UPS Wednesday said it will launch on Oct. 3 a new product called UPS My Choice, which is designed to make it easier for receivers of parcels to avoid missed deliveries.
The company said out of the 5 million or so homes it visits each day, it leaves 100,000 to 200,000 missed delivery notices.
So the company said the product will not only eliminate a major frustration for people who miss deliveries, but also reduce its costs. There will also be fees charged for the service, but the company would not specify how much money it might make from the service or what the cost savings would be.
Customers who sign up for the service will receive phone, e-mail or text alerts notifying them a day in advance of when packages will arrive and providing a four-hour window for the delivery. They also will have the option to electronically authorize release of packages that require a signature and, for a $5 transaction fee, to reroute a package to another delivery address or have it delivered to the nearest The UPS Store location.
Customers who might want to use the service frequently can pay a $40 annual subscription that would allow them to use the service as often as they like, but also gain access to an online delivery calendar that shows the status of UPS home deliveries and the option of a two-hour confirmed delivery window. A $5 transaction fee is charged only upon successful delivery of the package within the two-hour commitment.
The company noted the product should be useful to the growing number of consumers who are buying products over the Internet that are then delivered by parcel companies to their homes. It cited figures from the firm comScore, which said during the 2010 holiday shopping season U.S. consumers spent $32.6 billion online.