it up there after 5pm.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      USPS is, by far, the worst to deal with in my area. Anything over a pound is more expensive. They leave a tag but you can’t pick it up the same day, or the next day, or even the next on some occasions. They open at 8:30am and close at 4:30pm. When you go to pick it up you ring the bell for 20 minutes minimum at the windowless door in the windowless wall before anyone answers and demands ID, they scrounge around for 15 minutes and then declare the “package isn’t processed yet”. FedEx & UPS both have good tracking and deliver packages. There are other lesser known companies as well, who just deliver the packages but their tracking isn’t as good. Of course, USPS tracking is the worst.

  7. skapig says:

    UPS Stores are independently owned. They aren’t going to do this for free, especially considering that mailbox services (includes package reception) is something that they offer. For one-offs $40 is definitely a little steep though. A few bucks wouldn’t be unreasonable. Keep in mind that the store then becomes legally responsible for the package plus it takes up their limited space. People may not be so quick to pick things up.

    That being said UPS’ delivery hours stink and are tailored more towards businesses, the unemployed, and the retired. This is no secret though. Be smart about it. If you can, have your stuff delivered somewhere where it can be reliably received (friend, office, etc.).

    • MMD says:

      They may be independently owned, but they bear the UPS name. Charging this much for what seems to the average consumer like a basic service creates an antagonistic relationship between the branch and the brand.

      In my mind, it’s similar to a fast food franchise location refusing to cooperate with national promotions – when the franchise and the brand at at cross purposes, the consumer loses out.

  8. goodcow says:

    Get a PO Box, have packages shipped USPS, pickup at your leisure.

  9. elangomatt says:

    The $40 is for an entire year of the premium UPS mychoice I believe. Once you pay the $40 you can redirect packages the entire year, not just the one time.

  10. elephant says:

    If you’re the recipient you can’t sign for or redirect prior to the first delivery UPS attempt – it’s frustrating, but that’s been my experience. I signed up for the free UPS MyChoice and I guess it’s a bit of a misnomer – it really just notifies me of upcoming deliveries, but doesn’t give me a “choice” unless I pay more. I just like the head’s up, so it works for me. Also, for some packages the sender won’t let a recipient sign online/ahead of time no matter what…

  11. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    So, UPS will redirect delivery of your packages without verifying an address for free, but will charge you to hold the item at a pickup location? Awesome.

    (Re: redirecting delivery – UPS will accept PO Boxes as valid delivery addresses from senders, and then use public records to redirect the package to a home address. They don’t notify the sender or recipient when they do this, and don’t contact anyone to verify that they’re using the *correct* address.)

  12. Naked-Gord-Program says:

    The only business where it’s safe to get something shipped via UPS is Amazon. They never screw around customers when it’s coming from them. Likely because they don’t want to lose such a large contract.

    This has had the effect for me of buying from Amazon over other stores/sellers since even if they say they ship via USPS (which is good) they can still pull a switch and use UPS.

    All these stores/sellers who are turning a blind eye to how UPS screws the end customer are just digging their own grave.

    • Admiral_John says:

      I’ve never had any problems with UPS shipping my purchases from Newegg… in fact, I get the vast majority of my purchases from Newegg overnight, even if I choose the free 3-day shipping, since their east coast warehouse is so close to me.

  13. Geekybiker says:

    You generally can pick up UPS packages are the depot for free in the evening, or they will hold them at the depot for you the next day for free. You just have to call the right place. It’s different than a UPS store, but if it is important….

    • jessjj347 says:

      I try to avoid that place like the plague. Going to the one near me pretty much guarantees a huge line and several hour wait.

      • MMD says:

        Agreed. After a UPS driver lied and said no one was available to sign for my package (when they really just skipped my house – I was home all day), I attempted to go to appropriate UPS depot in Chicago to pick up the package (a laptop, so I wanted it in hand as soon as possible). What a pit of dispair that place was…

  14. crazydavythe1st says:

    Has the OP tried leaving a note for UPS? The carrier is usually more than happy to have you pick it up since it means less work for them. I used to do this all the time. It usually works as well if you decide to tell them to leave the package without a signature and you sign the note you leave them.

    Of course, they actually have to read it. and it *is* much easier with Fedex. But if you get that far, you’re in good shape.

  15. crazydavythe1st says:

    Oh, and if it is Amazon and you have Prime, you can usually get them to use Fedex if you opt for overnight delivery. Probably not an option for everyone, but I’ve never seen them send stuff overnight by UPS.

  16. Trevor says:

    Yeah I signed up for this, then got pissed when I found out they charge to deliver to a store instead, there’s no point to it. Big marketing fail on UPS’ part.

