UPS Garners Complaints for Losing Packages, Offering Poor Customer Service

By Emily Dovi, dealnews Copy Editor

Do you compulsively check your UPS tracking number while waiting for a package to arrive? Sure, you might receive email alerts about when it departed for its journey, but sometimes you just want to keep checking in on its progress. Maybe some of this is excitement for your delivery, or maybe it's anxiety that something might go wrong. After all, everyone seems to have an experience with lost packages.

Its those delivery failures that can throw a wrench into the excitement of online shopping, and UPS has taken a lot of flack in this department. The company handles about 15.8 million parcels per day, so it's no surprise that some deliveries will experience a speed bump or two. Unfortunately that speed bump can be as much literal as it is figurative, and, according to a recent column from The Haggler at The New York Times, how the company handles these hiccups leaves something to be desired. The Haggler, or David Segal, writes about his and several acquaintances UPS shipping woes, including a recent experience that went beyond a delivery delay, and straight into lost territory.

First there was the case of the lost passport: Segal's rush-delivery passport was scheduled to arrive in time for a flight to visit a friend in Canada. Canadian dreams were shattered as the passport was "lost" and Segal had to cancel his outing. In breaking the news to said friend, Segal discovered that his buddy's golf clubs destined for California had wound up in Minnesota courtesy of UPS. And it took three weeks to discover this.

Then, in canceling his flight, the Delta agent with whom he spoke had a story of her own: UPS had "delivered" a damaged portable DVD player to her. (Read: the delivery man flung it into her yard wherein her dog found it and chewed it to bits.) UPS blamed the incident on the seller's poor packaging; the seller contested this and Ms. Delta had to shell out another $250 for a replacement.

And finally there was the triathlon friend whom Segal met for lunch (instead of going to Canada) whose bike's shipping container was damaged by UPS. The company argued that since the bike was undamaged, the specially made and insured-to-ship $400 container was not their responsibility.

Segal notes that in each instance, it's the poor customer service response that has left his friends with such a tainted opinion of UPS. For the sake of argument, Segal postulates that even if the company fails to deliver just "one-half of one-tenth of 1%" of shipped orders (a very low and probably conservative failure rate), that's roughly 8,000 dissatisfied customers every day — a comparatively small number, given that the company ships millions of packages per diem. But the fact that UPS evoked such aggressively disgruntled reactions from Segal's acquaintances was because of the unsatisfactory customer service they received when something went awry.

Seeing as dealnews readers surely ship more than the average consumer, we wondered what you all think of Segal's tale. Have you had similar dissatisfied experiences with UPS and their customer service department? Or have the brown suits done right by you? And since the company is increasing shipping costs this year by about 4.9%, do you expect better service for your money? We're interested in your (and your friends') dealings with UPS, and what you expect from the company after its price hike. [The New York Times]

Front page photo credit: Fox Business
Top page photo credit: Freaking News

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I want to find out if I can sue UPS for discimmination 4 times I placed orders online from companies and each time the driver claims not to know where my address is . I end up having to go pick up my package. On mar 21 2013 at about 3:00 pm riding in our apartment complex i wrote the time and date down. There is noway possible that he doesnt know the area he is always in our area . I have received package from fedex and the isntg a fedex facilty in the area but there is a ups facilty in the area where I live . the fedex facilty is in Baton rouge ,la please if any one can help it would be apprciated
I have never had problems with UPS... but USPS.. thats a different story! If I have the option I would pay to have UPS send my package compared to USPS, they never even attempt to knock on my door before quickly leaving me a "We Miss you" notice ugh!!
Yup i tottally agree with that and some kind of flagging would help a ton.  I treat all my customers even ones i have  had issues in the past with the up most respect, but customers can help to certain extent too as i want them to get their pkg in one piece and be happy campers..

I guess what im trying to say is after 3 days that u probably not gonna be there , your pkg gets returned to the shipper and then the customer is really upset.  What a lot of my customers will do is leave a note on their door as to wheer to leave it back door etc, which is wshat i wish all customers will do...

