I wanted to send my father some organic stevia and some lemons from our backyard tree, so I put together a small box - 12 x 12 x 8 inches. I threw in a Michael Pollan book as well. 2.4 lbs all together. I headed to my local Postnet location, to mail it, since the nearest US Post Office is twice as far away and always miserably busy.
Entering the mailing & copying outlet, I was once again the only customer there - 3rd time I've been there. I tell the proprietor that I want to mail this small box to Indiana, no rush, slowest & cheapest means possible (the lemons will keep for a few days). I get out $10 and some change, expecting it to be $8 to $12 or so. A few minutes later, "That will be $18.09 for UPS ground" the Eritrean owner tells me. !!! She gives me a "10% discount" but it still comes to $16.28. I was in a hurry to mail it and get out of there, so, whatever. I forked it over.
2 days later, I am driving past my friendly neighborhood Fed-Ex location, and I have the receipt from Postnet in the car. Curious, I walk in, and there's 2 other customers being helped. The manager steps up promptly and asks if she can help me. I ask her, in theory, how much it would be to send a 12x12x8 sized 2.4 lbs package to NW IN, slowly, no rush. "$11.20 via Fed-Ex ground" she replied with a smile, after 5 seconds of keying it into her computer terminal. Wow.
I described to the Fed-ex personnel how UPS never waits for a signature, even when they are supposed to, the packages arrive as if they've been dragged through a dusty street in a third world country and then run over by a 12 ton military truck. When UPS packages are lost or stolen, the surly, indignant, unhappy driver demands you sign his "I did not get my shipment" affidavit in a huff, and when he brings the replacement package a week later, he Again drops it, runs, and doesn't wait for the required signature. 'What can Brown do for you?' - they can piss you off, lose your package, be extremely rude, and provide terrible service for an unreasonably high price. In contrast, the Fed-Ex driver in my neighborhood is friendly, customer centric, prompt, and the packages he's delivered are usually not disgustingly filthy & they get signed for (with a "Thank You").
What an epic failure of both Postnet & United Parcel Service. Whatever mark-up Postnet is adding, is no value added. I erroneously thought UPS ground would be cheaper than Fed-Ex. It's not, by nearly a 40% mark-up. I won't be using UPS again, and I have no need to go to Postnet other than to drop things off in their mail slot. And it is not just in Arizona. In South Carolina once, the UPS man left my new passport in a next-day envelope under my door mat - I had no awning, and it was raining. Another time, the UPS man left something as unimportant as our e-Loan mortgage re-financing closing papers on the door step as well. Thanks UPS.
When I was a small child in Indiana in the Winter, we used to relish throwing snowballs at the large UPS delivery trucks that frequently passed by my parents' home. I used to feel bad when I looked back at doing that as I got older. Now I wish I would've put rocks in the snowballs back in the 70s as we lobbed salvos at the brown panel vans, and then ducked into the network of snow tunnels we'd dug.
If you've had similar less-than-pleasant experiences with UPS, I encourage you to comment here. Venting is good for you, from time to time.
1 year ago