This is definitely a little bit different from my usual blog posts, actually sort of the opposite of what I’m trying to do online, but this needs to be shared and I figure a blog would be the perfect place to post this story:
So, I’m pissed, I was robbed by UPS earlier and I’ve been ranting about it all day. I’ve decided to write it up as a blog post so I can move on and stop explaining it over and over again
I live in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, just across the river from Detroit, Michigan. I’ve been playing paintball for years and was having issues with my marker that I was unable to fix due to lack of parts, so I sent it in to be serviced and repaired. Everything went great on the paintball company’s end; they fixed my marker quickly with a mere $25 charge for parts and service, and $20 to have it shipped back to me. At the time I didn’t think to ask about which courier service they would be using for the return shipping, and paid for the order. Once I gave my credit card information, I figured all of my troubles were behind me. Turns out that was just the beginning.
Fast-forward to today, April 12th. I’m sitting at home after school around 2:30pm when I hear an unexpected knock at the front door. I answer the door to find a UPS delivery driver, holding a package marked with red tape and huge “COD” letters written all over it. He then asks for me, and says that I will have to pay him $101.70 to take my package. I stood there for a few moments, staring at him in bewilderment as I’m trying to comprehend this situation. I’ve already paid $20 to have the package shipped from California, and now they’re asking for another hundred dollars on top of that just so I can bring the package into my home. With my options being to either shell out the money and take the package, or have the package sent back, I begrudgingly paid the money and took my receipt.
$101.70 in Brokerage Charges from UPS for a $25 Repair
Apparently they marked the package as a brand new item with a value of approximately $300, leading to customs charges of $38.59, and additional brokerage fees that added up to the total of $101.70. As a student working part time making minimum wage, that is 10 hours of my time. Add the $20 that I already paid initially for the shipping and that’s 12 hours of my life and a week’s wages stolen from me by UPS.
A brokerage/customs charge from UPS of $101.70 for a $25 repair is absolute robbery. In total, UPS charged me over $120 to deliver this package from the repair centre in California to my home in Canada, and I was not informed of these brokerage fees until they were holding my package hostage in front of me on my porch, demanding my money.
Afterwards, I looked up contact information for UPS and was shuffled between two different contact numbers, when I was finally given an opportunity to get this sorted out: I would have to go back and contact the paintball company and have them Fax over the invoice(which I had) showing that I should have been charged for a $25 value instead of $300, and THEN I would have to pay UPS and additional $15 fee for them to re-process this and fix their mistake, which would possibly lead to me getting some money back. This is a ridiculous process and fee which creates work and trouble for all parties involved, and is surely just in place to discourage their unsatisfied customers from getting their money back.
Needless to say, I am completely disappointed in all of the dealings I have had with UPS.
Serve your customers right: do not ship UPS.
I realize that UPS is more of a business-to-business company than business-to-consumer, but they are the thread that delivers these other businesses’ products to their consumer, and are therefore ambassadors of these businesses. This company’s choice to use UPS to ship this package back to me ended up costing me $120, a lot of my time and a whole heap of stress as I’ve been making phone calls trying to get this straightened out. As a result, I will always refuse to deal with a company if they insist on shipping through UPS, as the amount of trouble they’ve caused me in one day has turned me off of dealing with them forever.
If you are a business that ships internationally between the United States and Canada, please do your customers a favour and cease all dealings with UPS.
In all of my years of buying and selling items online and internationally, I have never had an issue with additional charges from the United States Postal Service(USPS), but every single dealing that I have had with UPS has been a terrible headache which leaves my wallet feeling lighter and a bad taste in my mouth for dealing with any companies that ship products using UPS.
It seems that this has been going on for quite a while, as a quick Google search brings up many other blogs and websites on the topic of unfair charges from UPS. This one article from trueler.com actually gives detailed instructions on how to avoid paying brokerage fees when dealing with UPS, but it seems like a lot of hassle. The best bet to avoid these charges is to simply not deal with UPS.
There is also a page dedicated to bad dealings with UPS on RipoffReport.com
Edit: to top it all off, I was supposed to donate blood today, but this got me distracted enough to cancel my appointment as I didn’t feel up to giving blood while stressed out and lacking sleep. Good job, UPS!