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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013, 11:27 am

Boycott UPS

boycott-ups

The title says it all. UPS brags about express services, but do not be shocked if it takes a month to merely get a service approved for dispatch. This is not a rant about prices but about bad service, bad procedural practices, and negligence. More recently their Web site turned out to have been dysfunctional due to bad programming. My latest correspondence with USP really covered much of what had happened, so I will paste it below and remove some sensitive details.

UPS:

[...]

Once you finish filling in all the empty boxes press the send button.

If you need any help please let me know and I will contact you to help you.

Roy:

I am Rianne’s husband.

Your Web site’s form does not work, neither with Chrome nor Firefox. It just jumps to the top when I press submit; I tried many times. My wife did too. It’s not that we don’t know how to use the site, we both have a degree in Computer Science. Our experience with UPS has been a *TOTAL* nightmare so far. Rather than express service my wife and I have wasted about 20 hours just trying to make a *VERY* simple import of a few pieces of paper.

I shall be writing about my bad experiences with UPS on my Web sites and I strongly urge you to get this service done ASAP.

UPS:

The form keeps on jumping to the top because you inserted ” ” in the contact person box. As it explains in the website you have to fill in the form without any signs or space- only letters. Also, the + sign at the beginning of the phone number should be deleted and then the request will be sent for sure.

Roy:

Hi,

I have just wasted yet more of my time. Your form is broken (see screenshot). Adjusting the values did not have any positive effect on submitting. The buttons don’t do anything, and it seems to be a result of bad programming at UPS. Maybe it’s some bad program who develops for only one Web browser; I don’t know and I don’t care as it’s sheer incompetence that will lose you many customers and waste you support hours.

Look, I have nothing against you personally, but USP ([your branch] at least) has turned out to be nothing but trouble. If someone was willing to really help ([anonymised] has been the ONLY person who really tried), then the import would have been done a month ago.

I am not willing to spend any more time on this. 20 hours by two people, lots of money spend faxing material which you then claim not to have received (what kind of business can call itself a business if it’s badly organised at the very basics).

My wife and I don’t lack the money for this service; we don’t lack the motivation to get done what needs to be done. We did everything that’s needed, but UPS is a procedural failure at many levels and I shall be expressing this sentiment online.

Thanks for wasting our time trying to get crucial documents. If you are willing and eager to really help, then you would assign this to someone who can just take the data and take responsibility for having this done. Having my wife sad and upset every other day for a month is not a possibility for me; I’ve got work to do here and I will spend no more time on it.

UPS:

Dear Roy,

I am sorry you feel this way but without this form sent to us via the website we cannot do anything about your request due to legal restrictions. There are still a few problems with your form and that is why it is not being sent

1. in the “Dimensions” box- take off the “cm” you wrote next to the numbers
2. in the “weight” box take off the “gr” next to the number
3. delete the 5$ declared value in the two boxes were you put it in
4. mark the “supplier” button where it asks you who should issue the invoice
5. at the last section “requested by”- please write your local number ([anonymised]) and not the international one

Once all of these will be fixed the form will be sent.

You have to understand that we not insisting on this just to make it harder for you- we cannot proceed with the request without this form filled in the correct way and sending it to us via the website.

I do not know what happened with this shipment before you sent us the request but once form will be sent to me I assure you that I will handle it today.

Roy:

My wife had filled it out correctly when she did but the form did nothing when she hit submit.

When I later did this in various Web browsers to replicate her problem I put some units in, but that did not in any way mean that the form got processed. When I hit “send” the page always jumps to the top again and does nothing.

I have made the amendments you suggested below, pressed “Send” and the outcome was precisely the same. No action, no feedback, just the page jumping to the top.

My guess is, someone did not develop this web form correctly.

I take your “assur[ance] you that I will handle it today,” but we are not there yet. Can someone at USP please fill this out? The form certainly does not work, not even with the validation of the data put in the boxes, and we’ve tried several browsers.

And here’s the screenshot I forgot to attach (form still doesn’t work).

UPS:

Hi,

I filled in the form for you and it sent it to our inbox- we are not usually allowed to do this but I am not sure what went wrong when you filled it in and there was no point to continue emailing about it :)
I will handle it now and send you the email with all the pickup and label details.

Roy:

Thank you, [anonymised], you are a good person and a good member of staff. I can see your sincerity in your response.

My comments about USP are addressed at a systemic issue; there is never, for example, a reason why my wife should leave the house and go to a place with a facsimile machine (fax) to send the same documents three times on three separate days. This take a huge toll, not just mentally but also on her job (which she needs to leave in order to do this). Imagine having to take some time off work three days only to discover that the recipient of the fax simply lost the paper, or being told on the phone that “they would phone back” and they always never do.

Regarding the form, it seems to me like whoever coded it is not a good programmer. I don’t know if it’s some Internet Explorer-only (and thus Microsoft Windows-only) form because I cannot check. My wife’s Android device and my computers just don’t work with that form; I filled it up from scratch three separate times.

I am telling you all this because I hope such information can be passed on and service can be improved so that future (prospective) UPS customers do not have to go through the same weeks-long nightmare that we have to go through.

I hope that from here onwards the papers will be processed with minimal burden on us.

With kind regards,

Roy

It should be noted that the above is just one ordeal among many. This latest one only wasted a couple of hours, but far more hours had been spent prior to that.

Update (3 hours later, same day): When UPS got threatened by bad publicity it finally took immediate action and the parcel was collected within hours, not weeks. The conclusion? Your time and your business as a customer don’t matter until it’s a matter of business risk (i.e. money) to UPS. I’ve made the following picture.

ups

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