Report: #1039072

Complaint Review: UPS

  • Submitted: Fri, March 29, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, April 01, 2013
  • Reported By: BG — Wilmington Delaware
  • UPS

    United States of America

UPS United Parcel Service Fails to honor Insurance Claims-What a Surprise! Internet

*Consumer Comment: The packaging was begging for problems.

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UPS Claims Dispute

Package was picked up by UPS at my home 2/15/13 (Friday) in Delaware

The item was wrapped and taped with card board, forming an inner box around the item, then $20.00 worth of bubble wrap was wrapped around that, and then it was placed in a box.  The box was not only taped closed at seams but several runs of packaging tape was used to tape in all directions to keep package secure.

If the packaging wasnt adequate the driver should have said so.

Item is delivered 2/22/13 (Friday) in California

Packaged received at destination after delays by UPS stating address was wrong, which it was not.  Receiver calls the evening of delivery and states that the item is broken.  I request he take pictures and send, which he does immediately. 

The following day the claim is filed with UPS 2/23/13 (Saturday). [continued below]....
.....  I am told by UPS representative that UPS will either, (1) Inspect the damage at receivers home, or (2) Pick up package and take it to UPS station for inspection, and then I would be contacted.

Feb 23 I receive an unknown $12.00 charge from UPS in email

March 2nd I receive an unknown $4.62 charge from UPS in email

After numerous (6-8) calls to UPS I am finally told the item is on its way back to me.  I inquire about the claim/inspection and am told it has not been inspected. 

March 9th I receive a $91.25 charge from UPS in email (return shipping from California to Delaware).

Additional calls are placed and confusion still continues on the part of UPS as to what is going on with this, like the call I received from the Delaware UPS station asking if this package was suppose too be coming to me or going to California? 

And still no answer regarding the claim. 

Finally on 3/15/13 (Friday) I receive a voice mail from UPS stating that the claim is denied because of improper packaging. 

Through the tracking number I see the package is scheduled for delivery on 3/18/13 (Monday).  It does not arrive until 3/20/13 (Wednesday).

The delivering driver is the same driver that picked up on 2/15/13.  The box doesnt resemble a box, but looks more like a ball of cardboard and tape.

Looking at my expression the driver was curious and asked something like what is going on with this?  I told him the long story as he shook his head throughout.  I also told him that the claim was denied which he said was normal.  I explained the damage, a metal cover that was broken and he stated that in order for that to have happened the box must have been dropped.  I asked if he remembered picking up the package on 2/15/13 and he stated that he did, and that it was a late pickup (5pm) and that UPS had sent two trucks to pick up.  Yes, he remembered right, because as he was loading the box in his truck that night another UPS truck pulled up.  I asked what he thought of the packaging when he picked it up and he stated that it seemed fine. 

Upon my inspection, some of my original packaging materials are not present.

So in total about 5 weeks for UPS to handle this from start to finish. 

As for the damaged item, a replacement cover is probably about $100.  If UPS had inspected in California like they said they were going to do and contacted me I could have given the buyer the $100 for a new cover and story over.

In addition to all this, since the item was an eBay transaction, and with all of the delay, which I was faulted for, the buyer filed a formal complaint against me with both eBay and PayPal.  PayPal decided in the buyers favor, refunded him and back charged my account the selling price and shipping fees, a total of $1053.00. 

And of course my reputation as a seller on eBay has been tarnished.
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#1 Consumer Comment

The packaging was begging for problems.

AUTHOR: seeworthy - ()

I have owned and operated a packaging/shipping facility for 11 years. It's similar to a UPS Store. If I was asked what the biggest challenge is with this business, I would have to say without a doubt that it would be customer packaged items.

Some people want quality service and materials for free. Unfortunately, that is hard to find. My packaging service rates are average, and my packaging quality will not be surpassed. There are those people, unfortunately, that really feel that we should pack items at or under the cost of our materials alone. If we packaged to accommodate 'free', the damage claims would go through the roof and there would be no packaging businesses left. You could state similar for any service for any business. If we package an item for a customer, and it does not meet industry packaging guidelines (easily found in all carrier web sites), damage to inferior packaging would be more common. Our claims would be denied by all carriers because the packaging was not done properly. We would have to reimburse our customers out of the business pocket and/or insurance policy and eventually go out of business because of that. The solution? We only use proper materials and technique.

People always have the prerogative to package themselves. We have materials if they need them and are happy to answer any questions. If a customer opts to do it themselves, they are explicitly responsible for their own work. If shipping/mailing businesses had to accept 100% of the customer's self-packaging liabilities, whether customer's asked for advice or not, none of those businesses could exist. This includes a post office. Still, some people choose to package themselves, probably in hopes of saving a little money, and then point fingers at other people when their packaging fails. The packing guidelines are similar with all companies. Without them, when poorly packaged items are damaged under normal handling, the insurance could not exist, shipping/mailing cost would skyrocket, and fraud would easily run rampant. 

Likewise, no UPS or FedEx driver, or mailman, is accepting liability for themselves or their employer when seeing a box that doesn't show immediate signs of impending self destruction. The logic of this should be obvious. As far as the additional charges, the emails should have specifically stated what they were regarding. A return shipping charge would be rendered by all carriers including the post office. (Incidentally, packages that are sent out of my business and are returned for any reason have no return fee. Private shipping accounts will be charged that fee, however.) The smaller fee(s) may be a billing correction for incorrect entry of weight and/or size of the package, but can easily be verified by talking with the carrier. 

As far as the pictures are concerned, they do verify the described packaging. The package weight was a critical detail that was not mentioned. The item appears to be heavy, perhaps an electrical motor with attached sheet metal housing. Depending on what side it was set on, it's own weight could bend/damage itself. 'Wrapping and taping with cardboard', especially if the item was heavy, is not secure and leaves airspace. The item will shift and the cardboard will loosen and fall apart. The biggest concern, and what should have been obvious, is the use of bubblewrap. Under the weight of the heavy item, it is physically impossible to prevent the bubbles from popping leaving nothing but a plastic sheet and more airspace for yet more internal shifting. If this item happened to be over 40-50 pounds, which it appears it very well could have been, a new or like new 275 ECT, or higher, corrugate box should have been used in addition to another solid box inside. There was no mention of cellular foam, expandable foam, or peanuts, which would have helped solidify the internal contents. Before that box was brought to any shipping location, just lifting and moving it around would have shown signs of movement and cardboard deflection, and snapping of the bubblewrap very likely could have been heard.

As it appears in the photos, this package would have self destructed in transit with any carrier, though all carriers would initially accept it for shipment (except with USPS if it weighed more than 70 pounds). If that identical item was brought into our location and we had packaged it, there would never be damage. If we shipped out 100 of those identical items, every one would arrive in perfect original condition. If this item was packaged by the Ebay seller in the same manner as we package, it would have arrived without incident.

As I have mentioned, this customer packaging may be the most challenging aspect of my business. A handful of customer's grumble at our fee (or that we even charge at all for packaging!), then do it themselves. This is fine and we will answer any questions they may have to help them. Then when the package they packed themselves, which did not meet industry guidelines and the carrier denied the claim, the odd customer retaliates at people that had nothing to do with the packaging. The post office also deals with this every day. I see this with every carrier used with my business, including freight. Even when the customer begins to realize that they can't blame anyone but themselves, this doesn't resolve their loss so they continue to grope at blaming other's. We'll be able to determine if this is that type of person by the retaliation that is left to my response.

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