iPhone never arrived, Apple and UPS don't know where it is

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by FrankieTDouglas, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. FrankieTDouglas, Sep 22, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014

    FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    UPDATE: It was found and delivered!

    TL;DR summary: iPhone was ordered, never arrived, UPS and Apple don’t know where it is, search in progress

    This is a long post. I'm just writing it out to have a good idea of what the process has been so far in finding a lost package, and what it takes to navigate through the hurdles of customer service...

    So like many of you, I preordered an iPhone 6 plus the moment the Apple store app went live, upgrading my contract on AT&T. Received the email confirming a 9/19 delivery, and my credit card was charged that week. On the 17th, the order started processing through UPS.

    On the 18th, I sold my iPhone 5 and was just waiting to receive the new phone to complete the transaction.

    On the 19th, I checked the tracking and saw that the package was in transit. It was coming to Louisiana through Nashville, Louisville, and Jackson. Last update had an arrival scan in Jackson on the night of the 18th. UPS never said it was out for delivery, but did say it had a 9/19 arrival and so I waited until the usual shipping time UPS arrives (5 PM). Nothing. Waited until 7 PM. Nothing. Checked UPS again and it still said a 9/19 delivery.

    Around 9 PM, my order changed to “scheduled delivery information not available.”

    So I called UPS to see what the status was. They informed me that it was still scheduled for delivery, but due to the volume, not all orders may be able to be delivered. So I asked when it would then be delivered. They told me next business day (transforming Next Day Air into 4 day shipping). I asked if they do Saturday deliveries, and they said they don’t on these types of shipments. I called Apple, who said that it should still arrive but in case it didn’t, call back to open an investigation.

    Earlier that day, my friend who had not preordered, walked into an AT&T store and bought a new phone.

    Total time spent on hold: an hour and 45 minutes
    Quality of customer service: polite, nice

    Saturday, I checked UPS again to see what the status was. It still said arrival scan in Jackson on the 18th, but no movement after that (there’s one more hub is has to go to before going out for delivery to me). So I called the local hub to see if they’d know if it was already there and just had not updated in the global system. The person I spoke to there said something seemed weird about the movement in Louisville. He said he was going to directly contact them, and then call me back. He had a suspicion that perhaps an issue had happened with Customs.

    Never heard back from him.

    Later that night I called UPS customer service to see if there was an update in their system. They couldn’t tell me anything and said I should call Apple. So I called Apple, who said it would probably just show up. I asked if I needed to open an investigation claim since there was no movement, and they said see what it says the next day.

    Total time spent on hold: an hour and a half
    Quality of customer service: still polite and nice

    So on Sunday, there was still no movement on UPS tracking. I was still working under the assumption that the phone would deliver on Monday but that seems unlikely if the shipping company doesn’t update the package whereabouts. Because Apple said call back if there is no progress, I did. Opened an investigation, and they told me to contact UPS for an update. I also responded to an email from Apple that was asking me to confirm my address. Called UPS back again, just to see if there was an update. Nothing. They told me to contact Apple.

    Total time spent on hold: an hour and 20 minutes (or so)
    Quality of customer service: polite, but at this point I was starting to feel like a ping pong ball

    Monday (today) rolls around, UPS isn’t updated so I contact my local UPS hub again. They start to look into the lack of movement since the 18th, and tell me that the last actual checkin was in Louisville. Nothing was ever actually physically scanned in Jackson, and that there’s a good chance my package is still sitting in Louisville, perhaps “under a bag or behind another package.”

    So I call Apple back to see what the status is on the investigation. A request was sent in earlier in the day, and that it would be up to 24 hours until I heard back, and then either UPS would continue with the shipment, or I would be sent a replacement phone and given priority over other shipments since I was supposed to receive mine Friday. After we hung up, I was getting a little irritated by the lack of concrete answers I was being given, and also starting to feel put off by the fact that I was going to have to wait out a volleying between Apple and UPS before I received my order. So, I called Apple back and inquired about just having a replacement sent today, and they could work out the shipment issue on the original order between themselves. I asked if I was looking at a quick turnaround, something arriving at the end of the week, or etc? He informed me that the investigation is 24 hour turnaround and then they proceed with those results. So I said okay, I’ll wait and see what the communication is between Apple and UPS. During these two conversations, I was also told by Apple that I don’t need to contact UPS further.


