UPS and Stupid Processes

UPS move a shitload of stuff around the world. Obviously, every once in a while something will go amiss, but they don’t seem to have very good processes in place when it does. I ordered an item from Amazon. The cost was £90.50 with free delivery since I’m an Amazon Prime customer. Presumably, this value triggered despatch via UPS rather than another courier.

Delivery was scheduled for Monday. We were out and, as it happens, so were our neighbours who I’ve listed as an alternate delivery point. When I checked delivery status, the package was listed as “Delivered: mailbox”. The thing is, I live in an apartment block where entry is protected by a videophone, and there is no communal external mailbox. So unless a package is pushed through the letterbox of our apartment and appears on our doormat, “mailbox” means nothing. But the manual, no doubt, says that a delivery location must be specified… tick!

I called UPS. The agent said she would pass the query to the depot. Someone would call me back “within an hour”. Within the specified hour Alan called me. He had no information because he hadn’t spoken to his driver. He would call back, though he didn’t say it, “within the hour” was implied. Another tick: called the customer within the required time despite having no useful info.

Another hour later, Lee called. He said he was the driver, but that his partner had actually delivered the package, so he didn’t know where it was left. He would speak to his partner and call me back. At that point communication ceased. Lee could tick off that he’d called me, but was, I assume, not required to log the need for an additional call. So the records will show that the process was followed, but probably not show that the customer still hadn’t got his package.

I called UPS again this morning. I was told to that I now had to contact Amazon—obviously, that’s the next step in the process. Camille from Amazon listened to my story, put me on hold for a while as she checked with UPS, and then promised to send me a replacement to be delivered tomorrow by UPS. Chances are that we will be out again…


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