Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I would rather move into the DMV then ever work with UPS, ever again...UPDATED!

**Exciting new update at the bottom!**

***Exciting newER update after that!!***

Today, my coworkers got to hear me yell for the first time in the 11 years I've worked here.

And you know me.  I don't yell.

Fortunately, I didn't yell AT anyone.  Just about people. 

Thanks to UPS and the most insane lapse of customer service I have ever experienced (and I've been a part of some doozys--remember the Samsonite debacle of '011?). I'm pretty sure our convention exhibit booth is going to be EFFED.

Let me give you the highlights...or the full details.  I'm not sure how much more angry typing all of this will make me, so we'll play it by ear.

Two weeks ago: I, from my home in San Diego, order six chairs for our exhibit booth for an upcoming event in Louisville, KY, where we'll be the second week of July.  Thanks to the ol' Southern hospitality of some of our colleagues there, we had them shipped to their office, to hold for us until we arrive in July.

I ordered from Sears/Kmart (did anyone else have no idea that they was the same company?!)

I had no option on how to ship, and wasn't asked if a signature was required for delivery.

One week ago:  Got word that the chairs have shipped.  Woo!

Yesterday: Got word that there was a shipping delay--two attempts had been made by UPS, but no one was there to sign for the package.

That's strange, because I don't need anyone to sign for the package, and because no one is at the office to do so.  So I live chatted UPS.

To their credit--UPS has a live chat feature.  I LOVE live chat features, because I can solve my problems while still doing my actual job, taking calls and answering emails.

To their un-credit, apparently, somehow, no one at UPS has the capability to ensure that packages are delivered.

Seems crazy, right?  Since UPS EXISTS TO DELIVER PACKAGES?  I know.  I am also in shock.

Anyway, back to yesterday:  I live chatted UPS, in order to figure out how to waive the signature requirement.  As I didn't realize that this was the beginning of my living nightmare, I didn't save the conversation,  but let me summarize:

Me: I need to waive the signature requirement for XX tracking number
Them: Cool, in order to do that, you have to be delivering to a residence.  Are you?
Me: Kind of--it's a church office in a residential space.
Them: We can only waive for residential delivery.
Me: Ok...then it's a residence.
Them: Great.  Give me XX information about yourself, and I'll set up your account that will allow you to waive the signature.
Me: Awesome.  Here's that personal info.
Him: Hold please, I'm on it.  Oh wait, looks like you're delivering to a business.  You can't waive the signature.
Me: Oh...........ok.  So how do I get this delivered since no one will be there to sign for it?
Him: You can't.  We'll try to deliver it one more time, then it will be returned to the sender.
Me: But I'm the sender.
Him: No, Sears/Kmart is the sender.
Me: Ok....well...I'll see if I can get someone to sign for the package, I guess.

Aaaand scene.

Not a terrible experience, but not really helpful.  At this point, I was still of the "Ok, well this guy is doing everything he can for me, so I'll try to do my part."

This morning: I got a hold of someone who could sign for us (sweet, sweet Southerners) tomorrow, and she said she would wait all day if she had to. 


So I live chatted UPS again.

I saved this one.

Monica A.: Hi, this is Monica A.. I'll be happy to assist you.  May I please have your tracking number?
 Shannon: Hi Monica!  Sure.  XX
 Shannon: The person I chatted with yesterday said that after the third attempt to deliver, they'd return the purchase.  We were able to arrange for someone to be there to sign for it, but not until tomorrow.
  Monica A.: I understand.   Let me access that information for you.
  Monica A.: I understand.  The only option we have  is to hold your package for pick up at
Sun: Closed
Mon-Fri: 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Sat: 10:00AM - 1:00PM  

  Monica A.: Will you be able to pick it up?
  Shannon: I don't live in Louisville, and won't be there until July. 
  Shannon: The person I chatted with yesterday said a third attempt at delivery would still be made, and if we arranged for someone to sign for it, we'd be fine
  Monica A.: I see what you mean, however the third delivery attempt was made today already.
  Shannon: How can we arrange for another chance tomorrow?
  Monica A.: You will need to contact your shipper to see if they can request that another delivery attempt is made. 
  Shannon: The shipper told me I had to contact UPS.
  Monica A.: I see.  In that case unfortunately, another delivery attempt is not an option.
  Shannon: So even though the package is still in Louisville, at a shipping center where packages go out on delivery, this package is unable to be delivered?
  Monica A.: That is correct, we are not able to request for a 4th delivery attempt for this package. I am sorry.