    Five minutes after hanging up, Apple emails me to inform me that my original order has been cancelled, and a replacement will be shipped to me… available to be shipped in 3-4 weeks, with a shipment time of 2-3 days after that.

    At this point I’m just irritated by the entire ordeal. It’s not even the desire to have the phone in my hand, so much as it is the fact that I’ve had to go back and forth and waste my time in order to figure out where the shipment is and why it may be lost. I have UPS packages arrive to me quite frequently, and they are always on time. This ordeal is a weird anomaly.

    I’m also confused by this email. So, I call Apple back. The guy I talk to says basically, now Apple is operating under the assumption that UPS has lost the package, so a replacement has been ordered. But an investigation is also still underway on the original shipment. Potential scenario: I have two iPhones delivered to me, and ship one back. But the 3-4 week delay in the replacement is what it is, and it will arrive as soon as it’s ready. I respond with a “**** that” and then a followup of “of course I don’t mean that to you, more just this whole situation,” which he laughs and responds that he’d say the same thing if he wasn’t on the phone. I asked him what the point was in preordering at 2 AM if the phone is just lost, while plenty of other people skipped that and instead just walked into a store to make a purchase. So I ask him what I’m supposed to do. At that point, by tomorrow (Tuesday), Apple is supposed to contact me back with a followup on the investigation. But in the meantime, he told me to contact UPS and speak to a supervisor to keep pressure on UPS to find the package.

    All right.

    We hang up (up to this point, he was actually the best Apple customer service person I spoke to). I call UPS and speak to an initial person, who again just told me my current transit position and that I need to contact Apple, to which I respond that an investigation is already open with Apple and I’m contacting UPS to get to the specifics of their delivery chain and see where it went missing. I bring up the potential issue with it never being physically checked in in Jackson, and he forwards me to his supervisor.

    I speak to the supervisor, who does see a problem with the Louisville transition of the shipment. He takes down my phone number and says he’s going to call that hub and find out more information. A few minutes later, he does call back and tells me that a bag was misdirected in Louisville and the packages are being sorted back out in the system. He can’t confirm that my package was in that bag, only that there was an incident that hasn’t made its way back into the system.

    He then tells me I should contact Apple.

    At this point, I tell him “Okay, at this point Apple and UPS just bounce people back and forth. I’m looking for someone to take accountability on this shipment and just finish shipping the package to me.”

    He tells me that officially UPS isn’t supposed to directly contact their hubs to see why packages are lost, but it was a courtesy. Which is fine, and appreciated. But it is quite odd that I am consistently getting mixed messages back and forth which each company. Ultimately, I just want the package delivered like it was supposed to have been, last week. I don’t want to have to keep waiting on a UPS delivery (and signing for it, etc). I want to get this iPhone 5 to the person who purchased it. And I want the original goal of delivering a package when I was told it would happen, to happen. But instead, I’m playing phone tag trying to have people track down a missing package.

    Total time spent on hold: at least two hours
    Quality of customer service: still polite, maybe productive, and the final Apple call worker was rad in the conversation about how the situation was frustrating

    It’s been an… interesting adventure. Positive note, I’ve learned a lot about how shipping companies (or at least UPS) push packages through their system.
  2. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    In my opinion, Apple was right waiting until the next business day to see if the status updated. Unfortunately, that meant waiting a whole weekend.

    Once it hadn't moved by Monday morning, Apple should have put in a redirect to recall the shipped package back to the nearest US Apple warehouse, then assigned the next phone off the assembly line to you.

    I suppose AppleCare agents can't rush replacements or everybody would want that. But waiting a month sucks.
  3. nyc2pdx macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    You know, the problem here seems to be communication between both companies. Not your fault and you didn't pick UPS-Apple did. Therefore, I would stick with Apple and put the responsibility on them. Make them call UPS.

    As for waiting 3-4 weeks for a replacement, I might consider emailing Tim Cook because you, the customer, should not be the one at a loss because the shipper Apple chose obviously lost your order.

