Today, I learned a valuable lesson. I will never ship anything via UPS again. I’m sharing my tale of woe here, because I don’t want others to get screwed the way I did.

Like many of you, I spend a lot of time at a computer, so I rely on websites to get accurate information. I’m not always able to call places, and I don’t have time to trek to stores unless I know that’s where I need to go. This is a concept that UPS has apparently failed to grasp, because as I found out today, their website is utterly useless.

So, I have a few boxes to ship home for Christmas. The heavy stuff is going USPS flat rate, but the knitted items are lightweight and bulky enough that I figured it wouldn’t be economical. Now, I have a choice of stopping by the UPS store near my house, or dragging my box to work and adding it to our FedEx pickup. Now, I didn’t feel like carrying a bulky box on public transit at rush hour, so I figured I’d go UPS. BIG MISTAKE!!!

First off, the website. I went looking for the last day to ship. Couldn’t find one. FedEx has a last day to ship calendar, so does the Postal Service, so clearly it isn’t that hard to do. But all UPS tells me in their holiday schedule is the days they won’t be delivering. Which is nice, but doesn’t actually help me get things there on time. This probably should have been my first clue to ship through someone else, but I didn’t.

Okay, so I move on to plan B, which is wasting a significant amount of my time inputting the esetimated weight of my package and the zip codes, and trying to figure out the last day I could ship. I put in today’s date (this was last week) and got an estimate that Ground would be delivered by Dec 24th, and 3 Day would arrive in, well, 3 days–so, Friday or Monday.  I also got an estimate that a 5 lb package would cost about $11 to ship ground, and about $24 to ship 3 day. Reasonable, right?

So off I trek this morning, me and my box, and get to the UPS store. This is where the fun begins. First, I am told that UPS ground will not arrive until the week after Christmas, there is NO chance of it getting there before and that they haven’t been able to get ground packages delivered by Christmas since December 6th. THEN I am quoted a price for my box, which ended up being 6 lbs instead of 5. It is more than TWICE what I was estimated online, and I am told that 3 Day shipments will not arrive until Monday or Tuesday. (For those of you counting, that’s 5 business days. I’m willing to give them wiggle room on Monday, since a lot does depend on the timing of delivery and pickup, but come on.)

Now, I was on their website last week, and there was absolutely no information to indicate that ground shipping was no longer an option. How hard would it be to update that information? Also, I know that weight will increase the cost, but 1 lb should NOT double the cost. If they’re using some sort of scale (1-5 lbs = $11, 6-10 =$25) maybe, but then why not make that information public? If that were the case, I’d have taken something out to make it 5 lbs or added a bunch more that I’m sending in a different box to get my money’s worth! Of course, this late in the game I had no choice but to cough up the cash and ship it, but the lack of customer service is ridiculous. From now on, I’m using FedEx or the postal service. It maybe a hassle and more expensive, but at least I know what I’m getting into.

Tarot Card of the Day: Two of Cups