I don't know if I believe that she was sorry.  Anyway, at this point, I was still in the "Argh...well at least she's trying to help...I guess now I'll have to get in touch with Sears/Kmart."

So I called Sears/Kmart, and their very kind rep put me on hold so he could call UPS to approve this fourth delivery attempt.

44 minutes later: My nice lil' Sears/Kmart rep came back on the line to tell me that according to UPS, a fourth delivery attempt wasn't an option.  He then proceeded to try to find a way to cancel this order and reorder our chairs, only to discover that there was no way to get them to Louisville in time for our event.

While this is happening: I live chatted UPS again.  Love you, live chat.  I communicated everything to my friend Tyrenah that was communicated to me to my Sears/Kmart rep in real time.

This is where shiz gets unreal.

Tyrenah J.: Hi, this is Tyrenah J.. I'll be happy to assist you.
  Shannon: Hey.  I've been chatting with a few people about a shipment that was attempted to deliver three times.  
  Tyrenah J.: HI Shannon, thanks for chatting with me.
  Shannon: I was told this morning that I had to have the shipper--Sears/Kmart--call to verify that a 4th delivery attempt tomorrow was ok
  Shannon: because we won't have someone available to sign until tomorrow
  Tyrenah J.: May I have the tracking number.
  Shannon: They called, and were told that a 4th attempt wasn't allowed.
  Shannon: XX
  Tyrenah J.: The shipper may request a future delivery.
  Shannon: I'm on the phone with the shipper currently
  Shannon: and he was just told that a future delivery wasn't an option
  Tyrenah J.: The shipper is able to request a future delivery, they would just have to pay $18 fee to do so.
  Shannon: Who should the shipper contact to get this information?
 Tyrenah J.: Sears/Kmart

***I should have known in this moment, when the UPS rep told me that the shipper needed to contact the shipper, that this conversation wasn't going to lead anywhere.

 Shannon: The shipper is Sears/Smart
  Shannon: who should they contact at UPS to get a future delivery?
  Tyrenah J.: 1.800.742.5877

***at this point, I have my Sears/Kmart rep with whom I'm on the phone call this number, and he puts me on hold while he reaches out.

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  Shannon: Great, Sears/Kmart will try calling again
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**this connection thing is REALLY annoying, and for sure not on my end.  Nothing else I have open at the time was interrupted at all.  And I had a lot going on besides this, because as it turns out, resolving a UPS shipping issue actually isn't the only thing I have going on at work today.

 Shannon: Can we leave this chat open in case he's given different information again? Tyrenah J.: You will have to have then contact us.
  Shannon: They're contacting you currently, via the number you just provided
  Tyrenah J.: Is there anything else I can help you with?
  Shannon: Yep, if we could just leave this conversation open, that would be great
  Tyrenah J.: Would you prefer to continue working through this in chat or would you like to continue with the telephone representative?

***Again, red flag here.  If the UPS rep thought I was the shipper, she should have been able to approve the 4th delivery attempt, right?!  But again, no idea why she thinks I'm the shipper, based on the last six minutes of our conversation, when I pretty clearly state that I'm not.

