UPS Knows.. why cant they tell me?

I got busy last week and did some online shopping for Vacation trip surprises, up coming birthdays and Christmas( yes, I am one of those people…). I shopped last week, knowing that there would be no kids here for 2 weeks and I could have deliveries without lots of “what’s in the box” questions.

Yesterday, according to one of the tracking numbers I had, I was due to get a delivery from the UPS man. I love the delivery tracking websites, except that once the package hits the final stage, you just get a “loaded for delivery” message with no clue when during the day it will arrive.

I had to work anyway, so no big deal. I worked and watched, watched and worked. I announced my readiness for delivery to the world on Twitter. The day dragged on. Work got done- still no delivery guy. I got impatient. I griped on Twitter. At about 4:30, I finally decided that I could wait no longer and had to run around the corner to pick something up from the grocery for dinner. Honestly, I could have made do with what was in the fridge and gone shopping today- but yesterday the weather was nice and they were calling for thunderstorms today ( it is actually raining). I decided the hell with it and made a dash for the grocery. I was gone less than 40 minutes- which is, of course, when the UPS guy came, attempted delivery and left me a little slip of paper instead.

If this were the end of the story, I would have nothing to gripe about- I left the house, after all. However, the little slip of paper that he left me to tell me he would re-attempt delivery tomorrow also had little check boxes that indicated 3 hour windows of time when he would arrive. So Yesterday he could tell me within 3 hours when he would be at my house on the next day.. but in the morning their system could not tell me the same information. malarkey.

I know they use complex delivery algorithms and have a fairly specific route to follow when they leave the office. Yes, it can get updated if someone else has a wreck or a breakdown, but it is pretty accurate and they stick to it closely ( which is why when 10 minutes after I got home last night the UPS guy drove past my back yard and I waved at him, but he could not stop to re-attempt delivery then…). I do not believe that their system does not know within 3 hour windows when a delivery will arrive… they just chose not to tell me until I have inconvenienced them first.

Every other utility /service/delivery person I have ( gas, electric, phone, plumber,water softener, local store delivery, etc…)can give me a 3 to 4 hour window when they will arrive- why don’t delivery companies like UPS or FedEx do the same in their tracking information ???

One thought on “UPS Knows.. why cant they tell me?

  1. I do a lot of business with UPS in real life. A customer of mine (looking for a personal package at his house) asked me about this recently. First, to make you madder – the data’s definitely there. The truck (package car in UPS-speak) and the wireless clipboard is constantly phoning home to update tracking information. UPS probably has a good idea where the car is from that data alone, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t have GPS on them – most truck lines do.I can only give you my opinion about why they don’t share the data with consumers (and no, they don’t officially* share it with their business customers either – at least not with me, and I do $Ks with them monthly.). I think you’d be surprised how many people and businesses (especially businesses) would be hunting the package car down while the driver is trying to make deliveries if the car’s location was publicly known, and while it seems reasonable to give the delivery window within 3 hours like you said, the problem is their cars get loaded quite differently every day and figuring out with a computer model how to give that window out and stick to it is probably harder than it appears. The home deliveries are usually late in the day, which compounds the problem.Anddd yeah, they like selling the expedited services where they charge to guarantee delivery before 9:30, 10:30, etc. :-)The best practical advice I can give you is if you need a package and the shipper or UPS won’t allow it to just be left at the doorstep is – have it delivered to some office. If you don’t have one, ask a friend if the package can be delivered there. I know that’s inconvenient, but so is chasing after the brown UPS package car…*unless you’re on good terms with your driver and he gives you his cell phone #…

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