United Parcel Service plays Scrooge in Denver
Apparently 8-10 inches of snow is enough to create havoc at United Parcel Service in Denver.
A Christmas Week snowstorm which delivered 8-10 inches of snow in Denver (more in some areas, less in others) on December 22 has delayed delivery of 50,000 packages until after Christmas. Packages which were scheduled for delivery on Thursday and Friday were instead re-routed to the UPS center in Commerce City. Customers who called UPS were told to go to the center to pick up their packages, as UPS would not attempt redelivery until Tuesday December 27.
I write from personal experience - I was one of the customers who was supposed to receive a package on Friday, only to have my delivery status updated to read, 'Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.' I called Friday night, and after 30 minutes on hold was told to go to the center to pick up my package on Saturday. When I arrived there at 10:30 Saturday morning, the line of customers (over 300 by some news reports) already snaked around the building and waits were reported at over 2 hours.
As the day went on, UPS's problems only grew. The lines got longer, and the wait was said to exceed 3 hours. Perhaps one problem is the crazy layout of the UPS facility on Commerce City, where the huge warehouse sits across the street from the customer service office. This creates a need for employees to run back and forth from the customer service office to the warehouse to look for packages. According to Denver's Channel 7 News, police were called to the scene mid-afternoon after employees were harassed by customers.
Calling UPS at their 800-PICK-UPS number didn't help. I was personally told that I, 'need to understand that there was an emergency situation in Denver which caused the delay.' When I asked the agent for an explanation of the emergency, I was told that they didn't have that information. Later I was told that it was 'a blizzard on Friday' - the snow actually tapered off early Thursday, and both FedEx and USPS were able to make deliveries to my house.
I really do feel sorry for the font-line UPS employees who bore the brunt of customer frustrations today, but I have no sympathy for the company which had no idea of how to deal with the situation. It tends to snow in Denver in December. Packages get delayed. A company like UPS, which undoubtedly receives a large percentage of their annual revenue from December deliveries, needs to be better prepared - and better able to communicate to their customers.
Related News Reports:
- Denver Post: Hundreds wait for backlogged packages at UPS center in Commerce City
- Channel 7 (ABC) News: Irate Customers Demand UPS Packages
- 9 News (NBC): UPS says 50,000 packages delayed by Denver weather