The last of my packages from Christmas were finally delivered today as well as a few more that I didn’t have tracking numbers for that were also delayed for a long time. After “I posted about my problems”:http://troyandgay.com/blog/2008/12/29/seattle-ups-sucks/, several people posted their similar stories. “The Kitsap Sun”:http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/dec/30/ups-still-working-on-holiday-backlog/, a tiny newspaper (way) outside of Seattle, is the only place I’ve seen this story covered in the local media.

What is amazing to me about UPS is how poorly they handled this. Lots of packages for Christmas is not new to UPS and neither is weather. As bad as the weather was in Seattle, it wasn’t that bad and certainly minor compared to the weather they get in other parts of the country. They obviously don’t have a system in place to handle a case like this.

Severe weather can be understood and customers are generally forgiving of unusual circumstances, but only if the company can communicate effectively. UPS can’t. Their customer service, in my experience, was dismissive of the problem and was not interested in finding a solution for me and expressed absolutely no interest in improving the company for such situations in the future. As another sign of a company with problems, UPS in California “had to apologize for labeling a customer a terrorist”:http://www.turnto23.com/north_river_county/18385526/detail.html because he wore a turban. These problems are caused by poor management – employees are powerless and uninformed, suggestions for improving the company are clearly not welcome and their is little evidence of pride in being a UPS employee. UPS is unlikely to ever be a great company.

Here’s my updated list of deliveries, clearly 2nd Day Air got short shrift:

table(datatable). |. Tracking # |. Service |. Shipped |. In Seattle |. Delivery Date |. Idle | | “1Z1823390262844260”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z1823390262844260 | 2nd Day Air | Dec 15 | Dec 18 | Dec 22 | 4 days | |{background:#eee}. “1Z1823390264597202”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z1823390264597202 |{background:#eee}. 2nd Day Air |{background:#eee}. Dec 15 |{background:#eee}. Dec 18 |{background:#eee}. Dec 31 |{background:#eee}. 13 days | | “1Z1823390264210655”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z1823390264210655 | 2nd Day Air | Dec 15 | Dec 24 | Dec 31 | 7 days | |{background:#eee}. “1Z1823390264673263 “:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z1823390264673263 |{background:#eee}. 2nd Day Air |{background:#eee}. Dec 15 |{background:#eee}. Dec 24 |{background:#eee}. Dec 31 |{background:#eee}. 7 days | | “1Z1823390264961657”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z1823390264961657 | 2nd Day Air | Dec 15 | Dec 19 | Dec 31 | 12 days | |{background:#eee}. “1Z23EW070331035404”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z23EW070331035404 |{background:#eee}. Ground |{background:#eee}. Dec 17 |{background:#eee}. Dec 22 |{background:#eee}. Dec 31 |{background:#eee}. 9 days | | “1Z8E26Y00357236396”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z8E26Y00357236396 | Ground | Dec 18 | Dec 20 | Dec 29 | 9 days | |{background:#eee}. “1Z226A5R0209946300”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1Z226A5R0209946300 |{background:#eee}. 2nd Day Air |{background:#eee}. Dec 19 |{background:#eee}. Dec 22 |{background:#eee}. Dec 31 |{background:#eee}. 9 days | | “1ZA7815W0349141254”:http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?sort_by=status&tracknums_displayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&track.x=0&track.y=0&InquiryNumber1=1ZA7815W0349141254 | Ground | Dec 19 | Dec 22 | Dec 24 | 2 days |

Ground packages were idle in Seattle for an average of 6.67 days, 2nd Day Air packages were idle for 8.67 days, or 30% longer even though it cost twice as much to send them 2nd Day Air. If/when I ever ship anything UPS, I’ll never choose anything but UPS Ground – it’s cheaper and higher-priority.