Brown vs Blue: UPS, the Last Straw

Some read “UPS” as the plural of “up,” but it is correctly read as “oops.”

There are a few things to note about UPS. OK, one of them is I really don’t like them. I think it’s only fair to begin with that statement, since it is not really my plan to try giving them an unbiased review, in this writing.

Most of my adult life, job wise, I have found myself working in customer service and shipping.

I’m not a particularly fast worker. I do my best, but because of my inability to assemble miniature artificial trees at an acceptable rate, I was offered a position as a shipper, for the same company where I was interviewing for a production job.

Years later, at the now defunct startup BroadLink Communications, on my first day of work, I received a package from UPS. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a package BC had shipped to a customer a month prior. I researched the tracking information (which, at the time, provided much more info than they do today). Not only did the shipment never reach the customers address, it never even visited their state. Instead, I was provided with the grand tour of the US, which the package had underwent… visiting no less than 10 UPS facilities spread across 8 states, until it finally made it to the address they had entered as its destination: BroadLink Communications, its point of origin. Nice.

Years later I worked purchasing, shipping and receiving audio/visual equipment, which largely was installed in hospitals. I would get urgent requests for a replacement unit, managers screaming at me over the phone. I’d say to my boss, “the route isn’t there for another week, I can get a delivery there in two days, via UPS.” He would shake his head and tell me no way could I get a small tv to the (SF) East Bay, 35 miles away, in one piece using UPS. Over some time, I boxed with excess padding; I double-boxed; I even triple boxed one unit….and all I accomplished was proving Mr. White correct. I am an awesome shipper, but I could not get the men in brown to deliver a single electronic shipment, via 2-Day Blue, intact, over a 35 mile distance. Why ship a product 2nd-day delivery, over a 35 mile span? Because GROUND could take 3-4 days to make it across the bay…….about a 40 minute drive. Something also worthy note is, in general, if you buy 3-day delivery, it makes it there in three days. Never two. This is frustrating.

Over the years I have shipped many products, ebay sales etc. I have, in the process, become very fond of the people in blue, your United States Postal Service (USPS). Despite all disparaging remarks about USPS regarding inefficiency, incompetence, laziness etc., I have been beyond satisfied with their service, both shipping domestic and international. I have entrusted them with fly-fishing poles, expensive camera (telephoto) lenses, children’s acoustic guitars, glass ornaments and the ever popular Beanie Babies. They have NEVER lost, misplaced, delayed or damaged one item. WOW!

Its time for me to disclose what spurred this rant. I received a package on the day I began writing this. I waited all day for my shipment, knowing UPS delivers to my apt complex twice. Sometimes three times in a day. I ran downstairs at the sound of every truck or van noise… buses, water deliveries etc. High priority packages, Overnight Red get here in the AM. Blue 2nd-day sometimes do too. But if your package is arriving via Ground, enjoy the wait, especially if you are receiving at a residential address.

Tracking Number: 1Z3F07V74202253498
Delivery Time: 7:07 PM
Delivery Location: RESIDENTIAL

UPS, when you absolutely have nothing better to do with your day!

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