Wednesday, September 23, 2015

UPS: Incompetent, destructive, arrogant and consumer-hostile. And puts workers at risk.

Broken generator housing. Some pieces missing that dropped out of the smashed up box .
United Parcel Service destroyed a generator I bought and won't come pick it up to return to Cabelas.

Three of four motor mounts broken, generator housing in pieces, damaged battery that broke loose from its mount and bounced around, damaging itself and other parts, hoses pulled loose.

 UPS destroyed it and should come get the pieces and ship it back.

The Cabelas rep I spoke with said that UPS does this relatively frequently with large items. But they issued an immediate request for UPS to come pick up the mess they had created.

But when then UPS guy showed up he said that UPS would not allow him to pick it up.

The UPS  guy was our regular  delivery driver. He's a helluva nice person. If the rest of the UPS customer disservice people  were half as nice and conscientious, this consumer-hostile situation would never have happened.

When I spoke with Mario -- the UPS rep I got to after voicemail hell -- he insisted that this was all my fault because I should have packed the generator and broken shards  in the original box which was also fatally damaged thanks to their negligence. That box is unsuitable for shipping anything.

Workplace Hazard? Union Issue?

In addition to being smashed, the box reeks of oil and gasoline which leaked from the unit when it spent considerable time upside down. See image toward bottom of why.

I would think that having those fumes in a van would pose an unacceptable workplace hazard for the driver. That is a worker hazard along with having a heavy item in a damaged box that is likely to come apart in shipping. That's a hazard for the driver and for every worker who has to handle that along the way.

FedEx Freight Instead

By contrast, six years ago, we built a 400-sqft Dream kitchen and all of the appliances were shipped via FedEx Freight...refrigerators, dishwashers, convection ovens, cook top etc. 

And with FedEx Freight:Not even a scratch. Lesson learned: UPS can probably handle simple packages like books, or a bag of bolts but anything major needs someone with the smarts, care, and experience to do the job right.

And that ain't UPS.

And Bad News For Cabelas


When Cabelas finally gets the generator remains back, I will take the refund offered because they use UPS and I will not risk this experience again.

I also canceled the purchase of a larger generator from Cabelas which I had recommended to a close relative.

From this point forward,  I will not buy any major product if it is shipped via UPS.

I have owned several companies and recognize that every company, no matter how good, makes mistakes along the way.

But a quality company steps up to the plate and makes things right.

UPS has proved it is not a quality company.

Cabelas needs to prove that it is a quality company by making sure that substantial items like generators are NOT handled by UPS, but by a competent, quality company like FedEx.

Full disclosure

I own Cabelas stock shares (NYSE: CAB) and believe their superior price performance is due not only to the quality of their goods, but also (and especially) to the quality of their superb customer service.

Because of this experience, I'm going to take a look at share performance of UPS versus FedEx.

A completely broken motor mount.
This motor mount was broken at one of the welds and has been twisted nearly off

Another view of the smashed generator housing.

Generator mount twisted out of its fitting.

This is the top of the generator unit showing oil, gasoline, and sand. The same mixture  has soaked into the shipping box. At some point (or multiple times) the generator had been upside-down. Manfacturers test units after assembly then drain oil and gas. But very small amounts remain. This unit has to have spent multiple times upside down for most of it to drip out. Fumes were not apparent when delivered because it was wrapped in plastic. But I had to move it out of the garage after a few minutes because the odor was so strong after removing it from the remains of the box.

Another view of generator damage.
Started battery ripped loos from its mounting and had been bouncing around inside box during shipping. It has gouges in the casing as do parts of the generator near it.

This is the actual generator. Looks ok until you get close up (previous photos)

These are the specs

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