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 or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

Get Gephardt

According to new data from Carfax, at the end of last year, there were 609,000 vehicles with an unf...

Matt Gephardt

600,000 cars in Utah need recalls fixed, what is holding up the repair work?

According to new data from Carfax, at the end of last year, there were 609,000 vehicles with an unfixed recall in Utah.

5 days ago

Lynzee Delapaz explains to KSL’s Matt Gephardt how her car was damaged when it collided with anot...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Who’s legally responsible for damage when cars collide in a car wash?

A Grantsville woman’s car was damaged inside a car wash when the vehicle ahead of her went off the tracks. So, who pays for the damage?

6 days ago

Matt Gephardt speaking to Thelissa Mead about Hyundai not responding to her claims and getting her ...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Utah Hyundai owner seeking reimbursement for overestimated fuel economy

A major automaker was accused of saying their cars get better mileage than they really do, And they promised to pay their customers back. But when one Utah customer wasn't, she decided to Get Gephardt.

10 days ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

19 days ago

sprinkler sprays on green grass...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Layton man demands refund for decades of charges for water he can’t access

Imagine finding out you've been paying nearly 40 years for rights to water you're not only not getting, but that you can't get, because the pipes for it don’t exist.

20 days ago

Danielle Addicott showing KSL's Matt Gephardt the fraud charges that were on her Wells Fargo accoun...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money

A Park City woman says thousands of dollars were stolen from her bank account, but the bank refused to cover her loss. She decided to Get Gephardt.

24 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

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.

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