The U.P.S. (United Parcel Service) was founded in 1907, in Seattle, Washington.The current WHQ is in Atlanta, Georgia, and the current CEO is James P. Kelly.

They can be found on the web at They offer a wide variety of services online , such as etracking (which is extremely useful, btw), scheduling deliveries/pickups, calculating rates, etc. In my opinion, the UPS has come a very long way from where it was. Even though the drivers still tend to tick me off from time to time, I prefer the UPS over the U.S.P.S. (United States Postal Service) because the UPS guys tend to have way better attitudes then Postal Workers.
A Tale of My Strife With UPS

What might you ask? Well, how can a multi-billion dollar company, moving packages around the world every day with extreme precision and care, not be able to deliver one package to one person.

Let me begin my tale....

I ordered Civilization Call to Power from the website. I wanted to support Loki and show that you can make money selling games for Linux. I made the order online around mid-May, and was told to allow 8-10 weeks for delivery (as is normal).

Thursday, May 26, 1999
The package arrives via UPS at my apartments front door, but since they don't have the buzzer number (and comparing the list of names on the front door to the package was too hard I suppose) they couldn't deliver it. That's fine. I got a call that night around 5pm asking if I still wanted the package (of course!). So I gave them the buzzer number and was told to expect it before 5pm the next day (Friday).

Friday, May 27, 1999
At 5pm I call UPS (1-800-PICK-UPS) and ask where my package is. I am told that they didn't have the buzzer number so they couldn't deliver it. I told them I gave the buzzer number yesterday, but that's ok... mistakes happen right?

I'm told the package will arrive on Monday.

Monday, May 31, 1999
I had no idea if I was working in the office or at home last week, so I had asked if I could make an address change (if I was working in the office) on monday morning for the delivery. I was told at the time that it would be no problem, and to call early.

Today I found out I was indeed in the office, so at 8am or so I call and have the address changed to my work address. I'm given a confirmation number and sent on my way.

Tuesday, June 1, 1999
I am in the office all day, and while I do leave for lunch, the boss knows that UPS normally arrives around 3, so I didn't worry. Besides, if they do come and no one is home they'll leave a sticker on the door.

No package.

I call in the evening and am told that address changes take 24-48 hours to take effect... I'm a little disturbed, but I didn't know, and if that's how long it takes, that's how long it takes right? The nice lady tells me that it'll arrive most likely on Tuesday or Wednesday for sure.

Wednesday, June 2, 1999
12:15. Lunch hour. I decide to check to make sure things are going all right... the package was supposed to be delivered today after all.

The lady nicely informs me that they don't have an address for the delivery of that package. Huh? Did they take the information and then not put it in the system or something? My work number was attached to the tracking number so why didn't they try to call that? Maybe they just take the phone number for fun? The confirmation number that was given to me didn't seem to get anything out of the system either.

Anyway, I gave the UPS person my work address again and was told that they'd fax the information out to the office right away, and it "would" be delivered tomorrow by 5pm (I got her personal assurance this time).

Thursday, June 3, 1999
No package arrives.

Friday, June 4, 1999]
I called UPS again this morning and talked to Janine (at this point I started taking names). She told me I'd have to give her the address again. What?????????? This is the second time now. And of course all the trucks are gone and the soonest they'll be able to get it to me is Monday.

Monday, June 7, 1999
I called to find the status of the package and was told that while they did have the address of my office, they didn't have the unit #. Now, could anyone tell me why I'd give my work address without a unit number? I didn't think so, therefor it's left to assume that I gave them the right address, and it was lost, or partially lost in between my mouth and the fingers of the 2 people I told it to.

This time I talked to Mandy. Realizing that it wasn't her fault, and she couldn't do anything about it, I moved up a little in the UPS ranks, and talked to Peter (1-800-PICK-UPS extension 2341). He couldn't give me an explanation as to why it was so hard to get a package delivered though. I got both Peter's and Mandy's personal assurance that the package would be delivered on Tuesday though.

As a sign of the way that they'd assure that the package got to me, Mandy had a fax which she read to me which included the full address (with unit number), name and phone number for my work address, along with a note about how the customer is "most annoyed". Peter was going to follow up on the fax to make sure that the dispatch center got all the information.

Tuesday, June 8, 1999
No package.

A call at 6 or so revealed that they didn't have the unit number again. I called UPS again, and talked briefly to someone who told me that the package was in Vancouver and going to be sent out tomorrow morning. I then talked to Peter again, and must say he was good at handling my questions as to how this could happen, what he can do for me, and how this whole situation had gone beyond ridiculous. After getting off the phone with a promise to find out what went on and call me back, I waited for a half hour for a call back. When he did call me back he couldn't tell me anything new. He had been on the phone the whole time with various supervisors though, so I have to give him credit for trying.

