Here's a letter we just sent to UPS about our terrible experience with them:
We recently moved from California to New York and shipped some of our belongings through UPS. We were absolutely appalled throughout the process at the singularly unhelpful and often rude customer service we encountered. We would like to share with you our experience with your business in order that others who entrust their belongings to you may not regret their decision as much as we regret ours.
We grant that the cause of the problem was originally our fault. Due to a miscommunication, our mailing address on the packages was incomplete, with no apartment number listed. We do not in any way hold UPS accountable for the initial failed delivery. Luckily, we had been tracking our packages closely on the UPS website and noticed that there was a package “exception.” We did not want the packages to be shipped back to California and then have to pay to reship them, so we immediately got on the phone to try to figure out the situation. The customer service agent on the main UPS line was quite rude to us, refusing to give us any information whatsoever about the packages since we were not the shipper, only the receiver. Therefore, we called my boyfriend's parents, who had shipped the packages to us, and had them call the number. It seems to me that the receiver of a package should have the same rights to it as the sender, but perhaps this agent was only following the processing directions she was given.
When the shipper finally got through to someone who could give them information, she was told that we would have to go to a UPS holding facility and pick up the packages ourselves, even though they had only attempted to deliver them once and our shipper had called to have the address changed to include the apartment number. This makes no sense from either a customer service or a business point of view. It is inconvenient for the receiver to have to pick up the package themselves and it must cost significantly more for you to ship the packages back to the sender rather than just redelivering them.
When we further pressed the issue, the customer service agent told us that we might try having the sender go to the shipping center from which the package was originally mailed and ask them to redeliver the package with the correct address. However, when the sender asked for their phone number, the customer service agent couldn't give it to her. It seems ridiculous that this process (which is not even clear will work) must be done in person from the shipping location.
For comparison's sake, we recently had Internet purchases shipped to us by FedEx, one of your competitors, and they attempted to deliver the package three separate times before asking us to come pick it up from the holding facility. We have recently moved to New York City, and therefore we do not have a car and are also a bit short on cash at the moment, so going to the holding facility to pick up our packages was not a simple request. We were going to have access to a car for the weekend, so we were hoping to pick up the packages on Friday evening, but we were told that the office closed at 5PM and was not open on the weekends. Therefore, we rented a U-Haul, which cost us $40 and a deal of stress trying to book the van at the last minute.
When we drove out to the holding facility on Friday, we arrived at the address UPS had provided us (in New York) only to find that there was no UPS facility at that location. We called the UPS main number again and spoke with an agent who was unable to help us with directions, but said she would transfer us to a supervisor. After 5 minutes of waiting, we were transferred to a lovely woman at the UPS number in Greenpoint, North Carolina, who obviously was unable to help us with directions in New York. At this point, we asked a man standing on the sidewalk if he knew where the UPS center was, and he directed us to it flawlessly. It turned out that the address you had given us was incorrect. We were a bit surprised that this man, who was completely unaffiliated with UPS, was better informed and far more helpful than any of your employees.
We finally arrived at the holding facility, where we were shocked to learn that UPS was in fact supposed to deliver our packages to us once the address had been changed (see attached photo). Additionally, the holding facility was actually open until 8PM, not 5PM, which meant that we had wasted the $40 renting the U-Haul. Thanks, UPS. The employees at the holding facility gave us trouble about picking up the package and then stood by and watched while we struggled to load the packages into our van. When I asked them for help with loading, the male employee (who looked far stronger than either of us) informed me that his job is to bring us the packages, and that's the extent of what he is supposed to do.
That statement pretty much encapsulates our entire experience with UPS. Throughout this stressful process, your employees gave us the bare minimum of help, if even that much. We ended up wasting time and money while getting rude service and conflicting information from different sources all within the same company. While we ultimately did end up with our packages, we feel that UPS did not live up to its promised standard of customer service. We will not be using your services in the future, and we will be sure to tell all of our friends about this experience as well. Further, we would appreciate it if you would reimburse us the $40 that we wasted on the U-Haul due to our being misinformed about the services you are supposed to provide. We feel that this is a small favor to ask, given your company's complete failure to provide adequate customer service to us.