Shipping UPS to Nome

Special instructions on how to make sure a package sent via UPS to someone in Nome arrives there promptly. Written by the Nome UPS manager, reposted here as a public service. This is very useful information, as shipping to Nome can be very frustrating, I am reposting this here for my own reference and to help out anyone else that finds this useful:

For 17 years I have been the UPS Person in Nome.

You can contact me at the number below; if for some reason
you forget, the national number 800-PICK-UPS will work well.

1. How to address your Nome-bound package.

We *cannot* deliver to PO Boxes or General Delivery, so
here is some information.

A) Your street address.  Use this format:

    Jane Doe
    123 E 3RD           <=== see below.
    Nome, AK 99762

123C E 3RD (for Apartment C)
Duplexes, if unmarked are A for the one on the left or
downstairs or in front; B would be the one on the right,
back or upstairs.

123 E 3RD #103   For apartment #103

AVOID THE USE OF Useless information, such as the use
of ST, AVE, AVENUE, STREET, LANE, DRIVE, DR, or spelling
out things like APARTMENT, APT, UNIT or spelled out
EAST, WEST.

Why?  They take up room on the label and often get cut off.

AVOID splitting your address.  It does not show up in the
information UPS sends me and *might* delay your package.

This is wrong:

Jane Doe
123 E 3RD
APARTMENT 103
Nome, AK 99762

B) Often, shippers will tell you the address is invalid.
They use a Postal Address Database, and Nome has no post
office delivery therefore they only have the street
address of the post office building.  If everything else
fails, these sometimes work:

GENERAL DELIVERY
or
113 W FRONT

Here are a few hints.

** Try and have the shipper put your phone number on the label.
That way we could contact you when the package gets here.

** Disguise your PO Box number on the address.  Do it ONLY
this way:

113 W FRONT #2624   <--- for box 2624

Do not, under any circumstances put "BOX" or "PO" on it or
the shipper will probably reject it.  Just do it the way I
have it above.

This way, if your package comes by USPS mail, at least *they*
can get it to you at BOX 2624 ...

C) Package shows up with General Delivery or 113 W Front, no
phone number etc.

I suggest you track your package on www.ups.com.  When it gets
to Anchorage it is generally here the NEXT day.  Ground packages
sometimes take an extra day.  Once it hits Anchorage, please
email, TEXT or call me.  Be SURE you have the tracking number
handy!  I will then make notes and get the package to you.

D) You been getting a few packages at General Delivery; won't
the driver remember me?

No.  UPS wants us to go package by package per the label.  Any
phone calls, texts etc. apply to THAT PACKAGE ONLY.  Next one
a week later, please call again.

E) **PLEASE** DO not call the Drivers.  They have their hands
full and their trucks are loaded certain way.  If you call them
they have to pull to the side of the road, handle your call, go
thru their tablet phone (needs to hang up with you for that),
bring up their information and it may be in the *other* truck
anyway.  Rinse and repeat.

Do not expect the driver to rearrange his load, and go out of
his way or meet you somewhere.  That is all best arranged by
contacting ME, and I will get this package to you shortly, and
the poor driver fella does not have to work extra 5 minutes that
day.  5 minutes is not much, but if you get 20 calls that is
almost two hours.

For that reason I have told the drivers to refer all calls to me.
We rotate phone numbers for the drivers also.  Also, we have
several drivers, do not assume it is always a particular one.

F) My package is broken!

OK, if it is obvious from the outside, DO NOT SIGN FOR IT.
Once you sign for it, we cannot return it to the sender.  The
label on the box is "used up" once you sign for it.  You will
then have to put in a claim.

If you do not sign, just refuse it, and it goes back without
further ado.

You need to contact the shipper either way about a Claim.  Unless
you paid UPS yourself, you cannot put in a claim to UPS.  Only
the person that paid UPS can.

Example, your amazon.com order is busted and you discover that
when you open the box.  Don't call UPS about it.  You did not
pay UPS for the shipping; Amazon did.  I know ... amazon.com hit
your credit card for shipping, but the money that UPS got is
from Amazon, not you.  Let Amazon worry about it; they are
*very* good about returns and customer satisfaction.

Other shippers ... maybe not so much.

So, if you hear glass rattling inside your box; DO NOT SIGN
FOR IT!  If you did, then see the above rant.

G) I have an OUTGOING package.

** It is a prepaid return.  Toner Cartridges, Amazon returns
for the shoes that did not fit, etc., you will be provided a
label by Amazon by eMail etc., ...OR.... sometimes they send
the label to the UPS agent (me).  Contact me and I will get
this label to you.

** You have a fresh package that you are paying for to go
out.  Call 800-PICK-UPS and make the arrangements.  Be sure
you have the size of the box and the weight.  Example:
11" x 12.5" x 18" at 33.5 pounds.  Or an envelope.

Once you have done the label thing and paid UPS via their
800 number, they will send YOU or ME the label and we go
pick it up.

H) I move and drive around.  Where can I meet you guys?

Well, we can meet anytime, but the best time for us is at
the Polar Cafe Restaurant between 1215 and 130 PM 5 days
a week.

I) Can I pick up my package on Saturday or Sunday.
Sunday deliveries cannot be made.  Forbidden to us by UPS.
Saturday, if you know your package is here, call 800-PICK-UPS
and see what you can arrange.  Good luck.  We are not allowed
to deliver Packages on Saturdays except as arranged through
them.

Be aware that we get only about one Saturday delivery every
three years; so as a rule we are out enjoying the outdoors etc
on the weekends.  Try if you must, but good luck.

J) Please know where you live.  You would be surprised how
many people use addresses that haven't existed for over
14 years.  Or think "We are on the green house across from
John D. Blow".  Those are undeliverable.  EVERY house in
Nome has a number/street address.  If the number is not
on your house, or is defaced, see your Landlord or City
Hall and they will fix you up.

K) My package is coming to a PO Box.  Can you deliver it?
If you can only put a PO Box on the package, UPS is
sort of reluctant to accept it, but they do get by from
time to time.

If you call ahead (see above), we can get you the package.
Else, we will send you a PostCard to that PO Box.  Depending
on the foibles of the postal system, it could take a week
to get you that postcard.  After 10 days, we return the
package.

L) How long do you keep packages?

If there is hope of delivering it; 10 days.

If you are on vacation etc., and let ME know, I can hold your
packages indefinitely.  Within reason.  We are not a warehouse,
but, yeah, if you are in Disney World with the kids for 2
weeks we of course will hold things for you.  Best you let me
know in case we have a brain problem here.

M) Can I get a package forwarded?  I moved from Nome back to
Tucson, Arizona and my order is coming to Nome!

Call me ASAP.  I can often get this intercepted in Anchorage
and on its way to you much sooner than if it comes to Nome
first.

Either way, the package is often forwarded to your new address
at no cost to you.

N) Can I get my packages delivered at Norton Sound or the Schools?

No, we cannot deliver personal packages to Norton Sound.  Sometimes
you can make arrangements with the School District (at the high
school campus), but you have to talk to them about it first.
All school packages go to the District Office.

This does not apply to the apartments, those go there if you
are home.  We do not leave packages on the corridor.

Kawerak is much more liberal; we leave your packages at the Mail
Room.  But it needs to have your written instructions to do so,
eMail or TEXT etc.

Well, that was quite a rant.  Print it out, and eMail me if you
have any questions!

-- 
Ramon Gandia / Nome UPS / 907-304-1053
rfg8xx at xalaska.com
www.xalaska.com