sanity check me
December 5, 2022 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Am I crazy? Weird UPS snafu edition.

So I ordered my BFF his Nespresso machine from Williams Sonoma (see my prior question) last week and it reached him on Friday. He was thrilled!

But my UPS tracking up till this morning was showing that a label had been created but the gift hadn't been shipped. Weird.

Then around lunchtime I got a text saying the gift had been shipped and would as arrive tomorrow? But he already got the machine?

I am confused.

I know this time of year can be hectic for retailers and logistics companies. Is there any way that this UPS tracking thing could be a glitch? Or did BFF accidentally steal someone else's Nespresso machine from the mail room?
posted by nayantara to Shopping (11 answers total)
Maybe it's fraud. You're safe though.
posted by coffeecat at 7:35 PM on December 5, 2022

Best answer: It is indeed likely that the UPS thing is a glitch.

I work with the purchasing department of my company, and we were recently baffled when the computer part we ordered off Amazon was delivered to us - only when we opened the box inside was a bottle of shampoo instead. I called Amazon to say that there had been some mixup, and they said that they could credit us....but the only problem was that according to their records, the package associated with that UPS tracking number had not arrived at our office yet. We argued back and forth about this a few minutes - the Amazon clerk saying that her system showed it was still in transit, and me saying that "but the package is literally on my desk sitting a foot in front of me," but Amazon's hands were tied - they had to wait until the package showed up in their system as "delivered" before they could do anything. So I sat there with this box of shampoo on my desk for 3 days before they finally said "okay, yep, we got confirmation of delivery now" and we could finally start processing the refund.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 PM on December 5, 2022

Best answer: It’s totally a UPS glitch.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 7:49 PM on December 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: UPS has been an absolute disaster for me at work for the last bunch of weeks. Frankly, just be glad he got the object AT ALL because everything my work has ordered for 3 weeks has been lost or stolen (by all means, please come by an office with a locked building after 5 p.m. on Saturday to deliver and just leave it outside for days!). Even with tracking numbers, I'm not sure we can trust anything UPS does.

Anyway, in my experience UPS is a complete toilet and I wish I wasn't forced to give them business all the time, but I do concur that this is sounding a bit more like the Amazon shenanigans, as I had a package lost for days a few months ago and they showed me it had absolutely been delivered and sent. I was home and checked my door like a minute after I got the email and nothing was there. I sent multiple complaints and they said "sometimes it just shows that it was delivered when it wasn't" and got me another one...and then two of them delivered on the same day. *facepalm*
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:50 PM on December 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This happens to me all the time; I frequently get shipping notifications for packages that arrived at my house days ago. I guess I'd rather have the notification late than the package.
posted by jordemort at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2022

Best answer: Same experience as others here. Their tracking systems are a mess and nothing is accurate right now.

Last week I had a signature-required package arriving. The system said "still loading on the truck" so I left to do an errand. I open the garage door and there's a UPS driver walking up with the box.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:15 PM on December 5, 2022

Best answer: A family member of mine recently had an extremely similar experience, also with an item from Williams Sonoma. I agree with the consensus here that it’s a weird glitch.
posted by peperomia at 10:24 PM on December 5, 2022

We've had that happen in the last few months, too, specifically with a some UPS-delivered items.

Though our troublesome packages this year were NOT shipped by Amazon, but from a variety of clothing retailers, ranging from "normal" stuff like Old Navy and Forever 21, to Shein and the two or three places my daughter has ordered leggings or bras from. Around 50% of the time, when it's UPS, either the item or the tracking are delayed.

It's gotten to the point where I've been all TELL ME IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING so I can keep an eye on the tracking, not wait until it's a week or three past due...

Meanwhile, since we're in a metro area, Amazon has been pretty good. (Not even Walmart Black Friday stuff is giving me fits this year - had a terrible time with their shipping in 2020 for stuff. Still slow, if it's coming from California, but nowhere near as slow as that year.) Of course, gifted items being sent to somewhere in the Columbia Gorge are running late now, due to the weather... but I always have a lot better luck with them updating me. (Then again... I rarely order stuff that's on Amazon that isn't fulfilled by Amazon. I haunt reviews before I'll do that, been burned too many times over the years.)
posted by stormyteal at 12:31 AM on December 6, 2022

Best answer: WS once sent me 4 of a single item I ordered. Might be them.
posted by vivzan at 4:32 AM on December 6, 2022

My wife and I don't order a lot online, but we've noticed that shipping and tracking has been getting progressively worse over the past month. Nothing like lost or missing stuff, just things like a package showing "Out for Delivery" on Friday, on Sunday mysteriously getting marked "Delivered", me starting the complaint process but then the item shows up Tuesday. We think it's now that holiday shipping is ramping up, tracking numbers aren't considered a priority over actually getting things moved through the system so they're not being handled accurately.

Amusingly: Every couple months, WalMart sends me a "we're sorry for the delay, your order will be on its way soon!" for an order I made almost two years ago -- I ordered three flat-pack shelves, all three were delivered, but Wal Mart's automated system only sees the "Delivered" on the first one so it thinks some poor warehouse guy forgot to ship the other two. No new shelves ever arrive so somebody catches far.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:19 AM on December 6, 2022

We think it's now that holiday shipping is ramping up, tracking numbers aren't considered a priority over actually getting things moved through the system so they're not being handled accurately.

I think this explains a lot of it. This is also the time of year when the carriers bring on a lot of seasonal/temporary help, as well, so I expect the error rates go up.
posted by jimw at 8:15 AM on December 6, 2022

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