New UPS policy: divert packages to Access Point after first failed delivery

I’ve had a million problems with UPS over the last decade, principally involving the driver deciding not to deliver my packages, but until this past week I’d never had a driver unilaterally decide to route my package to a completely different location with no further attempts to redeliver. After immediately contacting the shipper to have them yell at UPS until they went back to delivering to the actual fucking delivery address (something which took a further five days in all - I just got the package today and it was supposed to be delivered last Thursday), I figured I was done. When I didn’t get my package again on Monday, I did a little more digging. Turns out that diverting failed deliveries to a nearby UPS Access Point is a new standing policy that as far as I can tell hasn’t been advertised or otherwise announced by UPS anywhere, so I figured I’d post a PSA in case people find this as unacceptable as I do.

Mind you, it’s just a PSA. When I called UPS, they told me there wasn’t anything they could do on their end to set a blanket exception to this policy, and there’s no way to stop it or even change the Access Point they use via the (spectacularly useless) UPS MyChoice program. I was told that I could have the shipper request a direct delivery to my address, but many shippers don’t have any easy way to apply special conditions to an order like that and of course it’s spectacularly ridiculous to have to make this sort of change with every single company or individual that might ever ship something to you instead of making the change with the company that’s the problem in the first place. I did contact Amazon, since they’re the folks that ship the majority of my packages and hopefully they’ve made that change and the driver actually pays attention (because it’s still and always up to the driver whether you actually get your package. No amount of absolving them of liability or begging them to leave it has any actual procedural effect). But as far as I can tell there’s very little you can do to protect yourself from this bullshit proactively other than, where possible, not fucking shipping things UPS (unfortunately I find I rarely have a choice of carrier). Just gotta yell at them every time they do it and accept 2+ extra days delay in receipt of your packages. Which is horseshit.

(Okay, so some of you will be like “just go pick it up”, and for some people that’s probably reasonable, but in my case I am ordering things online because they arrive at my doorstep and so I don’t have to bus around half the city or carry heavy things for long distances. Going and picking things up utterly fucking defeats the purpose of the endeavour in the first place.)

This makes me appreciate the deliverers in Japan even more. They are so friggen amazing. Get home and find that you missed a delivery? Just call the driver directly and they’re usually by within 20-30 minutes.

Here in Australia we have TNT, which is basically our version of UPS. The closest they come to delivering your package is to arrive at the gate, wait for 3 seconds, conclude that nobody is home, leave an illegible note on the gate and then get the hell out of there before someone spots them. Collecting the parcel can then only be done by driving down to the TNT depot which is secreted away in the middle of an enormous industrial park miles from anywhere, where every building looks identical and the signs with the road names on them have all mysteriously vanished. Once you finally find the office, some snotty teenager gives you attitude, takes 20 minutes to locate your parcel, and then makes you wait while they fill out some pointless form.

This sequence of events may have happened last week.

In the past they would leave the yellow notes a couple of times for packages that required a signature then leave one saying its at the nearest shipping center. Sometimes I would just call UPS myself and say to leave it there and I would get it myself as that was just easier than trying to be around when the driver showed up.

The single best thing about having bought my flat is having a concierge to receive parcels. No need to worry about being home, or worrying where missed parcels will end up. Especially since I no longer live a 10 minute walk from the local post office depot.

Dude. Crocodiles. Can you really blame the driver? ;)

On a related note, one of the mail carriers on our route refuses to leave packages or come to the door at all. He says he’s afraid of the dog. Well, years ago we had a large German Shepherd, who admittedly (while friendly) looked sort of like Satan’s guard dog. But now he still won’t come to door…and we have poodles. I mean, friggin’ poodles. Who the hell is afraid of goofy poodles that look like Louis XIV going to the ball? Seriously.

