In short, UPS doesn’t stand behind this product. UPS lends their name, and obviously their advertising dollars, to these independently-owned stores. But UPS does not support customers when they have an issue with a store. In fact, The UPS Store customer services does not even stand behind this product.
When you have an issue with a local UPS Store guess who your customer service is? That would be the store owner. If you have an issue with the owner, guess who your customer support is? No one. UPS Store Customer relations (at 1-800-789-4623) is a joke. They will only send your request back to the store owner.
UPS, The UPS Store, and Mail Boxes Etc (the company that created and controls the UPS Store franchise system) is not interested in ensuring customers of The UPS Store receive adequate service. In my case, they are standing on the sidelines as a local owner provides poor service and refuses to give me service for the money I paid. Here’s my predicament:
I recently purchased mailbox services from The UPS Store. I prepaid $250 for a little over a year’s worth of service. When I finished paying, the associate told me he did not have a key for my mail box and that I should return later to pick it up and that he would call me when it was ready. No apology.
A day goes by and no call. Three days later, still no call. So I decide to head over to the store to inquire about the key. The key still is not ready. There is no apology, no “sorry, sir”. Just a blank look like I did something wrong and again, my key wasn’t available.
I was told to come back later and they’d have my key. Haha. Fool me once…
I asked for the manager and told them that I wasn’t interested in the key anymore. I said that because of their lack of completing the transaction (i.e. giving me a key to the box I paid for), and poor service in the process, I wanted my $250 back. He refused and said that they would go make the key and have it ready within the hour. I said that they could forget it and that I wanted to see the owner.
The manager refused to let me talk to the owner. So, I dialed up The UPS Store customer support (number above) and they said that I would need to talk to the store owner to resolve it. I asked why they couldn’t help and they said that the stores are independently-owned and that they cannot help. They also said that I signed a non-refundable contract and so even though I was not issued a key, I could not get my money back.
Frustrated, I took to the Internet and found their customer support contact page. I found that individual store owners have email addresses and there are some other customer support and PR lines. Here’s my email to the owner (firstname.lastname@example.org), CCing customer support:
Since your manager won’t give me your name or phone, I am emailing you the store/owner (I assume):
This letter is to inform you that you have breached your service agreement.
I paid your business $250 on 6/18/12 to provide mailbox services. It has been several days and I have not received a key to my mailbox after numerous attempts at great cost to me.
This is a breach of our agreement.
In the real world, when you pay someone for service, it is provided. In this case it was not, and since you refuse to issue a refund, I will be disputing the charge with my credit card company immediately. Expect a notice from them.
I would have loved to have talked to you about it, but you refuse to do so for some reason.
Your manager was rude to me in all of my attempts to get the key. He never once apologized for the lack of service.
Here’s the response I received from The UPS Store customer support:
Thank you for taking the time and sharing your concerns with us. I would like to take this opportunity and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience it has caused you.
I spoke to Gabe, the store manager [not owner]. He said you set up the mailbox on 6/18 and wanted to cancel on the same date. He is under the impression that you don’t want the mailbox.
Anyway, he told me that the key is available for you to pick up at the store. We will address the rudeness issue with them as well.
Again, we are very sorry about what happened. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
MBE, A UPS Company
While I appreciate Esther’s nice response, she’s passing the buck and this isn’t a satisfactory response as I’ve made attempts to get the key. Am I being unreasonable for not wanting to continue to return to get my key after no calls and multiple attempts?
I then contacted Chase to dispute the transaction. After two months of research, Chase didn’t come through for me. They said essentially their hands were tied because of the signed contract and receipt, which shows that keys were paid for. Ironically they said that the store told them they had my key. So they are aware of the uncompleted transaction. I know I put them in a tough spot, but I expected them to take one for the team. I even threatened to leave Chase over the issue and they wouldn’t budge.
So that’s where I’m at today. If you are considering the services of The UPS Store, be aware that you are not dealing with UPS, nor can you rely on The UPS Customer Support. If something goes awry, you are only going to be dealing with the people behind the counter, at that store. Make sure you are comfortable with that. And if you do sign up for mailbox services, make sure you get a key before you leave.
What would you do in this situation?
Update: I’ve picked up some responses from The UPS Store customer support on Twitter. Here’s one:
@ptmoney We investigated this matter and conclude that The UPS Store did fulfill their contractual obligation to you.
— The UPS Store Cares (@TheUPSStoreCare) September 25, 2012
This shows how worthless The UPS Store customer support is. They can’t handle a simple customer complaint about obvious poor service.
They bow to the wishes of the independent owners and nothing ever gets resolved. How can they say it was fulfilled when I was never given a key after several attempts?
UPS and The UPS Store gets to wash their hands of the issue because they can say their “Support” is handling it. UPS, you need to own up to this farce of a customer support group and take responsibility for the mailbox product brand that you own and promote.