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FORUMS Marketplace & Market Info Market Watch 
Thread started 01 Feb 2014 (Saturday) 07:58
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UPS is unreliable

fondling the 5D4
6,235 posts
Gallery: 66 photos
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Joined Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Feb 01, 2014 12:38 |  #16

If you absolutely needed it you should have overnighted it. Ish happens... no carrier is 100% reliable but if you had two days padding you would have been set.

Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) -​m (external link)

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148 posts
Joined Feb 2013
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Feb 01, 2014 12:39 |  #17

Pro tip to those who use UPS... if you have to deal with customer service because of a fairly serious problem, when you call the 1800 # state your problem and then demand to speak with someone at the local hub. Keep demanding until they say something along the lines of "We'll send a message to your local center and have them contact you within an hour". The people at the 1800# have absolutely no idea what's going on 'on the ground', whereas the people in the local centers are *far* more knowledgeable and far more likely to want to help. They're in direct contact with the drivers and can at least give you accurate information (most of the time) even if they can't solve your problem. The 1800# person will resist, just keep demanding to speak to someone locally (because it's extremely important, etc) and they'll cave eventually lol. Then, if you can, ask the local person for their phone number at the hub. UPS doesn't give these out, but the people in the local hubs usually will because dealing with customers via the 1800# is an immense annoyance for them too. That way, in the future, you can just call straight in to the people who matter.

fondling the 5D4
6,235 posts
Gallery: 66 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 3603
Joined Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Feb 01, 2014 12:39 |  #18

Can you rent for a day?

Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) -​m (external link)

Cream of the Crop
6,234 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jul 2009
Location: West Marin
Feb 01, 2014 12:56 |  #19

I never order anything online I can't wait a week to receive. I would have thought that a new body would require at least a day or two to work with before seeing a client with it.

"Now what?"
1,749 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Feb 2008
Location: Castle Rock, WA
Feb 01, 2014 13:08 |  #20

My two rules when it comes to this:

Never order something to arrive the day before you need it.

Never book a shoot using gear you don't have.

Canon 40D w/ BG-E2N Grip| 400mm f/5.6L | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 | Gitzo GT3541LS w/ RRS BH-55

Senior Member
790 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Nov 2012
Feb 01, 2014 13:11 |  #21

its easy to blame ups or usps i did the same thing years ago.and its not right! if for some reason i did not get my parcel i would just go and pick it up,and in most cases there 98% on time,if you think about it what would we do without them!give these guys some slack,and i would not plane anything until i got my package in my hands ....

canon 7d bg-e7 5d-mk3 1d-mk3 24-105-L 17-40 L 35/1.4 85/1.8 yougnuo 565 ex 580 ex and lots of other canon 70-200 2.8 L

According to the lazy TF, My flatulence rates
55,311 posts
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Joined Aug 2006
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Feb 01, 2014 13:18 |  #22

HuskyKMA wrote in post #16655590 (external link)
My two rules when it comes to this:

Never order something to arrive the day before you need it.

Never book a shoot using gear you don't have.

or are not intimately familiar with. Even a replacement camera, same model is going to have it idiosyncrasies. What if it came DOA or severely front or back focusing? There is no recovery time.

Not sure why, but call me JJ.
I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
::Flickr:: (external link)

Senior Member
387 posts
Likes: 13
Joined Dec 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Feb 01, 2014 13:38 |  #23

I have had a TON of things delivered over the years and can't readily think of a single instance of something not being delivered as it should of. But to beat a dead horse, if I need something with a strict timeline, I'm buying it locally and then whooping my own you know what for waiting until the last minute.

Some moments are too amazing to be ruined with words.

Cream of the Crop
7,427 posts
Gallery: 41 photos
Likes: 1236
Joined Dec 2010
Location: East Central IL
Feb 01, 2014 13:39 |  #24

The local UPS guy who handles customer pickups at our hub called me on my cell one day. His number went immediately into my contact list for future use. At my hub it's also possible to walk in any time (if you're polite enough) and pick up a package *if* you've had the package held. If it's in the delivery stream you have to ask for it to be held and the next time it gets scanned they'll pull it.

Mark J.

Cream of the Proverbial Crop
Landscape and Cityscape Photographer 2006
18,065 posts
Likes: 9
Joined Jan 2003
Location: The middle of the UK
Feb 01, 2014 13:45 |  #25

Poor planning, should have ordered earlier.

Neil - © NHR Photography
Commercial Site (external link) - Video Site (external link) - Blog - (external link)Gear List There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~ Ansel Adams

Cream of the Crop
7,607 posts
Likes: 404
Joined Mar 2007
Location: California
Feb 01, 2014 15:15 |  #26


I understand the disappointing feeling when an item is not delivered when its supposed to be, especially after having waited at home for it all day. However, I think there are a couple of key points here. I know they've already been mentioned in other replies and we're not trying to gang up on you here, but I think it's worth mentioning so others can learn from this too.

