Search this site:


April 22, 2005 12:27 AM

Broken: UPS COD notice

UpsnoticeChris Dzombak writes:

I recently had a UPS delivery attempted to my house, but I wasn't home. The UPS notice has an option to note that you need cash on delivery, but that no cash is accepted.

[What's broken is that COD is supposed to stand for "cash on delivery", but they don't accept cash. Small issue, I know.  -mh]


You can't give an IOU to the UPS for a COD. They'd call the FBI!

"COD" is out-of-date terminology. COD actually means "payment due on delivery". You could pay in cash, or with a check made out to whoever, or a money order you got from 7-11. Since cash is easy to steal and hard to trace, UPS doesn't let you use cash for CODs to reduce their legal liability.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at April 22, 2005 02:03 AM

it may generally mean payment due on delivery, but it's literally 'cash on delivery' and that's kinda the point, isn't it?

i understand what they mean, but it's like cash on delivery- no cash please... hahaha...

no one has a sense of humor anymore.

Posted by: Bob at April 22, 2005 07:09 AM

It's an interesting holdover of terminology that doesn't match the current usage. Cash On Delivery used to mean exactly that. But this is similar to other holdovers such as dialling a phone. Almost all phones no longer have dials, yet the terminology remains though the technology changes.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at April 22, 2005 07:50 AM

"COD" actually means collect on delivery. The UPS InfoNotice is not broken.

Posted by: Alex Pennace at April 22, 2005 08:03 AM

No, COD means Cash on always has.

Posted by: Lance at April 22, 2005 11:17 AM

For 10 years I used to work as an operator who tool orders by phone. The entire department referred to it as "Collect on Delivery." Look like UPS is on the same page.

Posted by: Ben at April 22, 2005 11:52 AM

Wow. Sorry about the typos. Looks like I'm a little broken this morning.

Posted by: Ben at April 22, 2005 11:55 AM

It could mean either Cash on Delivery or Collect on Delivery; Collect is probably the more accurate, with Cash being the more familiar street term, since in older times one would probably have paid with Cash. This concept is similar to calling a copier a Xerox even if another brand, a tissue a Kleenex, etc.

Posted by: Robert A. Dugger at April 22, 2005 01:15 PM

According to "ask jeeves" C.O.D. stands for both cash on delivery AND collect on delivery. Guess it just depends on a the policy of company

Posted by: vicky at April 22, 2005 01:17 PM

Next we'll be debating whether DVD is Digital Video Disc or Digital Versitile Disc.


Posted by: Joshua Wood at April 22, 2005 02:04 PM

I don't know about the location of the original poster, but in Canada it is illegal to refuse Canadian currency in payment of a debt unless the payment is coins exceeding a certain value (eg. more than 25 pennies, etc). (NB: By illegal, I don't mean that you'd go to jail, but that by refusing the cash, the debt is deemed to be satisfied.)

Posted by: Jon. at April 22, 2005 05:56 PM

On the current "Federal Reserve Note(s)" in my pocket, there is the phrase


"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private".


Are we now being told that our money is no good? Well, I knew "that" already, but the Federal Reserve Bank is also bust?

Posted by: William at April 22, 2005 10:50 PM

The Federal Reserve notes are legal tender for all debts. What this means is that the creditor may accept cash as legal payment IF, repeat IF, cash is how they wish to settle the debt. They do not have to accept cash. If they accept turkey beaks, so be it. Anyone here break a 20-beak for me?

Posted by: Robert A. Dugger at April 23, 2005 01:14 AM

_@_v - erf! don't get me started on those damned yellow slips of failure to deliver! i hate it when they sneak up on the house like a frikkin ninja - we lost our doorbell when the house got resided - so you never hear 'em...

_@_v - even worse is the post office because when you leave the slip out the next day for them, they'll take the slip but they didn't bring the frikkin package! you hafta wait yet another day because they didn't bring it with them the second day!

Posted by: shesnailie_@_v at April 23, 2005 06:08 PM

yeah snailie!

I ORDERED crap capslock... well anyway i ordered something, and all of those stupid slips blew off the door, so i found one on the ground, thankfully dated that day, saying that that was the last time they were trying, and after that it was return to sender. Nobody's at my house during the day, and they never come at any other time but around noon.

you'd think that after trying once they could try again AT A DIFFERENT TIME. some people have JOBS, or SCHOOL, and aren't home during the day.

anyway, the whole system is broken.

ahhhh... spleen vented... refreshed...

Posted by: Bob at April 26, 2005 08:36 PM


dvd doesn't stand for anything anymore.

but for pete's sake please don't open this can of worms! i'm not debating this!

Posted by: Bob at April 26, 2005 08:39 PM

Not to perpetuate the can of worms, but DVD is actually and ATA (Anti Texas Acronym) meaning Don't Visit Dallas.

Posted by: dexter at April 28, 2005 11:53 AM

C'mon Dexter - don't get politics into it - double digit George is still trying to figure out why his keyboard he used looking for WMD's have all the keys backwards - and everyone knows DVD stands for Democrats Vs. Democrats - the Republicans already have a designated dictatorship of their own.

Posted by: imnotright at May 2, 2005 11:02 PM

DVD means both but if u look on some australian dvd cases it says DVD video so therefore it must be digital versitle disk and also remember that u can put more than video on it

Posted by: Who Cares at May 3, 2005 02:54 AM

COD never meant "cash on delivery" means and always has meant "collect on delivery" .

Posted by: Brad Weisner at May 20, 2005 10:45 PM

Sorry, it was Cash on Delivery long before Collect on Delivery was even used. Times change and this is one acronym that has evolved.

But according to Merriam-Webster Online, their definition is: carrier onboard delivery, cash on delivery, collect on delivery.

Posted by: Dirk at June 9, 2005 03:02 PM

uh, actually take a listen to this song:

it's 'C.O.D.' by johnny moore's 3 blazers from 1946. i guess ups must've used their time machine to go back and overdub the lyrics.

for that matter, the oxford english dictionary has this, the earliest citation for COD, from 1859(!!!):

"N.Y. Tribune 22 Jan. 2/4 C.O.D. and P.O.D. The principle on which we do business is P.O.D. and C.O.D. Which literally means Pay on Delivery and Collect on Delivery."

yeah, so next time you know-it-alls want to go off on something, you might actually want to bother to KNOW SOMETHING about it first.

Posted by: michael at June 28, 2005 10:40 AM

UPS = No C.O.D. = P.O.C.*

*(Pissed Off Customer)

Posted by: Darth Ninja at May 12, 2006 10:43 PM

What some of you don't understand is that UPS is allowed to leave packages at a home if we feel it is safe, so if you live at an apartment where people are walking by your door all day, then no, we are not going to leave it. As for coming back at a different time of day, seeing that your stop is part if a route of many many more stops, and unless you have something set up with your driver, well that seems pretty ridiculous, as we are not mind readers and do not know when you will be home. As for the your bills, earn some credit and use a debt or credit card to order, that will save you money (UPS does charge for us to collect COD's) and the headache of figuring out why we won't accept cash. Oh yeah, for those who were throwing up the fact the our great Federal Reserve Note states "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private", try sending that in to pay your telephone, water, or power bill and see how far that gets you.

Posted by: Brad Weisner at June 24, 2006 09:40 AM


I'm confused as to how this COD thing works...I am too young to have a credit card but I want to order something off this website and they have a COD option but what does that mean? I have to be home when it's delivered and pay for it right then with a money order or check? I don't get it. I e-mailed the company and asked them but they haven't gotten back to me yet. Any help with this would be appreciated

Posted by: Kristin at July 6, 2006 03:24 AM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: