UPS Service Guarantee: An Expert Reveals Insider Tips

Matt Bohn

September 28, 2023


UPS Service Guarantee: What You Need to Know

There are some important things to know about a UPS service guarantee.

Editor's note: This post was updated on September 28, 2023. Most notably, UPS and FedEx have announced a service guarantee suspension for some of their more economical services.  Shippers are currently only able to file for refunds for late deliveries for overnight air and international priority shipments.

With the increasing demand for timely and next day delivery, especially for those using UPS shipping, knowing about the service guarantees can be a game-changer. That’s where UPS, the United Parcel Service, comes in - a global shipping powerhouse with a reputation that needs no introduction. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve deep into the world of UPS service guarantees, explaining what UPS service guarantees are, why they matter, and how you can leverage them to supercharge your shipping operations.
BONUS TIP: Lojistic makes it easy to track & quantify the impact service guarantees are having on your business. The Lojistic platform does it for free. 

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What Are UPS Service Guarantees 

What exactly are these UPS service guarantees, and why should you, whether a small business or an individual shipper, care deeply about them?

First, it is your responsibility as the consumer to identify that late package.

Second, you're the one who has to submit a UPS refund request.

UPS has the ability to credit you back for that late shipment that they guaranteed, but they still put that responsibility on you as their customer.

Not exactly a best practice for customer relationships.

Instant Free Shipping Audit

How to Use UPS Service Guarantees

Leveraging the power of UPS service guarantees isn't complicated. Here's your step-by-step guide to ensure you maximize these invaluable promises:

  • Track Your Shipment: Utilize UPS's robust tracking system to stay informed about your shipment's progress in real-time.
  • Know Your Guarantees: Familiarize yourself with the specific terms and conditions of your chosen UPS service guarantee. Understand what's covered and what steps to take if an issue ever arises. 

Contact UPS if Needed: In the unlikely event of an issue, don't hesitate to reach out to UPS customer service. They are your allies, there to assist you and ensure your concerns are addressed promptly.

How to Secure Late Package Refunds

The way you find out about a late package is by going to UPS's system and tracking the package. So once again you're using their system to tell you that a package was late. They already know that that package was late and they could refund you that money right away but they don't. You have 15 days from the scheduled delivery date to request a UPS refund. If you don't do that within that time frame, they will keep your money.

There are four different ways you can address this problem. The first is to accept it and do nothing.

The second, what UPS often does is ask their customers to sign a UPS service guarantee waiver. This means you are signing a waiver instead of being able to file for late shipment. UPS's usual position is, "Hey. We ask you to sign a service guarantee waiver which means you can no longer get money back for late shipments. In exchange for that, we're gonna give you an extra point or two built into your contract."

Audit Shipments Yourself

The next option is to actually audit your UPS shipments yourself through auditing technology. Now keep in mind that the carrier invoice has thousands and thousands of line items. You may have thousands of shipments. Within each particular shipping charge there could be a range of charges. Also, these charges could be transportation charges or accessorials or fuel. The list goes on and on.

So as you can imagine, you need some pretty sophisticated software if you're gonna be doing this on your own. I love it when customers say, "Yeah, we audited our own shipping invoices." Then I find out it's someone sorting through paper invoices by hand. It's impossible to catch all the errors if you're doing it that way.

I Found Errors On My UPS Invoices. Now What?

Say you're auditing your UPS invoices yourself and you've found a bunch of errors. Now what? You might be entitled to a refund, but UPS won't just credit your account. You have to ask for your money back. If you're the DIY type, we've got you covered. Here's a helpful guide: DIY Parcel Audit & Refund Recovery Guide.

Use it to get step-by-step directions on how to successfully recover the refunds you're owed by UPS.
DIY Refund Recovery Guide

Consider Delegating Your Audit

There are a bunch of auditors out there who would be happy to take your money. Some will even offer to do it for free - but here's the catch: they'll audit your invoices at no charge, but won't share the results of that audit unless you sign a service agreement. So, it's not actually free. It's masked as free in an attempt to get you to pay for additional services.

Lojistic is the only truly free UPS audit . The audit is just one feature of the Lojistic platform. Lojistic will automatically audit your UPS invoices once you connect your carrier account to the platform. Lojistic also offers premium audit services which helps to ensure every eligible package is refunded.

Does UPS Ever Suspend Service Guarantees?

YES! UPS suspends its service guarantees every year during the "peak holiday season" which is usually early October through mid January. UPS has also created "demand" surcharges which persist throughout the year.  These were initially in response to COVID, but UPS likely enjoyed the new revenue too much to remove them.  As of September 2023, only overnight air and priority international shipments are eligible for refunds.

Can I Speak With Someone About the UPS Service Guarantee?

Lojistic employs former UPS pricing gurus, so we know a thing or two about the UPS service guarantee and we've helped thousands of people navigate the complexity of UPS contracts. If you're looking for honest, transparent information about the UPS service guarantee and how it might impact your business - we're here to help! Contact us by phone, email or live chat.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to be well informed about the UPS service guarantee. In the unpredictable world of shipping, it can act as a significant safety net for your business, ensuring that your shipments arrive on time. By leveraging this service, you're not only securing peace of mind but potentially saving money and improving your overall shipping operations. So, dive deep, understand the specifics, and don't hesitate to ask the experts when in doubt.
The UPS service guarantee is not just a phrase – it's a promise. And promises should be kept.


Matt Bohn

Matt Bohn

Director of Parcel Rate Services

Matt is the Director of Parcel Rate Services for Lojistic, a technology-driven firm that leverages innovative software solutions to control and reduce shipping costs.

Prior to his role at Lojistic, Matt held significant positions in the industry, including his tenure as Senior Pricing Advisor at FedEx. Matt analyzed pricing programs and wrote pricing contracts for some of FedEx’s largest e-commerce and retail shippers. He also managed projects for the FedEx Global Pricing Approval Systems and Strategic Account Executive Inputs.

Matt earned a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA in Finance from the Joseph M. Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
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