Servants do solve a number of life’s little inconveniences :)

When I was a kid, we’d climb the 6 ft wall at the back of the garden into an orchard. It was a great place to play hide and seek. Trouble is, there was a massive freakin’ black poodle that used to frequent the same place. This thing was Satan, and it would growl at us menacingly. Every time we saw that thing, we’d leg it back to the safety of the wall as quickly as we could. Always had a distrust of poodles ever since.

sharaleo, we have no external indications that there’s a 5 m crocodile through those gates, although maybe on the TNT map of dangerous properties ours is highlighted with a giant skull and crossbones? We do have a German shepherd sign that says nothing, but the drawing indicates that you’d lose your manhood if you steeped inside the gates. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that’s it. ;)

[yes, leaving the typo in there, because the idea of brewing tea inside our gates should strike fear into anyone’s heart]


I feel your pain, man. I live in a condo complex/neighborhood w/ a passcode entry box on the front door of each building, and about 12 units across 3 storeys within that. Mind you, the code for every building is the exact same, and there’s 8 total, so you know, like 100 families live here–the delivery dudes had a lot of practice to get it right! Nonetheless, UPS and Fedex for years viewed the entire complex as an unsolvable puzzle locked behind an impossible enigma.

When I first moved here, I ordered a lot from Amazon (didn’t know where any stores were, and this area sucks to navigate because local laws prohibit noticeable signs for businesses) and was home all the time because I was initially unemployed. The number of times I’d watch a UPS truck pull up, stop briefly (about as long as you do at a stop sign when you think there might be a cop somewhere around), then pull back and turn around to leave was ludicrous. Sometimes I’d just stand on my balcony and shout at them when they started to leave, asking if they had a package for 303 (my unit).

Eventually, one of the (FedEx, I think) drivers managed to learn the code to the buildings, but his backup guy on the route didn’t. So you’d get this awesome situation where one guy would get there, get into the building, barely tap your door, and then leave a “please sign this note to give us permission to leave your package here next time” slip on the door. You’d dutifully sign it and post it on your door. . . but the next day, the other guy would come, walk up to the exterior door and post the exact same slip, since he didn’t make it in far enough to check the interior doors.

And of course the UPS facility here is exactly as you described: some giant, bland building in the midst of a desolated shopping center not particularly close to any of the good parts of town, and moreover, a good 30 minute drive for me on a good day. The FedEx one wasn’t much better. So after 2-3 failed attempts, I was damned to drive across town to get my shit after all.

Over the years, I tried all sorts of stuff. I’d have shippers write the access code to the building on the box. I’d call ahead of time to assure them I was home. I’d preemptively leave post-it notes on both interior and exterior doors. I’d, like I said, just camp on my balcony, if I was home. I repeatedly escalated to local, and then regional management. Had FedEx’s DM’s personal email saved eventually.

In the end, one day, some drivers got shuffled around (as far as I know, our original guy still works for them) and someone new took our UPS route. Hasn’t been a single issue since then, and all my years of pounding my head against the wall did nothing at all to help. FedEx, of course, is still a shitshow, so I try to avoid using anyone who relies on them wherever possible.

God, I wish our building had a passcode entry. UPS MyChoice has a field for entering a passcode, as I believe the Fedex equivalent does, and I’m pretty sure that the main reason drivers refuse to leave packages here is that they can’t get into the building (this is why USPS is my preferred shipper, since they can). But no, there’s no passcode, no intercom, no doorbells. Originally I was mad at UPS because I thought they were able to get into the building and refusing to leave the package anyway, but it turns out the UPS guy was sticking the InfoNotice to the exterior door and helpful neighbors were the ones putting it on my apartment door. And the reason I got some packages is that literally the guy in the front facing apartment next to the door would see the UPS driver and come down to let them in. Most of the time. That guy no longer lives here so I’m not actually sure who’s doing that now but I am pretty sure that someone doing that’s still the only reason I get any of my packages from UPS or Fedex. There’s basically no chance of my packages being stolen (it’s not that sort of neighborhood and neighbors move that shit inside if they see it), so they could and should just leave it but there’s also no way to tell them to do that short of a failed delivery. So that makes it doubly insane for them to have decided they’re going to reroute them after one attempt. :P

Yeah. . . that does remind me of signing up for and being very let down by the UPS and FedEx MyWhatever services. Basically useless, same as everything else, but at least I got an email when my package was sentenced to imprisonment at the shipping center!

