London at dusk

Rant of the Day: UPS Store

This is a rant I've been meaning to write for a while.  Apologies for the delay.

A few months ago when I was back home in Arlington, Virginia, I raided our storage attic to retrieve a mirror that we wanted to bring back to London. I bought the mirror about 10 years ago in Mexico for only about $40, but it has priceless sentimental value. It was too big to bring on a plane as a carry-on, so I decided to mail it.  That's when I made the big mistake of sending it via the UPS Store -- specifically, UPS Store #3326 in Towson, Maryland.

For those who aren't familiar, UPS Store (previously known as Mailboxes ETC) is a chain of shops across the United States that will help facilitate mailing of items, particularly odd-shaped items. They sell packaging supplies like boxes, tape, packing peanuts, etc.  The offer a variety of shipping methods; obviously they try to steer you to their own UPS service, but will also send it via regular ol' U.S. Postal Service (USPS). After they quoted me $300 to send by UPS, I settled on the regular postal mail. I was at first quoted about $ the clock kept ticking, they kept tacking on charges. My final bill to mail a $40 mirror to London was
$142.29.  The breakdown:

Packing material (peanuts & tape): $10.32
Cardboard box: $19.12
Service charge: $8.00
U.S. Postal Service Global Priority Mail: $103.08

It's bad enough that they are charging $29.44 just for packing materials plus $8 service charge; they had to make a profit somewhere. But I assumed the $103.08 was out of their control and they were using standard prices set by the USPS.  The next day I flew home to London. The package arrived about 4 days later; everything was tip-top and the mirror survived intact.  That's when I noticed the shipping label, and that's what got me really steamed.

Actual cost for shipping the package from Baltimore to London by Global Priority Mail: $65.


At no time was I ever told by UPS Store idiots that I was being charged a fee higher than the price I would pay had I walked into a regular post office.  They already charged me an $8 service charge. And I could even understand a small, say 10% markup. But 63% MARKUP!?!?! 

I went onto the UPS Store website and wrote a complaint letter. No response. I wrote a second letter. No response. I have now written three letters on their online complaint form, and sent other emails. I have NEVER received a response from anybody at UPS Store. So screw em. My next email is to the Better Business Bureau.


And support your local U.S. Post Office.

Thank you.