Never, ever have stuff shipped through UPS

My QuickPAD finally made its last trip to my door on Friday. Which meant I stood a chance of being able to pick it up yesterday.

UPS has this interesting set-up for picking up packages. Even though they bought Mailboxes Etc. and have all these retail storefronts they could be using, if you want to pick up a package, you have to go to the UPS shipping warehouse thing off of Homer Watson in Kitchener. That’s a bit of a drive. What’s more, their customer counter is only during morning and evening rush hours: 4:30-6:30 pm being when I’d be able to get in there.

I left work at about ten to six, then, and had to stop and get gas (It’s still at around $1.06/litre around here) because I doubted I’d be able to make it there and back otherwise.

I got there in amongst a swarm of brown vans belting out diesel exhaust. I patiently waited in line for my turn at the cashier’s desk.

Like I was saying, the UPS customer service desk is literally in a warehouse. A very loud, concrete and metal warehouse with trucks lined up along the delivery bays. You can see people running around scanning things, yelling at each other and literally throwing packages–packages very much like your own–into the back of vans. No care whatsoever is given to the customer experience here. You’re thrown into the middle of a factory floor. All because you had the audacity to work during the day, and didn’t feel like leaving a cheque with one of your neighbours.

My turn came up and I gave the woman my delivery notice. Instead of being handed my package, which had apparently had its last trip in the van on Friday, I was told that it was still sitting on a truck, and that they were paging the driver to ask when they’d be in.

So I got to wait an extra 15 minutes or so in the warehouse, inhaling the diesel fumes and watching boxes being thrown from one place to another.

After the allotted time has passed and I had served my time for being such a horrible package recipient, I was allowed the honour of paying the extortionate brokerage fees that UPS charges you for paying GST and PST on your behalf. Canada Post does the same thing, but they charge you a flat $5 for every package you receive (which really annoying for subscriptions, but that’s another rant entirely). UPS’ brokerage fee, on the other hand, comes out to roughly what you pay in taxes. In this case, I got to pay an extra $30 for their delectable services.

And thus I am reminded why I should always, always remember to make sure anything shipped to me is not shipped via UPS.

At least I got my new toys, finally. And they are lovely to behold.

2 thoughts on “Never, ever have stuff shipped through UPS

  1. tinkerer

    My Goodness! What a terrible ordeal! I do hope your dongle didn’t get broken during this experience…

    ;>

    You have to pay to RECEIVE your package? Weird. And awkward. No wonder the whole thing sucks for you. Around here, you pay any fees in full in advance–I don’t think there IS another option! So all you have to do if they leave you a notice is to sign the damned thing, stick it on your door for the next day, and they’ll cheerfully leave your package on your doorstep. Of course, you then take the risk of some punk walking away with it before you get home… Most folk I know simply ship stuff to their work place. But yeah, UPS can really thrash those boxes. I handle quite a bit of our incoming freight at work, and last week UPS delivered a box that had been completely ripped in half! Gah! FedEx isn’t much–if any–better, tho’.

  2. flying squirrel Post author

    None of this would be a problem if I was having something shipped within Canada. I wouldn’t owe anything and the UPS guy would leave it at my door. It’s when it crosses the border that the government takes its cut, and I guess having the excuse of the accounting strain of that is what gives courriers the excuse to extract their graft.

    The taxes are inevitable. It’s the graft that really gets to me.

    Normally when I get things shipped to the house, it goes to the post office up the street from work or the Purolator depot five minutes’ drive away. They know me when I come in now. Both of those options are easy enough for me to deal with and don’t involve troubling the receptionist at work with whatever gadgets or DVD’s I’ve bought this month.

    When I was ordering this thing, I’d just forgotten that UPS was a possibility. A horrible, dreadful possibility.

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