Peter is going to call the supervisors or whomever is needed to find out what is going on and make sure that my package is delivered (and you've heard it before) "tomorrow for sure". He has no idea what happened today, as he too read me back the correct address last night.

Tomorrow I'll be calling to get them to email their records of this whole fiasco. I'd like someone else's notes on what happened here when I go to UPS head office.

Side note:
Interesting... the UPS FAQ says that they guarantee the "on schedule delivery of your package". Wonder where this all fits into that. I hope that there are shipping charges now!

Wednesday, June 9, 1999
I called Peter again today around 12 and asked that he email/fax that information to me. He questioned me as to why I'd want it and then said he'd check and get back to me.

The package actually arrived at work, but as I wasn't there no one paid the $30 (!!!) for shipping/border fees or whatever.

Thursday, June 11, 1999
I got someone at work to pay UPS today, so I finally, 2 weeks after the first time it showed up at my door, have my package.

Monday, June 14, 1999
Finally got a hold of Peter again today and asked again about getting their information to me. He said that there might be a problem with it as the company is very structured and giving a customer information from inside could be seen as a security risk. However, I would hope that simply providing a record of what has happened to a package in trying to get it from point A to point B would not be a problem, unless it is to avoid embarrassment.

I gave Peter this URL so I hope that he can see the frustration I was going through. I don't know exactly what I'll do when I get their info, but all I know is that if that happened to every package, they would be out of business... and if it only happened to mine, why?

Additionally: the workforce of United Parcel Service (non-management, that is) is organized under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (President James P. Hoffa, Jr.). The last strike was in 1997, with the current contract expiring July 31st, 2002.

As an employee of UPS, I would like to say a few things to help you get the most out of your package shipping experience.

1) 99% of all boxes that come through our belts have "Fragile" marked on them. Don't think that by writing "Handle with care" on your box that it is going to be treated any better than any other box, folks.

2) If you have a 5x5in. 100lb. package, please do not just throw it in 20x20in box unpacked. The laws of gravity will do very bad things to your precious merchandise.

3) If you have a package that should not be bent, write "please do not bend". Please goes a long way, people! I get VERY pissed off in those hot trailers. Picture this: 2am, an 80 degree trailer, you look in front of you and you see an empty trailer, you look behind you and you see a belt filled with 500 packages. You look down and you see a package smugly saying to you "Do NOT Bend!". What would you do? The difference between a polite request and a stern demand can mean a lot.

4) Don't expect your crystal wine glasses to make it to its destination in one piece if you don't know how to pack it right. And I don't feel the least bit bad for someone who can't take the time to bubble wrap.

There's much, much more I am forgetting, but oh well. The point is, if you want your shit on time and in one piece, don't be stupid. Pack your shit. Label it clearly and maybe draw some obscene stick figure sex scene on a side to amuse us cogs in the well-oiled multi-billion dollar machine that is UPS.

It's pretty much a given that UPS sucks and really doesn't care that they do. My UPS delivery man is a wonderful guy and I always treat him with respect and give him a gift at Christmas. The boxes that arrive in pieces are not his fault, I just photograph them before opening just in case the contents are as destroyed as the packaging.

But I usually ship my packages through the competition, of which there are several, until recently when I had no other option.

I went to the HUGE UPS shipping facilty here in the KC, KS. area and their very kind and helpful staff weighed and measured the package. Since I have a UPS business account "we" decided to have the cost billed to me instead of paying onsite. I did get the lovely staff to write down the box dimensions, weight and cost for shipping, just in case I would need it later.

Well, well... I received my bill and it was $100 over what I was quoted at the UPS facility plus there was an additional $17.00 charge for a "document service" fee.

Needless to say I called the billing dept with questions about this, in particular this document service fee. Ha ha ha, it is a fee charged to the customer when a UPS employee makes a mistake. Whoever typed in the weight of the package thought that the 147 pounds was 2 pounds so they charged me $17.00 because this person if a f@#^&* idiot.

I told "Dwayne" you are shitting me, this has got to be some kind of joke. I am being charged a fee because your people are inept?!?!?! "Yes mam," he replied.

 I said "Dwayne, it will go down like this, UPS owes me $400 in unpaid insurance claims that I have fought tooth and nail to get reimbursed for so we will just call this even or we have option #2) I pay the price I was given upon shipping of  $190.56, which I have in writing from UPS. But I will not pay the "inept employee fee" and as a matter of fact I am going to make this little charge as public as possible."

Supposedly someone from UPS was to contact me within 24 hours to straighten this up, that was Monday and now we are at Saturday. It will be interesting to see how they decide to go with this because my mind is made up, I am calling it even with the money they owe me for destruction of property that I actually paid to insure.

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