It’s the holiday season and we want to do the right thing when gifting our letter carriers and package delivery providers. BUT, who really knows what the right thing is? There is so much confusion and conflicting information out there, even among individual companies, and it took me several days to get through hot lines, automated operators, music on hold and dropped calls. Finally, here’s the holiday skinny, straight from each source.
Holiday Tipping Etiquette for Deliveries: UPS, USPS and Fed Ex
UPS – Mark Dickens, UPS Public Relations Representative says, “While our service providers appreciate the gratitude of their customers, we ask them to politely decline any material expressions, particularly of a financial nature. That said – and having been a driver once myself – we always appreciated a warm cookie to help us get through our long days on the road, so something along those lines would not be considered inappropriate.”
Translated: UPS drivers are discouraged to accept cash or gifts, although they appreciate a holiday goody to get them through their winter route. There is no official policy although the drivers are encouraged to reference the UPS Code of Business and Compliance and use their best judgment when accepting a gift.
Fed Ex – According to a credible representative of Fed Ex (who requested we not use her name), their policy reads that “Employees can accept gifts valued at $75 or less, but gifts of cash of any amount may never be accepted.”
Translated: No cash, gift value up to $75
USPS – According to a USPS customer service representative, “USPS employees are allowed snacks and beverages that are not offered as part of a meal. Items with little intrinsic value, such as greeting cards, plaques, pens, coffee mugs etc., perishable items i.e. flowers, chocolates, cookies, etc. If the items are clearly worth more than $20 then the employee should share them with others in the postal service workplace. Items with a market value or retail value of $20 or less, gifts motivated solely because of a personal relationship, gifts for which the employee has paid market retail value and gifts paid for by the postal service. Postal employees may not accept cash in any amount or form, from an outside source. For more info: USPS Law Dept. Ethics Help Line at 202-268-6346 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org”
Translated: No cash and cash equivalents (gift cards) and no gift with a value of more than $20
My holiday gift to you is this information (that aged me 2 years and gave me 5 more gray hairs) while trying to research. A special shout out to Mark at UPS for being the winner when it came to timely, quick feedback! Whew – I hope Santa is reading this so he doesn’t make a holiday faux pas by trying to tip his mailman.