What Can Brown Do For You?

I ship an awful lot of packages with UPS. Let’s just say that the annual shipping bill is in the six figure range without the decimal point. By and large, they do an excellent job. However, when they screw up, they screw up. And the packages that they screw up on are almost always either something fabulously expensive and irreplaceable or something that is damn important to me. Such is the case last week.

I was to attend a trade show in Richmond, Virginia. Circumstances prevailed and I knew that I was not going to be able to make it. I made arrangements for my co-workers by making check lists and sorting out details. The last thing that I had to do was send our giant hanging banners to the hotel. I packaged them up in a sturdy shipping tube, checked the UPS delivery schedule, printed out a label using my computer and our shipping account, slapped it on the tube, took it to the UPS Store and physically handed it to the driver who was loading up the truck. Job done. WRONG! The package doesn’t arrive at the hotel on Friday (I chose 3-Day Select). I call UPS and ask what is going on. They tell me, just like the website tracking does, that the package is scheduled to be delivered on Monday. I say no good. I go on to tell them that I have guaranteed delivery by Friday. That’s when they come up with some BS excuse that I did not give the package to UPS on the day that I claimed, but did it a day later. I call horse shit. I explained how much I ship, how I knew how UPS works, that I even knew the driver’s name, and that I even had a receipt. I then go on to explain that Monday delivery is no good. Look at the delivery address… it’s a hotel. The show will be over and the guest will be gone by Monday. I go on to tell the delightful little agent that I know that there is nothing that can be done on the weekend, but that I want my package returned and a refund. Sure, no problem. I get a phone call from another rep saying that the package will be intercepted and returned. I get another phone call from another rep to say I will get a refund.

But I keep getting emails from their automatic notification system that tell me that the package has been intercepted and is being returned… to an address that is some bastardization of the address that I shipped the package from (my house in Texas) and our shipping account base address (in South Carolina). The address that UPS is trying to use is non-existent! I’ve spoken with UPS more times than I care to on this issue and I have very little faith that I will actually see my package any time soon. But the nice lady on the phone is telling me to ignore the email messages and that my package is coming to me in Texas…


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