UPS question - shipping to business versus residence

Background: Mr. Athena and I both work out of our house, and as such, run a business out of our home. Part of that business is, on occasion, getting things shipped to us.

We’ve run into an issue with UPS over the past year where they’ve changed their routes, and now we’re at the end of a route, not the beginning like we’ve been forever. So what that means is that more than once, we’re stuck sitting at home waiting for a package that needs to be signed for all day, into the evening (they deliver until 7pm).

Now, during the day isn’t a problem; like I said, we work, and most days we’re both here, working, all day. But AFTER work, we have stuff to do. We go run errands, get groceries, all of that stuff.

We’ve asked UPS before if they could change things and deliver during business hours, because they seem to manage it for businesses that close at certain times. They’ve basically told us to bugger off.

Except today. I just called to check on a package, and expressed my frustration that once again, we’re going to be stuck here waiting until late. But this time, the lady told me that if it was addressed to a business, not a person, it’d be treated like a business and it would be guaranteed by 3pm.

What? Is it that easy? I could have been shipping to my business name instead of my name all this time and it’d be here by 3?

Does that sound right to anyone? I question it, because I’ve asked UPS before what needs to happen to get things here early, and this is the first time they’ve mentioned this particular angle.

As I remember when the shipper completes the airbill, there is a checkbox that lets you indicate if you’re sending to a business or residence address. I think that’s what UPS uses to determine its routes.

FedEx cares whether they’re delivering to a business or a residence. The sender can check a box to make this distinction, but that’s only so FedEx can make an accurate estimate of what they will be charging when all is said and done; If you type in a residential address and check the “business address” box, FedEx’s web page will tell you you’ve made a mistake. FedEx makes its own determination about whether an address is a business or residence and charges accordingly when they finally do bill the sender. I think the distinction is that

A) they can run a regular route through a group of closely-located businesses, and
B) the FedEx truck typically receives and delivers several packages at each stop,

which means that FedEx can afford to charge less for packages being shipped to/from a business.

I would guess UPS does something similar. Unlike FedEx, UPS charges the sender before the package is delivered, but they will amend the charges later if the sender provides inaccurate information. It’s possible that UPS will let a sender define a residential address as a business (without arguing about it), but I’d be surprised.

Is there a UPS Store near your house? You could rent a box and have your packages delivered there, then pick them up at your convenience.

You could always drive to the UPS office and pick it up there. I’ve done that before. Of course you can’t do this till after the first attempt at delivery. Then you simply go online and indicate you’ll pick the package up at the UPS office. Assuming it’s not too far a drive

Same boat here. Two of us work out of our home office, both of us have clients sending materials via FedEx, UPS, DHL (though not anymore). We also order materials and supplies addressed to our business.

It’s a nightmare.

We’re somewhat rural now (about forty five minutes outside NYC, on a mile-long wooded cul de sac with only ten houses on it), so we’re lucky if the driver even knocks to find out if anyone is home. To the driver it looks like a house regardless of how the package is addressed.

Like you, the prospect of having to leave work in order to go pick up a package is an awful option. We can call, but that does little – plus we don’t always know that a client is sending us something.

Yeah, I know we can do that. But part of getting things shipped is the convenience of it; if it shows up at a decent time, it’s great! Or if it’s something that doesn’t need a signature, that’s great too. It just irks me that I sometimes pay extra for overnight shipping, and (especially around the holidays), it’s sometimes not here until 7pm or later.

I get all kinds of packages delivered to my very rural office. I never answer the door unless I expect a rare package that requires a signature. Most of the old drivers just open up the door and put the packages inside, though new or temporary drivers leave them on the porch, in plastic bags if the weather is inclement.

I may have had to sign something years ago to get UPS and FedEx to do this. If there is a package requiring signature, they call ahead to let me know.

Our guys are all really flexible and have given me the unlisted number of the distribution center as well as their cell phones. If I’m going to town and expect a package, I can call them and meet them somewhere along their route, which they really appreciate, because as I say, I’m very rural and they probably hate coming out here.

You can get online and reroute a package as HAPU “hold for pick-up”. I keep a sign on my door to do this for all boxes that need a signature and for any that don’t I leave my porch door unlocked with instructions to place the box inside.

UPS does have the option to mark a shipment “to a business” as opposed to “to a residence”. The fare lowers a bit since presumably the driver just has to walk in and hand it over, as opposed to ringing the doorbell, waiting a while, ringing again, waiting while you find clean shorts to put on and lock the dog in the bathroom, and maybe return another day if you are not there. A business has predictable times when you can deliver a package with no fuss.

Alas, you cannot just declare yourself to be a business. The destination has to be an actual business location where the driver can walk in on business hours and not wait while you get out of the shower.

Also, if you say your overnights are arriving at 7pm, I guess that your location is rather rural and/or distant. Urban destinations usually get their overnights by 10:30am, noon, or 3pm depending on how far they are from the UPS office.

Being rural and out of the way will prevent you from getting the “to a business” label, even if you are an actual business manned during business hours. Part of the convenience to them is that they can deliver all their business packages in a short quick route.

That actually made me laugh out loud. I’ve actually watched a UPS truck pull up to my house and could not run down the stairs fast enough to catch him driving away. They already have a “stopped and you weren’t here note” filled out and stuck on my door before the single bell ring.

What? I get a fair amount of packages delivered, and they mostly leave a slip that I can sign and leave by the door, and then the next day they will take that as my signature and leave the package. One regular delivery guy even has agreed to leave the package for me the same day, along with the slip to sign, so I don’t even have to wait another day (and he doesn’t have to come back twice). He picks that signed slip up at his next delivery, which is usually within the same week.

That they do.

Our house has the same address as another house on our street, and the two houses are literally a block apart. For example, both of our addresses are like 95 Oak Road. The difference is that we live in two different cities. For example: We’re in Fairmont and they’re in Claremont. (Addresses and cities have been changed to protect the innocent, or at least me.)

When we hear a quick doorbell ring after 4pm, we know who it is: It is the UPS/FedEx delivery person delivering us a package. More likely, they’re delivering us a package that should go to the other 95 Oak Road.

We also know the drill: Run to the front of the house, sprint out the front door, glance at the address label (is it for us or the other 95 Oak Road?), and then to the front of the delivery van to physically block the driver from leaving until they take the package and deliver it to the right house.