UPS Pain

A couple days ago I received a package from UPS. Well, actually I didn’t receive a package because I wasn’t home to sign for it. Unfortunately, UPS seems way less inclined to offer a pick up location the same way Federal Express does (or, “FedEx” for those of you younger folks). Whenever I get a FedEx package there’s a clear note that I can pick it up about ten minutes away in Union City, in a location right off a major thoroughfare, Alvarado Niles Road. You can pick up your packages after 6 pm, which is nice since that’s after work when, you know, you would actually be available to pick up said package.

But UPS is different. They don’t encourage pick up and don’t post the address of the pick up location. But, you can go onto the website to arrange for this, so that is what I did. Turns out the pickup location for UPS was in Sunnyvale, where I work. That turned out okay, though obviously I’d have to wait for the next day. Less helpful was that I knew the package was coming from Missouri, and was “Awards Rwsksekdis” (thanks for the awesome handwriting UPS driver). 

So, I headed off after work to find the UPS location in Sunnyvale. Now part of the problem was the lack of visibility due to the winter sunset time as well as the rain. Neither of which are UPS’ fault. Unlike FedEx, the UPS location in Sunnyvale is three turns away from a major road, Tasman. Strike one.

I had even done my homework, looking at the street view of the UPS location at “1245 Hammerwood Ave“. You can check it out yourself. Anything here look like a storefront where you can pick up a package? 1245 doesn’t even exist on the map, as it’s by the corner where the woman is standing in the street talking to someone in a car. But the pickup location is at the end of street where it looks like the UPS drivers go and the general public doesn’t.

I parked in the parking lot but was told I had to drive into the other area where all the UPS trucks were going. Of course, time was ticking because this location closes at 5:30 and it was… 5:28. I ran to my car, drove back onto the street and then was directed to where I needed to go. I ran out of my car and opened the customer service entrance right when a woman was coming out to lock the door. But I made it.

I was third in line, so I had plenty of time to wait around for my time. While doing so, I saw this display. Anything look strange here?


Official Package Delivery Company 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Really UPS? 1998 games?  I’m all for not throwing away perfectly usable envelope display holders. But com’ on! Time to move on!  What’s the value of the “tie-in” promotion if it the cross-promoted event is over ten years old?

Now remember, I walked into the office right at the dot of 5:30. So, when did I leave? 5:55.  Twenty five minutes.

Two people ahead of me to pick up packages ate up about ten minutes. When I got my turn the UPS person was friendly but had trouble locating my package. By chance he asked another UPS person about it, who notified him that the package was being held in a different location, pointing out the taped up note to this effect. I finally got my package, but still. Twenty five minutes.

By now it is a rainy Friday night at 6 pm, the height of rush hour. Which meant I didn’t get home until after 7:00!  All because UPS forces you to pick up your stuff in Sunnyvale instead of some place that is actually convenient to where you live.

And the “high value” package? It was some gift cards for a spot-award I got at work. Which is why they were “locked up” in that unusual location and why of course the driver didn’t want to leave on my doorstep. Which, overall, I guess was a good thing. But UPS could learn a thing or two from FedEx at least for this customer.

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