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December 28, 2016

UPS upping it's game

I've written negative reviews of UPS in the past (UPS Review, UPS Sucks!) and I've been impressed by their incremental improvements that have culminated in a much improved service as of late. Pretty much all the areas of my major complaints have been improved.

If I'm not home to receive a delivery they now deliver it to a Mailboxes Etc/UPS Store several blocks down the street, usually immediately after the failed delivery or within 24 hours. Recently they've even started rerouting these drops to a business within walking distance from home. No more waiting for 3 attempts and another day, no more rushing across town on a weekday to make the horrible hours at the depot, these retail drop locations have much better hours.

The service from drivers has been good and I haven't noticed any damage to the packages that once was a common feature. I haven't been dinged with customs charges in years either, that could be because I don't use them to ship purchases, but I do recall even getting charged for things that were sent to me for free.

They also added the UPS My Choice system that you can use to get alerts, reroute packages and have some control and monitoring over delivery. So far I've registered and I get alerts whenever someone creates a shipment destined for my address, handy to know when a package is coming you don't know about.

Across the competitors I see a decline. Purolator used to be a favourite, they used to drop failed deliveries at a depot within walking distance the same day, usually ready for pickup on my way home from work. Now it's typically another 24 hours until it gets there and sometimes they drop it at the airport depot across town instead. Tracking has stopped being real time and the detail is lost, for example, the all important message that the package is available at the depot no longer indicates which depot it's at. I've also noticed lots of IT issues with the website.

Fedex too has slumped, they no longer leave failed delivery notices at apartment buildings and they don't leave a message on my answering machine that's attached to the doorbell/entry intercom. If I'm not expecting a package I have no way to find out about it until several days later when they call to tell me there is a package to pick up at the airport.

Canada Post was doing a top notch job to nearly match their more expensive competitors but has also fallen well back. Failed deliveries that used to arrive the same day at the post office across the street, now don't always make it there even for the next day. The hours at the local post office have been slashed several times as well. Tracking information is very slow and well out of date causing extra delays. The tracking systems also falsely sends a notification that a package is ready for pickup as soon as the delivery is missed, long before it's actually ready for pickup. It never does send the actual ready for pickup notice. Canada Post does have one handy feature, for products shipped from other countries, you can often enter the tracking number from the foreign post office into Canada Post and it will be able to track it, often only after it's reached Canada however.

I've just had a package go through Canada Post and they have upped their game and fixed some issues. If you're signed up for tracking updates, there is now an "Out For Delivery" email that goes out, a "Ready For Pickup" email that goes out at the right time and no false ready for pickup email. Instead of the previous false pickup message, a proper "Notice Card Left" tracking item appears. Tracking speed is also vastly improved and back to a reasonable and useful level.

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