While we all expect our online order to arrive in one or two days, it’s peak season for delivery drivers and crews. That means they are working extra hours, and giving up time with their families to get us our packages on time.
We’re told by a local UPS employee there are things we can do to ensure we’re getting our packages on time. The biggest mistakes a lot of customers make is not writing the correct, or whole address on a package or order. That obviously makes the job more difficult and time consuming.
Here are inside secrets and tips from a UPS delivery driver, Zakk Flash:
“Its that time of year again! You call it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just ‘the holiday season,’ but UPS drivers know it as “peak.” As is the case every year, there are some useful tips to help make deliveries a more successful experience for all involved.
Tip #1 – Porch lights
Please leave lights on if you are expecting a package, especially after 5:30. It helps us find your house. Hunting for the right house when it’s raining and dark is a bummer.
Tip #2 – House Address
Try to make it easy for us to spot your house number so we can get the package to you quickly. Reflective numbers on the house itself, numbers on both sides of the mailbox, or curb numbers in reflective paint make it easier to find you.
Tip #3 – Alcohol
If you are expecting wine or fancy beer and you’re not home, don’t expect us to leave it on your porch. We aren’t allowed to do that. Sorry!
Tip #4 – Last Moment
If you wait til the last moment to order or ship stuff, it will cost more and might be potentially late. Plan ahead!
Tip #5 – Anger Management
We really want you to get your packages, sincerely. Unfortunately our families have gotten used to not spending time with us from now until mid-January. If delays occur, please try to keep in mind that we are having rough days ourselves. Being mad at us won’t help anything.
Tip #6 – Dogs
If you are expecting a package, please secure your dogs inside. Being a chew toy isn’t in our contract. Plus, it will delay you in getting your package in a timely manner.
Tip #7 – Dogs, Again
Please wait until we are out of your yard before opening your door. We aren’t interested in seeing Spot run…
Tip #8 – Access Point
If you aren’t home and we send your package to an access point, we should leave an info-notice with that address on it. DO NOT go to that location that day. In all likelihood, it’ll be delivered there tomorrow. You will have seven days to go to that location to retrieve your package.
Tip #9 – Cyber Monday
For those looking forward to the sale, it is December 2nd this year. The following Wednesday, December 4th, is a rough day because everybody else and their cousin shopped that day too. Expect unusual issues, like a knock on your door at 9 PM.
Tip #10 – Surprise Presents
If you are getting a Barbie Dream House or a new Schwinn, try to keep your kiddo away from the porch while we are delivering. We don’t want to ruin anybody’s Christmas surprise!
Tip #11 – Conversation
We try not to be rude about it, but we /really/ can’t talk for the next two months. Our work load literally doubles this time of year. If you have questions, try to make them quick and clear. To answer the most common question: if it isn’t on our truck, we don’t know where your package is.
Tip #12 – Returns
Somebody got you the wrong size sweater or television for Christmas. You want to send it back. We can do that too, but you have to request a “Call-Tag” return service from the shipper (Amazon). Please have your item ready to go. We really don’t have ‘just a second while you try to quickly repack the item. We will try again the next day, okay?
Tip #13 – Apartments
If you decorate your door for the season, please don’t cover your apartment number. If you must, try to write your apartment number somewhere in the decoration. Know if your office will hold deliveries for you or not. Most offices stop holding deliveries during this time of year. Also, make sure your apartment number is on the shipping label when you order. A lot of packages go back to the hub because we’re missing apartment numbers.
Tip #14 – Oversized Deliveries
If you order something big (televisions, furniture, mattresses) and it’s raining, we may not leave it. Unless you have a safe place to put it out of inclement weather, we’ll probably take it back.
Tip #15 – Walkways
Please try to keep them clear of cords, toys, snow, ice, or other slipping/tripping hazards. Obstacle course challenges can be fun, but let’s save American Ninja practice for another time.
Tip #16 – Manners
Our delivery people are only human. During this time of year, we miss a lot of time with friends and family; something as simple as a “thank you” from you goes a long way.
Tip #17 – Tips
Lots of suggestions on giving your delivery person a tip, but it boils down to the individual delivering. Some drivers like cookies, brownies, or chips. Cash is uniformly appreciated, as are gift cards. A bottle of Gatorade goes a long way. In the end, we consider it a bonus and greatly appreciate it. If you feel led to tip, thank you. If not, no big deal. There’s always the next stop.
Tip #18 – PVDs
UPS has hired a lot of Personal Vehicle Delivery drivers this season. There are folks using their own cars, trucks, or vans to deliver packages (typically residential stops). They won’t be dressed in the “browns” that you identify with UPS. Try not to be freaked out by it.
Tip #19 – Time Crunch
This year has the shortest amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas (22 days). The less you panic about the time crunch by preparing for it, the less panicked we will be with the huge volume compacted into fewer days.
Tip # 20 – Crunch Crunch
If you’re going to ship something to a friend or loved one, pack it well. Empty space in the box allows it to be crushed in the trailer or on the belts. Fill it with something or get a smaller box. Also, don’t skimp on the packing tape. Don’t let $500 of gifts be damaged or undelivered because you don’t want to use an extra 25¢ worth of tape.”