How Much Do I Hate UPS?

It was a running gag some years ago. I work from home and frequently get deliveries throughout the day. But whenever it was a UPS delivery, the driver would run out of his truck, stick a “receiver not at home” sticker on my door, then drive away…. never having knocked. This happened so often that I started to log its frequency on social media.

I can only fathom that they did this because they were behind schedule and wanted to download the responsibility for package pickup onto the customer. Who knows.

Well, last month I ordered an item from Hong Kong. They sent it via UPS. Sigh. I was genuinely out of own when the delivery came, and there was a note on my door saying that they could not deliver the package because I had to pay duty on the import.

Fine. But there was no instruction on how to do that. No tracking number, no reference number, nothing. If I had been expecting multiple deliveries, this would have been a nightmare to track down. But luckily, there was just the one package. So after combing through my emails, I found a reference number. And after entering that number into the UPS website, it showed the package status… but no indication that any duty was due, nor any obvious way to pay that duty.

So I phoned them. Well, as you know, calling any large corporation is its special kind of hell. Eventually, after much button pressing and being transferred from one person to another, I get to a guy who is happy to take my payment. I tell him my name and credit card… he confirms neither… and bills me for $62.01. Fine. Done.

Two days later, I get an email from the shipper informing me that duty has not been paid and that the item will be returned unless I rectify the situation. He also sends a UPS link. I click on it, and sure enough, there is my package listed, with an outstanding bill for $55.23 for unpaid import duty.

So I check my bank’s credit card records. Sure enough, on the day of my call, my card was charged $62.01. So I phone UPS again. After much button pushing and many transfers, a person in accounts offers to help me.

Me: “Why does the website say I have unpaid duty, when I paid 2 days ago?”
Them: “My system shows the duty is not paid. I’m happy to take your payment now.”
Me: “Someone in your office took my payment 2 days ago. Why does your system not show it?”
Them: “My system shows the duty is not paid. I’m happy to take your payment now.”
Me: “I paid over the phone 2 days ago. The bank shows payment of $62.01. Why does it now come up as paid?”
Them: “My system shows the duty is not paid. I’m happy to take your payment now.”
Me: “I want to speak to a manager.”
Them: “A manager is not available right now, sir. Please give me a moment.”
Them: “I see, sir. You were indeed charged $62.01 but the account was not updated.”
Me: “You will update it now?”
Them: “Yes.”
Me: “Also… why is the charge $55.23 online, but you charged me $62.01?”
Them: “Online payments are automatically discounted.”
Me: “Fucking hell. So I’m paying extra go through this shit with you?”
(I didn’t say that last part out loud. But I wish I had.)

My package still hasn’t arrived. If it doesn’t come this week, you’d better believe UPS corporate is going to hear about this.