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 originally published on March 5, 2019. It's been updated with new content and links.
When you ship a package with UPS in any way, they offer a UPS service guarantee. Here's an example: say I want to ship a package to New York and want to ship it either next day air, next day air saver, or ground. It comes with a delivery guarantee. This means that they're going to guarantee that the package will be there by a certain day at a certain time. And if the package does not arrive by that day and that time, they will give you your money back. So they will say, "If we don't meet our guarantee, that shipment is eligible for a refund."
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.
If you open up a UPS service guide you're going to find the word guarantee in their service guide over 100 times. They offer a UPS service guarantee on all their services. Now what happens is if you ship a package and that package is late. Well, guess what? UPS actually knows that they delivered a package late. They have sophisticated tracking systems that show they delivered a late package. Now here's where things get interesting. Although UPS knows they delivered a package late, they won't approach you about it.
First, it is your responsibility as the consumer to identify that late package.
Second, you're the one who has to submit a refund request to UPS.
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.
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. UPS is counting on the fact that you're not going to submit a request for a credit and they're going to keep your money. You have 15 days from the scheduled delivery date to request a 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 that it is what it is and to 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
Option number three 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.
Delegate the Audit
Then the fourth is to delegate it. Now there's plenty of auditing companies out there that can handle this for you. There's a variety of ways that they can charge you. Even so, I definitely recommend doing something. So the option of doing nothing, I definitely wouldn't recommend. You're just leaving money on the table! Option number two - signing a service guarantee waiver - is only in best interest of the carrier. That leaves the only real viable option: audit your UPS invoices. You can either audit it yourself through some auditing technology or software. Or you can outsource it. This way ensures that you're catching all the late shipments. Then you can capture all the late shipment refunds that you deserve.
How Much Does a UPS Audit Cost?
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. 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.
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.
And if you're a UPS customer, you probably already know that UPS fully suspended the service guarantee from March 26, 2020 until reinstating a partial service guarantee on April 5, 2021.
UPS has claimed that it suspended its service guarantees for Covid-related reasons, yet during that same time period UPS experienced their most profitable year ever.
UPS also recently changed its Next Day Air Residential delivery commitment time.
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.