GET GEPHARDT

Get Gephardt: Map app confusion sends visitors, deliveries to wrong homes in Vineyard and Orem

Dec 18, 2023, 10:52 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2023, 6:20 am

OREM – Make no mistake, the KSL Investigators knew this assignment: meet a man in Orem sick of deliveries getting messed up because of map apps sending people to the wrong place.

But after plugging the right address and the right city into the Google Maps app, we still wound up at a home three miles west, in Vineyard. While that made us late to our interview with Jesse Gross, better late than never, which is more than Gross can say for many of his deliveries.

“They mess it up, big time,” Gross said.

A tale of two neighborhoods

Like many Utah cities, Orem is on the grid system. The house has a number. The street has a number. Those same numbers can take you to lots of different addresses, depending on what city you input. But despite inputting Orem, Gross is frustrated that map apps keep taking people to the same numbered house on the same numbered street in a completely different neighborhood in Vineyard — and vice versa.

“It makes us nervous because our mirrored address,” Gross said. “Our buddy down there in Vineyard, they are an Airbnb.”

man stands out in front of house

Jesse Gross says the Orem and Vineyard neighborhoods have dealt with misdelivered packages and even misdirected vacation renters for years. (Meghan Thackery, KSL TV)

That fact has led to awkward moments.

“People get sent here thinking this is the Airbnb, our home, and they’ve actually walked inside out house before,” he said. It’s not just Gross’ house. He told us neighbors up and down the street have had the same issue.

“We’ve had a car from Carvana get delivered to our neighbor up the street here,” he said.

At best, this mapping error is a hassle. Worse, it is costing people and businesses in lost packages and misdelivered meals. But worst of all, it can create some potentially dangerous situations.

“We’ve had medicine delivered to our home that was for a cancer patient in Vineyard,” said Gross, who says these misdeliveries have been going on for five years since the Vineyard subdivision with mirroring addresses came online.

He said they have reached out to everyone they can think of to try and get the issue fixed.

“They acknowledge it’s a problem,” he said. “They know it’s a problem. They’re just not fixing it.”

So, Gross asked the KSL Investigators to investigate.

Who’s responsible for map accuracy?

Having accurate maps can be an important safety issue: no one wants to call 911 only to have an ambulance go to the wrong place. Yet, short of that — the government pretty much washes its hands of forcing private companies to fix issues with their maps.

Street sign

A neighborhood three miles west in Vineyard shares the same coordinates as Jesse Gross’ neighborhood in Orem. (Meghan Thackery, KSL TV)

Even though the government owns many of the satellites that our devices use for GPS, the U.S. Space Force writes:

Please understand that the U.S. government cannot correct mapping errors in consumer devices and apps. The government’s GPS satellites are simply beacons, like lighthouses, that devices use to calculate their own latitude and longitude. The satellites do not transmit any mapping information.

There has been a smattering of lawsuits filed against mapping companies over errors including a suit filed by a North Carolina family in September alleging Google Maps led their father off a collapsed bridge. Back here in Utah, the KSL Investigators decided to test a few mapping apps.

Matt walks in front of garage

Even though the KSL Investigators were aware of the mapping issue, we too, wound up in the wrong neighborhood. / (Meghan Thackery, KSL TV)

We found that two of the most popular, Google Maps and Apple Maps, both had the issue plaguing Gross’ neighborhood. When we input the address, the app offered two identical addresses, both reading Orem. But depending on which one we clicked, the app could either take us to Orem or send us to Vineyard. We reached out to both Apple and Google. Neither company responded.

But maybe, just maybe, Google Maps fixed this bug, because after our email, we were not able to recreate the issue that led us and so many others to the wrong neighborhood in the wrong town.

How to report map issues

The U.S. Space Force says the best way to correct mapping issues is to reach out to the company that has it wrong.

This Google support page shows how to report mapping errors with its Maps app. Google also owns Waze. To report problems with the Waze app, this support page has that information.

Apple’s Maps User Guide has information on reporting issues here.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Get Gephardt

Matt Gephardt being shown the double payments that Terry Hutchings has been getting....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps homeowner being charged two bills for one security system

Billing for a previous home initially stopped when she sold it, but when she got a new security system from the same provider for her new place a year later it started billing for both.

3 days ago

Neilson-Berg explaining the hassles and trouble she has been going through to get into contact with...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Google Fiber customer get her internet fixed after customer service calls go nowhere

When a Salt Lake City woman's internet connection went down, and she couldn't get a straight answer as to when it would be back up, she decided to Get Gephardt.

4 days ago

Matt Gephardt with Hung Tran who is explaining why he has been trying to get his social security be...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps retiree deadlocked with Social Security over lost birth certificate

The United States has been home for Hung Tran nearly 50 years. He came here as a refugee fleeing war-torn Vietnam in 1975.

4 days ago

FILE: Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shoppi...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Utah family says their bank refuses to reimburse fraudulent charges

A Taylorsville family says a hacker drained thousands of dollars out of their bank accounts and left them overdrawn by tens of thousands more. They thought federal banking rules protected them, but they say their bank has refused to reimburse them for those losses.

6 days ago

Homeowner Mark Shea tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt he paid someone to build a deck who abandoned the j...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowners ask why authorities can’t shut down an unlicensed contractor

Two Salt Lake County homeowners hired and paid someone to build decks for their homes but say he left the jobs unfinished. Turns out, he’s been cited by the state for not having a contractor’s license before.

10 days ago

Matt Gephardt, journalists, looks as paper with a woman...

Matt Gephardt and Cimaron Neugebauer

Get Gephardt: Ticketmaster seizes back purchased seats

Imagine buying tickets to a show, then having the seller refuse to give them to you. That’s what happened to a Utah woman, when she got a refund she didn’t ask for.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Get Gephardt: Map app confusion sends visitors, deliveries to wrong homes in Vineyard and Orem