It used to be that if you sent a parcel, you could expect that the parcel would arrive in a timely manner and that the parcel delivery service would be able to give you status updates on the parcel as it made its way along its route. Sure, some packages do get lost but when a company tells you that everything is okay and you can see from the facts in front of you that everything is not okay, it gets extremely aggravating.


I had my vacuum cleaner sent to me by UPS from the place I was storing it in Seattle to my new apartment. Before you ask, the vacuum cleaner cost considerably more than shipping it and so selling it and replacing it was not economically feasible – and, believe it or not, it has sentimental value to me as well.

In any case, I was given an initial delivery date and unfortunately was not able to get anyone to be at my apartment to sign for it. I went online and requested a specific change date for delivery so that the driver wouldn’t have to lug the box to the door. This kindness on my part cost me $4. I specified a date and had a friend waiting for it in my apartment.

My friend ended up waiting for the parcel from nine in the morning until eight in the evening. I called UPS and asked about it and said that it was definitely out for delivery and that the latest it would arrive would be midnight.

The tracking information online had no information about the package being out for delivery so I was doubtful that it would even arrive that night. Midnight came and left and another call was made. They said that they had no idea why it was not delivered and that they would attempt to deliver it a few days later. I said that this was not acceptable as I was going to be out of state but that I could come to their office with my rental car and pick it up.

The day of the pickup, I got a frantic call from the UPS office where my package was supposed to be. Firstly, they said that the package had never been placed on the delivery truck on the date I had requested. They also said that they couldn’t find the package and would call me when they had found it so that they could put it on the truck for delivery. I said that I wasn’t interested in having it delivered since I was in upstate New York. They said they would call me to tell me that it was found.

Four hours after they were supposed to call me back, I spent nearly two hours calling the office without getting an answer or answering service. I ended up going to the office to pick up the package and after waiting in line for an hour and a half, they again said that they couldn’t find the package before determining that it had been accidentally placed on the truck for delivery and would be at my apartment by six. Needless to say, I raced home to be there in time.

The package didn’t actually come until nearly nine o’clock at night and came with the disclaimer from the person doing the delivery that he was doing his friend a favor and was bringing me the package and his route was actually somewhere else entirely different. I thanked him even though I wondered why this explanation had to be peddled off to me, as though I was interested in anything other than getting my package.

I’m not sending packages of this size or importance any time soon but when I do, I will definitely think twice before considering UPS for delivery. I got the package and the vacuum cleaner works just as beautifully as it ever did but should it really have been such a struggle to get it?

6 Comments

  1. The detail in this harrowing experience is wonderful, Gordon. I wonder why things went so wrong? I’m delighted to know your vacuum still sucks… that’s a compliment, right? SMILE!
    A few weeks ago, I was expecting a timely, expensive, UPS delivery, and it wasn’t included in my regular morning delivery. My UPS guy told me wasn’t likely being delivered that day if he didn’t have it on his truck.
    I called UPS dispatch. They were going to look into it and call me back in 30 minutes.
    20 minutes later, the delivery arrived with an older UPS guy I’d never seen on my route before and he had a small, strange, double-door UPS truck.
    I inspected the delivery and it was fine.
    10 minutes later, UPS dispatch called back to tell me my box was lost and they had no idea where it was or when it would be delivered. They sent out a radio call to all the area drivers to check their manifold for my delivery and the drivers had all reported back my box was not on their truck.
    When I told the dispatch supervisor my box had been delivered 10 minutes ago, he was floored! He didn’t believe me. He wanted facts, times, truck type and what the delivery guy looked like. I told him everything and he had no idea who that guy was.
    I told him I’d signed for the package so it should show up in their database as delivered, and the supervisor said, “Yeah, but that takes 45 minutes to update. I want to know NOW!”
    I laughed. He didn’t.
    I was happy to have my box; he was unhappy I had my box. Ha!

  2. That makes me laugh, too. Databases should not take that long to update. When I sign for something with FedEx I can see that signature minutes later.

  3. I am anxiously waiting for my package now, and the first time, the UPS tracking said that they attempted to deliver but the address was not correct.

    I called the UPS immediately, and the address they had in their record was 100% correct. And I could never understand why the driver couldn’t deliver it.

    And the tracking said on the next day that they tried to deliver again, but again, it said they were not able to deliver because the “apartment number” was not correct.

    I called the UPS again, and again, there was no single detail wrong with the address they had in their record.

    I don’t know what’s going on, and they said they will attempt to deliver again, and I hope that it will be delivered today.

    They once asked me to give them a telephone number at which they can reach me more easily, and I gave my cellphone number, but I later found out that they failed to updated it in their system after I called and told them twice to update it, both time of which the representative said he updated it.

    I strongly encourage everyone NEVER EVER to use UPS. Use more reliable services like Fedex of DHL.

    I learned a golden lesson how idiotic UPS is, whose driver cannot even read English alphabets, maybe.