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UPS Premium Service

This article was written by in Consumer. 18 comments.


Delivery company — or logistics company, depending on how you look at it — UPS is taking a page from Amazon.com’s Prime service and offering better delivery options for customers willing to pay a fee.

When I didn’t work out of my home, I’d often come back after work to be greeted by the familiar yellow slip sticking to my front door. While occasionally, my package would be waiting with a neighbor, occasionally my signature was required. And less frequently, for particularly valuable deliveries, my signature was needed in person. I’ve made many trips to the UPS delivery warehouse 45 minutes from my house in order to pick up a delivery I couldn’t be home to receive during delivery hours. I had always had the option to redirect delivery to another location, however, after paying a fee. At one point this fee was $4, but I believe it has increased over the past few years.

UPS TruckOn October 3, UPS is launching the “My Choice” service. The basic service is free, and this provides a notification a day in advance of a scheduled delivery. The notification will include a four hour window during which the package will be delivered. The company is offering a convenient feature to pre-authorize a delivery needing a signature. This is an excellent feature for someone who receives UPS deliveries regularly.

If you want more than the basic service, pay a $40 annual fee to receive access to a delivery tracker. UPS does a good job of telling you when your delivery is on the truck on the way to the point of delivery, but this new service is like GPS for your package. Another service available narrows the window during which your package will be delivered. For another $5, you’ll receive a two-hour window rather than a four-hour window.

Are these features worth a $40 annual fee? If I weren’t working from home, I might take advantage of pre-authorization to ensure my packages are delivered without me needing to be present, but I’m not sure I’d pay a $40 annual fee for a tighter guaranteed delivery time.

zyphbear

Published or updated September 14, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar DonnaFreedman ♦90 (Newbie)

Since I work at home, too, it wouldn’t be worth it. I doubt my neighbors will think so, either, because I’m the one who winds up buzzing in UPS/Fed Ex and sometimes signing for and holding packages. The drivers remember that I used to be the manager and now they all know that I work at home.
People who shop online a lot and work a 9-to-5 might find it worthwhile.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

I’ll pass on the 40 dollar fee & stick with basic service.

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avatar Spokane Al

Other than the pre signature option I don’t understand why anyone would pay for this.

One can easily track the package progress via the UPS website, It ain’t brain surgery to know that when the UPS website shows that your package is out for delivery, it will arrive that day. Additionally if one receives packages via UPS regularly he/she knows the time of each day that the UPS driver hits his/her neighborhood – they follow a route and I find that window of time rarely varies.

And actually, for myself at least, very few UPS packages require signatures – most are left on my front door with the single ring of a doorbell to announce their delivery and by the time I reach the package the UPS guy is gone and onto his next delivery.

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avatar jim

The time of day that UPS comes to our house is not very regular. I don’t know why but it seems pretty random actually. Might be how they route deliveries here. Maybe somedays I get on the ‘regular route’ and other days my packages are on the ‘extra truck’ route to handle excess packages the regular trucks dont. Just a wild guess on my part.. *shrug*

I agree that most of my packages now do not require a signature. But some do. I think its dependent on if the company sending the package requires that or not. I best its more common with more expensive shipments. I remember some packages in the past definitely required signatures and it was a pain for me to coordinate that since I was gone at work all day.

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

This would be a service i would do without, even if i worked out of the home.

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avatar krantcents

UPS is trying to compete with FedEx by providing more services. Since I do not work from home, I have my packages delivered to my wife’s office. It is an easy solution for signatures etc.

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avatar jim

The free service with the 4 hour window and the pre-authorization would be nice in some situations. When I was single that would have been really nice since I’d be at work and nobody at home to sign for packages. I resorted to posting a note on my door telling UPS & Fedex to just leave packages on the doorstep. That worked. But having the ability to pick/choose which items you want to pre-authorize would be nice too. And having a 4 hour window is also better than vague “that day” timeframe. I guess the 2 hour window service might be usable for some people so they can better schedule their day around receiving a package.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

When I’m not home they just leave packages on my front steps. Never had a problem. Probably would not pay for this extra service.

