UPS vs. Willard W. Fayette
Willard W. Fayette
We don't normally use consumers' full names on this site but Willard W. Fayette of Ferndale WA has made himself something of a public figure in an epic struggle with UPS over some broken objets d'art, specifically his carved classic car models.
We, and probably many others, have received a torrent of mail from "Bill" over the last few years. Despite, or maybe because, of that we're still not entirely certain just what happened but it appears that UPS destroyed some of Bill's artwork while shipping them to a museum and has since been squeamish about paying. A condensed version of Bill Fayette's complaint might go something like this:
Damaged goods, claims problems
Phantom delivery attempts
Small business nightmares
"Lost" or damaged artwork and jewelry
In the beginning I carved automobiles out of wood for a hobby. I started doing this in 1979. I owned and operated an autobody repair shop in Ferndale, Washington. I was 57 years old at the time starting to feel old age coming on and I wanted something to do when I retired.
I had been building and flying Radio Controlled Airplanes since the early 70's. I understood the beauty of Balsa Wood and the work you could do with it. If I would spend the time on it I found I could build airplanes that were beautiful.
My problem here was you did crash one once in a while. This would always be a traumatic thing for me, so I decided to try and build wall plaques of my favorite automobiles. The first ones were not so great, but the learning curve was in place so each one that I did was better then the last one, and this is what lead me to the place that I am at now. I have to add here that this damage to my art work and the response of the ACDM and UPS, as to their responsibility, has changed my hobby into a nightmare.
For over a year and a half I have tried to get these two corporations to step up and be responsible, If not responsible at least talk to me about this problem. And explain to me why I should be the loser. Everybody wants to hide from me, you might say they are doing what the foolish ostrich does, stick their heads in the sand and believe that they are hidden from the world thinking that this problem will go away if they don't talk to me. This just will not happen.
Have you ever had an injustice done to you and have had this feeling of total frustration? If you have you will understand my feelings. This will go a long way towards you understanding my web site "Who is responsible" -- 1930 Cadallac Damged in shipment.
Getting back to the story. In 1995 A friend of mine. Michael McD that liked my work had some property in Birch Bay, close to Ferndale where I live, asked me to show my work at his place. I did this and I liked the response of the people who saw my work, so this is when I started showing my work. This same friend's mother lives in Los Angeles California. He was visiting her in 1996 and was in uptown Los Angeles and spotted the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Blvd. He went in and talked to somebody about my work. Showed them photos of my work and then they asked him if they could show my work for a 6 month period.
He then talked to me about it and the outcome was he hand carried about 15 pieces of my art work to Los Angeles to do this show. He then went back to Los Angeles and hand-carried these pieces back to me in Ferndale. The Petersen Museum paid him for doing this, so we still did not know for sure how to ship my art work any other way.
Then Gregg Buttermore Publicists at the Auburn Cord Dusenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, after seeing photos of my work, called me and asked me if I would consider showing my work at the ACDM. This was in early January of 1998. I of course jumped on this chance to show some of my work so said yes, not realizing what I was getting into. It was out of the question to hand carry my art work to and from Auburn, Indiana.
I talked to Gregg Buttermore my contact man at the museum and he suggested that I ship it by UPS. Which I did. I insured them for $155,OOO.OO and I was satisfied that I had done the right thing. Mr. Buttermore then wrote me a letter telling me that my art work would be insured while they were in the museum's possession. What he failed to do was to say that they had a limited liability policy of $10,000.00 and if anything happened to my work that this is all the insurance company would pay. This turned out to be what the Museums insurance carrier (Cincinnati Insurance companies) would pay and after a lot of letters and a lot of arguments on my part they finally sent me a check for $1,843.38 dated 7-9-99. This was for repairing the plaques that I considered repairable. Finally on 10-13-99 they sent me a check for $8,156.62. Which makes a total of $10,000.00 mentioned in my web site.
This leads me to the UPS check for $1,009.00. On 1-7-99 Greg Buttermore sent me a check for this amount $1,009.00 that he said that UPS had sent him apparently he had cashed the UPS check and in turn had a check made out to me for this amount $1,009.00 and part of his letter said, "At least this is UPS's token of making restitution." In his letter Mr Buttermore seemed satisfied that he had done the right thing for me, and as I read the tone of his letter that this was all he could do about it.
This is when I wrote him a letter dated January 11, 1999 stating that I was not satisfied with the UPS check for $1,009.00.In this letter I quoted Jack Anderson Investigative Reporter for the Washington Post where he says: "If it isn't right don't do it". "If isn't true don't say it." "If isn't yours don't take it" Apparently Mr Buttermore did not take these words seriously. This check from Gregg Buttermore is still in my file uncashed. Later on I told Mr. Buttermore in a letter that he shouldn't have cashed the check from UPS as he was giving up his rights as to what he had claimed, and possibly my rights at the same time.
Incidentally, he put in a claim to UPS for $47,339.79 at that time, because this was the amount of damage at that time. I have a letter in my file from Bruce Solberg Dated October 5, 1998 (Seattle Claims) where he says. "please consider this letter a commitment that UPS will honor the claim". I was devastated when Gregg Buttermore sent me a check for $1,009.00 Where the the $1,009.00 came from I am not still sure. I have at this point to many questions that I have asked, that have not been answered by UPS people.
I have ben trying for three years to get either the UPS People or the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum to pay me for damage to my art work.
There is more to this story. I do not want to spend any more money on this matter and at the present time I am letting people by way of the computer khow badly I have been screwed by the UPS and ACDM people.
June 24 2002
Ferndale, Washington Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on UPS United Parcel Service