The Fine Print Strikes Again: Small Measurement Error Has Big Consequence for UPS Customer

by | Apr 3, 2019

2 min read


“How could they charge me four-times as much without so much as asking me about it?”

That’s the question on UPS customer Irum Haque’s mind after finding an unexpectedly steep charge on her credit card statement.

As outlined in a recent Boston Globe article, Mrs. Haque was charged an $850 shipping penalty from UPS for failing to round up when calculating her package dimensions.

Haque was attempting to return a piece of artwork she borrowed for her charity’s art exhibition. Measuring at 4 feet by 5 feet, the painting was too large for her to transport in her truck to the local UPS store. She was forced to follow the prompts on UPS’ website to enter her parcel dimensions and print her shipping label online.

Two weeks after UPS had already transported her package, Haque received an email stating that her package was one inch larger than what she entered, subjecting her to an $850 overcharge on top of the $246 that she already owed.

Although she was eventually granted a refund, UPS customer service still couldn’t provide any suggestions on how to avoid this situation in the future. Currently, there are no warnings on the company’s website alerting customers shipping from home to this potential charge. The charge can be found in the 185- page rates and service guide on the UPS website.

According to our resident parcel expert, Kevin Knowlton, “On December 24, 2018, UPS Increased the Over Maximum Weight surcharge from $650 to $850. To understand the magnitude of this change, 203 of our impacted clients were analyzed for this case study. The average Over Maximum Weight surcharge during this time period is $3,358 per customer. While this does not seem like much, the reality is that not all customers ship the same. Due to this, several of our customers were rarely impacted while others show a significant impact.”

This situation isn’t exclusive to a personal shipping context either. Many businesses suffer from UPS’ Over Maximum Limits charge without even realizing it. Luckily for our clients, VeriShip’s data-driven software provides total visibility into a wide range of hidden charges, including “over maximum limit” penalties.

Topics: Large Package Surcharge, Oversize Surcharge, UPS