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I’ve been doing this ad lark for a long time.
One of the very first bits of advice I was ever given was from the genius Steve Henry who told me,
“Good advertising is the fastest way to destroy a bad brand”.
In essence, what he was saying was if you pimp your wares to the great unwashed and say things like, “you’re great” and “you can trust us”, you’d better deliver because otherwise you’re going to suffer.
So, a while back – maybe 8 weeks ago – Jill’s Dad in Canada wanted to send us some things.
On top of the usual ‘family stuff’, he had sent us a couple of products he wanted our viewpoint on.
These weren’t just any product, these were products that  he had invented and  could literally change the face of an entire category … so you can understand why – when you also take into account the madness of China – he opted to get them couriered over to us rather than trust the postal service.
Now in terms of delivery company, there’s basically the big 4: FEDEX, DHL, TNT and UPS.
While I have no idea what exactly influenced Jill’s Dad choice, I’m guessing the fact UPS were running a multi million dollar campaign explaining how they “loved logistics” had something to do with it.
OK …. so that ad should have given him a clue all might not be as it seems, however what has happened over the subsequent weeks will ensure he, me – and hopefully all of you who read this rubbish – will never use them again.
A few weeks back I got a phone call.
I answered and a woman immediately asks, “Do you speak Chinese?”
When I said no, she giggled and said wait a moment.
I waited some more.
I hung up.
This happened a few more times before I finally said, “Who are you and why do you keep calling me?”
Only then did they reveal it was UPS.
OK, so you’d think we were on the way to getting things moving – but oh no – because the next thing the person on the phone said was that I had to email them with a full list of what was in the package and whether it was for personal or professional use.
After I pointed out that  I didn’t know what was in the package and  I didn’t know who it was from [at that time, I was unaware Jill’s Dad had sent us anything] they asked me to email them anyway and they’d take it from there.
One week passed.
Two weeks passed.
A reply! Yippee!
Except it was a reply telling me the person wasn’t dealing with the issue anymore and I had to write to someone else.
An almost instant reply. Yippee!
“Can you send your Chinese Visa and passport info to us for customs clearance.”
I email it over within the hour.
One week passes.
I email them again.
Finally a reply and do you know what it said?
It said the parcel was not for me, it was for my wife so all my information was useless.
WHAT THE FUCK!???
I replied asking why they had called me in the first place and why they hadn’t mentioned this in any of the correspondence.
I go to UPS website to find a formal way to complain … and guess what, you can only do it via their ‘form’.
So I write to them and slag them off on Twitter.
Somehow someone from UPS see’s my tweet and tells me to write to them so they can help sort it out.
Finally, some positive action so I eagerly write to them explaining my situation.
Not a fucking dickybird.
After a few days I get an email from UPS China telling me I had to supply Jill’s “China ‘in and out’ stamps from her passport”.
After a strongly worded email asking WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING as well as WHAT THE HELL HAS MY WIFE’S CHINESE IN & OUT PASSPORT STAMPS GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING, I send the requested stuff.
By pure coincidence – and within minutes of sending the previous email – I get a response from UPS HQ, referring to the complaint email I wrote to them via their website.
“The reference number you gave us doesn’t exist, we cannot proceed without this”.
They seriously said that.
Despite it being THE EXACT FUCKING CODE THEIR CHINESE COUNTERPARTS HAD GIVEN ME [which we’d cross-referenced with Jill’s Dad] THE FUCKERS AT UPS HQ DENY IT  EXISTS AND  IS RIGHT.
What a load of fucking inept wankers.
I’m pissed off now.
Pissed off to the point of pettiness.
So for 3 days, every hour, on the hour, I email the same person at UPS China with the same email:
“Where is my package?
Why aren’t you helping?
This has now been 7 weeks.
You have all the information.
Give me my parcel”
I have to say, I grudgingly admire them because they just ignored me.
Didn’t bat an eyelid.
Then Jill decides to take matters into her own hands.
She rings them up.
What completely fucks UPS China is that my wife speaks Chinese so their “don’t understand” bullshit won’t work on her.
She gets passed from person to person – eventually being told that, “… because we had declined to pay the duty, they hadn’t delivered the parcel.”
Apart from that being a blatant, utter lie … the fact is they hadn’t even told us how much duty was to pay.
So she asked.
And do you know what it was?
FOURTEEN FUCKING RMB.
That’s one pound 40 pence.
FOR FUCKS SAKE.
So having told them we would happily pay the charges … having sent them passport information, Chinese visa information and having wasted copious amounts of time, effort and blood pressure, they said they’d get it to us.
That was 10 days ago and still nothing.
Some would say this is a perfect example of ‘China’s frustrations’, and while a part of that might be true, it goes much deeper than that.
UPS are making a huge boast that they love logistics.
They go on about having a global network dedicated to making things happen.
They talk about their ability to get things to people, anywhere in the World, exactly when they need it.
And it’s bollocks.
All fucking bollocks.
OK … OK … I know that mistakes can happen.
I know that sometimes things can just go from bad to worse.
But when that happens, it’s your chance to make amends … turn a negative experience into loyalty for life, as I wrote about ages ago with my Volkswagen experience.
But this isn’t a mistake … it’s a comedy of errors.
No one has taken any responsibility.
No one has tried to make things better.
In fact no has shown the slightest bit of care and consideration whatsoever.
UPS might say they ‘love’ logistics, but it appears they don’t ‘understand’ logistics.
They don’t care about their customers, their employees or – seemingly – their reputation.
They are a blight on the planet and a disgrace to business and I advice each and every one of you to never, ever, ever use them again.
Fuck you UPS, fuck you and your claims … I just hope your ad campaign proves to be hugely successful so you get lots of people calling on you to deliver their precious packages because then, they – and you – will find out Steve Henry’s view is true and you’ll end up receiving the harsh lesson you need to learn how to act like the global brand you pretend to be.
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