Yah leaving a package on a driveway is awful, and ups defintly should of picked it up so i cant argue with u on that.  I guess it just matters on what driver u have, and as for ringing a bell i usually honk my horn as i pull up so its probably why i dont...

I agree -- what you've described is a failure on our part to deliver the experinece that our customers deserve. I understand that we won't win back your business, but we take your concerns seriously and we'd like to learn more. If you're open to speaking with us, please send your contact details to

Debbie Curtis-Magley
When UPS is good, they're great; when they screw up, you have to go through hell to get anything done.  EVERYBODY screws up; they fail to realize that it's how you deal with it that measures you as a business.

Case in point: I sent my folks airline tickets (yes, PHYSICAL tickets) via FedEx to come visit us in California, flying out of BWI.  The tickets did not arrive on time.  I called FedEx and explained the situation, and the representative connected me to a special troubleshooter who (a) gave me their name and their direct [I found out later, personal cell] phone number, (b) promised to stay on it until the tickets were found, and (c) promised to keep me up to date.

Just after 11 PM Pacific time (2 AM Eastern), the troubleshooter called me back and let me know that the tickets had been found, but that they couldn't be gotten to my folks' house in time.  But he told me, "don't worry, just have them go to the airport, and someone will meet them at the airline's ticket counter."  They went to the airport, and were met by a FedEx pilot/captain who handed them the envelope.  When I called to express my appreciation and ask how they did it, the troubleshooter told me that he made a general announcement to find any FedEx employee who was headed for BWI, and that the captain responded.  I have no doubt that if the president of FedEx had been going there, that he would have responded as well, and done the delivery if it had come to that.

And there was, of course, no charge, because they hadn't delivered the tickets to my folks' address.

FedEx screwed up. But they recovered magnificently. UPS doesn't seem to know the meaning of the phrase "accept responsibility."

(Add to this the fact that UPS was mostly responsible for taking away a major segment of amateur radio frequencies, mostly used for disaster operations, for an untried, test-failed and interference-prone new commercial radio system that virtually no one uses, you'll understand that as a dissatisfied customer, an emergency services professional, and as an amateur radio operator, I simply WON'T use UPS if I can possibly help it.)
My coworker found a UPS package that doesn't belong to her on her drive way.  She called UPS, but UPS never bother to go back and take the package.  I really don't see the point that ring a bell is considering waste of time.  It's customer service and that's what UPS delivery supposed to do. 
My experience with UPS hasn't been that bad. Although most of my experience is as a recipient of packages, I only ship with UPS if someone else picks up the cost.  When i am shipping I prefer USPS first, then FedEx Ground.  USPS is by far cheaper for the regular person who isn't getting volume discounts. Had to send a defective Hard Drive back, UPS wanted ~$15, USPS with $160 insurance, signature proof of delivery, electronic tracking (albeit not as slick or fast as UPS but its tracking), postage paid for online and printed shipping label and postage via USPS website and with a website discount to boot, and the best, unattended next day pick up, I left in comment area of the order where package was, in a unlocked tool shed on porch, and postal worker found it, picked it up and left a receipt in mailbox, along with an email alert it was picked up. all that and it cost me $10.15.

Another thing to note, if you are shipping fragile items, as Hard Drives would be considered, UPS says all packages must be able to withstand a 7 or 8 foot (forget which one) drop to a hard surface, apparently they have conveyor belt systems in the hubs that could drop items that high,
FedEx and USPS do not do this, they are far more forgiving on fragile items.

