How do I get my lost package from UPS?
December 13, 2011 5:37 AM   Subscribe

How do I find the large, heavy package that UPS lost?

I ordered a roll of fabric from a company in Canada. Five feet long, 10 inches in diameter and 52 pounds. The tracking info shows it made it to Salt Lake City and was then damaged. The shipper has filed a claim and will likely be reimbursed, but I really need that fabric.

My business is shuttered until I get more fabric. It's a long story, but I can't get more until Feb.

I suspect the packaging (brown paper wrapped and taped around the roll) was damaged and came off and the fabric unrolled on the sorting conveyor. A huge mess, I'm sure. It probably got pushed into a corner and then to a storage room in a warehouse in SLC.

Calls to the 800 number, claims dept, UPS customs are all dead ends. How do I find someone that I can motivate to go look for it?
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Google maps has a local phone # in salt lake city for a UPS freight center:

UPS Freight Service Center
2900 California Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 973-4339 ‎ ·

It might get you a lead to another local # if it doesn't work...
posted by NoDef at 5:52 AM on December 13, 2011

I've done this before, not with UPS but FedEx. You do indeed need to find the number of a local supervisor who will actually go into the facility and physically look for it. And somehow you have to convince this person to do so!

You may have better luck going in through the Canadian side of things because they are the originating node so to speak but it's clear that the US people screwed up.

You're absolutely right that your item is sitting in a back room somewhere all having gotten separated from its shipping info. You'll need a really detailed physical description and preferably something photographic.

As a last resort, is there anyone in SLC you know who can advocate on your behalf? Actually turning up at the depot does work.
posted by unSane at 5:58 AM on December 13, 2011

When I had four tires go missing via UPS, the first thing I did was kowtow to UPS, apologizing profusely that they had to look for the package, explain that I understand stuff happens all the time and that I totally understand and that it must be hard to move so many super heavy packages, especially close to a holiday. Within two hours of being completely level headed (if not a touch too understanding on their part), a person had located my tires and they were delivered to me the next day.

There is a thin line between being understanding and talking down to the person, but you'll have a lot more success if you go in apologetic than shouting that your business is shuttered, your car is undriveable or that Christmas is ruined. Try just talking to the people at the counter before immediately demanding to speak to a supervisor and hopefully that'll help.
posted by banannafish at 6:00 AM on December 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

ABSOLUTELY what banannafish says. I got help with my package (a snowboard) when I took *exactly* the approach s/he describes. "I truly know this is not your problem and you do not have to help me and it may have been improperly packed by the shipper and... and... and..." A sense of humour will really help and, I'm afraid to say, if the person is the opposite sex then flirt like hell.
posted by unSane at 6:15 AM on December 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

An unmentioned problem I see here is that if someone has made a claim on it due to damage, it's very likely not your legal property, and you may have no rights to it at all. It's "evidence" now.

It strikes me a bit like the time I found my own stolen stereo for sale in a pawn shop, a month after my homeowner's insurance had already replaced it. Interesting story, but nothing I could do about it other than maybe buy it again*.

I'm a bit surprised it wasn't your legal property already (FOB?), but since you say the shipper has filed a claim...

(* Yeah, I did. Sentimentality.)
posted by rokusan at 8:05 AM on December 13, 2011

The shipper always has to be the one to file with UPS/Fedex/USPO etc because they are the ones who purchased the insurance.
posted by unSane at 11:03 AM on December 13, 2011

Also, normally you cannot file a claim until UPS or whoever has confirmed the item is lost, which normally takes several weeks if not longer. What the shipper has probably done is file a trace, which is quite different and in ideal circumstances leads to people looking under boxes and in cupboards for the missing item.
posted by unSane at 11:05 AM on December 13, 2011

(Having previously worked at UPS, in a hub facility (like SLC), both as a package handler and a supervisor) I'd say that if it was so damaged that they wouldn't even deliver it, they probably didn't put it in a corner, they probably threw it in a dumpster. Especially if it did get caught in the belts, in which case it probably is torn and greasy, and likely cut up to get it out. Sorry.
posted by attercoppe at 11:13 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

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