unethical business practice?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by supercool, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. supercool

    supercool Member

    This is just a fleeting thought I had... but does anyone else think it's unethical for UPS to charge more for services like 3DS and 2DA if the package is routed the same as ground and gets no delivery time preference? Ex: I know shipping something from say, Seattle to northern California takes two days by ground. UPS still charges more if you want the service level to be 2- or 3-day, yet there is not an earlier delivery time and it still takes two days, and goes in the same trailer as the ground packages. I'm sure they make a pretty penny relying on customer ignorance with this sort of stuff, but does that seem like an ethical thing to do? I feel like someone would make a class action lawsuit out of this if they had the chance.
     
  2. HazMatMan

    HazMatMan New Member

    Good question, do I have the answer? No.. People in Manhattan, New York pay for next day air service from 57th street to 48th street (9 city blocks) Should UPS only charge them for ground service??? People should check to see how many days it will take for a package in transit(i think customers can do this) and then ship accordingly. If they don't, shame on them. As for the unethical business practice, my opinion is no it is not unethical... Just my opinion....
     
  3. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    The store I go to sells Stop and Shop peanut butter AND Jiffy peanut butter. They are the same thing, but the Jiffy costs more!

    Should we sue the grocery store?

    Maybe not the same thing, but when we set up a customer account, we give them rate charts, and time in transit charts. Not hard to look it up.
     
  4. fireman000

    fireman000 New Member

    It all comes down to whether or not do you care if the pkg is there the next day, 2nd day or 5 days later. You're paying for the guarantee.
     
  5. supercool

    supercool Member

    The ground packages are guaranteed. The services are identical. Here's a quick quote from Seattle to San Francisco:

    UPS 2nd Day Air®
    Billable Weight: 22.0 lbs.
    2 By End of Day
    Friday
    February 16, 2007 54.03 USD*
    UPS Ground
    Billable Weight: 22.0 lbs.
    2 By End of Day
    Friday
    February 16, 2007 14.85 USD*


    No 3DS on there, but the cost difference is a lot more, and they don't say why. It gives an illusion of a different service. It just strikes me as being wrong...
     
  6. supercool

    supercool Member

    The ground packages are guaranteed. The services are identical. Here's a quick quote from Seattle to San Francisco:

    UPS 2nd Day Air®
    Billable Weight: 22.0 lbs.
    2 By End of Day
    Friday
    February 16, 2007 54.03 USD*
    Billable Weight: 22.0 lbs.
    2 By End of Day
    Friday
    February 16, 2007 14.85 USD*


    I understand the thinking about the peanut butter, but selling one brand over another is different than a company marketing two identical services (with the implication that one is better) that are in reality identical (in some situations).
     
  7. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    I don't find it unethical. The cust. is paying for the guaranteed service commitment time. Time-in-transit can be just as or more important than just getting pkg.there. I once sent an envelope NDA on a thursday, because I needed it there on friday. Anytime friday would have been fine, and cust. ctr. clerk actually tried to downsell me on next day saver (PM) delivery. It was only 130 miles away & I figured it would actually travel by ground either way but tracking showed it actually did fly (probably ended up travelling 300-350 miles, but hey, showed up exactly 10:30 AM):w00t: . Of course my insider knowledge that envelopes are much better suited for our air dock than our regular sort also played a big role in my decision.
     
  8. HazMatMan

    HazMatMan New Member

     
  9. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    The shipper makes the decision as to what form of service they use on their shipments. Just because UPS is efficient in moving the packages at the least amount of expense, is smart business. Do you think FED EX sends all their air packages on their planes? Guess again, Fed EX does the same thing, they move air packages by ground. Diesel fuel is more economical that jet fuel.
     
  10. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member


    Super...We used to have the same feeling you do. Taking a trailer out to the airport, and waiting for sort, we would find (at the start of NDA service here) a NDA going just 55 miles down the road. We'd pull it off, set it aside and tell them to wait for morning sort to put it into morning trailer going to that center, right? No, didn't work that way. "The customer paid for NDA, they're gonna get this thing flown to Louisville, back here, THEN put on same morning trailer we're talking about. After some time, the LIGHT went on. "Hey, we can drive this thing over in the morning, save handling times, etc." They then started driving boxes here and there withing service times reach, hence the contractors, then sleepers driving all over the country.

