UPS Stores in Manhattan Accused of Overcharging Customers
Recently, it was reported by the New York Post that two of five UPS Stores located in Manhattan were charging $20 more to customers who were offered the more expensive air shipping option when there was no advantage over shipping packages via UPS Ground. According to the Post article, their investigation revealed the two stores were charging $20 more than the lowest available price when customers were offered the air shipping option, a more profitable option for UPS.
A spokeswoman for UPS said the company's Ground service is guaranteed, and always a shipping option for customers at the UPS Store locations. She went on to say that employees may recommend specific services if they believe it will better fulfill the need of the customer in an effort to meet or exceed customers' expectations.
In a lawsuit brought by UPS against Robert and Thomas Hagan, former franchisees of the largest UPS Store franchise in New York City, the shipping giant is suing for more than $500,000. According to court papers, the Hagans complained in 2013 to upper management at UPS that fraud was occurring as customers were being overcharged for shipments. The Hagans filed lawsuits against UPS and several store locations in Manhattan regarding their claims. The Hagans claim they were targeted by UPS after "blowing the whistle." They also hired a private investigator who discovered that more than 40 of the Manhattan stores were participating in deceptive sales practices.
At one UPS Store, a customer recently sent a package to Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The customer explained the packed needed to be delivered in three days, to which the clerk responded the cost would be $46.99 - the air rate for shipping the package. The clerk, according to the customer, did not offer the three-day guaranteed ground option, which cost $25. The customer asked the clerk how the package would be shipped to its destination, to which the clerk replied, "By air and truck, probably." UPS delivered the package entirely by ground transport and it arrived on time, according to tracking records.
Ultimately, it was discovered in the Post's investigation that clerks often try to insist customers ship via UPS Air to ensure two-day delivery, claiming that two-day ground delivery is uncertain despite the fact that the UPS Ground service is guaranteed. Why? UPS Air is more profitable for the company.