UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

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jeffmazen
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#51 Post by jeffmazen » July 4th, 2018, 1:07 pm

Jay,

What was the wine you were trying to get your hands on? Maybe someone here has a bottle you can trade for.

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#52 Post by J a y H a c k » July 4th, 2018, 1:27 pm

jeffmazen wrote:Jay,

What was the wine you were trying to get your hands on? Maybe someone here has a bottle you can trade for.
1. Thanks, but I don't want to out the winery because it was not their fault and they have made an effort already.

2. I already have one or two but wanted some backup because she is having some friends from work over and we may need more, but in a pinch, I have plenty of other stuff.
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#53 Post by Chuck Miller » July 4th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Jay, fundamentally, you are asking FedX and UPS to do something that they simply aren’t designed to do. They were not established to ship perishable and semi-perishable items. Period. There are numerous companies that do this on a wholesale level for all kinds of products, from lettuce to ice cream. Those companies understand the special requirements of the products they ship, and use refrigerated trucks in their supply chain.

The problem is that those companies operate at a wholesale level (palletized goods, often an entire truckload), and deliver to distribution centers that also have temperature contolled distribution warehouses. In most cases, local deliveries are made in temperature controlled trucks. But a local food distributor doesn’t attempt to deliver to every street address in their market. Maybe Amazon Fresh is one of the few exceptions.

There are specialized temperature contolled shipping companies for wine. Some will even handle LTL (less than truckload) quantities, like the trucking companies used by companies like Domaine Transit, The Wine Movers, Wine By Air, Int’l, some auction houses, etc. At Seattle Wine Storage, we get multiple pallets in and out every week, year-round, including the summer. Pallets sometimes are 50 cases, some are as small as 4-10 cases.

But these companies aren’t designed to handle a 6 bottle shipment picked up at an out-of-state retailer and delivered to your door. Therefore, winos rely on FedX and UPS to do something they simply aren’t designed to do. And while they are amazing efficient and generally reliable, they make occasional mistakes. No big deal when you are shipping a non-perishable product, hence their “too bad, it will be there tomorrow” attitude when problems arise. I doubt most of their customer service people, and many of their drivers, have any idea about the issue of warm temperatures being bad for wine.
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#54 Post by Alan Eden » July 4th, 2018, 1:47 pm

Interesting point Chuck

Patel in Bangalore is not aware that Jay's Saxum is not happy in a van because its July in NY !!
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#55 Post by larry schaffer » July 4th, 2018, 2:35 pm

Chuck

That was the point I was trying to make a few posts up - but you did so more eloquently :-)

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#56 Post by Roy Piper » July 4th, 2018, 5:10 pm

One reason I am experiencing more issues with UPS is because now that Amazon makes up 10% of all their shipments, I suspect they are pulling out all the stops to make sure Amazon shipments arrive on time and if that means slowing everything else down, so be it. And then they blame it on "weather" or some other technicality and refuse to guarantee the shipment's on time arrival.

Almost all wineries will send via any way you want. I default to UPS but can ship FedEx and am considering making them the default. I already do to some states. All people need to do is ask and usually a winery will accommodate.
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#57 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 4th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Jay,

I have admired many of your posts over the years, but it is simply absurd to try to ship wine for any reason at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. I am sorry that your wine was baked, but in a way sorrier that you did not foresee, even expect this. Even if you didn't have an excellent cellar of your own, you obviously live in a place where there are good wine stores.

As a Mister Language Person, I can possibly distinguish between the English accents of people from the north or south of India, or from the Philippines (I don't think there are many call centers serving the U.S. in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, the rest of Asia, Brazil, Quebec &c). FEDEX and UPS are both multinational corporations and as such naturally outsource whatever tasks they can to save money. I would guess that there are accounts whose annual expenditures with these shipping companies entitle them to better, more responsive service, perhaps speaking to people whose native language is English. While I am also occasionally irritated by dealing with call centers staffed by people whose English is not fully adequate for their jobs, I also recognize both the savings involved for for-profit companies and the opportunities these jobs provide for upwardly mobile people in less prosperous countries.

FWIW, I do not have any wine shipped to my home between May and September. The only exceptions are for samples I need to taste to make buying decisions. Those are shipped from my office. They are chilled to 35 degrees before being packed in styrofoam for overnight shipping first delivery, and I drive to Portland to pick them up. If the shipment is delayed, or the wines are not quite cool when I receive them, I do not taste and if need be lose the opportunity.

