So last week (Sept 11th) a quarterly care package of wine was due to be delivered from Russian River Vineyards. It’s liquor, which means UPS will not leave it under any circumstances unless an adult signs for it in person. It has to be an adult at my address, no neighbors, no pre-sign online, none of that. Normally I had these shipped to my office mail room, but I changed jobs and have been working from home. I now have an office it can be sent to again as of last week, but it was too late to update in time for this package.
It was due to arrive last Wednesday the 13th, which would have been a problem for me but before I could log on and change the delivery date to a better time where I could actually be home, I got another notice it had been conveniently rescheduled to Friday the 15th due to unforeseen circumstances. I work from home on Fridays, so that’s perfect. Except, midway through Friday I was notified again that it was not going to make it on Friday after all, again due to unforseen circumstances, and come in later, either Monday or Tuesday.
That wouldn’t work for me, so begrudgingly I paid their silly $8 fee to re-schedule my package for the following Friday the 21st… today (as of this writing). It was the only time I could know for sure I would be home to sign for it. I also paid a few dollars extra to narrow down the delivery window to a 4 hour window instead of anytime that day. I got an email an hour later confirming my request was accepted and to expect it around 4 pm today, give or take 2 hours.
Fast forward to today (Friday the 21st)… it’s 7 pm, and no package. I just realized this, so I hopped online to look at the tracking info.. guess what? That info hasn’t updated at all since last Friday the 15th. Not a bit. Doesn’t even show it failing to deliver, being delayed, or out for delivery again, just that I requested a change and to come back later for more info. In a different view however, and also on my calendar view, it does show it due today on the 21st though, as does my email confirmation from the change.
So I called the 1-800 number for UPS. Agent #1 says they can’t see any info more than I do on tracking, and that this is indeed weird and that I should sit tight while they transfer me to someone with better info access. I get transferred, and Agent #2 is equally stumped. They have no idea what’s happened to the package since last week even though they are digging deeper in the system, and eventually offer to transfer me to an entirely different department that has way more info.
Person #3 first is equally confused, but then after a bit says “well, if you just sit tight, I can promise you it will be delivered today. If it hasn’t shown up in about an hour and a half, then you can call us back and I’ll see what I can do.” I ask if I can just have it re-routed to my office because clearly it is not arriving today, and if it gets routed there someone can sign for it. He, however, insists he cannot make this change himself, and that I can only make the change by logging in and paying the fee to do it myself.. yeah right, that’s not happening.
“Look”, I say.. “it’s 7:30 PM on a Friday. I have plans.. never in my life did I expect I would have to be here this late to sign for a package. I need to leave the house around 8 pm tonight, and I don’t want to be late. There’s no reason I should have to stay around for a package that was due a week ago. This is ridiculous and unfair to me. It’s 7:35 pm… I don’t see a realistic scenario where everything suddenly gets better in 20 minutes, when right now at this moment you can’t actually tell me you know what’s going on or can guarantee me it’s on it’s way here, you just said you don’t know where it is.”
He then proceeds to swear he knows for a fact it’s on the truck, out for delivery, and will be here by 8 pm (wow that hour and a half sure changed quick) and that if it’s not, to feel free to call back at 8 at that time… but he can promise me I won’t have to, and it will be definitely be here if I just wait… Now.. as I post this at 7:58 PM… why is it I don’t believe him?
UPDATE 1: So 8:05 pm arrives and I called in, and this time I get transferred once more to a different department with “more info” right off the bat once they look up my package. The nice woman right away says “I can tell from your package history and what I can additionally see that this is 100% not on a truck for delivery today. I have no idea where it is, and do not know what it’s status is, but I can promise you that if it was out for delivery I would know that much. You’ll need to call back once another 24 hours have passed, at which point we can open an investigation.” Great… I’m so glad I stayed to work from home two different Fridays, and paid change fees to acomodate their mistake for them to lose this thing…
UPDATE 2: UPS saw my tweet about this article and reached out to me early Saturday AM. They asked for my tracking number and contact info and said someone would contact me within the hour… 3 hours later I asked them again about an update and heart nothing. The following day on Sunday I asked once more, and was given an apology and told they are closed on Sundays and will be in touch with me Monday. Fair enough.. on the Sunday part.. but I’m miffed about the blow off on Saturday.