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avatar csdx

Nah, an additional fee just to actually get your mail delivered, why bother paying that when the USPS is so much less hassle. My experience with UPS is that it’s nothing but a hassle, I’ve come home to multiple notices including a final delivery attempt notice in the same day, so I was forced to go to their center without even have a chance to respond. Honestly getting UPS packages just feels like paying more to get worse service than the post office.

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avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

What do you do when the USPS closes up shop. With how much they are losing each year they will have to either raise rates to similar to UPS and FedEx or they will cut services quite a bit.

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avatar IMPONT

Yup!I agree! as consumer we need to be more Responsible for the long term. I have seen several USPS offices closed down! So I have to drive much further away.
UPS and The UPS Store are not the same! I do not think most people know that! so what happened if Store like the UPS Store closing down because they get abused by consumer and giant company like UPS?I saw severals of them closed down. So be better and more responsible consumer!

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

I can’t see any reason to pay for a service like this. I can’t even think of a situation where it would benefit a small business owner or someone who works at home.

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avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

I think this is a great service! As time progresses, shopping via internet is easier and a cheaper option for many consumers. So, for those who purchase frequently online & work 9-5 Mon-Fri, this premium package seems ideal. Who wants to drive to a postal office after working all day or on your time off, to do something that should have been provided to you in the 1st place? I think it would pay itself off quickly and UPS has a great customer service marketing direction going for them.

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avatar Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

Stick with the basic service. Sorry, I will not give them extra $40 whether I work from home or not.

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avatar Whit

I signed up for this yesterday, since I have a big birthday present scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and I’ll be in an out on appointments all day. My work is based in my home, but I’m not always at home, so when deliveries are expected this service can be very valuable. The hitch? Their system doesn’t work yet. So I called and spent a half-hour on the phone with tech support, who verified that their system is broken. When I asked to be able to schedule the 2-hour-delivery window for the package tomorrow they transferred me to customer service, who was utterly rude and unhelpful. “You can only do it through our web site, and our web site isn’t working today.” “Can’t you just call your local center and schedule this for me, since I’ve paid for this service?” “No.” “Can you transfer me to someone with the authority to do that?” “No.” “Can you refund my $40?” “No.”

Their tech support center did say they’ve been getting calls like mine all day. Obviously UPS is selling a service that’s beyond their technical skill to provide; and hasn’t instructed their customer service to handle this manually until they can get their systems fully online. They’re going to lose a lot of customers with behavior like this.

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avatar Rita

Their service sucks. My recent experience with them was very frustrating. I wouldn’t use them again, and I certainly will not give them $40 extra to ensure their idiotic staff do their jobs properly.

My package was not delivered because the driver didn’t bother to knock at the door – he didn’t even leave a slip! The staff at their so called tracking centre are useless and rarely really know where a package is. They give out the wrong information (this happened to me 3 times in two days) and all they know how to say is “I’m very sorry for your inconvenience”.

I am planning to write a letter of complaint to someone high up – I don’t know if it will do any good but it will make me feel better.

I’m one of the customers they are losing because they are not the least bit customer service oriented.

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avatar Whit

Oh, I might make clear the big birthday present I’m expecting tomorrow is for my wife. Wouldn’t matter if it was for me. But she’s kind of funny about liking to get her birthday presents on her birthday.

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avatar Wendy

I’m convinced that UPS is providing purposely poor service in order to get people to sign up for this service. They have started claiming that a signature is required for every package I get, even when the sender has not specified that service. On a couple of occasions they have not knocked, just left a slip–I was at home all day. Other times they have put up a new “attempted delivery” slip right next to my signed slip from the previous day. Someone at UPS told me if I knew I was going to be out, I could pre-sign a blank note with my name and address on it, and directions to leave the package there. Tried that one–nope, I got a yellow slip. There’s no “consumer complaint” link on the site; you have to go into their comment form, and none of their categories are for complaints. And, of course, the first thing you see on the site now is the manipulative “Tired of This?” link with the picture of the yellow slip. They know exactly who they’re playing to.

My guess is that they’re telling the drivers (who, of course, don’t stand to benefit from paid memberships, so no incentive there) that they’re only to spend a maximum of ten seconds or so trying to deliver any package, which is what results in the poor service. From the speed I sometimes catch the drivers leaving a yellow slip on the door, I can tell they have them filled out ahead of time.

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