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|UPS Delivered a Neighbor's Package by Mistake to My House|
From an Adult Store
UPS wouldn't come to pick it up without me reading them the tracking number and giving them my personal information like it was a scheduled pick up. They said they would have someone call to arrange for pickup on Monday.
I said how about I just give them my address, they call the driver on his cell phone and and he picks it up in the bushes at my house where he dropped it off? But they said no, they couldn't possibly do that.
Why should I have to read them a 20+ digit tracking number, give them any personal information other than my address where they left the package by mistake, and wait at home on Monday for a scheduled pickup?
The UPS customer service person asked me if I knew the neighbors, like I'm supposed to go deliver a package with an adult store return address to some parents I vaguely remember from Boy Scouts and then try to make small talk at the door before I leave.
Anyway, just some food for thought before you ship by UPS next time. They clearly don't have a convenient process in place to encourage people to report misdelivered packages.
Or if your customers complain of packages not being delivered, consider the possibility that they were delivered to the wrong house and the residents didn't want to go through the hassle UPS tried to put them through of getting it to the correct address.
Sorry - the title should read "UPS Delivered a Neighbor's Package by Mistake to My House."
Anyway, someone a little more action oriented from UPS called me back later today. She apologized for the inconvenience and said they would in fact call the delivery person and he would pick the package up from my house where he delivered it by accident.
Take the package and chuck it on their porch without saying anything, drop kick it over the fence, or have you cat soil on it and chuck it over the fence. I don't care just dont make a federal case over it.
They may remember you too and put the package there hoping you would see it and return it.
[edited by: ispy at 4:19 am (utc) on June 21, 2008]
Ispy, there's an important principle at stake here.
The delivery company messed up, and made needless, unreasonable demands on the person who alerted them to the problem.
That's not how winners do things.
|...like I'm supposed to go deliver a package with an adult store return address to some parents I vaguely remember from Boy Scouts and then try to make small talk at the door before I leave. |
If you had a great sense of humor that is exactly what you would do...
|I don't care just dont make a federal case over it. |
Well, then you won't want to read my forthcoming post where I whine about rude people who make mean comments for no reason to total strangers on forums I belong to. ;)
But as Buckworks pointed out, this complaint is actually relevant because many merchants here ship with UPS. There have been various threads over the years about customers who complain merchandise never arrived and carriers who claim it was delivered to their doors. The merchants usually suspect the customers of being deadbeats. I'm offering plausible reason why the merchandise never arrives and the customers might be telling the truth.
In an era when many people don't vote or sign up for 401k plans at work, actions that would be in their own self interest, they really aren't going to bother to jump through hoops at UPS to see that some stranger's package gets delivered correctly.
(By neighbors I mean I can tell from the address the people the package was sent to live in the same subdivision of 800 homes, but I don't off hand know where their house is, and I thought it was pretty sketchy that at first the UPS people seemed to want me to deliver the package for them.)
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:03 am (utc) on June 21, 2008]
The point isn't about delivery of the package. The point is about how difficult a company has made it for someone to do the right thing.
I think that as businesses automate their processes more, they lose some of the human qualities that just make common sense to keep - like picking up a mis-delivered package. I can understand UPS's concern (possibly that JD was attempting to get a free shipment) but all of the documentation was there. I personally wouldn't have minded reading them the tracking code but to be asked for my personal information would be going to far - aside from an address where they could pick it up.
I have had several prospective clients remark to me after our initial conversation, that they appreciated the fact that I answered the phone when they called. Seems simple but they're experience had been that when they called for help they often got a phone system (and we all know how annoying/maddening those can be).
I think the human factor is the most important quality a business can have. I constantly tell my clients to put their personalities into their websites. If they're a corporation, put a corporate face on it but give the business an identifiable personality. Southwest Airlines is a good example of this. The web is anonymous and this anonymity is one of the original reasons people didn't want to buy things on the web - remember back in the 90s?
Now, as businesses struggle to streamline their processes in order to cut costs, they're in danger of alienating those who try to help them. Google is another good example of this. I can't count the number of times I've tried to contact someone there about one issue or another that I had with their website. Dead links and outdated instructions come to mind but just try to find a way to let them know about the issue and you'll find yourself going in circles.