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#58 Post by Matthew King » July 4th, 2018, 6:32 pm

This thread reminds me that suffering the injustice of wine delivery snafus in summertime is like getting a parking ticket.

It sucks. You made a mistake. You're pissed at yourself. You're pissed at the aggrieving party. But nothing is going to change by dwelling on it. You can't fight City Hall. And you can't fight UPS or FedEx. Pay your "fine" and move on.

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#59 Post by Markus S » July 5th, 2018, 4:37 am

J a y H a c k wrote:
Chris Seiber wrote:In fairness, you think of the insane scope of what those companies do, it’s impossible they won’t make the occasional mistake. I think you just have to consider it a small but unavoidable risk.
Another apologist. Let me repeat myself. The issue is not the initial screw up. The issue is their failure to make any effort, either corporately across the board or in an individual case, to mitigate damage from the error by providing a backup system. Their approach is simply - too bad on you, we'll bring it to you the next business day.
Jay, perhaps you don't understand how huge corporations (and countries) work. The system is greased by transactions that run fairly smoothly most of the time, but when something goes wrong, it goes wrong and no one wants to admit to mistake. I know as a lawyer you probably want someone held accountable, but this is the nature of the beast when you have an anonymous system with cogs supplying inputs. Think back to the BP Horizon oil spill, which I hope you would admit led to a bigger problem than the one you faced.
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#60 Post by ClarkstonMark » July 5th, 2018, 8:34 am

Siun o'Connell wrote:Isn't the issue not if these companies will sometimes make a mistake but how they respond when they do make that mistake? They use their size and market control as an excuse to have virtually no customer service.

At least with Amazon when I've had an issue, they do a fast refund and apology. UPS/FedEx could learn from them ... a lot.
DOn't think Jay wanted a refund (which he would probably get) - think he wanted UPS to get package to him on Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday) - which UPS probably wasn't willing to do
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#61 Post by Anton D » July 5th, 2018, 8:46 am

Todd Hamina wrote:June to September, no shipping.
It’s like the rule for oysters used to be - never in a month without an “R” in it.
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#62 Post by Al Osterheld » July 5th, 2018, 9:00 am

Once the long haul truck or plane left without the package, it wasn't going to get there on time. They don't maintain extra trucks and drivers so they can have back-up delivery mechanisms for the small percentage of packages that get left behind. I suppose they could offer a guaranteed delivery date option, but it would undoubtedly cost more. If Greyhound left you behind at a rest stop, it would be reasonable to expect some kind of compensation, but you're not going to get to your destination on time.

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#63 Post by Doug Schulman » July 5th, 2018, 9:24 am

Jay, you wouldn't get any better result from Fedex. Unless you want to stop having any wine shipped to you, it's time to accept this and move on.
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#64 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 5th, 2018, 9:27 am

The whole story should have stopped at:
Yes, I know, I should have asked the winery to hold the shipment until November
Bad decision gets bad result. Trying to justify complaints against the shipper looks foolish.
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#65 Post by Eric Lundblad » July 5th, 2018, 9:29 am

There are 'Summer Shippers'. These are extra thick, really thick, styrofoam shippers that have space for 1 or more frozen 'brick' (either water or gel, generally water I think)...there is 1 slot for a 6 pack, and 2 or 3 slots for a 12 pack (can't remember which).

Shipping overnight using one of these would guarantee it'd arrive in good shape, no matter what happened. These shippers aren't cheap, and they're bigger and heavier so the shipping cost would be higher. The shippers are designed to maintain temps for 4 days, so you could ship second day air and still have a buffer for delays/problems.

The problem here is whether the company that's shipping the wine has these. Still, it's an option and something to ask about if this comes up again.
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#66 Post by Jim Brennan » July 5th, 2018, 9:34 am

Jay, you have the preponderance of vicarious liability here.

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#67 Post by J a y H a c k » July 5th, 2018, 9:35 am

Chuck Miller wrote: . . . Therefore, winos rely on FedX and UPS to do something they simply aren’t designed to do. . .
Sorry, this is just wrong. UPS and FEDEX solicit the business, they go after it and they want it. If they want it and ask for it, then they should do it right. If someone comes to me and says, "I'm divorcing my spouse and I want you to negotiate a settlement agreement," my response isn't "sure, bring it on," because that is not what I do. In fact, it is improper under court rules for me to take on that work because I am not sufficiently knowledgeable in the field to do a good job, despite the fact that many people have asked, and a few have begged, me to do it. FEDEX and UPS, on the other hand, take on the work and have no compunction about not having sufficient backup to avoid bad results.

