Parcel Audit & Carrier Guarantees

What is a UPS Guaranteed Service Refund (GSR)?

April 18, 2024
Last Edited:
July 11, 2024
Read time:
2 minutes
Anthony Robison
CEO & Founder
Anthony Robinson
Founder & CEO @ ShipScience

What is a UPS Guaranteed Service Refund (GSR)?

For most classes of service (e.g., UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select – even UPS Freight!), UPS guarantees that the shipment will arrive by a certain day or time. If not, you (the shipper) are entitled to a service refund for the shipping charges you paid (subject to UPS’ terms and conditions).

What happens when UPS misses their guarantee deadlines?

What most people don’t know is the frequency with which UPS misses these deadlines. For example, a UPS Next Day Air package delivered more than 60 seconds after the guaranteed service deadline is considered late. Based on our data, validated by reliable sources on the web, shippers typically qualify for service refunds of around 5% of their total UPS spending. This essentially means that every 1-2 years, you should get a month of UPS shipping for free. Huge, right?

Why don’t more people claim their refunds?

There are a few reasons:

  • Most business owners don’t realize the opportunity even exists. For obvious reasons, this isn’t promoted heavily by the UPS account managers.
  • When most people think “late shipment,” they think of an angry customer whose Next Day Air package was lost and delivered weeks after they needed it. They don’t realize that UPS counts down to the minute for air shipments, and they often don’t know that ground shipments have a guarantee at all.
  • Those who know this service exists and try to manage it in-house often face lots of frustration and lost refund dollars. To effectively manage your refunds, you need to audit ALL of your shipments, one by one.
  • Some people sign away their rights to guaranteed service refunds in exchange for other favorable terms or discounts on their UPS contracts. Make sure you read your UPS contract carefully so you understand the terms of your agreement. You might be accepting a discount that is significantly less than the refunds you could be receiving.
Update: Covid Has Affected Guaranteed Service Eligibility

As of the writing of this article, while all of UPS’ services have guarantees, only certain UPS services are eligible for claims and refunds. Those services include:

  • Domestic
  • International

Note: The guaranteed delivery time for UPS Next Day Air Saver® shipments has been extended to end-of-day (11:59 p.m. on the guaranteed day of delivery).

ShipScience can automate the entire claims process

ShipScience will monitor your UPS accounts for late deliveries and automatically file refund requests for you. Additionally, the ShipScience platform showcases all of your shipping data, claim activity, and confirmed refunds – across all of your UPS and FedEx accounts. Find out how much ShipScience could save your business.

UPS Guaranteed Service Refunds (GSR) Terms & Conditions

Below is the full definition of the UPS Guaranteed Service Refund (GSR), excerpted directly from UPS’ terms of service. They can be found on the UPS website (

The full terms of service are available for download from here, (Copyright UPS).

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