Package with Hurricane Maria supplies to help grandma is missing

Man sent supplies via UPS a month ago

By Adrianna Iwasinski - Investigative Reporter

EDGEWATER, Fla. - Ramon Cruz was trying to send a generator and chainsaw to Puerto Rico, so he would have it there when he arrived last month to help his elderly grandmother.

The supplies never made it to their destination.

"I was told it would be there in three days," said Cruz.

Cruz says he is beyond frustrated with the situation.

"Roads are open. There's plenty of gas in the gas station," said Cruz. "There's no excuse, no reason for any delay."

Cruz said he spent a total of two weeks in Puerto Rico helping his grandmother, who turned 107 this year. He said she needs to remain in bed and has a caretaker tending to most of her needs.

But, he said, that's hard to do when it gets dark and there’s no electricity in the home.

And that's why getting a generator to her home was so important to him -- and why he shipped it in advance of his arrival via UPS.

"They told me I was fortunate -- because they were running a special on generators to Puerto Rico," said Cruz.

Cruz said he paid UPS $236  to have the generator he bought shipped in advance of his arrival. He sent the chainsaw the same day. He said, as of Thursday, neither of them has arrived.

In fact, Cruz said, he would have taken the generator and chainsaw to the airport himself and paid to ship it that way had he known that UPS would fail on their delivery guarantee. He now regrets not doing that, especially since his grandmother is left with a tree still lying on her roof and no electricity in her home.

"How many of these crucial items that people need down there on the island are stuck in some big old box in some parking lot or warehouse and not being delivered?"  said Cruz.

Cruz said while he was in Puerto Rico -- he went to the UPS building there four times since his tracking number showed his package had arrived in Carolina, Puerto Rico, days before. But, he said, they never were able to find his package. Cruz said one customer service representative told him his shipment was not in Carolina, but still stuck in Jacksonville, Florida.

But UPS told News 6 the shipment did arrive in Puerto Rico and was shipped via standard UPS ground service. UPS said its customer relations team is working directly with Cruz to resolve this issue.

Cruz said he's pretty sure several others are in the same situation -- searching for supplies that never made it to their final destination.

"The gentleman behind me told me he's been waiting one month to get a part of a generator that they sent from Virginia by UPS," said Cruz. "And they still haven't got it."

A spokesperson for UPS said anyone shipping to Puerto Rico should expect delays.

“Contingency plans are in place to help ensure all shipments are delivered to their final destinations as quickly as conditions permit but we expect continued challenges before operations return to normal. At this time, you should anticipate delays when shipping to Puerto Rico due to a backlog of packages in UPS facilities throughout the island and on the mainland. Transit time commitments are temporarily suspended due to extensive damage to the island’s roads and other infrastructure," Kim Krebs, UPS public relations media relations manager, told News 6.

The UPS service guarantee for delivery time does not apply when transportation networks are disrupted due to events of this nature.

News 6 requested an explanation of how many packages have been delivered to Puerto Rico from Florida, and how many are still stuck at a UPS center or in transit. But Krebs said the company does not share specific package volume numbers.

News 6 checked and the latest service alert on the UPS website posted today shows UPS has re-established delivery service to all areas of Puerto Rico. We will let you know when Cruz's equipment gets delivered.

Cruz said late this afternoon he received a call from UPS, saying it would give his grandmother and caretaker a generator they could use until Cruz's generator could be located. A relative called and confirmed they received that generator today. And the chainsaw Cruz sent arrived on Friday, Nov. 10.

The local UPS office Cruz used in Edgewater, Florida, has refunded him the shipping costs he paid for the generator.

But, Cruz said, UPS has not refunded him the cost of the generator he purchased.

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