Saturday, September 26, 2015

Winners and wankers: Cabelas will pick up the generator while UPS continues to sit on its fist

This chart shows that UPS is trading just barely above its 10-year high which it hit in 2006. Cabelas and Starbucks have blown the doors off UPS which is not only awful to its customers, but a real drag for stockholders.

The email exchanges, below, show the difference between a winner and a wanker.

UPS messed up and lacks the ethical backbone to remedy its mistakes. As a public company, its stock sucks which is an indication that their pathetic customer service is only one part of poor management.

Cabelas, on the other hand, prides itself for quality products and customer service that ranks with awesome companies like Nordstrom and Starbucks. And those stock prices reflect that emphasis.

More mush from the wankers


 And genuine action from the winner


Friday, September 25, 2015

UPS now dishonest. Lied about picking up generator if re-packed in original packaging. Says won't pick it up.


This is the generator.
Reboxed in original packaging as instructed by UPS and waiting for pickup.
Looks like Godot will arrive first. UPS now says they will not come get it because it is heavy. (No kidding! I'm still in physical therapy from my shoulder surgery and have been wrestling with it to get it repackaged.)


I received a phone call from UPS today at 2:52 p.m.

The caller said that, even though I followed their instructions and re-packaged the generator in its original packaging, they would not be coming to get it because it is heavy.

First they destroyed the generator.

Then they refused to step up to the plate and come get the pieces they had left on my doorstep.

Honorable people and worthwhile companies do their best to correct their mistakes. Clearly UPS does not fit there.

They did say that they would pick it up if I repackaged it in the original packaging. See the confirmation of their promises in the following links:
 It does suck to have to clean up after someone who fails to do what they should.

But I finally relented because I wanted this unpleasant episode over -- along with the hassles and loss of valuable work time. (Important because I work for myself and lose money when I have to deal with losers like UPS).

Promises made. Promises broken.

 




So I packaged the generator, carefully and have been waiting for UPS to finally do the minimum and get the box.

Now, they refuse to pick it up.

This is dishonest, dishonorable and something that every person and every business who considers using them should remember: you are not dealing with a quality company.



Thursday, September 24, 2015

UPS: finally concerned about worker safety, may not pick up mangled generator after all

When the box first arrived, it was held together by a half dozen strong, half-inch-wide straps that went all around the box on every axis. I do not have access to something like that.
This is a good generator and I may end up driving to the Cabelas in Reno to get one.


I finally decided that the nuisance value of the generator that UPS mutilated was worth just getting rid of.


So, I used two rolls of heavy-duty packing tape, pieced the ORIGINAL box together as instructed by UPS then called Steve (first referenced here) at the local UPS shipping center to have someone come get it.

I recommended that they send two people because -- due to UPS's own shipping errors -- the original packaging was in bad shape.

Not only that, but the generator is a large and unwieldy 139 pounds and would be more safely handled by two people.

I take worker safety seriously even if they are not on my payroll.

So, after I have complied with everything that UPS has demanded for a pickup, (referenced in most posts on this site) Steve told me on the phone at 9:16 a.m. this morning that someone would come out and take a look, but no guarantees that they will take it away.

Yeah, I finally got pissed off and hung up. Sorry Steve. You are on the receiving end of a really pathetic corporate culture.




No integrated internal UPS information system a bad sign for shareholders

This call (transcript below) came in early this morning. It shows that UPS is still not communicating complete set of facts to all involved. A sign of bad management.

Significantly, Steve was not aware that a pick-up tag had already been created on Sept. 22 when UPS originally came to pick up the generator ... and informed me that it must be in the original box.

That was described here in this first post of this web site: UPS: Incompetent, destructive, arrogant and consumer-hostile. And puts workers at risk.

No one is doing their homework and there is no communication among any of the parts.

This absence of an integrated internal corporate information system is a bad sign if you are a UPS shareholder.

Indicative of a shaky corporate culture 

 

And still indicative of a shabby corporate culture that cares so little about customers that they will not depart from an overly rigid book of bureaucratic regulations to rectify their own mistakes.

The failure to accept responsibility for mistakes and make things right is a sign of a company headed for trouble. Especially when competitors like Federal Express are ready to step up and take market share.

Update 7:19 a.m. Sep 24


Spoke with Steve. Another very nice employee stuck with a rigid corporate script.

Explained to him -- as with every other UPS employee I have communicated with -- that they made a mess and they need to clean it up.