Yeah, they’re pretty awful. And what’s really shitty is they try to pretend that they offer the “tell your driver to deliver the fucking package” functionality that is the core component that’s missing from both companies, and neither service actually does that, at all.

Well, my poodles are kind of big, but uber goofy. I don’t think they know how to growl. But point taken. Somewhere there’s someone who was traumatized by a wiener dog, too, I’m sure.

Never trust wiener dogs, dayum! But seriously, I have met an ubercuddly poodle fairly recently, and a good friend has an awesome goldendoodle which seems to incorporate the best traits of both breeds. My wife seriously wants one.

Don’t let me stop everyone from discussing terrible courier services, though!

One of the nice things about living out in the sticks I guess is that delivery companies have no qualms with leaving packages at the door. The last time I had a signature-required delivery and I wasn’t there, FedEx even left a slip that allowed me to sign for the package there, and then the next day they took the slip and dropped the box off.

It is kind of ridiculous that in this age of up to the minute information on everything, people still have to sit at their front window waiting for a truck to come by during a multi-hour time frame. Does there not exist a service from any of these major companies that allows you to receive notifications when your package is nearing your house?

No. You can potentially, post shipment, pay to specify a particular multi hour delivery window, but none of them do notifications beyond “sometime today”. In my particular situation it wouldn’t help anyway, because I am at work during normal delivery hours and there’s no way to have the driver contact me even if I were home.

It’s strange that parcel delivery is a universally terrible experience, no matter which country.

I remember reading this in Viz a million years ago:

(nsfw language I guess)

Though none of my parcel delivery woes compares to the time when I was BEYOND FURIOUS at British Gas for failing to turn up to a boiler servicing 4 days in a row, each day telling me they’d be there between some ambiguous and massive window of like 8am to 5pm, and then not actually arriving, and so I’d have to ring up after the giant window, and each day be told “oh sorry, the driver had lots of emergency boiler repairs etc and didn’t actually bother to tell you this”. (Except for one day when the window ended at 1pm, so I rang up then, to be told the same thing, and that he’s be there by 4. GUESS WHAT?!!)

What made me especially angry was that on my street, at night, I could see two British Gas vans parked. TWO OF THEM. AT EITHER END OF THE STREET. THAT’S TWO SEPARATE PEOPLE WORKING FOR BRITISH GAS. And yet when the guy eventually arrived, he told me his last job was about 3 towns over. You’d think they’d schedule one of the other guys to do it, right?

Reading this thread makes me so happy to live in a house rather than an apartment/condo.

Our UPS guy (Steve) just drops shit on the front porch all the time. Stuff that I’m pretty sure is supposed to require a signature. TV? Check. Laptop? Check.

The weird thing is that I work from home, but he never rings the bell – just hauls it up to the door and leaves it. Or maybe the weird thing is that I’m on a first name basis with the UPS guy even though he doesn’t ring the bell because I often see him pull up and meet him halfway?

I finally got my UPS guy to start ringing the bell when he delivers. Im retired/disabled and do a lot of online purchases. That means I am home pretty much all day. The problem is, the guy kept leaving notices for my packages, claiming I wasnt home at the time of delivery. Knowing this was bullshit I waited for the guy to make my next delivery. Now the key here is I have video surveillance and can see my entire front porch from the cams. I watched his next delivery. He didnt even bring up the package. He just slapped a note on my door and took off. The next delivery, I confronted the guy and asked him why he wasnt leaving my packages in spite of my being home all the time. He replied that he rings the bell every time he delivers. I pointed out the video camera, and told him that I would be happy to review my videos with his boss. He wasnt very amused that I caught him in a lie. I explained to him that I wasnt trying to start a war with him, I just wanted my packages delivered properly and if he agreed to do that, I would drop the matter. He decided that it was in his best interests to comply and I have never had a problem with deliveries since. The funny thing is I also get several packages from Fed Ex and their delivery driver always brings up the package and rings the bell. So I guess a lot of these problems are totally on the driver and his willingness to do his job properly.