    I think most customers now don't care if it's driven or flown, just so it gets there when they want. Exam: When picking up a trailer account in town some yrs ago, I saw above exam sitting on dock. I informed shipper person the policy in effect now (that of driving compared to flying). They said they wanted to KNOW it was going to get there at a certain time and be guaranteed (before the ground guarantee), and didn't care if it had wings or wheels.

    Most, note MOST, shippers want the speed and service, not the method.

    But, I do agree with you that that should be known, or at least renamed
     
  11. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    The fine print says, "Not all air packages leave the ground", or something like that.
     
  12. ups_vette

    ups_vette New Member

    supercool....Would it surprise you to know that the Stop and Shop peanut butter and the Jiffy peanutbutter are both made by the Jiffy Co.? It's the same peanutbutter in different labeled containers. Manufacturs do this all the time. Store brand products are made by Premium brand companies, using the exact same formula, and sold at a discount.

    You also have airlines charging different prices to people on the same flight, even thought they both leave and arrive the same time at their destination..
     
  13. Brown Sales Machine

    Brown Sales Machine New Member

    SuperCool-I agree with the group that the customer is paying for the guarantee. Is it unethical-NO. The customer is responsible to do their homework before selecting a service; also with NDA there is a time definite guarantee.

    Second-Do you believe we should call the customer when we deliver a package late and offer the money back?

    DO NOT WAKE A SLEEPING DOG!!!
     
  14. canon

    canon Member

    By the very definition of "ethical", yes. We enter a contract with the customer when we accept their money. If we don't hold up our end of the contract, we should not keep their funds. We do too much business to need to rely on shady business practices to make a profit.

    Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ethical


    So is it unethical to charge people the same rate? No, not in my opinion. In the past I've chosen air over ground with similar destination times simply because I don't like getting the package with a giant footprint on it. That ground sort gets a little rough, never had a problem with air sorts. I'll pay extra for that.
     
  15. rushfan

    rushfan Well-Known Member

    I've mentioned how the 2 day air travels from here washington or oregon-by ground. Yet still the customers still are willing to pay the air charge instead of ground. It's their money.
     
  16. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    When the service is the same you could normally roll the dice and use the cheaper one and be ok. But when there are service disruptions like the weather we will put more urgency on delivering the air then the ground.
     
  17. sendagain

    sendagain Member

    I would often advise a customer if I saw them making stupid decisions with their shipping practices. It just seemed like the friendly thing to do, not to mention being right ethically. We aren't out there to rip people off, but give them good service. Whether or not my honesty got me any brownie points or nor, I don't know, but I generally got respect from the people I worked with.
     
  18. canon

    canon Member

    Agreed. I've done the same thing. People always complain about the price of shipping, but don't understand that the in-transit times for ground are sometimes the same as 1da or 2da depending on destination. If we point these things out our customers see us as being honest, less expensive than they thought, and our competitors seem less attractive (even if they do have clean trucks).
     
  19. Jack4343

    Jack4343 FT DR Specialist

    Several customers have asked me about how they should send packages that are in the same state. I tell them that they should be there the next day but with NDA you get the guaranteed 10:30am delivery. Ground could be end of day and you always run the risk of a ground package not getting delivered due to a driver missing the close time of a business stop because he had too much work on his truck. Also, the center will shuttle left in building air to drivers but very seldom do they do that to ground packages. It all boils down to how important it is for the customer to have the package there the next day.
     
  20. Coldworld

    Coldworld Well-Known Member

    haz mat man, do you work in new york city? If yes please tell about the challenges of delivering in the busiest city in the country. There must be an army of brown in the city. Are there any drivers that just deliver one or two skyscrapers all day? With all of the traffic it seems like production wouldnt be as bad as less crowed cities, is this true? tell us about the buildings, arent cars loaded on multiple floors.