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.
On 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.
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.