TL/DR recap: Sometimes, UPS is great. Some regional UPS branches might suck hardcore....
Full length story:
Great buyer, completed the transaction easily via paypal.
I got the package ready, shrink wrapped the contents, made sure everything was secure and got it to my buddies place of business for him to ship out on his UPS account.
He got a quote online and scheduled a pickup. Had the weight and size of the package accurately marked, and UPS adjusted the price based on the weight (over weight) and size (over size). It was just over $200 to ship.
First hiccup - UPS driver refused to pick it up on Monday. Not because the driver didn't have have room, but because he claimed it was 'too big' to ship via UPS.
After some debate, it got put on the outgoing truck the next day.
Package made it from MI to MA without a problem.
On the truck, out for delivery at 8:00 AM Monday morning.
Purchaser took the day off work Monday to await the package.
At 4:11 I got a notice: "Attempt was made to deliver, no adult available to sign. Will attempt delivery tomorrow".
I get a PM from the purchaser saying that he had been home all day, was home at 4:11, and no truck came to his home. Explains that this often happens for UPS for his densely populated area. WTF?
Purchaser requests that I change the delivery to 'pickup' at the UPS depot, but I can't, as I'm not the shipper, and I can't contact the shipper as it's after hours.
The next morning it's out for delivery at 6:00 AM. Purchaser stays home from work a second day..
At around 5:30, I get an alert from UPS that a request has been made by the addressee to change the delivery day, and the delivery would be made the next day.
I get a PM from the purchaser telling me that he made no such request, and he's not going to wait around another day home from work for the UPS clowns to get their crap together. He suggests that he's going to let the package be returned to me and get a refund if we can't get the package to him.
So, I look up the information for the local UPS depot, so I can call to find out WTF is going on...
I get hold of a guy named Steve.... We get the tracking number stuff out of the way, and I tell him the story. He says "We don't just make this stuff up. When it says we got a request for delivery change, that's what happened." I can tell he's lying. I actually tell him he had better make every attempt to get the package to where it needed to go, or I would have to climb the ladder to expose where the fraud was originating. So he tells me... "The driver is still in the area, and he will attempt to deliver the package tonight."
At 7:30, the package did get delivered and signed for. Totally stressful for something that should have gone really smooth.
During an online search, I came across this Yelp. Apparently, there are some really, really bad UPS places. This is the one that was in charge of delivering my purchasers package.
So as a recap, I've never had a problem with my local UPS branch, so I figured they were all pretty good. Not so. If you're planning on using them to send a large and valuable package, maybe a bit of research is in order.