Day: January 3, 2009

UPS still sucking

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer “published a story”: about the delivery problems with UPS and FedEx in Seattle, linking to this site, even including my lazily-titled “Seattle UPS finished sucking (for me, at least)”. Nice. But it blames the problems on the snowy and icy roads and Seattle’s government, but that’s incorrect, at least in my case. UPS and FedEx could both deliver to our house in the days before Christmas while several other packages were sitting in the UPS hub in Seattle. The problem was that the packages were not put on the trucks making deliveries in our area. In some cases, packages were taken off trucks and not put back on for a over a week! It’s not the roads or the weather, it’s a logistical problem at Seattle’s UPS hub and an inability to efficiently deal with a backlog of packages. It can’t be explained any other way.

The article also fails to point out that 2nd Day Air packages are not delivered any faster than Ground deliveries. In my case, 2nd Day Air “seemed to be lower-priority”: than Ground! If you read through the comments on “my original post”: and “on the Seattle PI’s article”:, others saw the same results. I’d love to hear UPS’ explanation for that.

The article also mentions UPS spokespeople claiming that they have no idea how many packages are in the backlog, as if that excuses their failures. Think about that, UPS tracks every package with tracking numbers that are recorded in their computer system and can be tracked on their route around the country, but they have no way to *count* them?!? I wouldn’t have believed that even if the two customer service reps I talked to gave me counts. One said there were 60,000 packages and another said 10,000 packages an hour later. Obviously, those numbers are made up too because they didn’t deliver 50,000 packages between the two calls I made. When I questioned the discrepancy, I was told that the 10,000 figure was the last update they have — they do have counts for the backlog, apparently. So either UPS’ customer service reps are lying to customers and UPS has no way to count packages to be delivered, or the spokespeople used in this article are lying that they can’t count them.