Period.



Disorganized UPS: Cause for employee, investor & shareholder concerns?

NOTE: I have seen the sort of pattern described below before in my previous work as a reporter and columnist for Dow-Jones, TheStreet.Com, WallStreetJournal.Com, and Marketwatch. 

UPDATE: This -- Latest disorganized UPS effort indicative of a shaky corporate culture -- should be added to the communication missteps described below 


It is clear from the pattern of communication from the UPS social media and customer service teams that the system suffers from a severe lack of communication and the inability to capture and assimilate information. Just look at these tweets over the past 24 hours.

Also note the broad time span among the messages UPS sent. 


No indication that anyone talked to anyone else.

Also indicative that they have no organized system for coordinating customer service response.



When corporate personnel continue to ask the same question over and over and over, it is clear that either they are just going through the motions. Or they do not care. Or communication and coordination are so bad that they don't know. All of the above? Impossible to tell.



Inadequate information system reflecting broader corporate flaws?

There is also no indication that the social media team has any access to other parts of UPS corporate information.

This earlier post -- United Parcel (Dis)Service continues totally clueless behavior -- indicates that inadequacy clearly.

And it is also obvious that none of them knew about the trouble ticket I opened by phone during my 16-minute conversation, starting at 6:13 p.m., Sept. 22, with a UPS supervisor named "Mario."

Perhaps worse is the possibility that UPS corporate rewards these folks NOT for solving a problem, but for simply following a flawed and rigid corporate script.


Cause for shareholder and investor concerns


And, worst of all, that sort of meaningless, rigid, bureaucratic busywork could be a reflection of an overall corporate culture that may be too inflexible up and down the line to handle any sort of disruption in the overall market.

Employee whistleblowers say safety concerns ignored


That certainly seems to be the case with the mishandling of large objects. I've now heard from whistleblowers at the shipping employee level who say UPS corporate has ignored employee efforts to have the company provide adequate equipment to prevent injuries to employees and damage to shipments.

More on that as more credible and verifiable information becomes available.

United Parcel (Dis)Service continues totally clueless behavior

And so it continues.

UPS really doesn't GET it.

If anyone at UPS had done their homework (like actually READ the original post here they would have found that the entire issue involves the UPS destruction of the BOX which would need to be pieced together, but even then can’t be safely used for shipping.


DOH!



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

UPS: Corporate busy work instead of results

This is a joke. Nobody's been listening so far. All this says is: "who cares?"

If this is their idea of corporate excellence then that should be a warning sign for shareholders.

Class Act: Cabelas wants to help even though they are not at fault.

I received this email from a customer service rep at Cabelas:

MR PERDUE

I understand you want to return you REMOTE START GENERATOR: 4750W.


That the box is so damaged that UPS will not pick it up.


I have tried to see if we had extra boxes to send you one. We do not.


I hate to ask for you to have to find one and if you do we would be happy


To reimburse  you for the cost  and a gift certificate for your trouble.


Then I can issue a call tag to have UPS come pick it up.  If you will let me know when
It is ready for pick up.

Please let me know if this is possible

Thank you for shopping Cabelas Inc.


And my reply:

I do appreciate your offer, but I am content to let UPS hang itself on this one. They continue to do a fine job of that.

UPS customer service: jerk the customer around some more.

UPS responded to their destruction of the Cabela's generator, still refuses to pick up the mess they have created.

Their perverted idea of customer service is to create more work for someone else.

UPS continues to show us that it is too arrogant to be a good business partner for a quality company like Cabelas and it totally doesn't give a shit when it screws up.

The dream kitchen that FedEx Freight helped build (That UPS would have destroyed)


This is the dream kitchen we built. (Click here to see why this would have been hell to do if things had been delivered by UPS)

 I mean we BUILT (all but the frame)  ... the whole family laid the floors, built the cabinets and book shelves, window and door trim ...  installed everything but the dishwashers.

FedEx Freight delivered most everything you see:  the dishwashers, cook top, ovens, refrigerator, the vent hood, sinks, faucets, parts for the cabinets, microwave oven.

And they did it without a ding, scrape or scratch.

As appropriate for large items (and worker safety), FedEx Freight's trucks had tailgate lifts and appropriate material handling dollies and hand carts.

Just a reminder if you want it in one piece, go FedEx Freight and not UPS (UPS: Incompetent, destructive, arrogant and consumer-hostile. And puts workers at risk.)

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