But again, having said all this, I have not had a bad experience with UPS, my drivers are great as well.
Cal I have to disagree on your statement "Drivers have enough delivieres per day and having to return to the same address day after day is an absolute pain."
My reply, Tough that's your job. A great experience I had when i just started working was when I worked with my Dad in a construction company as a laborer. On the first day my Dad said, dig a 3 foot round hole and dig it 3 feet deep, when I was done, my Dad said, thats great, now fill it in. After that was done he said, dig it again. When I complained he said, look you have to understand something, learn what your job is and what you get paid for.  If you are not paid to make decisions, then don't, if you are paid to dig holes, then dig them, if you are paid to fill them in, then do so. Just remember, your job is one spoke in a wheel of the whole job.  You got paid the same for digging and filling in the hole, don't question why it was asked of you, just do it, it's your job.   That lesson has remained with me, if you take a job, know what it entails and then do your job and don't question it, your getting paid to do it!
Of the three, I am happiest with UPS. I have never had a package lost from any of the carriers (knock on wood). I have had them rout my deliverys 180 in the wrong direction, back to the original hub then on to me, more than once.
I don't blame them, can you imagine the nightmare of thousands of people doing this? The storage they would need, etc. Most people work a m-f, 9-5 job, which are the hours that they deliver. Nothing would get delivered.
Cal, your statement is what many of us "customers" find wrong with UPS.  There is an old saying "the customer is always right".  WE are not paid to make you happy, WE are not paid to make issues go away, WE pay UPS for a service and that service should meet certain levels EVERY time for delivery.  If you have a problem with a particular neighborhood or customer, then you should have a computer system that flags those customers and then takes appropriate measures to address such issues.  Putting the blame, whether it is right or wrong, on a customer is just never the answer to a COMPANY problem. 
Oh yes, that is the other thing I notice with UPS, they literally throw the package on your door step and rarely, IF EVER, even bother to ring the door bell!  Only if a signature is required.  Then God forbid you have to go to the UPS delivery station address, no one can give you a straight answer as to when the package will be available and many times I have shown up only to have to wait 30-40 minutes for them to locate the package, even though I had called ahead to ensure it would be held for me.  EVERY UPS delivery should include a ringing of the door bell AND/OR loud knock at the front door!  THAT should be MANDATORY for the delivery drivers.  
I agree with the so called UPS stores.  THEIR service is even worse than the actually delivery!  They charge RIDICULOUS amounts for packing materials, there are no quality standards for employee personality skills/customer service skills and they just sell a bill of goods that does not add up.  I needed to ship a very fragile item one time, granted it was the largest box they used, BUT, THEIR packing method as explained by the customer service rep in the store was "pour packing peanuts into box, throw item into box and then add more peanuts".   Now I can tell you from personal experience shipping on Ebay, JUST packing peanuts, without ANY kind of bubble wrap, stiff Styrofoam or any other combination of materials (depending on the shipped item) is just not up to par.  Those stores should train their employees VARIOUS packing techniques depending on the size, weight and shape of the item.  The lack of standards across the board in these stores, just adds to the bad reputation UPS has with so many people.  I think that HEAVY items have had a 80 % damage rate over my lifetime of using UPS.  They just can't seem to be able to handle large, heavy items without breaking them.  One time, when CRT monitors (about 10 years ago) were the only way to have a large screen, UPS delivered AND broke THREE separate replacement monitors.  I had to finally INSIST that Dell use FedEx for delivery.  FedEx delivered two days faster and the SAME box used for the other three monitors came in like it was off the showroom shelf at a store!
I will say, at the GROUND level, I have had many pleasant experiences with the UPS ground drivers.  But they are just the end face of a long command chain.
I have had nothing but BAD service from UPS for years now, one of the reasons I use FedEx Exclusively for shipping.  Whats worse is that it seems many companies have now teamed up with a Hybrid USPS/UPS shipping combination whereas UPS delivers the package partially and then the post office brings it to the house.  Time after Time after Time, I have had experiences with UPS where they deliver Broken boxes, damaged goods, slow delivery time and generally overall bad customer service.  Since I do Ebay quite a bit, I DUMPED UPS several years ago when they started charging my account HUNDREDS of dollars for shipping items from California!  I live in NJ!  Seems as though a company in CA was inputting the wrong shipper number when submitting their billing, but I had to argue for WEEKS with UPS to get the money put back on my credit card.  I kept explaining "The company name does not match, the address does not match, hell it is 3000 miles away in a location I have NEVER shipped from", but UPS kept insisting I had to pay the bill!  Talk about BAD customer service!  That was the last straw and I dumped them about 8 years ago. 

