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More on UPS My Choice

UPS My Choice is a $40 annual add-on service that gives you more control over the delivery of shipments sent to your home address. There is a cost-free level of My Choice membership, but in my view there are compelling reasons to pay for the premium service. The first is the ability to redirect a package that is coming to you, and the second is scheduling a 2-hour delivery window. Or, to have the package held for pickup at a local UPS Store instead.

My Choice also allows you to place a 7 or 14 day hold on all incoming UPS packages, much like Vacation Hold that the US Postal Service offers for regular mail.

Speaking of the postal service, if someone sends you a package using the UPS-USPS hybrid known as "Sure Post," for $3.50 per package you can upgrade the shipment to UPS Ground and eliminate the handoff between the two services.

When you sign up for My Choice, you specify your home address and all the variant spellings of your name to which packages might be addressed. You can also register the names of other family members, so you only need one account per household.

On a day-to-day basis, I find the shipment and delivery notifications to be quite useful, and if all you want are notifications, there is no charge for that level of service. You can choose to be notified of packages destined for your home address by email, SMS, or a robo-call message.

One downside of the service is that the notifications only start arriving 24 hours in advance. This means you have to act fast if you need to redirect or reschedule delivery. But the My Choice website will show you packages as soon as they're tendered to UPS; it's only the notifications that are limited to just the day before. If you know a package is coming you can reschedule it as soon as its in the system. (And I recommend acting early in order to give UPS more opportunities to intercept the package.)

Also, the My Choice website is less friendly than the marketing image of the service. It's definitely shipper-orientated and you'll find yourself facing a lot of industry-speak. But you'll figure it out and get proficient after using it a few times.

As a resident of a big city multi-family building, I derive a lot of peace of mind from knowing exactly when packages are coming and when they've arrived in the mail room. I've recently re-upped for a second year of the premium service. If you've ever been frustrated by UPS delivery practices, the service provides you with a lot of oversight, and for $40, a good deal of control too.

Sign up at: www.ups.com/mychoice

See also: Review: UPS My Choice

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