The package is being delivered today. We will see what happens. The last time this happened, the package looked like it had gone through a wood chipper.
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#68 Post by J a y H a c k » July 5th, 2018, 9:38 am

Jim Brennan wrote:Jay, you have the preponderance of vicarious liability here.
I'm going to assume that you went to a law school tat you found on the back of a match book cover, right? That's kind of like me saying that the problem is that the malolactic fermentation started while the grapes were still on the vine so the methode champenoise didn't allow for the formation of the proper level of sulfates.
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#69 Post by Alan Eden » July 5th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Markus S wrote:
J a y H a c k wrote:
Chris Seiber wrote:In fairness, you think of the insane scope of what those companies do, it’s impossible they won’t make the occasional mistake. I think you just have to consider it a small but unavoidable risk.
Another apologist. Let me repeat myself. The issue is not the initial screw up. The issue is their failure to make any effort, either corporately across the board or in an individual case, to mitigate damage from the error by providing a backup system. Their approach is simply - too bad on you, we'll bring it to you the next business day.
Jay, perhaps you don't understand how huge corporations (and countries) work. The system is greased by transactions that run fairly smoothly most of the time, but when something goes wrong, it goes wrong and no one wants to admit to mistake. I know as a lawyer you probably want someone held accountable, but this is the nature of the beast when you have an anonymous system with cogs supplying inputs. Think back to the BP Horizon oil spill, which I hope you would admit led to a bigger problem than the one you faced.
The Horizon is a bad example, that was human error and greed
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#70 Post by Randy Bowman » July 5th, 2018, 8:12 pm

How much human error is part of the problem and how do you want to look at it?

You can look up the temps for shipping and arrange accordingly. If you say ship, it's on you. If the winery/store ships automatically, you need to make arrangements. The bigger the store/winery, the less attention paid to little things like freezing temperatures, hurricanes, tornadoes and heat waves.

If UPS or FedEx "knows" it's wine, do they treat it differently? Seen videos of both FedEx and UPS drivers throwing those TVs over fences and you know they are TVs.
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#71 Post by Jim Brennan » July 5th, 2018, 9:56 pm

J a y H a c k wrote:
Jim Brennan wrote:Jay, you have the preponderance of vicarious liability here.
I'm going to assume that you went to a law school tat you found on the back of a match book cover, right? That's kind of like me saying that the problem is that the malolactic fermentation started while the grapes were still on the vine so the methode champenoise didn't allow for the formation of the proper level of sulfates.
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#72 Post by M A T T H A R T L E Y » July 6th, 2018, 5:07 am

J a y H a c k wrote: After giving them fair warning that I would make this post, I heard more corporate speak about logistics companies that occasionally make mistakes but that the complaint had to come from the shipper not the recipient (I had already alerted them but that's not going to do any good because UPS is not going to do anything for them either).
LOL

I love that a) you chose to threaten UPS by warning them this post was coming and b) you actually thought they would care.
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#73 Post by Victor Hong » July 6th, 2018, 5:23 am

From a contractual standpoint (exchange of committed service versus payment), UPS is obligated to the paying shipper, not third-party package recipient.
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#74 Post by TBurklow » July 6th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Has anyone figured out what geographical Asian dialect that Charlie Fu guy speaks in yet?

Does he have a thick "Western Asian" accent, or is that just considered Californian? I'm trying to take some useful info from this thread.
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#75 Post by c fu » July 6th, 2018, 1:35 pm

TBurklow wrote:Has anyone figured out what geographical Asian dialect that Charlie Fu guy speaks in yet?

Does he have a thick "Western Asian" accent, or is that just considered Californian? I'm trying to take some useful info from this thread.
I think when I say “ni hao dude” and “xie xie cowabunga!” It gives it away.
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#76 Post by Jorge Henriquez » July 6th, 2018, 1:39 pm

Isn’t that called “Valley Asian”?
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#77 Post by TBurklow » July 6th, 2018, 1:44 pm

c fu wrote:
TBurklow wrote:Has anyone figured out what geographical Asian dialect that Charlie Fu guy speaks in yet?

Does he have a thick "Western Asian" accent, or is that just considered Californian? I'm trying to take some useful info from this thread.
I think when I say “ni hao dude” and “xie xie cowabunga!” It gives it away.
You would totally throw people for a loop with "Hey y'all, ni hao dude, eh!"

