How UPS almost ruined my birthday

In a few days, I will be the nice, ripe age of 30. And because she’s totally awesome, my fiancee decided she’d buy me a nice present through her work’s discount program: An Xbox One X. It’s been a while since I’ve had a real console (I had a Switch last year but ultimately sold it because games are expensive for it), so I was excited. Plus, Game Pass is super nice.

She placed the order on the 5th of August, and it was shipped via UPS Ground. Not preferable (I really am partial to USPS, because they tend to deliver stuff as fast as they possibly can no matter what tier of service you pick) but my only complaint to date with UPS is that they’re just…slow.

The Xbox is shipped on the 5th, and is scheduled to be here on the 9th. Wonderful! It moves from Illinois, to San Pablo, CA, to Oakland, and just stops, even though it’s the 9th. Unsurprisingly, delivery exception, your package will be delayed into tomorrow. This hurt double because tomorrow in this case was Saturday, and UPS doesn’t do Ground shipments on weekends in most cities. (I’m of the opinion that if they delay your shipment such that it would have been delivered on a Saturday that they say screw it and deliver it anyway, but that’s none of my business.)

Fine, whatever, my birthday wasn’t for a few more days at this point, and absence makes the heart grow fonder or something like that. But hey, at least it was now scheduled to get here between 8:30 and 11am on Monday, so first thing.

Monday rolls around. Package goes out for delivery, I’m up in the morning and waiting, listening for the package to get here. Nothing shows up and the delivery estimate slips to 1-5pm. That window, of course, comes and goes. It isn’t until 7pm that we start to wonder what the hell is going on, because UPS defines “end of day” as 7pm, sometimes extending to 9. So my fiancee calls and just asks if the driver’s still out, and they say yeah, don’t worry, your stuff will be there tonight!

Finally, it’s about 8:30pm. No sign of the package. The package status goes from “out for delivery” to “In Transit”, which I took to mean the driver ran out of hours and had to go back to the depot and it’ll be delivered tomorrow. Not wanting to have it delayed a third time, I opted to have it held at a UPS Store the next day, but as I went to do that…Your package is delivered!

Thinking I must have lost my mind (we have dogs that will literally bark if they hear a pin drop across the street, so I’d know if someone dropped a thing on my doorstep), I stepped outside. Nothing. Checked the garage. Nothing. Asked the roommate. Nothing. Package wasn’t here.

Fiancee calls them again, they assure us the package was delivered properly and that we should go check again, maybe check our immediate neighbors. Nothing. We call back only to be told that customer service is now closed. Not sure what she does at this point but she manages to get a supervisor on the line, who tells us that the driver somewhat knowingly dropped the package at the wrong door. They say that he realized as he was scanning the package as delivered after dropping it on their doorstep. 

This was corroborated by another supervisor. That the driver messed up knowingly, could have easily picked the package back up and taken it to the proper house, but didn’t.

The supervisor gave us the address to the house the driver said he delivered it to: 639 A Court. The problem is due to our court being weird, the address sequence is odd. So on our side of the court it goes 635-637-641, 639 doesn’t exist at all. We went to both of the closest houses though, and none had the package. At this point, all they could tell us is that our neighbors are probably good people and they’ll bring the package back. No offers of help, no offers of sending their driver back out to fix this mess. We’ll deal with it later, and you’ll get a call back at some point tomorrow.

I went to sleep royally cheesed off, because we clearly weren’t getting anywhere tonight.

The next morning, we decide to call the company who sent the Xbox to begin with, as because in this equation they’re the customer of UPS, they can push on UPS to get their act together. They said they’d be more than happy to ship a replacement but we’d have to get UPS to file a missing package report. UPS, however, pointed back at the vendor, saying that no, they’d have to be the ones initiating an investigation.

UPS, however, finally came clean with a proper address, this time telling us that it’s at 632 A Court, and they’d maybe see about sending the driver out to recover the package and bring it back for redelivery. At this point I don’t want UPS further messing this up if I can avoid it, so armed with this knowledge I wander over to the neighbor’s house, knock on their door, and a definitely stoned dude answers the door. After asking nicely if UPS had misdelivered a package, he stopped, thought for a second, and said “OH YEAH, they did drop something off last night, but we didn’t recognize the name so we were going to take it back to the UPS store, here you go!”

I thanked them profusely and left, feeling victorious no thanks to UPS themselves. While I’m sure that UPS deals with this a lot (they really shouldn’t be but whatever) the thing that really frosted my cookies was that they didn’t even feign concern that they lost a $500 package. No “we’re deeply sorry” or “oh my goodness how can we make this right”, just “pray your neighbors are good people otherwise maybe we’ll send our driver out to recover the package”. It felt like I was a burden on them because they did me the favor of losing my package.

Normally when situations like these happen, the company responsible will eventually after some level of escalation will own up to it and either at least act like they care, or do what they can to make it right. UPS just…didn’t. They just shrugged and told us to pray our neighbors didn’t just steal our stuff. And when asked about actually making a missing package report so we could get the thing replaced, they didn’t really want to move on that either.

This is why for the foreseeable future I’m done with UPS, and will go out of my way to avoid dealing with them. I’ll still absolutely patronize my local UPS store because that’s the only way to send USPS stuff without having to wait years and we’re good friends with the staff/management there, but with UPS as a whole? Nah, I’m done. I’ve never had another carrier absolutely lose a package like this, ever.