What Can Brown Do For You? Go Slow?
Okay, now, it isn’t very often that I do this sort of thing, but damn, I gotta let this one out because it’s driving me batty. It’s a little story of rims for my car, a really slower shipper, and some totally ridiculous non-service from the guys and gals that drive the big brown trucks for UPS – very slowly, I might add.
I ordered rims for my car from a place called Wheels and Caps – replica replacements for the Long Beach Rims on the VW GTI. The rims are pretty hard to find, and the originals from the dealer up here can run almost $600 canadian per wheel. They are are hard to find, harder to find straight ones, and used sets often trade on craiglist in the $1000 range with used tires on them. So when I found a set of 4 replicas for $541/US (shipping almost included), I was all over it. So I ordered the wheels from their North Carolina office by phone on March 19th. I got a confirmation number, but no UPS tracking numbers because the wheels are shipping from another warehouse, but they would have the tracking number soon.
Anyway, by the time they are finally shipped to me from Quincy IL, it’s the 11th day in the process. They ship it standard. Now, Quincy to Montreal isn’t really a long, long ride (other side of Chicago). What does UPS do? Well, first, the wheels go the wrong way and head to St Louis. Then the next day back into Illinois. Then they move down the highway (very slowly) to Syracuse NY. Now here is where the story gets weird. Standard service for UPS is a 4 day delivery. Shipped on Monday, I should get the wheels on Saturday (probabably more like the following Monday). But the distance and trip from the original to the destination is really about a 18 hour drive. Yet for UPS, the drive from the Chicago area to Syracuse, normally a 10 hour drive, takes them 31 hours from exit scan to the enter scan in the next warehouse.
So I call UPS to find out what is up. This is where I find out what brown is doing for me: Brown is slowing my boxes down to make sure that it takes 4 days, and it is costing them money to do it. Effectively, my boxes aren’t schedules to clear through customers until the 3rd, but on the 1st, they are ready to enter customs (not that far from Syracuse) – but they won’t send them to customers for another day and half, just to slow down the process. No matter how soon the boxes get to customs, they won’t accept them out until the 3rd, no matter what. The nice lady on the phone (a supervisor) explained to me that this is normal, standard service is 4 days and UPS will assume me it takes 4 days, even if they have to circle the block with the boxes for 2.5 days to prove it.
UPS, I have to say, you guys make me wonder. I order to justify your more expensive shipping options, you actually appear to hobble your standard service and specifically make what should be a two day delivery into a four day delivery. How is hecks name is this good service?
So I know what Brown did for me today – they made me wait.