It's Time to Stop Using UPS--(we did! USPS inside)

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by PeregrineStudios, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Put simply, for the sake of your customers, it's time to tell UPS to print a steel rod and stick it somewhere. They are the single most expensive and manipulative shipping group in the world - aside from the questionable legality of slapping brokerage fees on unsuspecting buyers (even though the law says both parties must be aware of terms and agree to costs beforehand, and UPS never told me I'd have to fork over extra cash), there's also the fact that those fees are outrageously high and completely unnecessary.

    I don't understand why any company or individual would use UPS if they have any choice in the matter. We, as your customers, do not have a choice, because you've arbitrarily decided to use UPS and nobody else. You, Shapeways, do have a choice, and you can choose different shipping agents. If you care about your customers, you'll switch over to an alternative as soon as possible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2013
  2. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Let me guess - you are a Canadian ? From all I have seen here, this seems to be an issue with the Canadian branch
    of UPS (for whatever reason - do they have to collect import taxes, or are they simply in such a strong position in the
    Canadian market that they can charge additional fees at will?)
    I have no problem with UPS over here in Germany (except maybe their outrageous parking habits, but they are on par with
    German Postal Service in the disguise of Documents Hopelessly Lost).
    Shapeways surely is well aware of the problems their Canadian customers are experiencing, but it may not be easy to
    find another shipping solution (chances are that they got a special deal from UPS in return for an exclusive and/or long term
  3. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Good guess!

    Yes, I'm Canadian, and no, the fees they charge are not import taxes. Sometimes there are import taxes, and I happily pay them, but UPS will often charge brokerage fees approaching 50% of the total order when all they did was sign a couple pieces of paper and pay a very small import fee (probably 3 to 10 dollars).

    For example, I recently ordered some Shapeways prints that totalled $55 - I had to pay $20 in brokerage fees, not to Canada customs, not as import tax, but for the privilege of UPS signing a couple papers for me. It's possible - after a lot of grappling, arguing, and occasionally legal-threatening - to self-clear the shipment and not have to pay those brokerage fees, but I don't order bulk. I order various small shipments, and I don't have time to grapple with UPS to self-clear every single one of them.

    This is a really serious concern. I don't know where Shapeways is based, but my UPS receipt shows the shipper as Shapeways, based in New York - if it's coming from the US, the USPS is an infinitely greater choice for shipping than UPS for us Canadians.

    EDIT: Let me just add that I would be happy to pay more shipping to the USPS than pay low shipping and a huge brokerage fee to UPS. $6.50 shipping is great, but I'm betting USPS shipping would be cheaper once you factor in the extra cost (and aggravation) of UPS and their moneygrubbing.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
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  4. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    Ouch. This does sound "interesting" at least. Well, at least you are still better off than that poor chap over in the
    General Discussion forum who cannot order any of his stuff at all as he lives in Russia... maybe you should team
    up and meet mid-way to live in Reykjavik,Iceland :p
    Problem from shapeways' side of this is probably that "all of us" (non-Canadian customers, that is) may have to
    pay more if UPS loses its exclusive status.
  5. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Yep, and that's how they get you. Give you cheap shipping to entice you in, and oh by the way, please don't ship with anyone else ever, and then they !@#$ you on the rebound.

    I don't want to make other people pay more shipping - that's the last thing on my list. On the other hand, I also resent it if Shapeways' opinion on the matter is, 'yeah, well, to hell with those Canadians, who cares about their shipping costs.' If I can't use a shipping agent other than UPS here I'll just have to go elsewhere - which would be a bum deal for me and Shapeways, because they'd lose a customer, and I'd have to deal with much more sketchy companies, most of whom don't even offer metal printing.
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  6. Chris_Mears
    Chris_Mears Member
    I agree.

    Furthermore UPS is the single reason why I just can't get excited or interested about placing any future orders with Shapeways.

    I live in Prince Edward Island and until only a couple of weeks ago we had no actual UPS office anywhere in our province. Instead our local Purolator company acted as an agent for UPS. With both of my purchases I went through the exact same scenario: UPS will not leave a card at my house to notify me if I missed their delivery driver so I have no way of knowing that my parcel is even on PEI. My only option is to obessively check the UPS website to know when it might have arrived. The first time I ordered from Shapeways the UPS website advised that I needed to call UPS regarding it's delivery. If you have a great deal of time to waste you should really try calling UPS and try to get a human to talk to. They just don't hire them. After a number of tries and a tremendous period of time I finally did find a human in there. That guy must have been new and accidentally answered the phone:

    "We've tried delivering three times to your address already and if you do not pick up your parcel we're going to have to return it" was their advice.

    "First I've heard of it" I replied

    "Where do you pick up a parcel?" I asked. The guy on the phone told me they don't share that kind of information.

    I really love the brokerage surprise when you do finally get your parcel. There's no precise calculation and the Purolator office insists that you can not pay by credit card. Only cash or cheque. Apparently, and I quote: "UPS won't accept credit cards". Funny, their website says they do.