    It isn't like you are trying to scam anyone and get two iPhones. Besides, Apple already knows the serial number of the phone they shipped to you and can block activation on it (which I am sure they already have).

    Good luck!
  4. FrankieTDouglas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Thanks. I had actually thought about emailing Tim Cook about it. I'll give it a shot and see what happens!
  5. shox2k2 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I'm trying to send my iphone six back since the left side of the screen isn't working with touch.
    Ups store said the return number isn't valid. Apple guy said he didn't know why it wasn't working. Just tell them to send it back. Ups said they need a number. And apple guy can't generate a new one for some reason. I asked for an address so I can pay to send it to as ups last pick up is now but apple said they can't do that.

    Definitely frustrating when people aren't sure what's going on.
  6. FrankieTDouglas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I feel your frustration. There's a communication gap somewhere between Apple and UPS that just makes things hard to be accomplished.
  7. FrankieTDouglas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Just checked the tracking again, the phone has now popped up in Jacksonville, FL (opposite direction of me, but now turning back around).

    I'm guessing maybe they shipped it to Jacksonville rather than Jackson. Or something else. Four day gap between departure/arrival scans, but maybe persistence paid off somewhat in getting this thing tracked back down?

    It says it will arrive tomorrow, but I'll wait and see.
  8. JoeTomasone macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2014
    If it doesn't show up, and it doesn't seem to be getting there, I'd tell Apple that you want them to arrange for you to pick one up at the nearest Apple store. That's the least they could do.
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
  10. ctc799 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I feel your frustration with being stuck in between Apple and UPS! I live in Florida, and my order was accidentally changed to ship to Connecticut when I tried to change my address to another location in Florida. Frantically called Apple again and changed it back and all was good until launch day, when it was in my town and UPS got Apple's since-then cancelled signal to reroute it to Connecticut. I call every day and confirm with Apple that it's wrong and they say that it's about to be fixed to no avail; UPS just made their first delivery attempt a few hours ago. :rolleyes: UPS and Apple both continue blaming one another, and I'm at the mercy of one of the Apple reps' claims that it has been fixed coming true.
  11. nyc2pdx macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    Good luck! Hope it arrives tomorrow for you.
  12. stract macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2013
  13. markyr17 macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2010
  14. FrankieTDouglas, Sep 23, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014

    FrankieTDouglas thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    On Tuesday morning, I checked the UPS shipping again to see that the phone has traveled to Little Rock and then was heading into Louisiana.

    Amazingly, I received another email from Apple this morning telling me my order had shipped. On the second, replacement phone. It will arrive on Thursday. Current departure city: ZhengZhou, China

    So at the beginning of yesterday, my original order was MIA and led to a series of phone calls eventually leading to a supervisor at UPS, who directly called the hub where we started to suspect that it went missing at. A few hours later, it had reappeared on UPS tracking. At the same time, what was supposed to be almost a month’s wait for a replacement for the lost phone, was expedited out of the facility in China to arrive within three days.

    I did email Tim Cook. Never heard a response, and I don’t know if that had any impact at all. Maybe, though. This process could have just been standard protocol, or if I just got lucky in a series of events. Nonetheless, the original phone I ordered on preorder night arrived today (Tuesday). It’s a fantastic piece of hardware. I also called Apple back one more time to make sure their system and the phone I am using matched up correctly, just in case this serial had been red flagged or something as missing or stolen. Made sure Applecare was set up on the correct device, and also asked whether I need to reroute the replacement shipment, or wait for it to arrive and then just send it back. She told me just do a “return to sender” on the package.

    Sooo… conclusion!
  15. kerrikins macrumors 65816

    Sep 22, 2012
    Could be that an escalation team is handling Tim Cook's email and saw yours and decided to bump it due to the situation. :) Either way, I'm glad you have your phone now!
  16. sezo macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2014
    i have the same situation right now and i am so panicked!
    UPS said my package is lost/missing and they cant locate it.
    I just sent apple an email about it, do you think it will be enough or i should call them? and can I trust apple about it sending an another phone if its not located? I have no fault in here :/
  17. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  18. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
  19. sezo macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2014
  20. Stevessvt macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2010
    Lol, he has been. For 3 months now.

Share This Page