Most packages look like they have been played football with, UPS delivery times are often very delayed, very poor customer service and charging more than FedEx are all examples how this company needs a revamp from the top down.  Then again, anyone that would go into business with the Federal Post Office (a debacle of Federal Incompetence who are about to go out of business),  can't be in their right mind.  Why would you associate yourself with such a failed business model as the USPS?
We have 100+  deliveries everyday and in the morning espcially we do not have time to ring a bell, if u get a damaged pkg just call ups and tell them u refuse it,  the driver will come back and get it ...

Btw i never ring a bell and i love my job, great pay,great benefits 6 weeks off a year tell me what company beats that LOL
I am a UPS  driver in s california, and this article fails to talk about what we have to go through on a daily basis. I could give u a million stories but ill elaborate on the one i saw that amused me. 

      The lady recv her pkg all chewed up by her dog.  If people track their pkg as the article states then u know your pkg is arriving at said date.  What do u expect the driver to do when u cant get to the porch with a mean dog looking u at the face.  Drivers have enough delivieres per day and having to return to the same address day after day is an absolute pain. I have in the past put pkg's over a fence with a dog present and never had an issue with a dog just tearing up a said pkg. 

    I know ups has damaged many pkgs, as i have seen more then my share in my 8 years driving but trust me customers are just as much at fault as drivers are, with so many issues. 


Honestly I've never had a problem with UPS. I've had plenty with FedEx so much so that I pay extra just to get the UPS shipping. Just like any job you have your good and bad employees. I agree with the locational based stuff where in some areas its better than others, but really what can you do about that? There are plenty of things in life to get mad over. Getting pissed because something didn't arrive on time or something was lost/broken is not one of them they just delivered your package from one end of the country to the other. Did you go spend the time to fly out and get the $50 product you ordered? No so when shit happens stop bitching, such is life deal with it.
Actually UPS is where i get the most deliveries from, and I have a great delivery driver!!! FedEx is also a great delivery service, while US Postal Service is dropping the ball in every area. I honestly wish at times that FedEx took over the US Postal Service. The only problem I've had with UPS is their odd hours locally, when they are closed down during lunchtime for 3 hours!
Thanks for the feedback. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can offer assistance.

After UPS lost a package I sent, I filed a claim form.  The claim was ignored completely.

Then I switched to USPS.  The United States Postal Service has earned my business, and they have been reliable and prompt in delivering my packages for several years.
I have a small bizz. In 2011 we sent out about 7,600 orders. 

I've had a UPS account since 1976 back when they only had Ground service. In the 70s and 80s they were fantastic. USPS would have to be a lot cheaper than UPS for me to ship USPS.

In the late 90s UPS went on strike. After that their service went downhill. The biggest problem was that I kept finding errors in our UPS bills—always an overcharge. 
Even though I had UPS daily pick-up service, they still would not ring the bell to let us know they were making a delivery. In fact, then and still they throw the packages at the door.For the past 10-12 years we use FedEx-Ground (and USPS and truck). Actually, we switched from UPS to RPS before it was purchased by FedEx. 

FedEx-Ground is operated by thousands of independent contractors. It is a screwy system. At first there were too many mistakes, but that have declined dramatically. 
I found that their bills years ago were just as fraught with errors as UPS's. However, FedEx-Ground billing errors were pretty equally in our favor as much as in their favor. 

I would never think of going back to using UPS unless it was for Air, and only if I had already missed the last FedEx (Express) pickup. 
 Thanks Debbie.  People like you are probably the hardest working in the company. I appreciate the work you do. On a high note, I still use you guys from time to time and I do hope my experiences improve.
I agree, that is frustrating. What you've described doesn't reflect the service we strive to deliver. If you'd like our assistance, please send your contact details to

Debbie Curtis-Magley
As a UPSer, I'm sorry to read about your experience. We'd certainly like to win back your trust. If we can address a specific problem you're experiencing, please send your contact details to

Debbie Curtis-Magley
Yikes! What you've described is a terrible experience. I work for UPS and our customer service team would like to learn more to ensure customers don't have a repeat of your experience. If you're open to talking with us, please send your contact details to
Debbie Curtis-Magley
I think Fedex takes better care of packages.  While I haven't had many issues, when I look at the condition of boxes that arrive at my house, the Fedex boxes are always in better shape.  I did file a claim once with UPS and had no problems getting a refund.
If given the choice, I definitely prefer UPS (from experiences):

Most of the UPS delivery people I have met are pleasant people. I can't say the same about FEDEX.

