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Thread: UPS Rant

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default UPS Rant

    Why do U.S. retailers have such a love for UPS? I know that UPS does a good job to and from points within Canada, and I’m sure that UPS works just fine between one ZIP code and another. Shipping from the U.S. to Canada is another story altogether.

    Whenever I wish to purchase something from the States, I always ask if the retailer is willing to ship via Air Mail (US Postal Service), explaining that a) UPS is a lot more expensive than it looks, and b) since I work shift work, I’m rarely available to accept packages at the door. I’m invariably told that they either won’t ship USPS, no matter what, or that they will ship USPS, but with no guarantee of delivery (if I agree to that condition, I might as well burn my money).

    So, that leaves me with one option: UPS.

    Well, the brown truck arrived today (one day late) with my flashlights, and as usual, I had to pay an outrageous amount of money to get them to hand over my package.

    What follows is a comparison between shipping via Air Mail, and UPS. Unless stated otherwise, all prices are in Canadian dollars ($CAD). $100 CAD is about $63 USD or £44.

    I ordered just under $500 (USD) worth of merchandise, which equates to $763.61 CAD. When bringing anything into the country (regardless of shipping method), one must pay retail taxes and a “processing fee”. Taxes are 15% of the merchandise value, so $114.54 in this case. The Post Office charges $5.00 to process the package. “Processing” involves looking at the value indicated on the outside of the box, converting it to Canadian funds and calculating the tax.

    USPS Air Mail -
    Shipping cost: $24.66
    Processing fee: $5.00
    TOTAL: $29.66
    4-7 day delivery time; held at the “Postal Outlet” 1 block away for me to pick up at my convenience.

    United Parcel Service - http://www.ups.com/canada/using/soft...oms_rates.html
    Shipping cost: $28.63
    Processing fee: $46.95
    Fee for collecting the above fee at my door: $4.00
    Fee for advancing the taxes on my behalf: $5.50
    Taxes on the processing fee, the fee fee and the other fee: $3.95
    TOTAL: $89.03
    One-week delivery time; deliveries attempted when I’m not available; package then held at the UPS depot, which is 39 km (24 miles) away, and has limited hours of operation.

    Too add insult to injury, I (as suggested by the UPS web site) attempted to save the “fee fee”, the “disbursement fee” and the subsequent taxes by phoning UPS 5 days prior to the delivery date and providing them my credit card number. They took my number, and said that yes, I would not have to pay the extraneous fees. However, when I phoned this morning to confirm that the fees had been billed to my credit card, I was told that “no credit card was on file”, and that a COD sticker had been attached to the package.

    There’s a $60 difference between UPS and USPS – and for what? Things actually take LONGER to arrive with UPS, and I have to re-arrange my day to be at home and awake when the truck shows up.

    This also means that I have to place very large orders (i.e. well into the hundreds of dollars) in order to make things remotely economical. In my above example, after all costs are factored in, my $90 USD C3 flashlight came out to $184 CAD, or just a little over double the “sticker price”. Purchasing one $40 USD item by itself would cost me $125 CAD – that’s over 3 times the sticker price!

    Very, very frustrating!

    <insert deep breath here>

    Well, I certainly feel better now that that’s off of my chest!

    U.S. retailers could capture a lot of business from Canada if they could just figure out a less-costly way of shipping. If I’m not mistaken, USPS Global Express Mail offers a delivery confirmation service, and is priced competitively with UPS.


    Avro

  2. #2

    Default Re: UPS Rant

    Some dislike US Mail since it seems they use a processing center somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. The package goes in and is never heard from again or is vanishes and then reappears a month later. And that was only mailing to and from a US address using 2-3 day delivery. I will admit Global Express seems to work pretty well.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* txwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    I very recently got 2 items shipped from NY to TX via 1st class mail. One item took 10 days, the other 15 days. One of these places shipped another package via priority mail. Not counting Sun, this one took 2 days to make the same trip. Go figure... [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] TX
    (I like it when I get something from TTS. I usually get it the next day. Wonder why that is????) [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* lightlover's Avatar
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    London, UK (Parallel Universe)
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    Shipping charges to the UK can be expensive too.
    I don't know why it is so difficult for USA companies to deal with Overseas orders. I was once quoted $50 extra on a $15 order. Others just refuse to accept "Foreign" orders.

    Avro, try using a dealer who only charges actual shipping, like Tim Flanagan, of Nor'east Knives,
    noreastknives@bigfoot.com

    lightlover [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Edit - I believe that TTS follows the same policy, and he has a good reputation too.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Mar 2001
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    from selling and buying stuff on ebay i've decided that UPS is much better for shipping lighter, smaller things...it's faster and cheaper...their processing probably isn't as good as UPS or fedex, but all companies sometimes lose packages now and again...

    i once sent a bicycle through the mail, checking prices UPS was alot cheaper for the same time-frame, so now i generally just use them for heavier/larger stuff...

    on the same note, i took my old atari xl that i had sold on ebay to UPS to send it off and they refused to send it saying that it wasn't packaged properly...they wanted me to spend an extra $30 or so dollars per package to have them add their form-made styrofoam packaging because the boxes said 'electronics' on the outside...probably more than that in the end because i'd have to buy bigger boxes too...ticked me off big time...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* sunspot's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    Avro. Doesn't Canada still have GST (Goods and Services Tax)? [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Unenlightened
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    Canada
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> Doesn't Canada still have GST (Goods and Services Tax)? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, we sure do. That was part of the $114 I referred to that's payable no matter what method I use to ship things. GST is 7%, and PST (Provincial Sales Tax) is 8% in my case.

    Even though I bought the stuff from the US, the government here charges me the 15% tax on that purchase. And, since UPS charges me a fee to bring the thing across the border, and that's considered a "service", I pay 7% on that too...

  8. #8
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Canada
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    72

    Default Re: UPS Rant

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Avro:
    Purchasing one $40 USD item by itself would cost me $125 CAD – that’s over 3 times the sticker price!

    Very, very frustrating!

    U.S. retailers could capture a lot of business from Canada if they could just figure out a less-costly way of shipping. If I’m not mistaken, USPS Global Express Mail offers a delivery confirmation service, and is priced competitively with UPS.

    Avro
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are absolutely right. UPS is the WRONG way to ship to Canada. I've had similar experiences and now always request USPS and explain why, if it is not clear that the company would normally ship that way. If they say UPS only - I will not order from them. The brokerage fee and other fees make it totally UNFEASIBLE to ship by UPS. Fortunately the light manufacturers whom I've ordered from, Eternalight & ARC, do ship by USPS, and I've been very happy with the fast good service by mail. There is no brokerage fee, as I understand that the postal service is exempt from that.

  9. #9
    *Retired* The_LED_Museum's Avatar
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    Default Re: UPS Rant

    I've also had more damaged & flattened packages come from UPS than with any other delivery method. I might start a betting pool for guessing how many pieces my new vacuum cleaner is going be in when it gets here. Shipped via the "Big Brown Truck", of course. [img]images/icons/blush.gif[/img]

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