So I have a phone for review, and they requested that I use UPS to send it back, and sent me the return address, along with their account number, so that I don’t have any out of pocket expenses. I take this phone – in my own packaging – up to the UPS STORE, to ship it back. Keep in mind this isn’t one of those Pak-N-Mail shops, no no, this is a corporate UPS Store. I have all the shipping information saved as an email, and I wasn’t able to print out the label at home, since I’m billing the recipient.
I walk in, and tell them I need to ship this package, and that I have an account I need to bill it to – just need a label to fill out. They don’t have labels. What? Yes, some genius at corporate HQ decided they don’t need to keep blank labels in the stores anymore. So, then, what are my options, since I can’t print it out online? Wait for it –
I can drive to ‘the hub’, a further distance away, and fill out a label there, or I can PAY THE STORE TO PRINT THE LABEL. I kid you not, that’s seriously an option. Amazing. Keep in mind that I can, currently, walk into a Fedex store with nothing but the phone (no packaging) and an email with billing information, and walk out 5 minutes later. Shipping materials, with the exception of packing peanuts and such, is readily available, and is included in the price. There is also a nice fat stack of labels there, just waiting for my pen. It’s unreal.
Contrastly, UPS requires me to provide my own packaging (or else buy it from them) AND apparently pay them for the privileges of their printer. Un-freakin-believable.
If I was the agency that sent me the phone, I would also be disgusted at UPS’ new policies. Whereas this agency has kindly offered to pay for the shipment – both directions – to make it as easy as possible for me to check out their product, UPS has now positioned itself squarely in the middle of that relationship by making it exceedingly difficult for me to return the product. Now I’m annoyed at both UPS and the agency, which I’m sure is *not* what the agency intended.
If you are a company, and you ship things frequently, keep this in mind. UPS makes it exceedingly difficult to return the product, whereas Fedex makes it insanely easy. Technology should exist to enrich and enable your real life, not nickel-and-dime you for packaging and a freakin shipping label. I know that I refuse to use UPS for any of my personal shipments, period. Any retailer who insists on using UPS will not have any business from me, either. At least UPS chose the right color for their branding.