UPS consistently delivers the "cleanest" packages...FEDEX Ground packages are commonly so dirty. :-/

FEDEX has had so much trouble finding one location I "dread" having a package shipped by FEDEX to that location. And it's not in the sticks either...

So, like everyone, our preferences are shaped by experiences which will vary by location. For me, I choose UPS.
Quite interestingly, I have had better experience with USPS shipments.  We did run into a bit of a problem with our USPS mail carrier shortly after we moved in (e.g. delivering our mail two houses down and on two occasions, leaving us a delivery attempt note but the doorbell never rang), but none since.  With UPS, on the other hand, it's been very frustrating - packages with 3-inch holes in them, boxes left out in the rain, boxes with a ripped/opened corner, and just an assortment of what appear to be mishandled boxes.  I order a lot of things online, and as much as possible, try to avoid having them shipped UPS now.
Firstly, I made a career in air freight including door to door shipping (similar to what UPS does). I am aware of what service standards are (ground, air, next day, next am).  I am aware that things go wrong, despite the best intentions.  I understand that no matter what processes are put in place, things still go wrong.
That being said, I can sit where I am today and think of 12 incidents off the top of my head where UPS has let me down, big time.
These incidents have nothing to do with weather and missing labels.  In fact, I have to think the issues are less rooted with the brownshirts (although there are probably a few bad apples) and frontline management (bad apples there too) as one might first suspect.
I don't know for sure, but from an outside vantage point,  I think it has everything to do with the culture of the company and their values. The company apparently and unfortunately seems to be set up so that it fails. They just don't seem to be able to do what they have set out to do.  Even sadder, UPS is probably too big to be able to make any real change.
I rooted for UPS for so long (like one would root for CocaCola over Pepsi for example), but no more. Now, when it comes to comparisons to UPS, I feel that the USPS gives more consistent service at a better price.
Don't get me started on the UPS postal stores.  They have certainly not helped to emblazon the UPS "brand" image and are as inconsistent as the package delivery system seems to be to me..
I buy and sell a lot of electric guitars, and, to date, UPS has broken about 6,  by shipping them upside down (when 'Up' is clearly marked), or completely crushing the package beyond reasonable transit wear. In the most memorable case:

I received a guitar and was mystified -- the guitar was broken, but the box was pristine. There were pieces of the guitar inside the box (it was a pointy V-shaped guitar and pieces of wood were actually splintered off), and I couldn't figure out what happened. I thought the seller had shipped it broken, so I contacted him and told him that it seemed he sent a broken guitar because the box was perfect so it wasn't shipping damage. He told me to send it back to the address on the box. I told him there was no address on the box and he started asking me about the kind of box. Turns out, according to him, that it was not the box he shipped the guitar in. I called UPS and after giving the tracking info, the rep told me that it was a "repack," that the original container had been damaged beyond use, so the item was reboxed and shipped. I asked the rep why UPS would repack an item that had been broken, putting the broken pieces in the box, no less, and not say anything. He said I would have to call back in the morning to file a claim, so I did, but the rep I got in the a.m. said there was no information about a "repack" and that the seller must have shipped a broken guitar because UPS does not repack items. I told the rep that the box was different, and she said the seller would have to file a claim, which he did, and I sent the guitar back to him. He said they would not cover the claim because when it was inspected, the box was not damaged and they denied repacking it.
There is no doubt in my mind that UPS repacked the item. There is *no way* the guitar could have been damaged in the box it arrived in, it was a flawless, brand new shipping box, and the broken parts of the guitar were obviously fresh breaks, you could still smell the wood. The fact that they tried to skirt responsibility was just awful. I bet they fired the guy who told me about the repack.

