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UPS......don't use them.......even if you have to


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  • UPS......don't use them.......even if you have to

    I normally am not one to complain.  That is, I roll with the punches....but being that all of us here are guitar players, buyers, sellers, etc. I thought I'd pass this on...


    To some of you this may just be a bad reminder from the past. If so either vent or disregard. For those of you who are in the process of shipping or having a guitar shipped to you....you may want to read further.

    I'll start by saying that I have used UPS without a problem...though usually more expensive than other options.

    I sold on EBAY a guitar....I shipped it with full insurance and in UPS box, packaged by UPS, declared value and requiring a signature.

    The shipment arrived and on the day they said it would....FROM this point on it goes downhill.

    First....No signature for delivery.....

    Second....Package left on a porch

    Thirdly....Package crushed into and around its contents

    Fourthly...Buyer shakes out contents of opened ripped box and removes the case.

    On inspection there is a crack from the soundhole to the bridge....Something it didn't have when it left my hands at UPS...

    The item is refused and is later shipped back to me....

    I called UPS to complain and they tell me they are going to take care of it....just fill out the paperwork they send me.

    Now here is where it really gets dicey....

    The buyer decides to return it after I tell him I will refund his money in full and also the cost of any freight upon return of the guitar....

    He calls UPS and they tell him HE has to pay for the return because it was open....Let me remind everyone that it was ALREADY opened due to the condition of the box....crushed and ripped open.

    I instantly called UPS and filed a claim.

    For 5 days I hear nothing....though promised I would receive a call from claims.

    5 days later, I got the guitar back....and yes the case and the guitar had taken a few punches it didn't need.

    After filling out pages of forms and also inserting a letter explaining the entire episode, there remains no record of my claim....

    Now its 10days....I called Customer Service ( I have no idea why they call it that).

    They assure me they can get me the correct forms to fax into UPS. I told them I had a claim number and the forms faxed, but they insisted I didn't. So I filled them out again and faxed them...not once, but twice more...3 days later when I called back, they said they never recieved the paperwork...So without any hesitation, I sent all the paperwork Certified Mail with a required signature....Guess what...they still claimed 3 days after proof of delivery, they didnt' get my paperwork.

    Miraculously on a Saturday week 3, a more than friendly UPS henchwoman said my claim has been denied due to the fact that UPS didn't inspect the package and that the claim was filed by the buyer. HE would receive any credit due.

    I will remind you that I already returned to the buyer all his money and additonal freight costs....so I was out the sale, my $100 freight to him, the freight back to me and a guitar that requires repair.

    To make matters worse....the guitar was returned with no insurance and therefore I can have no future claim.

    IN REVIEW.....I didn't get my signed delivery. I can't collect for the  insured package I paid an additional $26 for ,  I have my guitar damaged, and I loose all the additional freight charges, AND I have no legal recourse....This morning I received a call from an agent of UPS that actually scolded me for even attempting to file a claim against the company...insisting that I didn't follow correct protocol.

    I called UPS the day it happened. I filed the claim as instructed by UPS and I Paid FOR AN INSURED PACKAGE......Apparantly, that is not following UPS protocol.

    I actually took the time to look up how much money I spent with UPS just last year....a little over $1400....not a fortune mind you, but $1400 they will never see again.


    Steve Goodman Fan/Eddie Wright Fan/Damon Fowler Fan 2006 Martin OM21, 2014 Martin GPC12string, 2012 Gibson J45 Standard Spruce/mahogany1969 Framus 12 String Spruce/Mahogany1990's Larrivee D2 (Spruce/Mahogany)2007-8 Guild C0-2C (Spruce/Mahogany)2009 Recording King RO-26 (Spruce/Mahogany)1962-3 Gibson LG2 (Spruce/Mahogany)

  • #2

    UPS is notorious for **************** like that, but it can happen with any shipper.


    Get insurance through an independant shipping insurance provider. (Not the "insurance" offered by the shippers.) Bing it. Costs a bit, but they'll cover you.


    As always, CYA. Pack well, and take lots of pictures.

    __________________________________________________ _________
    Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society.


    • FormerlyBassred
      FormerlyBassred commented
      Editing a comment

      I'd rather use UPS than any other shipper. Ths situation would have been worse (the scolding would have come with your first call...) 

      The buyer should have taken pictures and called you and UPS first-thing, before opening the package (no matter how 'open' it was by the forklift) - You need to have verbiage that states such on your ebay shipping info, or stuff like this happens. The only way UPS (or any company) can tell that an item is damaged BECAUSE of their shipping/actions is to witness the damaged package being opened by the recipient. Otherwise, anyone who did not like what they received could just smash it and then call in a claim. Sadly, it seems like that must have happened in the past, because they demand to see the item before the contents are revealed to be damaged. 

      I'm not saying its right, UPS has always been more than good with their insurance on items I've ordered and/or shipped and my company has shipped.


      Sorry to hear about the situation, unfortunately a few unscrupulous people can really ruin things for everyone. 


  • #3

    I have had some pretty good experiences from UPS and some bad, depending on where I lived at the time. USPS, I found, loses a lot of letters (8 million a day). When I ship something USPS, which I do frequently, I have found that insuring the package will guarantee that it makes it safely to its destination. Packages are watched very carefully when they are insured, especially if the declared value is high. That is something that UPS and FedEX don't do (maybe they handle way too many parcels to give a crap).

    I recently shipped a package to So-Cal. It cost me over $30 to ship insured for $1500 and it arrived safely five days later. There is a $9.00 fee added from USPS for a California surcharge... thanks left coast.


    The secret of man's creative power is imagination.


    • #4

      FWIW, USPS is the only shipper that I've ever been able to get to pay up for shipping damage.

      __________________________________________________ _________
      Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society.


      • Opa John
        Opa John commented
        Editing a comment

        I've just been lucky, I guess. I shipped and received a lot of things via UPS and, so far, never had a problem. Same with USPS. Never used FedEx, though.

        I shipped a 12-string Framus home from Germany back in '72 via USPS. Didn't even have the smarts to put it in a box. I used the case as the shipping container and wrote the addresses in white paint on the case. (cheap plastic case that I was gonna get rid of anyway). I'd padded the guitar with a couple of lightweight blankets. The guitar arrived in perfect condition, but the case suffered a small crack.

    • #5

      Small claims court would be my approach at this point. Their ears perk up when a subpoena shows at their door. Here in Florida you can file up to $5,000.Your state may vary.  Ask for punitive damages up to that amount. When they don't show in court you immediately win....but I would bring documentation to try and press the punitive damages...you probably won't get the punitive unless you have a very sympathetic judge but it's worth a try. Only after you've won do you really need a lawyer...collection is the hard part.

      "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen


      • Neal
        Neal commented
        Editing a comment

        So should we take the title "UPS, don't use them, even if you have to" with a grain of salt, or should we actually never use UPS again?  I'm runnin' out of options.  I read on another forum where the same thing happened with FedEx, then another forum where the Post Office screwed up a guitar.  On both the others, we were told NEVER to ship with those entities again.  So now there's no one.. no. one. to. ship. with.


        Please answer quick, I should probably ship a few guitars I've sold, but don't know any other shippers, so here they sit, can't use the post office, FedEx, or UPS.