  Shannon: I'm not on the phone with the UPS rep, the shipper is
  Shannon: I'm on the phone with the shipper
  Shannon: Yesterday, I was told that we'd have one more chance to have someone available to sign for the delivery, we'd be fine.  We arranged that, and this morning, when I chatted to verify, I was told that it was too late, and the package was being held in Louisville for pick-up, where I won't be until early July.   
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  Shannon: So the rep I chatted with this morning said that in order to request a 4th attempt, when we will have someone there to sign tomorrow, I had to have Sears/Kmart, the shipper, call on my behalf.  After being on hold with them for 30 minutes, the shipper rep told me that he called UPS, and they denied his request for a 4th attempt
  Tyrenah J.: There is nothing further I am able to assist you with, if the shipper is assisting via phone.
  Tyrenah J.: I understand that these options do not meet your needs.  Unfortunately there aren't any available alternatives.  Do you have any other questions before we conclude our chat?  
  Shannon: I do. How can I get a 4th attempt of delivery made?
  Tyrenah J.: You will have to have the shipper contact us, which you are doing.
  Tyrenah J.: Is there anything else I can help you with?
 Shannon: Then why is the shipper being told that that isn't available?
  Tyrenah J.: I cannot account for what another agent is telling the shipper.
  Shannon: How can the agent contact you, then?
 Tyrenah J.: There is no what to do so.
  Tyrenah J.: Did you request to have the package picked up?
 Shannon: The person signing for the package just works at an office in KY--she's not able to pick up on our behalf, and we won't be there until early July.
  Tyrenah J.: You may request the shipper to have the package sent to another location. Shannon: Unfortunately, sending it to us, in San Diego, doesn't work either.
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  Tyrenah J.: I am not able to assist you, I would only be able to assist the shipper due to it charging there account.


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**As if our lack of communication when the chat service IS working wasn't enough.

  Shannon: How can the shipper reach you for that assistance?
  Tyrenah J.: They are not able to contact me directly.
  Tyrenah J.: I’m sorry, I don’t have any viable options to resolve this.  We have no other alternatives available.  Do you have any other questions before we conclude our chat?
  Shannon: Can the shipper chat with you?
  Shannon: He's been calling the number you provided, and hasn't gotten an answer.   Tyrenah J.: No, but they are able to contact chat for assistance.
  Shannon: I'm sorry to be so persistent, but if we don't receive the package in KY this week, it won't be there in time for our event
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  Tyrenah J.: There is nothing I can do to have this delivered.
  Shannon: and there is no option to reorder and receive it on time. 
  Tyrenah J.: You will have to have the shipper contact us.

***at this point, the Sears/Kmart rep came back on to tell me he had been on hold for almost 20 minutes, and would continue to hold, to see if he could get this resolved.

 Shannon: Is there another phone number he can contact, that will be answered?
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  Tyrenah J.: The shipper can press 0 or say  speak with an agent.
  Shannon: He has, and he's still on hold
  Tyrenah J.: Is there anything else I can help you with?
  Shannon:  Nothing "else" 

Anything else?!  Come on, Tyrenah.  You haven't helped with anything at all, ever.  In fact, because you seemed to think I was the shipper for half of the conversation, you've intentionally NOT helped me, because if I WERE the shipper, you could have (so you claim) approved the em-effing fourth delivery attempt.

I have to pause for a moment here--I cannot refuse to believe that UPS agents only have one phone number to give out.  I HAVE to believe that a giant US corporation has more than one phone number or option for people to refer to in times of crisis.  I get that she has a script to follow, but "Weird, I don't know why someone told him that, but I wouldn't have told him that.  Oh, also, he can't talk to me.  Good luck," CANNOT be the acceptable end to a shipping issue.  I have chatted/called at least seven times now, and I have never spoken to the same person.  I KNOW there has to be a way to arrange for a freaking UPS rep to call Sears/Kmart, who's genuinely trying to help, and clear this up.

Because, you guys...
to get my shiz.  It's not like I'm being lazy, and just don't want to pick it up.  I'm more than half a country away.  Come on.

Anyway, after clicking the "X" on my convo with Tyrenah with force (I wish there was a more fulfilling way to e-hang up on someone), I remained on hold with Sears/Kmart for another thirty minutes while my rep remained on hold with UPS.  At that point, I had to go to a meeting (again, for my actual job), so I hung up with Sears/Kmart, who assured me they would do everything they could.

Fast-forward through a meeting and my trip to get a salad at the grocery store for lunch:  Live chat UPS again, and I didn't save this one either, because it was REAL short.  Let me summarize:

Me: Just confirming that my shipper was able to arrange a fourth delivery attempt?
Them: Nope.

