Saturday, July 28, 2007

United Parcel Service (UPS) Deliveries...

...can be pretty iffy things, or so it seems to me if you want to receive items in good condition. I recently ordered a Ladder tree Stand from the It was apparently delivered to my house yesterday by UPS, who left it on my front stoop. Funny, because my wife was home when it was delivered, yet no one knocked on our door, they just left it there.

The shipping carton was in horrendous shape; and maybe that is why no one knocked on the door to see if someone was home to accept delivery. I am willing to bet the delivery man did not
want to have the delivery "not" accepted. I have told my wife and kids never to accept a package in such shape. The carton itself had several holes in it, some that could easily fit my fist through them, and also had several smaller holes. The middle of the carton was bulged or bent. Parts of the ladder stand were sticking out of the box. The ends of the ladder stand were obviously scratched (I would like the finish intact to resist rust) where the delivery person, or someone else, had probably dragged the heavy box instead of lifting it (approximate weight 78 pounds plus box and packing material). If there are any small parts, and there should be nuts and bolts and such, my bet is some may be missing as I heard some pieces freely falling as I turned the box to take several pictures of it today. What a mess.

The holes shown in the pictures here are just some of them. Every corner of the box was torn open. There also were several smaller tears in the middle of the carton. At one point the box seems bent or bulged, I can only guess at the damage to the item inside, or that parts are likely missing. Well, I contacted the vendor: Sportsmansguide today. They told me to call back on Monday when Customer Service is open. I also sent them an email about this. Then I tried to contact UPS via their web site complaint process. It seems you need to know the extent of the damage before you can report something to them, so I guess I'll wait until Sportsmansguide tells me whether or not to even bother opening it, or to just return it for another.

Sportsmansguide has been good about stuff like this in the past, so I am hopeful they will take care of this right away. I am none too sure though that UPS will deliver another one in any better shape than this one. I know it can easily be lifted by someone in so-so shape, heck I lifted it today to take pictures, and my son carried it into the garage yesterday from the front stoop - never once dropping it, never once dragging it, never once damaging it. To think, the UPS delivery people get paid a darned good salary to leave things in such condition, they ought to be ashamed of themselves!
All the best,
Glenn B


Anonymous said...

Do you see any packing material in that box or an over 70 pound label on the outside of the box? Maybe someone should notify your people about the proper way to package their products and to always use the free supply of over 70 labels so the item does not travel through the belt line system at UPS. Which is not rated for packages "over 70 lbs."
Your ladder traveled miles of belt lines, slides, metal diverters, shoots, platforms, rolling skids, carrousels, box lines, flippers and a host of other movement devices before you received it..along side 15,000,000 other packages in one day.
So before you blame the messinger, please do some research. Give a call and tell them to spend a few bucks on proper packing material for this type of shipment and to affix the proper labels on their products so this item can be handled properly by our dedicated employees in BROWN.

Glenn Bartley said...


The voice of reason seems to have answered me, however let's take a look at facts and see just how reasonable you are being.

The shipping carton I received via UPS had a shipping label on it with a tracking number and bar code. This package is checked by bar code as it travels through the UPS system, I know because I am versed on how the system works because of prior problems with it (and can you imagine I also once worked for UPS). The bar code contains all the pertinent information about the package - INCLUDING ITS WEIGHT. The weight is listed with the tracking info.

Now, even regardless of whether or not they knew how much it weighed, they apparently left a damaged carton on my front door steps. They left it there while my wife was at home. They did not knock on the door, or ring the bell. They evidently made no attempt to see if anyone was home - my wife would have at least heard our 3 dogs go ballistic with a ring or knock. So why would they just leave it and then depart - maybe because the carton would not iklely have been accpeted by anyone with half a brain - that is likely why! MY BET IS, THEY JUST WANTED TO DELIVER IT WITHOUT THE PROBLEM OF IT NOT BEING ACCEPTED, AND MOST ANYONE WOULD HAVE NOT ACCEPTED A CARTON IN THIS CONDITION. It is obvious that the delivery person knew the box was in this shape, pretty hard to miss even for a blind person.

So the following is likely to have happened: First of all UPS was the apparent one to have caused the damage, and secondly UPS was the one who delivered it in poor shape while the damage was probablly fully apparent, and thirdly UPS was the one who did not bother to even make sure someone inspected and received it while someone was in fact at home at the time of delivery (package was not there when my wife got home from work - but was there when I got home - so my wife was home when it was delivered).

You can tell me all you want about how this package was handled properly buy those so called dedicated employees at UPS, but when you say it - it makes absolutely no sense to me!

All the best,
Glenn B

Glenn Bartley said...

Just in case you don't get it - let me say it here:

My problem is not that the carton got damaged, my problem is that UPS delivered it in damaged condition without having anyone examine it or even giving anyone a chance to examine it and to refuse delivery.

Geoffrey said...

I never accept packages in damaged condition. I won't even open them to check the contents unless it's first hauled back to distribution by them then checked in the office by me.

Scott said...

I'm not trying to assign or shift blame - just an FYI on the barcode. There is no weight information encoded in the UPS barcode. None. And you would probably be surprised at how shockingly manual UPS (and other package carriers') facilities are. Every package is handled by hand in every building in the country, with the exception of a small handful, including Louisville and Chicago. And while the barcode is scanned to let you know your package is in a building or is loaded on a truck, there's no way for an operator to see detailed info on each package.

From your photos, it looks like some very heavy metal was shipped in a flimsy cardboard box that probably got wet. Wet cardboard is pretty weak stuff, and it should surprise nobody that a metal bar punched through.

UPS reimburses most companies for damages, so maybe figured it wasn't cost effective to pay for sturdier packaging since UPS would pay them back in full.

As a side note, UPS does not reimburse companies known to have excess breakages. There's a lighting company that loses maybe 50% of its fluorescent bulbs, but that's OK with them for some reason. Cheaper than buying break-proof shipping material, I guess. They don't even want the damaged merchandise back. They all just rely on their customers blaming UPS for their failures.

Glenn Bartley said...

Well then there is definitely a weight associated with the tracking number. In other words, UPS had the weight recorded, they were aware of it.

Still that is not the problem. The probl;em is that the shipment was left on my front stoop in deplorable condition while my wife was at home. No knock, no ring of the doorbell, nothing. This is not the case with other deliveries we have received from UPS. I still put forth my theory that the deliveryman did not want us to deny acceptance of this shipment, and that is why it was left there in stealth mode. That is my problem, not the fact it was damaged.

By the way, the weight was 68.3 pounds. My initial post stands corrected on that. Sportsmanguide had a misprint in their catalogue, and the guy at customer service to whom I emailed, got back to me saying he douyble checked the weight, and it was 68.3 pounds. I don't know if it makes a difference or as to how it was damaged (and no water damage evident at all); but as I said the damage is not the point as much as is the wa7y it was left on my front steps.

All the best,
Glenn B