    In retrospect I see now the trend my rant is taking and I'll curtail it here.

    UPS service is crap and their terrible service has become the face of Shapeways to me. I can't seperate the two.

    The face of a company is the person that serves you. Shapeways is just a website and they're building a business with a lowsy sales team on the front end. You have to really want something from them to deal with their shipping team. The product is awesome. I really, genuinely wish the shipping thing could be fixed.
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  7. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Well said, I agree completely, you're absolutely right.

    If Shapeways is partnering with UPS and forcing us to use them, and only them, as a shipping agent, then Shapeways is saying, "We are comfortable with the level of service UPS provides. We think they reflect favourably on us and our work. Our level of care and concern for you our customers has led us to UPS."

    And I'm not comfortable working with a company that would have such low standards for customer service and quality that they would see how UPS behaves and say, "Yes, this is acceptable, and we want this trend to continue."
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
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  8. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    You need to take into account the fact that most of the models are shipped from the Netherlands.

    I live in the US, so I don't know what the exact situation is, but I imagine that it's rather hard to flag down a USPS mailperson every day when you are in Eindhoven, NL. It's not like there's a USPO on every street corner.

    Yes, I feel your pain.. UPS is not my favorite either, but I do know that it's difficult for a multi-national company to get good shipping rates to all locations.

    For them to have two separate shippers, I can imagine that the labor in their distribution process has to at least increase by 50%.

    Give them time.. they'll work out something.
  9. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Are you certain they are shipped to ME from the Netherlands? My shipping receipt has the shipper (Shapeways Inc.) listed as being in New York. Even if they are printed in the Netherlands, they seem to be shipped to me from New York. In which case, there would be a USPO on every street corner.

    Even if it's shipped to me direct from the Netherlands, it's still completely unacceptable to offer only one shipping method. It's unethical and disrespectful to the customers to make us suffer with lousy shipping so Shapeways can make a deal with them.

    I hope they are working on something, but I haven't seen any indication that they are. It would be nice if they could at least let us know they give a damn and solutions are being looked for. I'm trying to sell a lot of my creations on Etsy, and I'm having to mark up my products significantly more than my competition to deal with these damned UPS fees. If it gets to the point that my business is suffering I'll have to take it elsewhere.
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  10. I'm pretty sure they ship to Canada from US, not from Netherlands. It's my first time ordering from Shapeways so I don't know if this is always the case. I live in Toronto and the UPS tracking list initial point of tracking as Louisville, Kentucky. The delivery notice on my door from UPS also says package from USA.


    Around Toronto, there's quite a few UPS outlets but none of them actually deal with delivery, just franchise for shipping out. Even in a major Canadian city I have drive 1 hour to pickup at their depot. :cry:

    Compared to all the other shipping services from US to Canada, UPS is the worst by far. USPO shipping is delivered by Canada Post (our national mailing) so there's plenty of pickup points. Same with FedEx and DHL, great customer services despite they are not Canadian delivery services. UPS is the only one I ever had drop packages outside my door on a rainy day... So I feel your pain.
  11. Kimotion
    Kimotion Member
    I just posted about this issue in another thread, but you said it more eloquently. UPS is by far the worst, and i can't believe they are still in business. To pick up anything, I'd have to drive an hr from Vancouver, and they are only open M-F??? People have jobs.

    OK, enough venting. It gives me a bit comfort knowing that I am not alone.

    This is my first shapeways order and I am very unsatisfied right now.....not Shapeway's fault, but it does play a huge factor when thinking about future orders.
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  12. Kimotion
    Kimotion Member
    Until a more reasonable shipping company is used, I'd recommend I've used them before for orders that are not available in Canada. Basically, they send the shipments to a facility in portland OR (no sales tax). Then they reship it to Canada or wherever (you have to pay for the shipping of course) and at least they take it to Canada Post so you'd actually have easier access to your purchase. I recently changed my shipment to the address solely due to the horrible Canada/UPS issue. You do pay for double shipping (shapeways/ups and reship/canadapost), but at least you have access to your product.
  13. NingHuaDesign
    NingHuaDesign Member
    I've just saw UPS tracking that says " Invalid tel# Unable to clear customs" , doesn't shapeways UPS bill include tel # of the recipient ?
  14. glehn
    glehn Well-Known Member
    Although Canadians have been louder about this issue, it is not restrict to Canada. I have the same issues here in Brazil. I also want to have alternative shipping options.

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  15. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    Another Canuck speaking out as I have on MANY occasions about the expensive UPS shipping. At least I don't live on PEI... that sounds like a lousy situation.

    Quite apart from the expense there just doesn't seem to be a way of calculating exactly how much you will be charged at the door. Unlike the previous poster I wasn't lucky enough to find that stupid human who answered the phone!

    I'm not sure what the mentioned issue is with them NOT accepting credit cards, though - I used to be able to pay by cash but now they will ONLY accept payment by credit card.

    Re the Etsy issue: Yes, I agree absolutely with the point that factoring in the UPS charges simply makes your product way pricier than most on the site; I swear some people sell their items at a LOSS there they are so damn cheap sometimes! How can you compete with that?