Fast-forward through me being so so so angry, taking a moment to calm down, calling UPS and saying "No, no, representative, speak to representative, none of those options, SPEAK TO REPRESENTATIVE" a bunch of times:  I got someone on the phone, and here's what went down (which I remember VERY well, because of the notes I took during this insanity).

Me: So since I'm not able to release a signature requirement, since I wasn't able to ok a fourth delivery attempt myself, and since my shipper ALSO wasn't able to ok a 4th delivery attempt, what can I do to get my shipment?
Nice girl: Oh no problem, looks like this package didn't require a signature at all.
Me: Then why wasn't it delivered on any of the first three attempts?
Her: Uh, what? Uh, well, oh man, it looks like on the third attempt, the receiver refused delivery.
Me: There's no one at the facility to where we're having this shipped, so that's definitely not true.
Her:  Yeah, that doesn't make sense, because the attempt was made at 11:30 a.m., and the refusal was logged at 1:30 p.m.
Me: .....................................................
Her: Well it's ok, because you requested to pick up the box at our shipping facility at XX address...
Me: Sorry to interrupt--I definitely did not request to pick up the box, because I live in San Diego, and won't be in Louisville for three weeks.
Her: .................................someone on requested this box be held at the facilities.
Me: Well, it wasn't me, because I would have absolutely no way to pick up the box.
Her: ............................
Me: I was just told by another representative that I can arrange for a fourth attempt by paying an $18 fee.  I'm happy to do that.  How can I do that?
Her: That request would have to come from the shipper.
Me: The shipper tried to arrange this, and was told that that wasn't an option for him.  Twice.
Her: .................................
Me: So I need my package to be delivered again tomorrow.  As you requested, I've made special arrangements to have someone there to sign for it.  Also as you requested, I had my shipper call to authorize this attempt.  I am happy to pay for this option.  How can I get my shipment??
Her: Let me grab a manager.

Oh thank god.  A manager HAS to be able to help, right?

Long story short (jk because I think this is already about 11 pages), the manager, who was also very kind, told me that the shipper had to call to authorize this fourth attempt.

When I told her that he had tried, twice, she said he needed to try again.

When I asked for her direct line so that I could direct Sears/Kmart to someone who would effing help, she let me know that anyone who called her would go to a voicemail box that she may check before the 6 p.m. cut off to make this request...if she had time.

I hung up, and called Sears/Kmart again.

After another long hold, Rain (real name?  Not confident, because when I asked to spell it, he hesitated and said "....R-a-i-n?") told me that there was a note on my account that the fourth attempt had already been scheduled for tomorrow.  When I told him that UPS didn't have record of it, he said he would call them again.

And that's where we are currently.

I have a package of six chairs that I never wanted to be signed for in the first place sitting in Louisville because no one could sign for them, a few miles from where it needs to be, and instead of allowing me to pay them to deliver it tomorrow, or following their own policy of having a shipper authorize an extra delivery attempt, UPS is sending the chairs back to Sears/Kmart in a time frame that will make it impossible for me to reorder them.

I already have issues with the USPS.  Looks like FedEx is my only option now, because I will never, ever, ever, ever risk another event being ruined because people just wouldn't be helpful.

And my company ships A LOT of stuff.

***UPDATE!  After this rant, I decided, as a last ditch effort, to Tweet UPS.*** 

"Why the hell didn't I start with Tweet help as a FIRST resort?!", I asked myself.
"Oh self...dear, dear self.  Because you know, in your heart, that UPS still isn't going to help you.  In fact, they're probably going to have you burn a bridge with a really nice lady who's doing you a BIG favor in Louisville already."

