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The problem wasn't the existence of the call center, but that it has been utterly crappified. First by a frustrating voice-interactive system that insists you figure out that you need to say you want to "track" a package (if I wanted to track a package, I'd go to the website!). Then secondly by a human-voiced robot that can only repeat the same unhelpful options you can access through other mechanized means.

The issue with the overnight was that I missed the delivery because I didn't even know it was coming (I actually didn't explicitly order it...). The last time this happened (years ago) I was able to call the phone number, hit 0, describe the situation to a person, and they'd swing back around. This time I was speaking to a droid who told me my only options were to redeliver Monday or pick it up at the depot during a one hour window on Monday. I argued enough that he left a message for the depot to call me to arrange a time outside of that one hour window. When the depot called me back they communicated as a human, and agreed to simply swing back around - the level of service that I'd expect for an overnight.

(I originally left the exact situation out, to avoid the inevitable "reDeLiVerINg iSN't iN tHEiR CoNTRacT!@!!" simplistic-myopic bullshit.)

The problem wasn't the existence of the call center, but that it has been utterly crappified.

What you've described is how I've always remembered it to be. When did UPS make it easy to interact with a human being?

I thought within the past 5-10 years? But I guess it could have been longer.

They did have the phone menus, just with numbers and probably "0" still worked. I really hate these "natural voice" things - it's clearly still a limited set of options, so don't pretend to ask me for a free form response only to then shoehorn me into a narrow set! That only guarantees that by the time callers reach a "human", they're already frustrated.

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