UPS must deliver millions of packages in a year. If they ship 10 million packages annually and their error rate is just one half of one percent, that is still 50,000 misdelivered packages in a year.
For that kind of volume I'd think it would be worthwhile to have a hot line number or web site address on the packages people could access to make it easy to report misdeliveries, something like rental car companies have a number you can call if you find someone's missing rental car keys.
Seems pretentious to me. Took to long to read back a 20 char tracking code but you could come on here and complain about it? oi vay
I ship tons of stuff with ups labels and generally the return label is about the size of my thumb while the ship to is the size of my palm. If i get my neighbors mail i don't bother looking at the from address, its not important to me to be so snoopy. I don't get it why people have to concern themselves with other peoples business so much they use that to justify their own actions. If it didn't have an adult label on it would you still refuse to be a good neighbor?
Not vindicating UPS here but man we live in a screwed up society if this is the way neighbors treat each other.
The focus of this thread does not change if we presume that the package was delivered to the correct street and house, but in the wrong city.
This is not about being neighborly, it's about why many people who sell on the Web may get seemingly too many reports of shipments that did not show up at the customer's address. They were mis-delivered, and the shipper makes it a hassle for the accidental recipient to do anything about it, in this case asking that the recipient stay home from work so the package could be picked up.
|They clearly don't have a convenient process in place to encourage people to report misdelivered packages. |
Sorry but according to your post, the only acceptable process for you seems to have been beaming the parcel instantly away from your location. Which is not yet technical possible.
I can see that the UPS driver has made two mistakes. He delivered to the wrong address and he left the parcel simply in front of the house.
However I can see no mistake in how UPS handled the problem. What else should UPS do? They need the tracking code, because it identifies the parcel. They can't pick it up from outside the house because the parcel could be stolen before pick up. The fact that the driver made the mistake of leaving the parcel outside does not justiy repeating the mistake.
It is also reasonable to ask if the wrong recipient knows or lives in the vicinity of the rightful recipient. Why do things the complicated way when sometimes the easy solution is best? I for example wouldn't mind driving a few blocks to deliver a parcel to do someone a favour. When I lost my purse I was glad also when the finder drove over to my house and brought it to me.
And how should the UPS call center agent know the sender is an adult store?
And when you told the person you would rather not deliver it yourself they offered to pick up the parcel on Monday. What else should they do?
Mistakes happen everywhere, I have made my quantity of mistakes to and therefore I try not to complicate things too much. Of course you can always take up the position that it's none of your business helping to correct mistakes, for example by returning the parcel to the next UPS customer center. But then don't expect other people to help you out when you screw up.
|Sorry but according to your post, the only acceptable process for you seems to have been beaming the parcel instantly away from your location. Which is not yet technical possible. |
I am unclear as to why you are indicating you would not have a problem being so kind as deliver a package left on your doorstep for someone else, a situation not of your own making, yet are being mean spirited and sarcastic in replying to a post not intended for you.
My point in making the post was to share with the merchants here in the ecommerce forum my new found insights regarding past posts as to why customers sometimes complain that they never received their orders when UPS shows them as being delivered. Just some food for thought that their customers may not be dead beats after all.
|They can't pick it up from outside the house because the parcel could be stolen before pick up. |
The package was sitting in the bushes when I found it. It is illogical to make a scheduled appointment for pick up when they did not make a scheduled appointment for drop off.
|They need the tracking code, because it identifies the parcel. |
Logically, they don't need to identify the parcel to pick it up. It doesn't matter if the package has tube socks or a dog dish inside. They can scan it when they pick it up. They just really need to know there is a misdelivered package at a certain address to pick it up.
|I can see that the UPS driver has made two mistakes. He delivered to the wrong address and he left the parcel simply in front of the house. |
It is rare for me to be asked to sign for anything from UPS. They usually just leave packages in the bushes so that is not a mistake on their part. That seems to be their basic operating policy.
|I for example wouldn't mind driving a few blocks to deliver a parcel to do someone a favour. |
Perhaps you would not, but my point is that it would probably be in UPS' best interest, a company that delivers millions of packages a year, to have a convenient, established business process for misdelivered packages, other than relying on the unintended recipients to make the correct deliveries for them.
|And when you told the person you would rather not deliver it yourself they offered to pick up the parcel on Monday. What else should they do? |
The point is not that they wanted to pick it up on Monday, the point is they wanted to make a scheduled, knock on the door, we'll call you on Monday morning and let you know when our truck will be in your area and you have to take off work to be at home and wait for us to pick it up like you do with the cable guy kind of pickup on Monday.
