UPS delivery stolen from porch--what to do?
January 3, 2008 1:48 PM   Subscribe

UPS delivery apparently stolen off my front porch. Ideas for next steps, from anyone else who's been through this?

The package contained some RAM I'd ordered from Amazon. The estimated delivery date was 1/8, but when I checked "Track Packages" this morning it showed that the package had been delivered to my address, front door, at 10:30 this morning. Though I was not in at that time, my roommate was, continuously for the entire morning, and he heard no knock or ring. (This is a single-story single-family home.)

I've put in a call to UPS, who say they will check with the driver and verify that delivery was actually made. If he/she does so verify, what are my options? Has anyone had any luck going back to seller (esp. Amazon in particular) in such situations, and getting them to replace the item? I could do a credit card dispute, I guess, but damn it, I was using a $30 gift certificate toward the purchase, so even if Visa took off the charge I'd still be out that money.

Also, is there any way to make UPS require a signature on deliveries?
posted by Kat Allison to Shopping (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have had the exact same thing happen to me with Amazon, except that it was an SD memory card for my digital camera. Confirm with UPS that it was delivered, and after that, call up Amazon and explain what happened. They were surprisingly happy to send another to me, requiring a signature that time.

It really requires just a calm but firm approach, and to make sure that they require signature on the next delivery so that you'll get it in your hands. It amazes me though how lax UPS is about leaving packages. I've lived in some neighborhoods where no one with any common sense would ever leave anything of value outside. Safe, yes, but rampant theft.
posted by explosion at 1:53 PM on January 3, 2008

I had something similar to this happen to me recently, and it turned out that the package had been delivered to a neighbor's house by mistake. The neighbor was on vacation at the time, but she eventually found the package and gave it to me.

If the driver confirms that he actually did drop it off at your house and nobody else finds it, you can file a claim with UPS.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:55 PM on January 3, 2008

My ex ordered some books from Amazon which never made it to our door. UPS tracking showed it had been delivered, so he called Amazon and they just sent the books again. It was pretty easy. The original books arrived the day before the second shipment they had sent. We still don't know what was up with that.
posted by hiptobesquare at 1:55 PM on January 3, 2008

I've had similar issues with UPS but the package always turned up- either still on the truck or delivered to a neighbor. It's gotten to the point where I ask that UPS shipment be delivered to the Customer Counter of the local UPS depot with a Hold for Customer Pickup order. It gets to their counter and I can pick it up at my convenience without worrying about anyone taking it off my porch.

(Yeah, I know, it doesn't help you this time, but...)
posted by Doohickie at 2:03 PM on January 3, 2008

I had an experience almost exactly like hiptobesquare's. I emailed Amazon and told them that my package had not arrived, even though UPS said it had been delivered. Amazon sent an immediate replacement shipment, no questions asked. A couple of days after the replacement shipment arrived, I found the original package on my doorstep. I figured maybe the original shipment got delivered to a neighbor by mistake and the neighbor took a few days to bring it over. Either that or UPS just misplaced the package for a few days.
posted by tdismukes at 2:04 PM on January 3, 2008

I had an Amazon order go missing before. I emailed them about it and they gave me the options of cancelling the order with a refund or sending it out again. I chose to have the order resent and it arrived no problem.

Both orders were sent via the regular post (Royal Mail and An Post - UK to Ireland) not UPS.
posted by rog at 2:07 PM on January 3, 2008

Happened to me in an apartment building.

UPS got someone random to buzz them in, then left packages basically on the floor outside peoples doors (instead of leaving them with super).

Package was from Newegg, I called UPS, then called Newegg. Newegg basically sent me another immediately, to my work address, and they dealt with UPS themselves.

My parents had a UPS delivery left on the back deck in a snowstorm once. People were home, no bells were rang..

Now I avoid UPS whenever possible. Found Fedex is much more strict about getting signatures.
posted by gomess at 2:23 PM on January 3, 2008

Eliminating all possibilities, have you checked with your neighbors to make sure it wasn't delivered to the wrong address by accident? I've had that happen (in both directions) with UPS from time to time. Good luck! Getting in touch with Amazon is the best idea, beyond that -- they've been good to me in the past with similar issues.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:55 PM on January 3, 2008

Same thing happenend to me. I called the merchant and they opened a file to investigate. It took them about a week then they called me back to inform me they were reshipping the item - and this time i'd have to be physically present to sign for it - but since i was travelling, i had to go to the customer support center to pick it up after hours.
posted by ramix at 3:01 PM on January 3, 2008

When that happened to me I was told by the seller to go through UPS. I had terrible luck trying to get through the UPS customer service labyrinth. After 2 1/2 hours, my phone battery died and I lost all progress I had made. Considering that I *still* had at least one more layer of bureaucratic hassle to get through to even begin to file a claim, I called the seller back and explained that I was never going to call UPS again and the seller then agreed to send me another item (free of charge).