    I regularly buy from a jewellery supplier in the US, with packages of comparable size and weight. They, however, give me an option to ship via postal service and how much do they charge me? .... $5.80 !! Yes, they say it could take four weeks to get to me and sometimes it does, but for the most part it's about two weeks.

    Since no-one from Shapeways seems to want to weigh in here - they're probably so sick of answering the same damn complaints! - I will tell you that I have been told Shapeways is *considering* opening up a Canadian shipping point, and that will make things a lot cheaper for us. How far those plans have come I have no idea.

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  16. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    I would adore - ADORE - a Canadian shipping point. As it is stands, I'm restricted to orders under $20, because as soon as I go over $20, UPS starts slappin' the brokerage fees on, hugely increasing my markup for resale and making it impossible to sell to anyone at the exorbitant prices resulting from it.

    It's just simple math. Better shipping options means I'll be able to make models over $20, order larger quantities at one time, and reduce my markup, meaning more customers will buy them from me, meaning I'll order even more, meaning more money for Shapeways. This is why their insistence on UPS-only baffles me. It's detrimental to me their customer, and to themselves as well. A USPS or FedEx shipping option would alleviate a lot of those problems, and a Canadian shipping point would eliminate them altogether.
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  17. lancer525
    lancer525 Member
    It's all about the buckage.

    Who can make the most of it, and screw the end-customer as much as you can, because the fat cats at the top are not going to take a hit on their profits.

    Case in point:

    My model was "Origin Scanned" in in Maspeth, NY, on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM.

    It was placed on the truck for delivery on Wednesday, December 12, at 8:25 A.M. for a transit time of 1 Day, 13 Hours, 24 Minutes.

    The UPS website had it originally listed to be delivered by close of business on Wednesday, December 12. It has been on the truck, marked "out for delivery" for a grand total of 2 Days, 7 Hours, 35 Minutes. Almost TWICE as long as it took to get from New York, to the distribution center in Swainsboro, Georgia, some 36 miles away.

    I called UPS, and was told "It was sent to an incorrect distribution facility, and that error has been corrected. It is now at the Pleasantdale, Ga distribution center, awaiting delivery to you. Mind you, it is still marked as "out for delivery" on their tracking website. No mention of a re-route to another facility. UPS merely changed the projected delivery date on Wednesday, on Thursday, and on Friday.

    Here's the problem: Swainsboro is 35 miles away. Pleasantdale is just outside Doraville, Ga, which is 149 miles away.

    The UPS rep did not know that Pleasantdale is over 110 miles further away from me than Swainsboro. I don't live in the largest city in Georgia, but that's totally ridiculous, to send a package to a distribution center that is over 100 miles farther away! What are they thinking?

    The projected date of delivery is now December 18.

    That just happens to be the exact day I needed it in hand. I now won't have any time to do anything to it, if there is anything that needs to be done with it. I can't paint it, I can't use it, and I feel like I have wasted the money I spent on it, because it is now a completely useless thing to me. I ordered when I did, and from whom I did, because it was clear that my order would be delivered on time, and before I needed it.

    Unless or until Shapeways gives the people who give them money another shipping option, they won't get my business any longer.

    I'm voting with my wallet. Shapeways won't get any more money from me. I don't care how good their stuff is. It's my money, and I choose where I spend it.
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  18. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    @PeregrineStudios - I am in total agreement with everything you said there. I am sick of getting shafted by UPS. I've said it before; if I buy from a company in the US who only offers UPS for shipping I will write to them and request postal delivery. If they want my business they do so, otherwise at least I've let them know they lost my business because of that.

    @lancer525 - While I understand where you're coming from (see above!) I'm afraid I'm "locked into" Shapeways. Despite the cost I cannot find a cheaper alternative. I like Shapeways and for the most part love their Customer Support team, but business is business and if a service of equal quality - but cheaper - came along I would have to seriously consider jumping ship.

    We are told that Shapeways is "working on" the UPS problem... but we've been told that for at the very least one year...

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  19. 7943_deleted
    7943_deleted Member
    Glenn, and everyone, we ARE working on alternatives to UPS. It's a very large project and not something that can be changed overnight, like fixing a simple bug on the website, hence we will continue to work on it for some time to come!

    As I'm sure you are aware, there are pros and cons to using various mail carriers - for Canadians, USPS would be great as it eliminates brokerage fees, for locals, UPS is great as it provides tracking...the list goes on.

    It's not a simple solution, and any solution is not going to please everyone, just like UPS does not please everyone right now.

    It's not just a question of the "buckage" either - but a combination of tracking, shipping, cost and location services.

    Please know that we DO hear that it is an issue and we are, and continue to, find a good solution for (almost) everyone!

  20. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    I can appreciate the logistics of it and please note that I'm not saying to get rid of UPS completely - but rather keep it as an option; give the customer the choice. I'm sure there will be times when I will have to choose UPS myself if I'm in a hurry, even if I don't want to.