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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

UPS breaks my guitar, can't figure out how to pick up the return package

The following is an email I sent to UPS tonight after complaining about their customer service via Twitter.

Hi, 
I was invited to send this via the UPSHelp twitter account.
Tracking number: XXXXXXXXXX to XXXXXXXXXX
Last week I received a damaged package from UPS (XXXXXXXXXX). The item is a guitar, and it arrived with a quarter-sized hole through the face of the guitar. The outer box had a gash in it that tore all the way through the inner box and into the guitar.  
Now, mistakes happen, so no big deal. After working it out with the shipper, I received the return document and then called UPS. Here is where my multiple problems lie.
  • I was told the package had to be inspected. As a result, I was specifically told I could not bring the package to the service center; that I had to wait for an inspector. I was told the inspector would document the damage, wrap the package and take it back. 
  • I was told that a UPS inspector would come after receiving the pickup order. They did not come yesterday. Okay, not a big deal, I called today and someone came promptly. The customer service person didn’t know the procedure off hand, but called me back in less than ten minutes to let me know someone would come by my house.
  • A regular delivery driver came and he acted stunned when I told him my expectation that the package needed to be inspected. He called his supervisor (Chuck), explained that the package was not ready for pickup, and then offered to let me talk to him. 
  • The first thing the supervisor asked was, “Is the package wrapped?” Now I’m kind of annoyed because the driver doesn’t know the procedure, the supervisor doesn’t seem to know the procedure, and now I’m feeling interrogated. Look, I’m not UPS, I am justifiably ignorant of the procedure, but I need help. Chuck told me the driver couldn’t wait around (which of course I understand), so I asked Chuck to send a delivery supervisor to pick up the package and he agreed to send someone. 
It’s now 90 minutes past the time I called today, and I don’t know what else is supposed to happen. 
Am I supposed to wrap the package? I have it half wrapped now: kind of hedging my bets I guess. Is someone going to come by? It’s getting late. Should I have had the package ready to go? Could I have taken the package to the customer service center after all? 
My biggest question is: why doesn’t UPS have better competency at handling this situation? It must happen dozens of times a day given the volume of packages UPS delivers. Why aren’t there procedures in place to ensure high customer service when UPS makes a mistake by damaging a package?  
What’s going on here?