I purchased an upscale double oven weighing, crated, approximately 400 pounds. This required LTL (less than truckload) shipping.
In retrospect, I should have used Federal Express (FEDEX) of course. I prepaid the freight, using a well-known freight broker. The freight was $318.00. The goods traveled insured. I also pre-paid for the oven, $2,251.
The double oven came completed smashed on the front. Both doors were destroyed, the electrical system damaged. The front control panel was smashed in. That occured the first week of September, 2010.
Estes Express, the freight company, asked me to get an appliance repair estimate, for which I paid $90. The repair estimate was $4518. After a few weeks, Estes sent another "inspector" out to review the damages. His report was essentially the same as the appliance repair company. At first, I refused the shipment, per advice of the truck driver. Then, next day, he called back and said we would have to take delivery and submit a claim. It took four hired hands to meet him and move the very heavy oven into a secure storage area. Estes claims they take 30-60 days to settle a claim. Federal express does it in about a week. Like so many business, Estes is self insured on losses like this. They have a claims department that is built to frustrate you, and then they low-ball or otherwise refuse to pay damages. The hide behind their interstate commerce status. Estes refused to communicate with me about the damages, saying that was confidential information between them and the freight broker, who they said was the claimant.
It's now THREE MONTHS LATER, and Estes has stonewalled this claim, not paying it. I am very sure it is their studied practice.
First, do not use these people. Their delivery times might be fine, but they absolutely are completely geared up to never pay a claim, at least not fairly. Second, if you have been ripped off by them, contact me, as I am preparing a lawsuit against them not only for damages in shipping, but for collateral damages, which are substantial, for the unethical way they go about their claims handling, which is very far from industry standards.
Estes Express is trying to build a retail business with the public without the proper ethical standards required to do so, and they have smugly dared me to sue them, which challenge I am taking up. But it will help a great deal to show the pattern of behavior I am very sure is extant.