Anyone Else Have Trouble getting UPS packages that require a signature?


“Dear PoPville,

Has anyone else in DC had trouble receiving packages from UPS that require a signature? I work from home, and UPS deliverymen have outright lied on several occasions, claiming that they attempted a delivery but I was not available. Customer service is no help. They just read from the computer that they attempted delivery, and tell me the only possible way to get my package is to go to Landover, or pay $5 to have it delivered to a UPS store. It’s a total scam. They have no intention of ever attempting delivery. They never leave a slip; I honestly doubt they ever even leave Landover. I receive packages from FedEx just fine, and I receive non-signature-requiring packages from UPS. But if it needs a signature, you might as well not even bother imagining it will ever show up.”

20 Comment

  • UPS and Fedex both consistently ring my doorbell for packages. USPS and Lasership often just dump it on the front porch, which really irritates me, since I’m generally at home when they come by.
    You could sign up for UPS My Choice (it’s free) and pre-0sign, but I suspect you’re accepting liability for any lost packages at that point. It would be nice if UPS would let you divert to a UPS store for free, but they don’t. Fedex does that, and I’ve taken advantage of it when I wasn’t around to accept a signature-required package.

  • I have that problem with FedEx. Looked me right in the face and lied, saying he didn’t see the large black-lettered sign on the door that said “FEDEX: I AM HOME AND EXPECTING YOU. PLEASE KNOCK LOUDLY OR CALL THIS NUMBER.”
    This happened twice, with wine shipments that require a signature. I lodged a complaint on FedEx’s website, but that got me no where. So I informed the wine distributor, and they said they would switch to UPS for deliveries in DC, as mine was not the first FedEx complaint they heard. Looking forward to my next wine shipment, as our UPS guy is top-drawer.
    I have to assume it’s an individual carrier thing.

    • Yep, I have had FedEx out and out lie about trying to reach me when I had a huge sign on the door and was literally home all day. I think they are so used to people not being home that they don’t even bother. But saying you came by when you didn’t is unethical and frustrating to the customers waiting for their packages.

  • DC1

    Sounds like you have a lazy ass driver. Unfortunately UPS won’t do anything about it. I used to have the same issue, especially when they were bringing a return label, and the driver just claimed there was no one available. Little did he know that I have a security camera just by the entrance and you could clearly see him slipping the label under the door without even trying to knock or ring the bell. I told UPS about the footage and their response was that they were going to talk to the guy, of course, nothing changed.
    Lately I have been having tons of issues with FedEx claiming to have delivered the packages and reviewing the footage, I noticed that they didn’t even came to my house! Today after following up for an entire week about a missing package, the lady just said I should probably ask the sender to send a new one because the driver hasn’t responded to their requests to try to locate the package.

  • I had this problem often when I lived on the Hill (moved to years ago). I found that if I called UPS before 7 pm after a fake “attempted delivery” and was transferred to the local location, if I said the magic words “I was home and they did not ring my doorbell” they would make the driver come back that night and deliver my package.

  • I just had this happen with Fed Ex. I got home from work to a notice that they’d tried to deliver something that required a signature. It didn’t have a re-deliver date/time marked, the website had no record of the door tag number, and I wasn’t expecting anything, so I went about my business as usual. The next day there was another tag, no re-deliver date, no online record of the tag number. So I called them the next day and they said it didn’t require a signature to receive, I just needed to sign the tag and leave it on the door. “But the tag SAID ‘signature required for delivery’ and your website doesn’t recognize the tag number!” “No, this doesn’t require a signature.” “But the tag said…” (This went on for a while.) Anyway, the envelope was there when I got home. I don’t know why. But wow, am I glad that I didn’t take a day off work to wait for delivery: It turned out to be, no kidding, a generic sales brochure from Sprint asking me to renew my contract.
    Thus ended one of the more irritating consumer experiences I’ve had of late.