Monday the 24th rolls around and I wake up to an email saying my package is out for delivery today. Great and all that they seemingly have found it, except this doesn’t help anything. I am not home today, the package is still flagged as adult signature required, and I was never given the option to address this issue with anyone in person as promised and do what I intended: arrange for either another Friday delivery on the 28th or a re-direct to my office. I replied to the twitter DM thread with these frustrations, and they apologized once more for the lack of the promised followup(s). They said someone would be in touch with me by 11:15 am… it is now 11:30 am and I have heard nothing.
For those keeping score, that is 2 failed deliveries, 4 promised phone calls that never happened, and 2 blatant lies by customer service agents on the phone trying to get me off the call. At this point the USPS is starting to look like less of a shit show than UPS and that’s saying something. You know, as a Louisville native, we used to take great pride in the UPS brand and all it has done for that city… 🙁
UPDATE 3: Got a nice guy on the phone calling me back at noon on Monday. He said sorry for the mix-up and the package will be held and NOT delivered today, and will be sent back out Friday as planned.
UPDATE 4: Oh this just gets better. Well, here it is Friday at 3:45PM and I get a text saying they tried to deliver my package and failed, and that it will be re-delivered Monday. Now…I live in a secured building. You have to punch in a pin pad that rings my phone to get in.. and then if you need a signature from me you need to knock on my unit door that I am sitting 20 feet from with a clear view and earshot of. Neither of those things happened. Additionally, there was no slip left behind saying sorry we missed you.
I called UPS, they said a local office manager will call me back within the hour. An hour and a half later a nice lady calls me, I relay my story to her.. she said its unlikely the driver will be willing to do a re-delivery on a Friday night but that she will call and ask just in case, and that one way or another, she will call me back in 10 minutes and go over my options with me.
UPDATE 5: An hour and a half later she has not called my back, and when I try to call the number on my caller ID it says the number does not accept inbound calls. On a whim, I refresh my tracking info, and what do you know? It shows that a second delivery attempt was just made 20 minutes ago, and that I was not home and a note was left.
I look outside… no note. My phone? Never rang. My door-box? Never rang. Oh.. did I mention that all day I have left my unit door cracked open about a foot, wide open to the common area hallway, so that if anyone walked past my unit at ALL I know would know because I can see it from my desk?
I call customer service, and re-explain my saga to a supervisor, she types away and says “well, according to the notes here, the manager spoke to the driver and he informed her he would not be able to make a second delivery attempt” Really!?!! Then why on earth does the tracking say one was made and now show two deliveries?
She tells me shes updating the notes and requesting that a “senior manager contact me within the hour.” I politely by exasperatedly reminded her I’ve been told “I would be contacted within the hour” 5 times before, and I am 5 for 5 on it never actually happening. She promises one will, however, and that the package is now confirmed for a delivery tomorrow on Saturday, but that she cannot give me any kind of guarantee on the time frame.. so I guess I’m spending my Saturday at home now.
UPDATE 6: Naturally it goes without saying no Sr Manager ever called me last night. I woke up to a 9am today to a phone call however from the same nice lady in the local office as before, saying that that my package is out for delivery today. (Yay). I asked if they could give me a more narrow window than “by end of day at 5pm” but she said she could not, however she would be happy to make a call asking if she was able to get a better window, and call me back within the hour. Naturally of course, 4 hours later, I haven’t heard from her… but I am not surprised at this point. Additionally, I tried to ask about the clearly fake failed delivery attempts in the tracking system, the package being lost, all the stuff that led up to this, but she dodged around all of it and wouldn’t get into it with me and I didn’t want to push, she was the only nice person I’ve dealt with so far and just wanted my package. So here I am.. waiting.
I did get curious though and look up my tracking around noon to see if it was indeed out for delivery, and it was! I also noticed something else.. here’s a side by side comparison to the tracking info from last night and again today.. see if you can notice the difference.
Aha! It would seem they have deleted the first delivery attempt last night from my tracking history. Now the second one, I know 100% without a doubt never happened. The first I *know* they didn’t as well, but the second one is even easier, if you read above, to prove never happened than the fist. Yet.. *poof*… gone is the first one. Shady as heck if you ask me.