I try to use USPS as much as possible, because they have a better track record when it comes to guitars, but the size restrictions make UPS the only choice around here sometimes.
Don M
I have had no problems with UPS, the drivers are always very friendly.  I have had problems with FedEx, they have lost two valuable packages and I have had a very difficult time receiving my money back.  I have never been able to receive replacements for the lost items.
I don't understand why Dealnews is stirring up this hornets nest, What do they have to gain?
I both shop online a lot and ship via UPS a lot (through my work). While I have had minor snafus from time to time with ALL shipping companies (USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL years ago), I find that UPS is one of the more reliable companies. Is shipping imperfect? Yes. Obviously. Is this article completely unfair to a company that provides a service which is at least as good as that of its competitors? Yes. Obviously.
My name is Debbie Curtis-Magley and I work for UPS. Like many of you, we read the story and at UPS, we take the concerns seriously. I was pleased to see that several readers here shared praise for their UPS drivers. I also noticed comments from a few who shared their UPS frustrations in the discussion thread. My apologies that we’ve let you down. Please know that we appreciate all feedback --- good and bad.  Our customer service team is available to help at 1-800-Pick-UPS. We’re also on Twitter at @UPSHelp.

Debbie Curtis-Magley
Never had problems w/ UPS. BUT--have had many problems with the Post Office--including 2 recent packages with tracking numbers that were scanned 'as delivered' --but they were never delivered to me ( I have filed reports with the FBI as missing mail is classified as 'Mail thief',but I doubt I'll ever see the packages
Having problem with UPS now.  First off, I needed to do a change of delivery and called their customer center and they advised that nothing can be done because the tracking is not updated. So I wait next day, and they advised me that change of delivery can't be done becuase they have no way to charge for the absured fee, then they advised me to do it online, I went through 1 hour to set up their account then I find out if you did not electronically created the shipment then it can't be changed online. Then I was advised to contact the dropoff location which UPS would not give out number to their local depot and any google search to their facility comes up 1800 number, even the receipt has the 1800 number. So I'm forced to go back to put in a change of delivery for my package onsite. Why the fudge in today's electronic age we have to do it by foot.

FYI: I went down to the UPS hub where I mailed my package, the hub personnel tells me to call the 1800 number... This is complete BS. I called the 1800 from the hub and even the employee there was having hard time. The customer rep was located in Guatamala... I thought DELL was bad.
The problems may well be regional, but they're so bad in DC, I now refuse to buy anything that will be shipped via UPS. I can't agree that FedEx is the same - I've never had a problem with them and now use either FedEx or USPS. The rate hike discussion seems irrelevant. Costs are going up everywhere.
UPS is generally very reliable and it is depending on who the driver is. The downtown office I worked the UPS driver was very courteous and always delivered with smile. He delivered whether the weather was 120 degrees and the brown heat stroke inducing truck was NEVER air conditioned or nice weather. At home though, he would either drop the box at the door with nary a knock or drop it over the fence. And some are delicate electronics !
I order alot of things online and overall I can say I'm pleased with service from all of the carriers considering their mission. I have had a few flubs. Most recently at Christmas UPS lost a package that contained my dad's Christmas present. Unfortunately I had ordered so late there was no way to get it replaced so I had to go out Christmas Eve and get him a picked-over gift. I was plenty mad at the time, but UPS made good and I got my money refunded. Our UPS drivers always toot the horn so we know they are here. FedEx does not, they always leave it right at our gate. We have a post office box so USPS puts our packages in a lock box for pick up. The biggest problem I've found is that whoever you order from varies  what carrier they use so if I give our p.o. box, some forms of delivery can't be delivered there so it delays delivery. Overall though, I have to give kudos to all of the package delivery services. For the massive amount of packages they deliver daily and being gps tracked all day by their bosses and a ton of addresses being reallly hard to find, I think they do a pretty good job, and it just costs a few bucks.
Generally, I've been happy with UPS.  However, I guess they changed the driver on my route as the previous driver would leave my packages by my side door so it wasn't so obvious, from the street, that I had a delivery waiting.  Now, I come home from work to find packages on my front stoop, quite visible to everyone.  Thankfully, none have been stolen.
I also found that, about a quarter of the time, the driver doesn't ring the doorbell.  So, a package will sit on my front stoop all night and I will discover it in the morning when I leave for work, 
Live in a very rural area and use online shopping alot.
Never once had any problems with a UPS delivery or pickup so never had to deal with UPS customer service cannot comment on UPS customer service.( But I would bet that its no different than many other company's customer service most leave alot to be desired)

