Heres an idea..a "find my driver" smart phone app

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Instead of (or in addition to) the "My Choice" program that makes the customer wait during a 2 hr delivery window....we should consider a smart phone app that would, for a fee, allow the customer to exchange text messages with the driver thru the DIAD in order to get an ETA or find and meet the driver on route to get their package.

    Think this through for a minute. We already have the technology in place. For a $5 or $10 fee, the customer could enter the tracking number or the delivery notice number into their smart phone, link up to the OMS communication system in the center, and be able to either get an ETA for delivery or find and meet the driver using direct communication instead of calling a 1-800 number and having to go thru layers of different people.

    We would make it clear that the customer would have to go to the driver for 2nd attempts, not the other way around. Customers would also be required to register their phone# and address with UPS in order to weed out flakes. All communications between the customer and the driver would either be recorded or vetted though the center first to prevent inappropriate use of the system. Customers would also be required to present photo ID to the driver and the meeting would have to be in a safe and well lit location.

    I cant count the number of times I have had customers try to get my cellphone number (NOPE) to make arrangements to meet me for a signature required package that they werent home for. Or they call the 1-800 number....who calls the center....who sends me a text message trying to set up a meet point.... and then tries to communicate that back to the customer. The process is slow, unwieldy and inefficient. Direct communication with the driver....subject to appropriate safeguards and restrictions...could eliminate all of that and reduce the number of send-agains and Will Call packages.

    For busy customers who are "on the go", this would be a great option that would keep them from having to drive all the way to a UPS store or sitting and waiting at home during a 2 hr delivery window.

  2. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    No way Jose.
  3. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

  4. rod

    rod retired and happy

    Or they could just have the stuff sent to an address where someone is available to sign for it in the first place. I could never figure out why someone would have something shipped to their house when they knew no one would be there to sign for it in the first place.
  5. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I have wondered the same thing, but I guess that would involve intelligence on the consignee's part. With sig required packages, I guess a lot of the time the customer doesn't know that it will ship like that.
  6. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I have an Iraq army vet on my route who gets signature required medication from the VA. It comes Next Day Air adult sig required, and he works some days and isnt always home on the others. The guy needs his meds. He has pretty much figured out my route and where I eat lunch so he can come find me if he isnt home when I get there. Not everybody has the ability to sit at home all day awaiting their delivery, and with modern technology it shouldn't be necessary any more. UPS has a clumsy sort of address this issue with "My Choice". I am simply suggesting a more efficient and streamlined version of "My Choice" that will actually meet the needs of those customers in a manner that will actually work.
  7. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    By law, firearms can only be delivered to the address of the FFL who is receiving them. Wine also requires an adult signature and cannot be indirected. Same deal with prescription meds. I deliver several shipments of wine every day and they are a constant source of send-agains and customers trying to call me or meet me. Its even more of a hassle in rural areas where I might be 15 miles away when the customer gets home and sees the note, and the nature of my route is such that any sort of a consistent delivery time is pretty much impossible. If these customers had some way to get a hold of me for an ETA or a place they could meet me, it would really simplify things for all concerned. The "band-aid" solution would be to give out my cellphone number but that doesnt solve the underlying problem and it would very quickly become unmanageable.
  8. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I'll admit that when I read your first post I wasn't sure if you were being serious or sarcastic. Your idea does have merit and I am sure that there are others here who already do something similar. For example, I have left my personal cell phone number on info notices and have written the address and time that I would be at one of my drop boxes.

    I also have a veteran who receives drugs from the VA. He is never home but works at the marina on my area. I also happen to think that the clerk at the marina is kinda cute so this works out well for both of us.:wink2:

    Your idea has merit and would be an improvement over "My Choice"; however, there is no technology that can replace area knowledge.
  9. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    I agree with you upstate I think sober is on to something and I didnt give it enough thought before responding. Anyway upstate what's that guys name?? You know? the clerk.
  10. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    UPS isnt paying my cellphone bill, and I cannot hear it ring or answer it while I am driving. Nor do I have the time to check it periodically, and if I take the time and am observed doing so I could be accused of stealing time. When I first got a cellphone I made the mistake of giving the number out to my customers and it very quickly became unmanageable; I had them calling me all the time, including when I was on vacation, and too many of them developed a sense of entitlement about having me "on call". It wouldnt be a bad thing if customers who paid an extra fee had the ability to contact the driver, but that contact needs to be thru the DIAD or some other UPS-supplied and controlled device. I only use my cellphone for work under extreme and unusual circumstances, and I do NOT give my number out to customers.
  11. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I can recall one time I was on vacation driving on the Mass Pike and one of my customers called to see where I was so you do have a point.

    I don't like send agains and will do anything I can (within the methods) to get rid of them on the first attempt/day.
  12. Returntosender

    Returntosender Well-Known Member

    What about the customers that ship drugs"illegal drugs"? You want some dealer keep texting you where are you? wheres my package?
  13. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    We had a driver fired for that, he would meet somebody at a parking lot of a certain home improvement chain.
  14. hondo

    hondo promoted to mediocrity

    Don't agitate the dots.
  15. tonyexpress

    tonyexpress Whac-A-Troll Patrol Staff Member

    I like your idea sober.

    There are plenty of customers who are willing to pay a little extra to get their package exactly when they want it.

    There are also several scenarios where customers would need their package(s) before the regular delivery time....

    Time definite deliveries, not in the future but now with UPS....:happy-very:
  16. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Will contact as soon as possible
  17. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    You may be onto something sober,with added cell phone technology,diad 6 could be more like an I-pad.
    The only problems I have with this is that on those days when you are way over dispatched,and the customer wants you there
    in say an hour.Breaking trace to do this could mean a good waste of 30 minutes.
    as far as the customer meeting you,well I love when that happens too,but it's not what we do.
  18. Jackburton

    Jackburton Gone Fish'n

    We have a service already for priority packages delivered in a very constrained window, next day air. If they need it bad enough, they'll pay for it. I have 180 other people that are just as important as this person is, they aren't special. If dispatch does thier job correctly, the UPS my choice gives them an eta based on historical times you've been in thier area.
  19. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Meaning no disrespect, but you just contradicted yourself. On the one hand, you give priority to the customer who pays extra $$$ but then you say that all customers should be treated equally.

    Customers should get the level of service they are willing to pay for. We already offer various levels of service at various price points. NDA....NDA saver....2Day Early AM.....Saturday Delivery.....all the way down to Ground Saver and Surepost. I am simply proposing an additional level of service at an additional premium price.
  20. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    The service would not involve the driver having to break trace.

    The customer could communicate with the driver to either (a) get an ETA at the customers address or (b) arrange an alternate delivery time/place along the drivers normal route.

    "When will you get to my house?" or "Where can I meet you in 10 or 15 or 30 minutes?" are the questions that the driver would be answering. The customer is not paying for any sort of guranteed delivery time; the customer is not paying to have the driver break trace; the customer is simply paying for the ability to communicate directly with the driver.

    And as far as "its not what we do" goes.....15 years ago if you would have told me about Package Level Detail, PAS/EDD, instant communication between center and driver via DID text messaging, Telematics, merchandise exchange, My Choice and SurePost....I would have said "but thats not what we do". And I would have been wrong.