In a nutshell, the seller is probably going to be more sympathetic than UPS.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 3:09 PM on January 3, 2008

Yeah, UPS is very bad about dropping things off at the door without so much as a knock to see if anyone is home.
At least in my area, it seems this is because my neighborhood is last on the route. So, it's not unusual to see a UPS truck racing through the neighborhood after dark, stopping quickly, the driver racing across lawns to toss a box at a front door, running back to the truck and quickly driving away.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:16 PM on January 3, 2008

With all the UPS bashing I should say that I recently had a similar experience with FedEx. Two times they tried to deliver a package to my home (a signature was required) and both times the driver did not leave a proper note or make proper notations in their system, so that when I called the FedEx office, I was told both times that the package had been left at my door. (Which it was not.) So I thought it was stolen. Finally the guy caught me on the third delivery attempt.

Through all the hassle I convinced myself that porch theft has to happen *all the time* and wondered what the procedure was for that. I figured that UPS/FedEx must be insured for this scenario and that restitution would in the end come through them. (As multiple delivery attempts for all packages would surely cost a lot more than the price of those few that are stolen.) And I was hoping that someone in this thread would have had this happen to them in the past so I could learn how it works. :) Alas, the truth seems to be that packages are never stolen from porches. Kat Allison, I'm thinking the package will turn up. I bet 10:30 this morning there was an *attempt*, but no delivery.

However, if that's not the case, this might help: a few days before Christmas I tracked a weeks-old Amazon order and it appeared to be stuck/lost somewhere across the country. A couple hours after I e-mailed Amazon about this lost package they shipped me a new item overnight at no charge, three days before Christmas. Amazon rocked my world. I was mortified when I later found the original item on my dining room table. It was a bizarre coincidence that the tracking info was screwed up *and* I didn't remember receiving the package. Which reminds me, I really need to send that item back to Amazon....
posted by iguanapolitico at 4:22 PM on January 3, 2008

This happened to me about a week ago. UPS claims to have left the package on our porch, but it was nowhere to be found. I called Amazon & they shipped a replacement, no questions asked. They even upgraded to next-day shipping, so it arrived on Christmas eve.
posted by belladonna at 4:28 PM on January 3, 2008

Well, there's a happy ending to all this, along the lines suggested by iguanapolitico; even though Amazon's and UPS's tracking both showed the package as delivered, AND the UPS human being I got on the phone, who talked to the driver, said the driver told him it was delivered--despite all that, there was a knock on the door around 4 this afternoon, and upon opnening it, I saw (a) my package sitting on the doormat and (b) the UPS driver a-sprinting for his truck. Heh.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful and sympathetic responses! Now I know what to do if something does get snatched, although I think I'm having all my orders delivered to a friend's office from now on . . .
posted by Kat Allison at 4:37 PM on January 3, 2008

I think, Kat, that basically "Out for Delivery" and "Delivered" are the same to a lot of people at UPS.
posted by Doohickie at 5:11 PM on January 3, 2008

Kat Allison: that's great news!

One more amusing thing I remember from my FedEx fiasco is that when I tracked the package online I was able to view the scanned "signature" from the first delivery, which said in a scribbly, all caps way, "N O T I N." When I talked to the FedEx customer service person on the phone, she said it looked like the package was left with a neighbor, "Named ... Norin?" No, no, that's neither of my neighbors' names, and I think it actually says, "Not in." ;) Despite that notation, her system was also telling her that the package had in fact been delivered, despite my being not in. In the end I can't complain, as I received a dozen or two packages via all the major shippers last month, and none were lost, broken or stolen. But the process ... lacks in some instances.
posted by iguanapolitico at 6:30 PM on January 3, 2008

I need to echo that UPS is terrible. And I live in Brooklyn where packages ARE stolen from doorsteps.

A couple of things:
1) There is some issue of liability if the company shipping does not require a signature or a live person to accept the package.
2) The burden of proof is always on UPS.
3) Ship to your place of work or a friend or parent if you can.
4) UPS will do something called "redirect" or "redeliver" and *in most cases* (not all) you can call them and tell them to deliver to an alternate address that you authorize.

If this is a problem for you, make a sign and put it on your front door that says, UPS/FED EX DO NOT LEAVE PACKAGES, PLEASE LEAVE DELIVERY NOTICE. Now, most of the drivers will STILL leave the package unattended if they're allowed to, because they don't want to have to make another delivery attempt, but it gives you ammunition if you call back later.

Understand that the people answering the phone at UPS don't live in cities for the most part, live nowhere near you, and can't understand that your office is only a mile from your house even if it is in a different city. Don't call after hours if you can avoid it. IF you get a bad rep, hang up and call back until you get one with some common sense.

You don't know what hell is until you have chased World Series tickets through Brooklyn.
posted by micawber at 7:42 PM on January 3, 2008

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