The demands by UPS here are just like any bureaucracy. The procedures work for most, but not all situations. When a company gets as big as UPS their machine cannot focus on specific cases as well. They cannot be as flexible with procedures without jeopardizing the system and remaining fair to everybody.
What do you do?
Well you can spend your energy protesting the system, sometimes people project internal shortcomings onto the bureauocratic system and becoming angry or violent towards them. You can organize with others to try to change the system like unionizing, or you can realize that its nature is imperfect and decide to solve the problem on your own. The last option is easier and more satisfying, but does not effect as many people as say a union would.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of shipping.
Go Brown! < Remind you of something?
It all comes down to the "driver" really. There are really good ones, good ones, and then those that you wonder how the hell they got a UPS route to begin with.
Same goes for the USPS, in fact, they are worse! I get mail addressed to a woman who died a while ago and I've indicated numerous times that the person does not reside at this address (a previous property owner). What's the dingbat do? He continues to leave those same letters in my mailbox and I continue to leave them there with my red flag up. I watch him from my kitchen window when he delivers mail, he'll scan the letters, see that it is not mine, shakes his head and throws it in my mailbox anyway. Probably a close relative of your UPS driver. Arrrggghhh! You're fired!
I agree that shipping companies are generally unhelpful. For example, it is basic common sense to deliver to businesses during working hours and deliver to home addresses only after 7pm or on weekends.
Oh come on, it comes down to being anal here folks. If you can't read off a tracking number why would you bother to spill out a full address? This whole thread is nonsense and moot. If the original poster had bothered to read a tracking number the problem would have been solved.
The OP probably doesn't ponder the fact UPS has years of experience and if you let people just call in "lost" or "misdelivered" package pickups without any sign of such package then people could do that to get free pickups or to ship anonymously in a way. Sorry, but Brown doesn't do that. You want to ship anonymous go USPS and print a label for a post office outside your zipcode and drop it off in a blue box.
OP can post a thread here, but can't read back a tracking number.
OP can read an address, zipcode off but can't read back a tracking number
Problem would have been solved had the tracking number been provided. End of story.
UPS makes mistakes, but its not up to them to bend their ways to fit someone who won't read off a tracking number.
ByronM, you are missing the point.
The OP was not objecting to reading a tracking number nearly as much as she was objecting to all of the other demands the company was making.
Another issue- by getting the tracking number from the OP, they can (although not necessarily will) update their system a lot faster than having to wait until the package is actually picked up.
Meanwhile, the correct recipient is checking the shipping status and sees that it's been delivered. He raises a big stink because he knows it was not, in fact, delivered. He complains to the original shipped, which has to send another package. The original shipped complains to UPS, which has to investigate and possibly refund the money.
However, if the OP gave the tracking number and UPS updated their system right away, the correct recipient would see that the package was delivered incorrectly and that a pickup for redelivery was scheduled for Monday, avoiding a lot of hassle to several parties who were not responsible for the misdelivery in the first palce.
|However, if the OP gave the tracking number and UPS updated their system right away, the correct recipient would see that the package was delivered incorrectly and that a pickup for redelivery was scheduled for Monday, avoiding a lot of hassle to several parties who were not responsible for the misdelivery in the first palce. |
The OP did give them the tracking number. That isn't the main point of the thread.
Here is what happened since half the people posting in this thread don't seem to understand the whole point of it:
I was going off to an appointment in the late afternoon on Friday and found the package in my bushes as I was leaving the house. I thought I'd be nice and try to call UPS before the last truck left my area prior to the weekend, even if it meant being a little late for my appointment.