No way they would know what kind of Asian you are.
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#78 Post by c fu » July 6th, 2018, 2:36 pm

TBurklow wrote:
c fu wrote:
TBurklow wrote:Has anyone figured out what geographical Asian dialect that Charlie Fu guy speaks in yet?

Does he have a thick "Western Asian" accent, or is that just considered Californian? I'm trying to take some useful info from this thread.
I think when I say “ni hao dude” and “xie xie cowabunga!” It gives it away.
You would totally throw people for a loop with "Hey y'all, ni hao dude, eh!"

No way they would know what kind of Asian you are.
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#79 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 6th, 2018, 4:27 pm

It should be “ni hao all y’all.”
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#80 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » July 6th, 2018, 4:42 pm

There are several retailers that have a desire to get your purchased invoices to you as soon as possible, regardless. In recent times, they have started offering refrigerated options during the summer. This thread is EXACTLY why I wait until spring/fall, regardless.

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#81 Post by Dan Kravitz » July 6th, 2018, 5:18 pm

Most Excellent Moderator, you wrote:
"Cali raised - Southern born- Canadian living. Jay would call it on the spot obviously."

And where exactly is Pasadena, Canada? Without googling, I assume somewhere just barely north of Okanagan, maybe near Great Slave Lake?

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#82 Post by Arv R » July 7th, 2018, 10:54 am

Chuck Miller wrote:Jay, fundamentally, you are asking FedX and UPS to do something that they simply aren’t designed to do. They were not established to ship perishable and semi-perishable items. Period. There are numerous companies that do this on a wholesale level for all kinds of products, from lettuce to ice cream. Those companies understand the special requirements of the products they ship, and use refrigerated trucks in their supply chain.

The problem is that those companies operate at a wholesale level (palletized goods, often an entire truckload), and deliver to distribution centers that also have temperature contolled distribution warehouses. In most cases, local deliveries are made in temperature controlled trucks. But a local food distributor doesn’t attempt to deliver to every street address in their market. Maybe Amazon Fresh is one of the few exceptions.

There are specialized temperature contolled shipping companies for wine. Some will even handle LTL (less than truckload) quantities, like the trucking companies used by companies like Domaine Transit, The Wine Movers, Wine By Air, Int’l, some auction houses, etc. At Seattle Wine Storage, we get multiple pallets in and out every week, year-round, including the summer. Pallets sometimes are 50 cases, some are as small as 4-10 cases.

But these companies aren’t designed to handle a 6 bottle shipment picked up at an out-of-state retailer and delivered to your door. Therefore, winos rely on FedX and UPS to do something they simply aren’t designed to do. And while they are amazing efficient and generally reliable, they make occasional mistakes. No big deal when you are shipping a non-perishable product, hence their “too bad, it will be there tomorrow” attitude when problems arise. I doubt most of their customer service people, and many of their drivers, have any idea about the issue of warm temperatures being bad for wine.
Truly a great post. It should be turned into a sticky. or a Sunday homily.
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#83 Post by Mattstolz » July 7th, 2018, 11:45 am

I will pay extra for FedEx over UPS every day. The fact that I can have it redirected to walgreens or a fedex store is $$$$$. I have heard too many stories of UPS just not caring and the "nothing we can do" is just too familiar.

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#84 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 7th, 2018, 11:57 am

I can have my UPS pkgs redirected to their warehouse (a couple of miles from my house) or numerous mailbox-type places in my town. Six of one/half dozen of the other here.
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#85 Post by Mattstolz » July 7th, 2018, 12:15 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:I can have my UPS pkgs redirected to their warehouse (a couple of miles from my house) or numerous mailbox-type places in my town. Six of one/half dozen of the other here.
I can only do the warehouse, which has pretty bad hours by me, and no climate control. if it gets there on a Friday or a weekend, thats too bad. if it gets there after they close, its sitting overnight. sometimes, they dont even move it from the truck to the warehouse and its just sitting in a big brown oven all day.

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#86 Post by Arv R » July 7th, 2018, 5:54 pm

Yup. FedEx is same for me locally. I have stopped using vendors that don't have a FedEx option, which bums me out, but its just too hard figuring out how to navigate all their union rules.

