What to do about subpar package delivery?
March 26, 2018 1:55 PM   Subscribe

I've had some significant package delivery issues since moving to a new city. A cursory survey reveals that it is a systemic problem involving UPS as well as USPS but the former is my main issue. What recourse do I have?

It's not fun to miss packages, or have them delayed. When you only successfully receive about 10% of your prime purchases within the promised timeframe it gets really irritating. When packages that are delayed include medication for allergic hives, it becomes downright dangerous.

I've chatted with ups and with Amazon. Amazon is doing a little but it seems the receiving ups facility doesn't care about anything. What can I do here? I don't want to make it worse. But clearly my repeated contacts to customer service isn't doing anything. I've threatened to cancel my prime membership but amazon probably doesn't care if they lose a single customer. So what next? Social media mud slinging? Is there no less dramatic way to make change happen? Some oversight governing body that I can make an anonymous report to?

Someone I talked to about this literally told me they see several postal workers coming home with items that were "lost in the mail." I hate to err on the side of assuming people are stealing but someone else just told me they are. I don't want to get into the ethics of it but when medication is part of what isn't being received that is not ok. Help?
posted by crunchy potato to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are Amazon lockers an option instead of home delivery?
posted by TheAdamist at 2:09 PM on March 26, 2018 [7 favorites]

I found that getting a mailbox at a UPS store, and making that my shipping address, fixed "we missed you!" problems very effectively. The peace of mind is worth it; obviously, YMMV.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

A visit to the last UPS depot nearest to you in their delivery chain can work wonderful. Don't call first; just drive up, ask to speak to a shipping manager, and air your grievance politely with a smile.

We had similar issues, but lived in a rural area and the drivers would often delay delivery if they were running behind just because we were so far out. I paid a polite visit and said something to the effect of, "We know you guys are buried and working so hard to get packages delivered, and I understand just how difficult your job must be. But our packages are important because of x, y and z, and so I wanted to visit today and see if there's anything I can do to help our packages arrive on time."

It helped.
posted by muirne81 at 2:17 PM on March 26, 2018 [8 favorites]

Do you have a local Facebook page for your town? Believe it or not, one of my neighbors had a similar problem and complained about it on the local Facespace. She was flooded with resources -- including the number to the postmaster for USPS and a personal apology from the manager of the local UPS store. Of course, I live in a small town, so that might have helped in that case YMMV.

In my case (because I have a fence with dogs and live in a semi-rural area) I put a small shed outside with a "leave packages here" sign on it, and haven't missed a package since. Perhaps you can do something like that if you live in a house? If you don't, then I second getting a box at the UPS store.
posted by patheral at 2:30 PM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I had success complaining about UPS driver disservice (I'm home all day and getting the "sorry we missed you!" notification from a driver who's skipping my apt on their route? Not acceptable) on their facebook page.
posted by TwoStride at 3:30 PM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

For those delivered by USPS, call your local post office and complain to the postmaster. They will talk to your delivery person.
posted by The otter lady at 4:25 PM on March 26, 2018

I too use a mailbox at a shipping store; I live in a city and can't afford to have things left on my step.
posted by Peach at 7:15 PM on March 26, 2018

I don't have a solution for you, but I would sign up for all the various package alert services: Informed Delivery (USPS), My Choice (UPS) and Delivery Manager (FedEx). As soon as something is being shipped to you, you'll get a notification and an expected delivery date. If mail is being stolen or not delivered, at least you will have a record of it disappearing. It might help you narrow down at what stage it happens and give you some ammo when you complain. For me, when items have been delivered to the wrong address, it's been very helpful in allowing me to track down where it went.
posted by AppleTurnover at 8:15 PM on March 26, 2018

I'd start with talking to my UPS driver. UPS drivers are union workers who are paid well and in general care about their jobs. I'd let the driver know what's happening and ask whether there's anything you can do.
posted by cnc at 10:17 PM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

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