I left the package in the bushes in case the driver realized his mistake came back looking for it and went upstairs to look up the UPS phone number on my PC. I had to be on hold for awhile which made me even later for my appointment. When I finally got through they wanted the tracking number so I asked if I could just give them my address (since the package was outside on the first floor and I was running late) and the driver could scan the tracking number when he came back to get the package.
They said they had to have the tracking number so I went back downstairs again and read it to them.
I read them the tracking number.
Let me repeat that, I read them the tracking number.
Asking for the tracking number is not the point of the thread. I just mentioned it because from a pure logic standpoint it is not a necessary piece of information to know in order to pick up a misdelivered package. The key piece of information is the address where to pick up the package.
Then after I gave them the tracking number they started asking for all of the personal information from me like they would for a scheduled pick up as if it were a new package I was mailing. They informed me they would call on Monday to schedule a pick up time, which would have required me to stay home and wait for their driver to come to my house.
The main point is that they left the package in the bushes, so why couldn't they simply pick the package up in the bushes instead of expecting someone to stay home, possibly from work, and personally hand it to their driver? Why did they have to do a full intake with my personal information for a package already in their system, one which they already had the tracking number for, when it wasn't my package?
Lorax, JDmorgan and Buckworks seem to understand that the point here is that they don't have a process that encourages / makes it easy for noncustomers to report misdeliveries, so I'm unclear as to why other people posting here are not getting it and are intent on just posting personal attacks instead.
And one last time, for those of you who probably missed it yet again,
1) I did read them the tracking number and
2) UPS asking for the tracking number is not the main point of the thread.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 7:41 am (utc) on June 25, 2008]
Oh, and I should add one point to my previous post. I worked in the information technology department for a different shipping company for many years, designing and managing international shipping systems, so I know they are making the whole misdelivery process a lot harder than it has to be.
Ah, but that "minor" detail was not mentioned until your 6th message. You gave the impression all along that throughout the ordeal you refused to divulge the tracking number. In fact, it wasn't until recently that you filled in more details and mentioned that much of your frustration came from being late to an appointment and the whole event taking longer than you expected. Had that information been made available from the beginning, then chances are some of the later posts would have been different.
|The OP did give them the tracking number. |
Well, you did ask the question in your post (and in fact, it was the only question you asked in that post), so people were trying to answer it:
|That isn't the main point of the thread. |
|Why should I have to read them a 20+ digit tracking number, give them any personal information other than my address where they left the package by mistake, and wait at home on Monday for a scheduled pickup? |
Since the rest of the post was basically informational, most people probably didn't think it deserved as much response as the question you asked.
|Since the rest of the post was basically informational, most people probably didn't think it deserved as much response as the question you asked. |
Well, the three moderators here all understood my main point and also tried to explain it to people here in four different posts.
Buckworks wrote -
|ispy, there's an important principle at stake here. The delivery company messed up, and made needless, unreasonable demands on the person who alerted them to the problem. That's not how winners do things. |
|ByronM, you are missing the point. The OP was not objecting to reading a tracking number nearly as much as she was objecting to all of the other demands the company was making. |
Lorax wrote -
|The point isn't about delivery of the package. The point is about how difficult a company has made it for someone to do the right thing. |
jdmorgan wrote -
|This is not about being neighborly, it's about why many people who sell on the Web may get seemingly too many reports of shipments that did not show up at the customer's address. They were mis-delivered, and the shipper makes it a hassle for the accidental recipient to do anything about it, in this case asking that the recipient stay home from work so the package could be picked up. |
So if three moderators here all understood my main point, I'm not sure why it was so hard for some of the other posters here to comprehend it as well, especially if they read the mods posts in addition to mine. I also don't understand why it was necessary for some posters here to resort to snottiness and sarcasm.
|The main point is that they left the package in the bushes, so why couldn't they simply pick the package up in the bushes instead of expecting someone to stay home |
I think they would have in this case. Did you leave it there and it was not picked up?
If the package did not have to be paid for an anonymous pickup would have been fine, same as with a prepaid label.
