Today, I like many Americans are rushing to ship gifts far and near-hoping that they will at least make it there by December 26. Each year I promise myself that I will start early (it just never happens). I checked out the shipping rate and guaranteed delivery date on for a package that I was shipping to IL. If I shipped the package today (Monday, December 18, 2006) via UPS ground it will be delivered by end of day on Friday, December 22, 2006. This works for me so I threw the package in the car (I hope it didn’t break!) and rushed down to the UPS store to ship the package.After waiting in line for a bit (as to be expected-it’s the holiday season); the clerk put my item in a box, threw in some packaging stuff (I think it’s called styrofoam popcorn) and ranged up $8 for that lovely package service. What was about to happen next took me by surprise. She told me that in order for it to make it there by Christmas I would have to ship the package by UPS 2nd day air for $32 dollars, otherwise the package wouldn’t arrive until December 28. I looked in amazement and stated that I would just ship it by UPS ground for $12 (as the website stated that it would be there by the 22nd). I would advise retailers, organizations, firms, etc. to always treat the customer with honesty. Customers are desperate now, they want there gift to arrive on time and will likely pay whatever they are told. But rest assured these same customers will remember how you jacked up their postage (for no reason) during Christmas.The Customer Experience needs to be present 365 days a year- What kind of experience are you providing?

Michael D. Brown