The last month has been a disappointing one for my dealings with huge corporations. Besides the massive BS with T-Mobile over security patches, there was also a bunch of crap with UPS… because snow.
When snow started falling last month, UPS stopped delivering. Or more to the point, UPS kept sending me emails that deliveries were coming, which then didn’t.
I’d made the mistake of signing up for their “My Choice” service. Under normal conditions, it’s good. It lets you know when you have packages coming and sometimes even gives you a 3-4 hour window or lets you track the truck your delivery is on. Under snow day conditions, it’s a firehose of lies that you can’t turn off, because the links in the emails specifically for turning it off go to broken pages.
On your marks… get ready… psych!
Four four days I got emails telling me today was the day on a package delivery only to get an email that afternoon or evening that the package was undeliverable. One of the most unbearable parts was looking at the “track your delivery on a map” at 11 a.m. to see the truck sitting at a UPS depot in Redmond, but having to wait another 7-9 hours before they’d send the e-mail that they weren’t coming. It was like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Every day: “get ready for the package… psych!”
The real kicker was when I was waiting on a particular package, it was on the truck, the tracker showed the truck was a few blocks away, the truck stopped at my house. YAY! The truck delivered two other late packages and continued on, never delivering that one. Twenty minutes later, I got an email from UPS that the package was being returned to the depot as undeliverable due to weather conditions and they’d try again.
IT was SO FRUSTRATING. I kept asking UPS to just unsubscribe me, but that took days to get them to acknowledge and days longer to implement. Meanwhile, their only response was “because weather. Thank you for your patience.” And it was that last sentence that set me off.
Don’t thank me for my patience!
I don’t really have any other choice in the matter than to wait, do I? Thanking me for my patience is either:
- passive-aggressive knife-twisting to remind me of my helplessness in this situation.
- entitled BS, like reaching across the table, snatching a fry off someone’s plate, and then thanking them for the fry as you’re chowing on it.
UPS never actually asked for nor was granted my patience. They just thanked me for it. Meanwhile they didn’t fix their bad links to stop the emails, didn’t fix their systems to stop the “get ready… psych!” cycle, and all their customer service gave were bogus excuses.
And then I realized… I’m not their customer
See, their customers are the companies paying them to deliver packages to me. I wasn’t the customer. I was their product, or more specifically my doorstep was. So I decided that if they weren’t going to provide me with good customer service, I’d take my doorstep out of their inventory.
I made up a sign for my lawn, even a #RevokeUPS hashtag and website (where people could get a free printable graphic of the sign) and let Amazon know to stop using UPS to deliver to me.
But Amazon forgot and UPS didn’t care. Over the last week, despite the sign, I got three UPS deliveries.
I was about ready to sit out on my front porch with a rifle, waiting to tell the UPS driver “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” as he/she came toward the property line. Instead, I contacted UPS support and let them know I really didn’t want to call the sheriff, but if they didn’t stop leaving packages at my house, I’d call and request charges for 2nd Degree Criminal Trespass be filed against the next driver to ignore the sign. That got their attention. They agreed to return all packages addressed to me from now on.
And then I realized… this sort of sucks
There are a LOT of e-commerce sites that won’t specify who they’re going to use and won’t let you choose. So I’ve been having to ask a few sites if there’s a way to ensure they don’t send my order via UPS. It reminds me of that woman who normally shopped at WalMart trying to do a 30-day pledge not to buy anything made in China. I wish I could find the link, because she had a heck of a time not only finding products that were made in the U.S.A. but sometimes just being sure where they were made in the first place.
I was thinking of putting one of my dad jokes on a t-shirt. I like making my own shirts sometimes, like my “Haiku about Bacon” shirt. But I have to first reach out to the customer service at Zazzle to make sure I can get my shirt delivered rather than sent and automatically returned.
The hope was that if I can build a movement of people who won’t let UPS deliver to them, UPS would have to get its head on straight about who its customers really are (hint: all the people who pay all the e-commerce companies to ship packages to them) or go out of business as merchants started abandoning it. But it’s going to be a long, lonely, road of a lot of extra work (and sometimes not doing business with companies I want to patronize or not buying products I want to buy) to avoid UPS until that happens.