  • This happened to me this week!! I took Wednesday off to wait for the package and sign for it, since it was an important document. I checked the tracking that afternoon and UPS “attempted” a second delivery. I called the 800 number and told them that there was no “second attempt”. I was at home all day and UPS did not ring the bell nor did they knock on the door. I told them that my document needed to be delivered to my work address at no charge. I spent nearly an hour on the phone and spoke with several people, including 2 supervisors. Eventually my package was re-routed for free. However, I should not have had to spend an hour on the phone for them to correct their driver’s laziness.

  • I had a situation recently where UPS did attempt delivery and leave a slip, but because the package required a signature, they refused to leave it, even though I signed the slip and explicitly indicated they could leave the package (I hadn’t asked for signature required, there was nothing valuable in the package, not sure why the company added that). They said it was “at the driver’s discretion” and that if the driver didn’t feel comfortable leaving the package, even with my signature and instructions on the slip, they wouldn’t deliver it unless I was home to sign. I’m not home during the workday, so it’s impossible for me to be home to sign for packages. When I called to see if it was possible to leave instructions for the driver, in addition to what I left on the slip, to make it extra clear that it was fine to leave it inside my building, they said it wasn’t possible, that leaving the package would be at the driver’s discretion, and that I could pay extra to schedule a delivery at a specific time, or drive to Landover to get it. I couldn’t get to Landover within the time period they required, so the package got shipped back to the sender and I had them re-ship it with no signature requirement. It was a huge pain, and I don’t understand why they bother leaving the slip asking for a signature and permission to leave it if they will just refuse to leave it there anyway. I understand that a package requiring a signature may indicate something valuable that shouldn’t be left, so I get why they’d be cautious, but in that case, the receiver could decline to give permission via the slip. It wasn’t the end of the world, but still frustrating.


    I had my iphone delivered and left in the bushes and the note on the door said “BUSHES” I couldnt even find a UPS customer service person to talk about the problem with.

  • OP here. I must have a shitty UPS driver and a great FedEx driver. Last week, UPS “attempted to deliver” a package 3 times while I was working from home. I talked to several customer service reps who all basically said the driver attempted to deliver and I must be delusional. I put signs on every possible entrance saying I was home. They even delivered a package to my neighbor in the same building — which didn’t require a signature — on a day I was home waiting for them (left it on the stoop). I eventually told them to return to sender and I’ll just go to the store (apparently online shopping is not an option for me). This week, my BF had a package requiring signature. They attempted twice while we were home. Today, I got lucky, they rang the bell, not even waiting long enough for me to buzz them in before leaving. I BOLTED down 4 flights of stairs and ran after them down the street and successfully received the package. Hooray, thanks UPS. TERRIBLE.

  • The whole thing about not even knocking or ringing the bell is so frustrating to me. It’s the lowest-hanging fruit to combat stolen packages too. Even if they are just leaving it b/c no signature is required, just ring the freakin bell as you are turning around to leave. no need to stop to say hi.

    MPD should really be pressing the firms/drivers to at least be doing this.

  • Same thing happened to me today. I called yesterday to let UPS know that I was expecting a package and live in the basement apartment and they need to come down the stairs, ring the doorbell, and I would be HAPPY to sign for and receive the package. Low and behold, 3 non-signature packages delivered upstairs and not a knock or a doorbell ring. I received an email and no “we missed you” note. I called and stated no such delivery attempt was made. They said they will re-deliver tonight. We will certainly see…

  • UPS in Silver Spring is no better. I live in a residential neighborhood where people are home all over the place, it is very safe and away from busy streets, no package thefts reported in years (and I manage the listserv, so I hope I’d know), and we all have back doors which can be delivered to instead. But lo and behold–weekly I fight with our UPS driver(s).

    I signed the delivery slips and left them with notes, and extra notes, and notes saying deliver to my neighbor who works from home if this is a problem, but still packages were returned to sender for a lack of signature. I have called UPS several times, every time informing me no signature had been required, so the packages should have been left *but this is up to the discretion of the driver*. This last part is what gets me–because when I used to work from home, I would see the driver LEAVE PACKAGES WITH NO SIGNATURE AT ALL THE OTHER HOUSES ON THE STREET except ours. UPS informs me that our house has never had a package stolen from it, which would usually blacklist our house as requiring a signature.