At this point, I don’t even care about the package anymore… I’ve lost well over the $200 of it’s value in time, patience, work, and stress. At this point, it’s about the fact they are treating me with such utter disrespect, dismissiveness, and lack of empathy that I am just absolutely at the end of my rope with how they have treated me… and the worst part is.. .they know and just don’t care one bit because they know there is nothing I can do about it. I’m just a line item on a spreadsheet to someone with a revenue value… heck I didn’t even choose to use them and don’t have a say in them being used in future deliveries to me, so what do I matter?
UPDATE 7: So I’m in the bathroom. I think I might have just heard a single, loud, solo knock at the door across the house. I get my pants decent as fast as I humanly can and run like hell to the front door… it wasn’t long I swear.
And there is a sorry we missed you slip on it. It must have taken me less than 20 seconds to get there… honest to god. I run down 3 flights of stairs as fast as I humanly can, and I see the truck driving off down the block…
I give up.
UPDATE 8: I just got off the phone with UPS. I refused to end the call until I had the package re-routed somewhere else, and for ONCE they didn’t say no… on top of that he even went to a few different supervisors to try and get the fees waived so I wouldn’t have to pay them… and now it’s due to be delivered at my office on October 2nd (friendly reminder the original date was Sept 11th!) . I won’t be there as I’ll be out of town starting that morning, but that’s fine, the front desk can at least sign for it for me and hold it till I come back on the 4th.
I really hope this saga is over. Never in my life will I willingly give UPS another penny by choice. I just became a FedEx fan for life.
UPDATE 9: Hang on to your hats boys and girls… it’s not over yet!
That’s right.. here we are Monday the 1st at 3pm (a day in which no deliveries were anticipated!) and I just got a failed to delivery notification at my HOME address… including a nice reminder this is the last attempt they will make and the package will now be sent back to the shipper.
So as I’m updating this I call and I just got a hold of a supervisor, and they are telling me there is no record of the address change from last night, or the managers over ride of the charges. In fact, there are extensive notes from most of my calls, but no record at all of my call last night. I am at a loss for words. I’m being told the system will not allow the package to be shipped elsewhere, or be picked up in person, because it is locked out in the system by the shipper. My only option now is to just let it go back to Russian River Vineyards. *sigh*
I am going to go out of my way at all costs to not voluntarily give UPS another penny as long as I live.
UPDATE 10: Final update. The package is on its way back to the vineyard and that is that. That said, I shared this page on twitter.. and I even tagged UPS in it. Not only that, but I have a 20 tweet long DM convo back and fourth with their support team over the last week. They responded via DM once more after linking this comedy of horrors. Their response to me?
Sir, I truly apologize for the inconvenience, but unfortunately, we are unable to reroute your shipment to a different address due to contents inside the package. I suggest contact the shipper for alternative options.
That’s it. It’s not even about the package… it hasn’t been about the pages in weeks. It’s about their total lack of effort to deliver any kind of reasonable customer service. Zero follow through on countless “someone will call you within the hour” promises, or falsified delivery notices, or the multiple outright lies to me by people on the phone. Nope they don’t address of even acknowledge any of that one bit. Of course not.. why would they? That requires empathy.
FINAL UPDATE: It’s here! The wonderfully nice lady at Russian River Vineyards contacted UPS for me and had them redirect the box en-route to her back to my office, and it finally arrived. And… I think I now know why everything went south.
This is NOT the box the wine was sent in. This is not the official packaging Russian River uses. It also has a label that was CLEARLY removed from another box and added to this one. The interior bottles were packaged in a weird, aftermarket styrofoam contraption that left them boxed up cork down, fully exposed to the box sides with no protection against the bottom of the box (WTF?!) after being individually sealed in plastic bags. The original paperwork is heavily liquid damaged, and the box was haphazardly constructed by shelling two ends of two smaller boxes together with this waterlogged ad-hoc MacGyver contraption inside.
It’s pretty evident that during the very first “unforeseen circumstances” or the subsequent “week of missing in action” something went horribly wrong with my box and UPS tried to hide it.