Compared to USPS and FedEx..  UPS scores high in my book

 Our USPS mail carrier hates her job and it shows in her attitude and job performance. claims to have tried to deliver packages when in fact security cameras proved otherwise on more than 4 occasions.

 Complaints to her and then to the local postmaster were useless and counter productive as now we are likely to find our mail anywhere within 100 ft of our mail box as if its thrown out the window at 40 mph aimed at our mailbox.
have good rapport w/deliveryman. always has biscuit for the dog. places package under cover in inclement weather (unlike FEDEX which leaves items out in the rain uncovered). as a bonus ive never had a failed delivery. about 50% of my deliveries are UPS.
I've never really had a problem with UPS.  I did have an incident just last week where a brand-new iMac got left on my front stairs with only a door-bell ring, but that was the fault of the shipper, who didn't request signature-only delivery.

Like everyone, I wish there were an easier or more-timely way to re-schedule or re-route a 1st-time delivery package, but I also wish I had a flying car.  The simple truth is that visual cues on the shipping label that the actual handlers see are the primary routing device used, and to catch a single package out of thousands would be prohibitively time-consuming, and automation would be as prohibitive in the same vein.

People also don't think about the legal implications of re-routing a package.  If I contract UPS to deliver a package to address 123 Fake St., how are they supposed to know that Joe Schmoe calling up the office is, in fact, the person at 123 Fake St.  The contract is with the shipper, not the recipient.

There are ways to build systems around these issues, yes.  Just be ready to pay significantly more.
Only once in twenty years have I had a problem and the mistake was not made by my regular UPS guy, but by a new guy filling in for him.

The UPS guy that delivers on my route is very friendly, delivers to my side door and always knocks and most times I have a little chat with him.  I always tell him what a great job he is doing and how I appreciate that.

Also, I signed up for the UPS service that tells me when to expect a delivery, and the service will let me reschedule the delivery at a time more convenient for me.
Generally I am happy with UPS.  There is one thing I do not like though.  When I see that a package is scheduled for delivery on a day that I will not be home, I would like to be able to have it held at the local UPS office and delvered one day later.  I tried to do this recently and learned that there is an extra charge for this.
I have to agree... When comparing UPS, FedEx and USPS. The US Postal Service is *by far* the worst. Missed delivery commitments... Damaged packages... Lost packages... Poor tracking info... I've experienced it all.
I think these problems with UPS are to a great degree regional. I've been at my current address in midtown Manhattan for 21 years and haven't had a single problem with UPS either losing or damaging a package.
I agree with the last post. i order alot of things online and have had very similar experiences with fedex and ups, overall positive. However ive had multiple problem with usps deliveries including an ipod delivered to an address 10 miles away from my home. Luckily the person who received it was honest and contacted me.
I find this post defaming Dealnews and has nothing to do with deal find reasons that people come here. Both UPS and Fedex are the same. do you remember the Fedex news about  two months ago?
 previous poster as well as Segal did not mention about the 99 deliveries that were delivered with no problem. UPS hiked the rate 4.9% this year  but you did not mention Fedex hiked  5.9%. this year. in realty they are the same. From business point view UPS IS more reliable Fedex is slightly less expensive. Companies choose UPS because they value dependability more
My Opinion
Have you ever found a UPS employee that likes their job? I sure haven't. I get deliveries all the time from UPS, what ticks me off is they never ring the bell unless I have to sign for it, otherwise they just drop it at the door. The problem with this is when there is a damaged package I can't decline accepting it. If I have to mail out packages they go out USPS.