Why was blood delivered to this home?

March 27, 2009 5:45:06 AM PDT
After they say they repeatedly got UPS shipments of blood and urine samples, a Raleigh couple called on Eyewitness News for help.The couple, who live at 1904 Alexander Road inside the Beltline, didn't want to be on television, but they sent us pictures of the deliveries sitting on their front porch.

"For years, we have had packages delivered to us… that were supposed to go to LabCorp at RTP," wrote the couple in an email.

The couple said after getting four packages marked "extremely urgent" around Christmas time, they tried to get UPS to fix the problem with no success.

"Someone's life could be hanging in jeopardy waiting for a lab result. UPS doesn't appear to care," wrote the couple. "They were supposed to pick up the 4 packages that were delivered before Christmas, but never came."

Neighbors say they were concerned after we told them about the deliveries.

"That would kind of freak me out a little bit. You know, seeing little vials of blood coming to my doorstep," said neighbor Clark Hipolito. "I don't know what can be done about this, but it definitely needs to be addressed."

It's difficult to understand how the delivery mistakes were made. That's because the Alexander Road address is inside the Beltline. To get to the proper address of the LabCorp facility in the Research Triangle Park, you have to drive down Glenwood Avenue, past the Carolina Country Club, the Crabtree Valley Mall, Pleasant Valley, through Brier Creek and into RTP. It's a total of 13 miles.

The Raleigh couple says they repeatedly called UPS and nothing happened. They even wrote to the CEO.

"We actually cared about those who were having testing done. It is obvious that the personnel at UPS have no regard for these people, or us," they wrote.

When Eyewitness News investigative reporter Steve Daniels got involved, LabCorp told us it did not know about the problem. But within a couple of days, they traced the mix-up to the UPS sorting hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

UPS told Eyewitness News LabCorp used to have a different company shipping lab samples. That shipping company created a special zip code for Labcorp - which caused confusion at UPS.

"Unfortunately, when the packages with the unique zip code entered the UPS system, they were stopped in transit due to a non-deliverable address in the UPS system," explained spokesperson Ronna Charles Branch.

And, UPS says the closest address in its computer was the house inside the beltline.

UPS says it's now fixed the problem and it's going to continue to closely monitor those shipments. It says if you have a similar mishap with UPS, you should alert your driver or contact UPS directly.


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