Apparently United Parcel Services (UPS) has decided that they can cut costs and make more money during this busy holiday season by dumping packages at the mailbox by the roadside rather than delivering all the way to the intended recipient's front door. Of course this means that valuable mail or packages (including medical prescriptions) are being left unattended along public roads, often overnight. At least the U.S. Postal Service notifies us, if for some reason they cannot deliver a package and other arrangements are made. They certainly don't abandon the mail or packages in a snow bank in proximity to your mail box and simply drive away. This happened to us twice in the past week. We cannot plainly see our mailbox from the house, as is the case with many rural residents. When we went out in the early morning to pick up our Martinsburg Journal we discovered the packages sitting in the snow bank. In the second incident it was $15.000 worth of medicine left out over night. We were never notified that the package had been left at the road side. When I called the company after numerous tries and long waits, my complaint was taken and I was assured that a senior manager would call back within the hour. Of course no one has ever bothered to call.
These large companies make their money on volume and despite the "warm fuzzies" you get in their promotional material about dedicated service, they actually could care less about you, the individual customer.
If you have to use these services, I would strongly recommend that you insist on signing for any shipments and not send high value items. For all of the bad press it is getting, the old U.S. Postal Service is reliable and does not sacrifice public service for the bottom line. In this weakened economy with rising incidents of crime, the last thing we want to do is to tempt people to steal packages and mail left unattended along our public roads.