    I’m starting to think our driver hates me or our dog–she is starting to learn to hate UPS from us, barking at the truck as it goes down the street and I shudder with rage.

  • This has happened to us a few times in the last two months at our office building in NW DC! We didn’t have a single problem in the last few years – we were lucky enough to have a fantastic regular driver but it seems he may have moved on. It’s frustrating because as a business we are most definitely here 8:00 am – 6:00 pm M-F, yet there have been slips left on our mailroom USPS mailbox that delivery was attempted and we weren’t available. So frustrating!

  • UPS in my neighborhood has started leaving “signature required” packages on the doorstep and signing fake names. My entire neighborhood (7 blocks) started a twitter campaign to get our old driver back because he was very diligent about us getting our packages. But there was definitely something political going on and when I called to complain multiple times about my driver, the notices started to say they were signed for by a name I had never heard of. Every call to UPS ended up back at the local center, where they covered for each other.
    I followed up a few times and finally said that lying was not okay and that I would start a letter writing campaign to amazon, requesting they switch all neighborhood deliveries to Fedex until I got an acceptable answer from UPS.
    That got a phone call, but still..same thing happened. Finally I tracked down the driver and confronted her. At first she said she had a neighbor sign for it, and then I said I had no neighbor by that name. Then she said maybe it was just some random dude walking the street that signed for it, and maybe he didn’t actually live in the neighborhood!!! Anyway, I put the fear of god in her, she tracked down one of my neighbors who did actually sign for a package, but had no idea that she was then leaving the package unattended on my doorstep.
    It’s aggravating. UPS corporate is impossible to get in touch with. They did seem to really not like the twitter thing.

  • clevelanddave

    I’ve had the same problem. The wording on the notices is terribly confusing. Signature required? Ok, I left the tag with my signature so you could leave it. No, that isn’t what it means: it means you have to be there to sign for it. What a bunch of dumbasses. Listen to your customers. Fix the signature card. Allow for weekend or evening re-deliveries for in person signature required packages.

    The solution for me was: switch to FedEx and have the packages delivered to a FedEx store convenient to your home or work. After the first delivery you can go online and ask for the package to be rerouted. Why does this not work for UPS? First, because you need to talk to someone live to sign up to get your packages rerouted and that can take a half hour or more. Second, because they charge like $5 to re-route. Why you ask? Because unlike FedEx, the UPS stores are franchised not owned by UPS. So that is how the UPS Stores makes money. Also, you could have the packages delivered by USPS if you know your local postman and/or you live/work near a post office.

  • I have a student who is a UPS deliveryman and he says the company has made so many cutbacks, the drivers are working long crazy hours and expected to do almost twice the amount of work they were doing 5 years ago. Not only drivers, but the warehouses are slammed these days with the increase in online business and the truck loaders are expected to sort and load trucks in unrealistic timelines–especially during the holidays. Remember the holiday delivery debacles last year? If they don’t load those trucks properly, even with one or two packages, it can cause a nightmare for the driver out on the road.

    I chased a FedEx guy down the street a few months ago when he called my unit from the call box for the “third delivery attempt” of an important document–mind you, I was working from home all week waiting for this next day air package and never saw him or received documentation of an attempted delivery. Once I stopped him, he had the leave behind tag in his hand…I asked him why he didn’t leave it behind and he just shrugged…I was so angry, I just took my document and walked away after signing…about a block down the road from my apartment, that can’t be okay btw.

  • If my package arrived in the DC area for the first time on Friday morning (12/19), how is it that the first delivery attempt on Friday morning was a “second delivery attempt”??

    Also, I too have a day job and cannot be home midday to sign for packages – especially without advanced notice!

    Landover, DC, United States 12/19/2014 10:38 A.M. The receiver was not available at the time of the second delivery attempt. A final attempt will be made.

    Landover, MD, United States 12/19/2014 4:30 A.M. Out For Delivery
    12/19/2014 3:24 A.M. Arrival Scan

    Laurel, MD, United States 12/19/2014 3:03 A.M. Departure Scan
    12/19/2014 2:32 A.M. Arrival Scan

    Philadelphia, PA, United States 12/18/2014 11:56 P.M. Departure Scan

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