UPS slaps fees on mail

Its stores add a hefty markup on packages they send through the U.S. Postal Service, the NYT finds.

By Kim Peterson Dec 24, 2009 12:52PM
The New York Times breaks some shocking news: UPS (UPS) costs more to ship than the post office!

A UPS office can send items through the U.S. mail -- a convenience for people who would rather avoid the post office. But each UPS store is individually owned, and it can slap whatever surcharge it wants on top of the normal postal rates.

Reporters from the Times found that a package that the post office charges $8.80 to ship is significantly marked up at some UPS stores. One store charged $19.90.

Another store charged $9.90 to send a book through the U.S. mail. The post office charged $5.50 for the same item.

“I think there’s a natural assumption on the part of the consumer that if you’re sending something through the U.S. Postal Service, even when it’s from another store, you’re not paying more, and if you are paying more, it’s just a pittance,” a Consumer Reports editor told the Times.

Turns out that's not true. UPS stores will charge whatever the market can bear.

Tags: UPS
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