Perhaps you are misinterpreting what rep meant on the phone as being snotty or unreasonable. The scheduled time may have been just a courtesy in case you wanted or needed it.
|Perhaps you are misinterpreting what rep meant on the phone as being snotty or unreasonable. The scheduled time may have been just a courtesy in case you wanted or needed it. |
At this point I'm done trying to go into painstaking detail of what happened with the delivery to my house on Friday. The main point is not my single experience. The moderators' posts above succinctly summarize the issue and I don't know how to make my main point any clearer than what they or I have already posted.
*** If they ship 10 million packages annually ***
Errr, they probably ship that many in way under one week, maybe even more than that daily.
*** The package was sitting in the bushes when I found it. ***
Rhetorical Question: How do you know that UPS left it there? It could have been local kids took it from the delivery location and chucked in your bushes just for the hell of it.
|Rhetorical Question: How do you know that UPS left it there? It could have been local kids took it from the delivery location and chucked in your bushes just for the hell of it. |
It was sitting under a another package that did belong to me, but I think from a different carrier, that arrived the same day, in the bushes next to my porch. If kids had left it in my yard it is more likely they would have left it in some random spot.
I buy lots of stuff online and usually find my packages on the porch or in the bushes next to the porch, presumably so they are hidden from view to passer-byes on the street.
I really do sympathise with Jane Doe here who was given a hard them when trying to help out. The fact that UPS made a mistake should mean they become as helpful as is possible in order to rectify their mistake.
The 'free delivery' concerns are baseless - the driver will know if it's a genuine mis-delivered parcel based upon the UPS label and the UPS account log.
To me, the worst part is that they wanted to schedule a collection on the Monday - instead of asking when a collection might be possible and arranging their schedules to suit. I quite agree that they don't seem to understand that they are indebted to Jane Doe and certainly are not in a position to request any further accommodation.
When they respond in this way to someone kindly helping them out with a mistake they made, it means that next time Jane Doe may well just leave the package out there to rot amongst the bushes or drop it into the nearest garbage can.
>>>>>Why should I have to read them a 20+ digit tracking number, give them any personal information other than my address where they left the package by mistake, and wait at home on Monday for a scheduled pickup?<<<<<<<
If you want to make a simple driver's error an issue call their national call center and expect to answer a few questions - most importantly the tracking number.
A faster and superior way to deal with it is to simply walk cross or down the street with the package, knock on door and say "I guess the UPS driver was a bit frazzled today and accidentally delivered your package to my address - here you go. Have a nice day."
Would you want someone handing your significant other a porn tape on the porch?
It seems to me that one of the big issues was that it was porn. This is mentioned in the OP's subject line: "From an adult store." So go throw it on their porch, if it is so distasteful to present it in person.
If the OP had an appointment, she could have called later. Why was it the delivery company's fault that she called when she was busy? Make calls when you're not late for an appointment. If they asked when they could pick it up, she could have told them when she was available instead of settling for their time.
I regularly get packages for a guy down the street whose address reverses two of the numbers in mine. You know what I do? I bring it down there, even though I think the guy is creepy. It isn't a huge imposition on my busy day (which yes, is in fact busy) because I care about being a part of my community, which often means doing something simple that makes things easier for everyone, even for creepy people. As for the carriers not caring, they only care as much as they have to. That is the essence of the bottom line. Is that surprising?
The OP said as explanation that this is maybe what is happening when customers call and say they did not get an order, that the customer might not be a ripoff. I don't automatically think my customers are ripoffs when they don't get an order. I think something happened--a human error--even if the tracking says it was delivered. Sometimes someone else in the house got the order and forgot to tell the individual who placed the order. Sometimes they just forgot they got it. Sometimes their neighbor got it and forgot to give it to them or they thought it was a big imposition on them to do that. Sometimes it got thrown in a bush. Sometimes it just got lost. And once in a blue moon, the customer is trying to pull a fast one. I think this last has happened to me maybe three times in eight years. If others automatically think their customers are ripoffs when they say they didn't get an order, maybe there is a problem with their customer base or with what they sell that it attracts thieves.
And no, I am not defending these big companies. I don't care about them any more than they care about me. But when did we get to the point where human error is intolerable, when it must be condemned by all as symbolic of some great lack, when a simple favor becomes a huge imposition that must not be borne? Geez.
| This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 (  2 ) > > |