  17. thomwithanh says:

    Already training for WCIA 2013?

  18. JJ07078 says:

    I have this service and I don’t feel it’s a ripoff or a “fail”. The feature I use most often is the option to narrow the delivery window down to a few hours from “9am-7pm” for items that require direct signature. I’d rather be tied down for a few hours than for a whole day.

    I’ve also used the “redirect to UPS location” feature. The closest UPS Center is a half hour away. The nearest UPS store is in the next town over (5 min) and is open until 9.

    Several merchants I deal with on a regular basis ship only with the direct signature option. That means that leaving a signed note on the door isn’t going to do it.

    I can have stuff sent to the office, but if it’s something larger than I feel like carrying home on the train or if it’s a NY-based merchant then I’ll have it sent to my home in NJ.

    I guess I’m the only one that’s commenting here that values their time and convenience more than a few dollars. That said, I’d like it better if the $40 covered a certain number of redirections before starting to charge for individual transactions, but I still don’t feel like I’m victim of racketeering.

  19. P=mv says:

    UPS is just bad all around. I once had a package they couldn’t figure out how to deliver to me, and I was home. What was happening is the driver was walking the one flight of stairs to my door, attaching the sticky note to it, and walking off. The package was the size of a paperback book. When I complained, they then told me the office for my apartment complex hadn’t been op-en at the time. *scratches head*

    Last attempt, he left the package on the sidewalk around the corner, near my building. Needless to say some douchebag took off with it before I figured out what happened. The only reason I know where it was left is because the driver put that location in the delivery notes. *sigh* If they deliver with UPS, I don’t buy from that website.

    I am not surprised with their fumbling on what should be a great service.

  20. zyphbear says:

    Also to note about the MyChoice service: The delivery window means absolutely nothing. I have had more occasions that it said it was expected to be delivered by a specific time and it comes at the end of the day instead. (anywhere from 2-4 hours AFTER the end of the delivery window).
    Also, the preference to deliver without signature seems to be broken completely! I work from home and am not able to answer the door if they attempt to deliver during my work schedule, so I have put in the request (through MyChoice) to release the package at my door and I will get it on my next work break, instead every time the delivery guy will keep ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door yelling loudly “UPS!” and “Delivery!” in my apt complex so now everyone knows I just got a package. I put in to have it released and if I don’t answer the door after the first ring, he should just leave it, but he does not. I have had to excuse myself from my work to go answer the door since after 5 minutes, he is STILL there causing such a racket it’s starting to distract me from being able to complete my work correctly.

  21. SRK says:

    UPS MyChoice is ridiculous! I’m fed up with UPS.

  22. Tarceinus says:

    As a UPS Store employee, and later an IT guy who had to maintain a computer dedicated to UPS WorldShip, I can say that everything that UPS tries to do online is a mess. Worldship is the most bloated unusable piece software I have to deal with on a daily basis. I’m not surprised that this thing is as well.

  23. gman863 says:

    Although I despise FedEx Ground (2 lost packages in the past year), at least they give an optin of having the package routed to and held at the nearest FedEx/Kinko’s at no charge.

    Ditto for USPS. Granted, they aren’t open 24/7 like FedEx/Kinko’s, but I can usually find 20 minutes during business hours to drive there and pick up the package.

  24. scoosdad says:

    Yeah I know about the perpetual loop thing. Charter cable has that on their website if you want to add any services to your account. You have a choice of signing in as an existing customer, or a potential new customer. Once signed in as an existing customer, you see a link called “see special deals for you as a customer”. You click on that, it takes you to a new page where you’re no longer logged in, and asks you to log in as a new or existing customer. Lather rinse repeat.

    Fortunately I talked to someone with the company at the home show and was given a direct inside local number to use if I wanted to get anything done with them. Called her today and it couldn’t have been smoother. Thanks, Enid!

  25. nightowl85 says:

    I found myself with the same problem online. It is a loop of doom that sends you back to the same screen in which you were before. After calling Customer Service, they explained to me that I can not get to My Choice unless I click on the Tracking tab on top and then select Access my Choice. If you click on Login at the start page and Login through there you will be logged in but you will not have the choices. Having the package delivered to a Service Center has been free for me twice, but having it sent to a closer location (UPS store) is more expensive. I still prefer to drive to the Service Center than to have the package delivered. I live in a small condo community and nobody has ever taken a package, but these guys will just leave the box outside of my door. Sometimes I am out of town for a couple of days and I will find the package sitting there. My neighbor has sometimes picked up the packages at my request as a favor, but this shouldn’t happen. The people at UPS need to improve that Login process and the fact that one of the Login links will not work to get you actually logged in. Their website is on my top 5 for ‘Most Stupid Interface’.