There's no shortage of wine out there though
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#87 Post by Craig G » July 7th, 2018, 5:59 pm

Jorge Henriquez wrote:Isn’t that called “Valley Asian”?
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#88 Post by c fu » July 7th, 2018, 10:23 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:Most Excellent Moderator, you wrote:
"Cali raised - Southern born- Canadian living. Jay would call it on the spot obviously."

And where exactly is Pasadena, Canada? Without googling, I assume somewhere just barely north of Okanagan, maybe near Great Slave Lake?

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#89 Post by Alan Rath » November 26th, 2018, 10:25 am

I'm being entertained by delivery exception notices from Fedex. Fedex isn't smart enough to learn that the locker facility a shipment is going to doesn't open until 11am. This is the 2nd or 3rd time they've tried to deliver.

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#90 Post by mattcitrang » November 26th, 2018, 11:08 am

And I thought UPS sucks. You never know.

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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#91 Post by Bob Davis » November 26th, 2018, 11:49 am

Alan Rath wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:25 am
I'm being entertained by delivery exception notices from Fedex. Fedex isn't smart enough to learn that the locker facility a shipment is going to doesn't open until 11am. This is the 2nd or 3rd time they've tried to deliver.
Does FedEx allow you to specify a delivery time?
-------
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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#92 Post by c fu » November 26th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Bob Davis wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 11:49 am
Alan Rath wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 10:25 am
I'm being entertained by delivery exception notices from Fedex. Fedex isn't smart enough to learn that the locker facility a shipment is going to doesn't open until 11am. This is the 2nd or 3rd time they've tried to deliver.
Does FedEx allow you to specify a delivery time?
no, Alan just wants all the delivery drivers to arrange their routes based on when businesses open. And if businesses have abnormal opening times like 11am, they should account for it [snort.gif] [snort.gif]
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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#93 Post by Alan Rath » November 26th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Nah, just that this wine locker business gets dozens, even hundreds of shipments per day during shipping season, the local Fedex driver should know better. Not to mention that the major Fedex facility is just 2 miles down the road.

Turns out they went back and delivered successfully at 11am [dance-clap.gif]

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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#94 Post by larry schaffer » November 26th, 2018, 1:08 pm

There is no such thing as a perfect delivery service. ALL of them have issues . . .

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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#95 Post by T. Altmayer » November 26th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
July 7th, 2018, 11:45 am
I will pay extra for FedEx over UPS every day. The fact that I can have it redirected to walgreens or a fedex store is $$$$$. I have heard too many stories of UPS just not caring and the "nothing we can do" is just too familiar.
This. I have FedEx deliver to the Walgreens less than a mile from my house. For UPS, I've got to have it delivered to their warehouse which is at least 20 minutes away. Moreover, last time I tried to request a change in the delivery day, UPS wanted to charge me. Just terrible customer service.
Tom

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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#96 Post by dsimmons » November 26th, 2018, 1:46 pm

Knock on wood but I have had pretty good service from both UPS and FexEx. I would certainly avoid shipping wine during this busy season though. They can get balled up this time of year.
D o n

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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#97 Post by jordan whitehead » November 26th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Chuck Miller wrote:
July 3rd, 2018, 12:02 pm
Not too many complaints out there about USPS wine shipments, as it is against the law to ship alcohol via USPS!
been telling several people that for 10+ years. They're still doing it
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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#98 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 26th, 2018, 4:29 pm

Another perfect delivery by UPS today.

FedEx keeps calling me to ask if I ever picked up a shipment that I received a month ago. Three times now. I keep telling them I have it. Morons.
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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#99 Post by Merrill Lindquist » November 26th, 2018, 4:34 pm

dsimmons wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 1:46 pm
Knock on wood but I have had pretty good service from both UPS and FexEx. I would certainly avoid shipping wine during this busy season though. They can get balled up this time of year.
Don - it is like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. "It's too hot - how can a winery ship in such hot weather?" "Oh no, temperatures went below freezing - will my wine be compromised?" Both these quotes can often be heard within weeks - sometimes days - of each other. The shipping windows seem to get narrower and narrower, and the states can vary so much from each other. Many people often don't understand the lead time necessary to get that order rolling to you and into your hands in perfect shape, and how many steps are involved. Shipping is the pits.
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Re: UPS Really Sucks and should never be used to ship wine!

#100 Post by Albert R » November 26th, 2018, 5:10 pm

I really dislike UPS in South Florida. In fact, if a winery or wine vendor does not offer FedEx as a shipping option I usually do not purchase. There are a handful of wineries that would earn my business if they shipped FedEx.......
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