UPS vs. US Post Office

I usually mail my packages (not really a package, but a big cushioned envelope) via the US postal office with delivery confirmation, and so far I have not had any problems. The other day, I was asked to mail via UPS. So I packaged everything as I normally do, and went to the UPS store near our house.
UPS with tracking, $14, normally I pay around 3 dollars.

The clerk behind the counter cheerfully accepted my package and asked if I wanted it via the UPS route and tracking, or the cheapest way possible. I asked for UPS and tracking. He quotes me $14 dollars and said it would arrive in three days. I was shocked; normally I pay around 3 dollars.



So, I asked “how about the cheapest route?”
The Clerk, weights the package again and he said “Via post office, it will be $6 and it would arrive in 3 days.”
I am still thinking, UMmmmm, still more than I normally pay. So, I asked, “Is this going priority mail?”
- He said, “Yes.”
- I said, “I don’t want to send it priority mail”
- He said, “If I want delivery confirmation, I have to send it priority mail.”
He weighted the package again and quoted, “First class will be …… , but I cannot get delivery confirmation”. I don’t remember the exact cents, but it was more than two dollars.
- I said, “That is not true, I can get delivery confirmation, with first class”
He looked confused, so he asks other clerks, “Can you get delivery confirmation, on first class?”
“UPS charges double for delivery confirmation.”
They told him, yes and I added that it is an additional cost of 80 cents.
He checks with his computer and said, “Delivery confirmation is an additional $1.60, and I would be better off sending it priority mail.”
At this point, realizing that they are doubling the post office’s price, I took my package and headed on for the post office.
“Cost at the post office: $1.73 + 0.8 = $2.53.”
The cost of first class at the post office was $1.73 (UPS was around $2.80) and delivery confirmation was an additional $0.80 (UPS was $1.60). So, I did mail my package the cheapest route possible after all.
I was wondering afterwards, “Why would anyone use UPS?” Since I don’t use their services, I am not aware of the value add they provide. I think what is happening, is that UPS decided to provide postal route services for their customers. They are charging extra for this service because it uses their facility and employees. Okay, no problem there, however, I think the way they handled the situation was unethical.
““Why would anyone use UPS?”
I think they should train their staff, to be upfront with the customer. The Ethical way this conversation should have happened, would be:
- Customer – “I would like to ship this package”
- Clerk - “Would you like UPS with tracking, or the cheapest route?”
- Customer – “UPS with tracking”
- Clerk – “That would be $14 dollars and will arrive in three days.”
- Customer - “How about the cheapest route?”
- Clerk – “That would be via the US Post office. You can go to their offices, or we can send it from here. If you choose to mail from here, we charge extra for the service.”
- Customer – “How much extra do you charge?”
Clerk can quote a percentage for the surcharge.
At this point, the customer understands clearly her choices, “I go to the post office, or save the trip, pay extra and ship from here.”
Now, this would be ethical.