Anyway, I emailed this:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shannon
Date: Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 6:31 PM
Subject: help request, re: Twitter response to @shann_diego

Hey UPS. 
Thanks for being so quick to tweet me back. 
Here's my tracking number: XX
REALLY REALLY long story short:
  • I'm in San Diego, and ordered a package from Sears/Kmart to be shipped to Louisville, KY, where I'll be for a convention in three weeks.  The package is pretty crucial to our booth display.
  • Got notice yesterday that the first two attempts to deliver didn't work, because no one was there to sign.  We don't need anyone to sigh, so
  • live chatted UPS to release the signature requirements, and was told that I couldn't, because it was a business address.  No prob.  I'll find someone to go and sign.
  • Found someone to sign this AM--she'll be there all day tomorrow for us.  Chatted UPS to let them know, was told they had already tried to deliver a third time, and now would be returning to Sears/Kmart, unless Sears/Kmart contacted UPS to authorize a 4th attempt of delivery
  • Contacted Sears/Kmart, and their rep, while on hold with me, called UPS, and was told a 4th attempt wasn't an option.
  • Chatted UPS again while on the phone with Sears/Kmart, was told again that the shipper had to contact UPS, told her that the shipper was currently trying to do so and was being shut down, was basically told "I can't help what other agents say."
  • Had to hang up with Sears/Kmart (after an hour, because I'm at work), who assured me they'd take care of it.
  • Hour later, contacted UPS to make sure I was set, and I was not set.
  • Called UPS, was told on the phone that
    • my package didn't actually require a signature ever, which is weird, because if that were true, wouldn't it have been delivered the first time?
    • my package was refused the third time, which is not true, because no one was at the facility to sign or refuse
    • that it didn't make sense to them, because their third attempt was at 11:30, but the refusal wasn't logged until 1:30
    • that I requested the package be held at a facility in Louisville for personal pick up in the next five days.  I certainly did not, as I live in San Diego.
  • Was transferred to a manager, who told me that, indeed, Sears/Kmart has to ok the 4th attempt, despite my willingness to pay whatever fee I needed to to get the attempt
  • Asked for her direct line, to ensure that Sears/Kmart wouldn't be shut down for a third time, and she let me know that her line would likely go to voicemail.
  • Called Sears/Kmart again, who said that they'd try, again, to get UPS to try for a 4th attempt.  No word yet.
I have no way to pick this shipment up.  Sears/Kmart has no way to cancel/reorder this shipment to get to us in time for our event.  Is there really no way to have the package delivered tomorrow?  We'll pay whatever fee we need to...just get the box back on the truck.
Chat transcripts, more detail and (not very--let's be honest) witty commentary here
Thanks for your help!

...and received this amazing reply:

Response By Email ( Eddie C. ) ( 06/17/2015 10:58 PM ) U.S. Eastern Standard Time (US EST)
Hello Shannon,

Thank you for taking the time to email us concerning your package. I'm so very sorry you were not able to receive your package. I can definitely help you get this package delivered. The earliest day I can have this package delivered again would be 6/19/15. If you'd like I can make the request to have this package delivered then. Please provide your phone number if you would like me to start this process.


Eddie C.
UPS Social Media Team


My overwhelmed-with-relief reply:

Hey Eddie-'re a lifesaver. I should have just Tweeted you instead of trying to call all day.  Delivery on 6/19 would be totally fine.  I will reach out to my contact to make sure she will be there to sign.  What time should she expect the package?
Thank you again, times a million.

...and his:

Response By Email ( Eddie C. ) ( 06/17/2015 11:23 PM ) U.S. Eastern Standard Time (US EST)
Hello Shannon,

Thank you for your quick response! With the phone number you provided I have made the request to have this delivery made on Friday, 6/19/15. Unfortunately I do not have a specific delivery time. Since our drivers do deliver on preplanned routes they deliver when their route brings them into the specific area. Now I show he attempted the first three attempts at an average time of about 12:30 PM. This time estimate is not exact or guaranteed but more just an educated guess based on previous deliveries. Thanks again for your patience with this matter.


Eddie C.
UPS Social Media Team

A bit annoying...but whatever.  I took this info and called the sweet lady who agreed to wait for our package to let her know that at SOME point on Friday, UPS was a-comin!  She sweetly (of course) agreed to wait for them.
Fast forward to this morning, when I got notice, from our lovely Southern contact, that:
  • UPS didn't show up on Friday.  At all.  Ever.
  • UPS DID show up today (Monday) with ANOTHER package...not the one in question.
  • She asked what happened to the package that was supposed to be delivered on Friday, and 
    • he definitely did not have it on the truck
    • he definitely had not been scheduled to deliver it on Friday, and
    • he couldn't go get it, and bring it back to her.