1) Things got really screwed up in Atlanta with the weather. That's not UPS's fault and I'm sure they're doing everything they can to catch back up.

2) Never ever book a paying job when you don't have the equipment to support it. And I can't help but ask or at least highlight this question: why did you book a paying job if you didn't already have a camera? This really leaves me scratching my head.

3) When something is critically important and you must take delivery of it, call UPS right after the item is shipped from the retailer and ask UPS to hold it at the hub so you can pick it up there. This will eliminate 80% of the reasons that a package may not be delivered on time.

Glad you're feeling better about it and I'm sorry you went through this in the first place, but claiming that UPS is the worst delivery company ever is a pretty far stretch. I think they do a pretty darn good job.


My Gear List

Copper ­ NYC
Senior Member
386 posts
Likes: 20
Joined Sep 2011
Location: Queens County, NYC NY
Feb 01, 2014 16:05 |  #27

gjl711 wrote in post #16655426 (external link)
Didn't you guys just have an ice storm that pretty much shut down the city for two days?

kjonnnn wrote in post #16655872 (external link)
didn't ATL just have major issues this week with travel?

hope u get it Monday, a parcel sat in the NYC Maspeth distribution for almost 4 days before I got it.

40D Gripped, 50D, T2I Gripped, 5D Mark III Gripped, EF-S 18-55 IS, EF-S 55-250 IS
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EF 28-80 USM, the good one with metal mount and ring USM.
EF 28-80 USM V, EF 28-135 USM IS, EF 100-300 USM, EF 100-400L USM IS.
Rokinon 14 f/2.8

Cream of the Crop
9,578 posts
Gallery: 171 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 3923
Joined Jul 2004
Location: Gilligan's Island
Feb 01, 2014 17:43 |  #28

UPS has always been highly reliable in my experience, and those rare occasions when they were late were due to weather situations. During this past Christmas, I was very grateful (and felt very sorry) for the UPS guy who delivered my goods at 10:30 p.m. in freezing condition outside.

I also have My UPS Account set up, so when I do need to get my stuff any quicker, then I go into my account and instruct to have them on hold for my pick up. This system works great for me.

USPS, on the other hand, is a mess.

"Life is short, art is long..."
My Gear

Senior Member
594 posts
Gallery: 25 photos
Likes: 109
Joined Sep 2009
Location: Mile High City
Feb 01, 2014 19:02 |  #29

With hundreds of packages delivered over the years, UPS missed the delivery date twice for me. Both times due to weather, and the shipper compensated me.

Less than a month ago, I ordered the 70-200 2.8 IS II from Amazon while I was on the other side of the planet on vacation because it was a day shy of the Canon rebate expiration. Lens was on back order and expected to be in stock around the time I returned so I figured it was a safe bet. Amazon got it in stock and shipped two weeks earlier than expected. I called Amazon and found out they could ask UPS to return it to them but then I would have to re-order it (at the higher price AND without hope for a rebate).

Without any options, I called UPS and inquired about my options. Sure enough, they said they can intercept the package and schedule it for delivery up to 10 business days in the future. All for $6. Worked excellent for me. It was delivered the day after I returned.

None of the couriers are perfect; it is an imperfect world for the rest of us too, including your client. I know how frustrated you must be, but be glad it worked out as well as it did. I would also call Adorama (better yet, email Helen). They'll likely compensate you as it was them who committed to a delivery date, not UPS.

5D4 Gripped | 16-35 f4L IS | 24-70 f2.8L II | 70-200 f2.8L II IS | 85 f1.8 | 600EX-RT | 430EXII | YN-468II | YN-622c | 'Stuff'

Cream of the Crop
24,722 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Likes: 181
Joined Nov 2004
Location: New York
Feb 01, 2014 20:48 |  #30

There are many similar stories in the big city. UPS screws up. USPS screws up. FedEx screws.

People screw up by waiting until the last minute to order something when they have a paying client relying on them.

There's lots of blame to go around if you want to play the blame game.

And I'm glad you acknowledge it's not the end of the world. You know, there's an old saying: My neighbor is having minor surgery. You see, it's always minor when it happens to someone else, but when a problem strikes us, no matter how trivial it seems to others, it's a big deal.

That said, plan well in advance next time. I've had in excess of a hundred or more packages delivered to me by UPS and every single time they have been delivered on time. Their tracking system is far superior to USPS, whose tracking is all but useless.

As someone said above, contact Helen from Adorama and more than likely they will refund your shipping cost.

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UPS is unreliable
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