UPS is a massive shipping company that handles nearly 16 million packages a day, which means there’s plenty of room for errors.
Despite the fact that business is booming for UPS, there are plenty of people that swear it’s the worst delivery service on the market- so what has happened that makes UPS so bad, and are these stories true or just individual poor experiences? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
Why Is UPS So Bad In 2023?
1. UPS Is Understaffed While Also Facing Exponential Business Growth
In a conversation about why the world is different in 2023, it’s no surprise that the global health concerns of 2020-2021 tops the list once again.
This world event had a crippling affect on nearly every business, but affected shipping companies like UPS in particular.
This effect was two fold: demand for UPS services nearly doubled over night, while at the same time, UPS was hit with a devastating labor shortage.
Demand rose at an incredible rate as more and more people opted to do their shopping online while shelter in place orders were issued around the world, leading to a strain on UPS resources.
Because more and more people were isolating and staying home, many jobs offered work from home options for positions that were capable of being done remotely.
This led to some sharp inequities in the American job industry becoming clearer than ever.
More people in essential positions like warehouse, retail, and service industry positions, began to realize that they weren’t being compensated or treated fairly by their employers.
UPS, like many companies, relies on it’s warehouse workers and truckers.
So, as more people began to look for positions during the pandemic that allowed them to work from home, UPS took a massive hit.
The combination of these two factors plays heavily into the next two major concerns some have about UPS, so be sure to keep reading to learn more!
2. UPS Has Been Charging Higher Fees with Slower Delivery Times
UPS often alters its pricing to reflect a range of factors, such as inflation and fuel prices, and due to the pandemic, the company has raised its prices yet again.
A UPS spokesperson explains the 5.9% price increase as being necessary to contribute to the “ongoing expansion and capability enhancements [of UPS] as we strive to maintain the high service levels you expect.”
Critics, however, are quick to disagree.
“UPS’s recent announcement has verified what most of the marketplace has already concluded, that UPS is focused on driving profits and is far less focused on maintaining relationships with their customers,” says Matt Bohn, the senior consultant for Shipware.
These price hikes have also come at a time when UPS is struggling to keep up with demand.
Therefore, this results in slower delivery times, and some packages being delivered completely outside of the predetermined delivery window.
3. Recent UPS Management Changes Have Led to Productivity Issues
It’s easy as an outsider to view UPS as some strange, conglomerate “other” that is made up of machinery and automated helplines, rather than real people trying to do their jobs.
However, after spending some extensive time on forums for UPS employees, it’s much easier to see them as friends and neighbors.
One of the biggest issues discussed on these forums is the lack of communication, support, and incentive from those in management positions, especially warehouse supervisors.
Many employees discuss having extremely low morale, due to not being given enough billable time to get by.
They also report having to do unsafe tasks, and not being allowed to see help with certain activities.
Employees have also cited supervisors who give them conflicting tasks, or don’t seem to understand the purpose of certain tasks.
This leads to more overall issues and lower productivity.
At best, these issues seem like the result of one or two supervisors who simply don’t know what they’re doing.
At worst, it seems like an all-out attack on the essential workers who are just doing their best to get by.
Drivers have recently been given a GPS timer in their truck that’s intended to count the packages delivered, and speed them along the route for the sake of maintaining profits.
This has led to many drivers complaining that this has interfered with proper deliveries.
Other warehouse workers have talked about their hours being cut, despite the over-abundance of work to be done.
What’s worse, this is simply because supervisors want to bill the overtime for themselves.
Ultimately, it seems that there is management issues from within that affect how well a job is done at UPS.
Therefore, before you bite the head off of your local delivery driver, consider what they may be dealing with back at the warehouse.
4. UPS Packages Are Frequently Lost or Stolen
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as having a highly anticipated package disappear from your doorstep- or it never appearing there in the first place.
While stolen packages can be frustrating, unfortunately, there’s not much UPS can do as a company besides hiding packages, and leaving a missed delivery notification.
Lost and damaged packages, however, are UPS’ responsibility.
It’s important to keep in mind that UPS handles almost 16 million packages a day.
Therefore, while lost and damaged packages are disappointing to say the least, employees are only human and make mistakes just like everyone else.
All of that being said, however, some current and former employees have indicated that UPS may be more likely to lose or damage a package than some of its competitors.
UPS does not disclose statistics concerning package loss or damage rates, so these whispers are hard to confirm.
In 2021, an anonymous source reported to Alan Katz, an equities investor, that :
“UPS has managed to lose and not recover two ultra high-value packages in a span of three months and a few before that. Their record is dismal.”
The source went on to say, “Be aware when shipping high-value items… most [packages] will make it but don’t count on all making it.”
Once again, it’s hard to tell fact from fiction in this instance because of the lack of solid statistics, so the only thing you can do is use your best judgement!
5. The UPS Customer Service Department Could Use Some Work
Some UPS customers have reported that after having issues with UPS, they tried to reach out to customer service, and ran into a number of new and different issues.
The first issue many people run into is that it can be difficult to get a real person on the phone when you call the listed customer service line.
This is predominantly because, for the sake of streamlining the system, UPS has automated pieces of the company like the customer service line.
While this isn’t an issue when you’re calling to check up on your package, it can be extremely frustrating if you just need a straight answer from a real person.
Even more frustrating is when the automated line doesn’t understand what you’re asking, which occasionally happens no matter how advanced the technology is.
If you find yourself needing to call the UPS customer service line, and want to speak to a real person, just respond “operator” to any prompt the automated line asks.
Unfortunately, however, some of the reported issues surrounding the UPS customer service line don’t end at the automated system.
Some customers have brought up concerns regarding language barriers with operators, as well as a seeming general lack of knowledge regarding UPS operations and systems.
Many companies outsource jobs such as customer service to other countries.
Therefore, it’s important to point out that a requirement for these jobs is that they speak the language of the country they’re supporting.
So, while it may be difficult to understand each other, you should keep in mind that these employees often speak english as a second language, so be patient and polite.
If you’re hearing impaired or typically have difficulty understanding accents, you can ask (politely) to speak to a manager, and there will be someone who can help you.
As far as whether customer service agents have a good grasp of how UPS operates, it’s again important to understand that UPS often outsources for customer service positions.
This can absolutely lead to confusion and frustration, especially if new customer service hires aren’t trained well or up to date on any new systems or UPS procedures.
Most of the time, UPS customer service is just like any other line.
There can be long waits, and sometimes frustrating pit falls, but overall it seems no more frustrating than any other help line.
UPS has had its fair share of flubs when it comes to shipping and delivering packages. However, many of the current grievances against them seem to be little more than environmental effects and occupational hazards.
That being said, however, it seems UPS has some room for improvement when it comes to the way employees are treated by warehouse management and overall, as well as some concerning indications regarding its package loss statistics.