Are Your Packages Really More Secure With UPS’ New Access Point Service?

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Last October, United Parcel Service announced it would attempt to cut down on delivery stops and protect consumers’ packages from sticky fingers with its Access Point service that drops off packages at local businesses where you can pick them up at your convenience. While the idea seems great in theory – who doesn’t want to protect their unattended packages? – in practice, it appears there are still a few kinks to work out: Mainly that people aren’t aware of the service, and the packages may not be as secure as we’d hoped.

Those issues certainly appeared to be the case this week when an editor for ANIMALNewYork spotted “more than two dozen packages crammed into the aisle” of a small local grocer.

When UPS announced the service, it said it was designed for people who work or live in big cities, where packages left on the doorstep could be stolen. It would allow consumers to skip waiting at home to sign for a package and instead pick them up at the pharmacy, convenience store, dry cleaners and other local businesses.

Prachi Gupta says in her post that she was unaware of the Access Point service until she received a notice that one of her packages had been delivered to the grocer. Upon arriving at the store, she says she was greeted with a long line of customers, several frustrated with this new service.

“One frustrated woman told me that she had no idea why her package was sent to a bodega,” Gupta writes. “Another man complained that his packages had been routed to two different Access Point locations.”

As for her package, it was actually deemed undeliverable to the store twice thanks to a required signature. She only learned the package was at the store through a UPS slip left on her door.

An employee at UPS’s West Houston Street facility tells ANIMALNewYork that several customers have expressed their displeasure with these new service.

Aside from the frustration of not knowing about the service or the requirement that you have to slog out into the city to retrieve it, the bigger issue appears to be the fact that these packages were left in the open.

The local grocer tells Gupta that packages are usually kept in a room below the store. It wasn’t clear exactly why the packages were left “in the aisle for at least an hour.”

UPS vice president of new product development, Stephanie Callaway, tells ANIMALNewYork that leaving packages out in the open is “not what we consider to be a secure location,” and that the company would look into the situation.

She went on to say that the issues seen this week were likely the result of local businesses getting acclimated to the new service. So far, New York has designated about 550 businesses, including dry cleaners, bodegas and other store, as Access Point locations.

For the most part, she tells ANIMALNewYork that the feedback from retailers and customers has been positive.

“The numbers were off the charts,” she said. “Ninety-eight percent said they had a good experience while they were picking up their package. It’s not typical for us to see that.”

Your Package Might Be In The Grocery Aisle Due To New UPS Service [ANIMALNewYork]