An open letter to UPS

Dear UPS,

I remember the days before you went public, when the company was employee owned and the CEO had worked his way up in the company. Customer service was the top priority. Even after the company went public, UPS was still the only company I would ship with. I was even known to cancel orders from vendors when they did not use UPS as a shipper.

Then things started to change. I noticed that the driver did not always ring the door bell. I was told that company policy had changed and it was no longer required. Then I started to notice that packages were literally being throw on my doorstep from five to ten feet away. I noticed the driver actually doing this and called to complain. I was told that this was not not proper behavior and it would be discussed with our driver.

I also started to notice an increase in turnover. It was rare that we had the same driver for very long. As I ordered a lot of things for my business, we had frequent deliveries and many new drivers.

One day, a few years ago, I was expecting a delivery. It was a new computer that a client had asked me to order for her. I knew it was coming so I worked at home all day. I live on a cul-de-sac and heard the truck coming down the street. The UPS truck would always go to the end of the street, turn around and then stop at the house. I went downstairs and saw the driver putting a thousand dollar computer behind my trash can in the middle of my driveway. Now, my trash can does not normally go in the middle of my driveway so this looked a bit strange.

I opened the door and said “hello.” The driver just looked at me and said “Oh, hello. I didn’t realize someone was home.”

Well, had he rung the bell, he would have known I was home and I told him such. I also called to complain. The representative who I spoke with said he wasn’t required to ring the bell. When I explained what he was doing and how the box was clearly electronic equipment (the box had Windows and Intel inside all over the outside), she started to sound at least a bit concerned. I asked to have a supervisor call me from the local building. When the supervisor called, she was sympathetic and said she would talk to him. I had hoped things like this would be resolved.

Fast forward to Tuesday night. When I got home from work at 6:30, I looked for the package on the doorstep where all our packages are usually left. No box. The next morning it was raining really hard. It had rained all night. My husband found the box when he opened the garage door. It was soaked. Luckily, the shipper had wrapped the contents in plastic inside the box because the box was toast.

That morning, I called UPS. I explained my situation. Like deja vu, I was told the driver was not required to ring the bell. I reminded her that UPS tracks the weather and must have known that a storm was coming. I also told her that the package was left in front of the garage and not by the front door where it would have been protected a bit more from the elements. All I was asking for was common sense. The package was delivered at 7:15pm. It was all over the news and radio that we were expecting a big rain storm that night. Wouldn’t it make sense to ring the bell and try to get the package inside the house? If not, wouldn’t it make sense to put the package in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t get wet?

A few hours later, a supervisor called me to tell me all the same things the customer service rep told me. Again, I talked about common sense. Apparently, common sense and customer service are no longer important to your company. The supervisor did not see anything wrong with what the driver did. She said she would talk to him but her attitude told me that things would not change.

Where I once went out of my way to make sure my packages would be shipped by your company, no longer is that the case. While I know it will be difficult to avoid UPS, I will seek out alternatives for my shipping. I know you are the biggest game in town, but do not forget that you got there because of your prior excellent reputation. As more people complain to the companies they do business with, they may seek out alternatives. I certainly hope they do.