Yuhguys.  We had to literally pay a stranger to pick up our UPS package. 

I'm not kidding.

In order to receive a package from one of the largest SHIPPING companies in the US, we had to find and pay someone to get in her car, drive to a warehouse, get out, walk in, sign for a package (that, for the record, did NOT have her name on it, which is an even more disturbing part of the story), load it up in what I'm assuming in her mini-van, and drive it to the office where our other boxes are waiting.

I'm not kidding.

Here's what happened.

My email, send on Monday:

Hey UPS Help-
No delivery attempt was made on Friday, and when the UPS driver stopped at the location today with another, unrelated shipment, he told the signer that the original package was never arranged to be delivered again, and was being held at will call.  We never requested to have the package held, and received confirmation (see below) that the package was going to be delivered on Friday.
We had someone specifically at our location waiting all day on Friday.
What on earth happened???
Response By Email ( McKenzy A. ) ( 06/22/2015 07:24 PM ) U.S. Eastern Standard Time (US EST)
Dear Shannon,

Thank you for emailing us. My name is McKenzy and I will be following up with you because Eddie is currently out of the office. I have contact our local team and they stated that the request for future delivery date was not put through for an unspecified reason. The package has been set aside and we're currently holding it.

I called the local team personally and Stephanie at the center stated that we would be able to arrange for the package to go out for delivery again. Is there a specific day that someone would be available to sign for it? Please let me know as soon as you can so we can get this taken care of.


McKenzy A.
UPS Social Media Team
Customer By CSS Email ( Shannon Hutchison ) ( 06/22/2015 05:17 PM ) U.S. Eastern Standard Time (US EST)
"...for an unspecified reason."  What.the.eff you guys.  Every time I think this customer service experience can't get any worse, it gets so much worse/
My response, on Monday, 6/22:
Hey McKenzy-
Thanks for your email.  Since I'm not in Louisville, and the person who we arranged to have sign for the package has had to take two days to sign for a package that didn't arrive, we'd like to waive the signature requirement entirely.  I won't be able to get a hold of our colleague in Louisville until tomorrow, and honestly, I don't feel comfortable in asking her to schedule a third day to sign for this box.
Please let me know how we can get the package delivered.
Her response, as of Monday, 6/29:
No response.
Again...I'm not kidding.

I sent this now, not because I'm hoping for a response, but because my sense of justice was so violated that I just needed to get it out there.

Hey again, anyone in UPS help,
Since I never received a reply to my email a week ago (see below), had no option to actually schedule our promised delivery, and weren't given enough time to return/reorder our package, we had no option but to hire a stranger in Louisville to physically pick up the package.
I'm not even going to ask how a stranger, whose name was no where on the package and who wasn't authorized to pick it up by myself or the shipper was given the package, because we're just so thankful that we'll be able to get it from her upon our arrival next week.

There's clearly nothing I need from UPS now that the package was picked up, but I wanted to be sure to let someone know that after more than two hours on the phone and chat with customer service, many tweets and emails, our ONLY option to get our package was to hire someone we've never met to pick up a package for us in person.
After receiving no help (seemingly intentionally, by the end of it) on the phone or chat, I was hopeful when I was promised a delivery via email support.  When the promised delivery was just not scheduled for "an unspecified reason," and I was reached out to again to schedule a delivery, my email to schedule it was just never responded to.
There was literally nothing positive about my experience with UPS, and I wasted several hours of my work week to get literally no where.  I'm not at all interested in what happened.  I just wanted to let someone know that my organization will no longer be using UPS at all, ever.
And thus ends my last encounter ever with UPS.  I won't shop at Hobby Lobby because they don't like women and are so self-righteous about it.  I won't stop for gas in Victorville because it's such a terrible, terrible town to my brother and parents.  I won't listen to "Back at One" because I made it to age 20 without ever hearing it all the way through, and I didn't want to break the streak.  I mean, I have no problem sticking to my guns on things that matter, and things that don't matter at all.  
And now, I won't ship anything UPS (ever, at all, ever), because of this experience.