MoneyConsumerDon't Waste Your Money


Package mix-up ruins local woman's 50th birthday

How to protect yourself if shipping a gift
Birthday Cake.png
Posted at 1:22 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 20:48:50-04

CINCINNATI — You've probably heard about -- or experienced -- all the shipping delays this past holiday season: It was a major problem for many carriers, not just the US Postal Service.

But what if your package did arrive, but it was the wrong package? It can be more frustrating than not getting anything at all, because you can't easily claim it as a loss.

Birthday disappointment

Unable to have a 50th birthday party during a pandemic, Tiffany Davidson was looking forward to receiving a custom-baked cake, sent from her mother in Mississippi to her Maineville, Ohio, home.

Her Ring doorbell footage shows the UPS man arriving at her front door one recent afternoon.

"I'm like, 'Oh, my cake is here,'" Davidson said. "So I run to the door and see this tiny, tiny box. And I say, 'That's not it. Maybe I bought something from Amazon?'"

But the tiny box had a label from her mom stuck to it. Confused, Davidson opened it.

"It was a modem," she said. "It's one of those returned items when people send something back to the company."

So she called her mother, and learned she had sent the cake, but that the labels were apparently switched, either at the store where she shipped it or in transit.

"She said something has gone horribly wrong," Davidson said of her conversation with her mother.

It turns out package mix-ups happen more than you think, according to online complaints on Reddit forums.

And the first thing you need to do is figure out if it happened during shipping, or at the UPS store, because the stores are independently owned.

Her calls to UPS got her nowhere.

"They said, 'No, we just verify what you receive; we don't verify if it is what you are supposed to receive,'" she said.

We contacted the UPS Store's corporate offices, where a spokeswoman promised to get to the bottom of the mix-up.

But don't let this happen to you:

  • When shipping a package, stay until you see the clerk affix the label.
  • Be sure to write on the form what exactly you are shipping.
  • If it is valuable, insure it.

That way, someone's birthday isn't ruined, and you don't waste your money.


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