TROUBLESHOOTERS: UPS customers denied damage claims after failing to follow packing guidelines


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Submitted: Wed, 02/16/2011 - 11:10pm
Updated: Thu, 02/17/2011 - 2:29am
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Insurance offers peace of mind. But two UPS customers say they’ve had nothing but headaches ever since they filed insurance claims after their items were damaged during shipping. Instead of getting their money, they were denied. So they contacted our Troubleshooters for help.

Tim Dreggors says he is out $400-$600 after he shipped some optic drives to California. Ten of the 15 drives arrived damaged. Since he had insured his package when he dropped it off at the UPS Store in Porters Neck, he was not worried. But UPS denied his claim, because of the way the package was packed.

“Individually wrapped and bubble wrapped, and they were double boxed with bubble wrap and newspaper between the two boxes, and I thought that would be quite sufficient,” Dreggors said. “Apparently UPS guidelines request more.”

He resubmitted the claim, and UPS denied it again. But there was a mix-up. The denial letter he got this time was actually addressed to a Hampstead woman, who’s insurance claim UPS also denied.

That’s how he met Cindy Coyne, who is also fighting UPS to get reimbursed for the gift she sent to family in Florida. The box was banged up, and the gift was broken.

“So I am really out the cost of the item, which was $130-something, then the insurance and had no gift come Christmas,” Coyne said.

Again, UPS denied an insurance claim saying the package wasn’t packed properly. Coyne says she used corkboard, newspaper and bubble wrap.

“Why do you sell insurance that you’re not honoring?” Coyne said.

We contacted the owner of the UPS Store, who told us these claims go through the corporate office. We called the UPS Store corporate office and got them to look into both claims again. They told us the shipping company, which is UPS, denied them again. So we made another call. This time, to the UPS corporate office.

A spokesperson told us boxes must be packed according to their exact guidelines, which are so detailed, they even tell you what type of cardboard to use and how thick the cushioning and tape need to be. These two packages did not fit those guidelines.

“People beware,” Dreggors said. “Read the fine print, you know? Stipulations. I guess there’s a catch to everything.”

UPS also added that it’s not insurance a customer buys. It’s called declared value. If your item is worth more than one-hundred dollars, you can choose to declare a higher value for the item and pay an additional charge.

As for getting that money back, though, as Coyne and Dreggors learned, don’t count on it, unless you follow the exact packaging guidelines you can find on the UPS website, or you can pay extra to have the UPS Store package the items for you, and if they’re damaged, you are guaranteed your money back.

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108 Comments on "TROUBLESHOOTERS: UPS customers denied damage claims after failing to follow packing guidelines"


2 months 3 days ago

I just had the same problem with UPS. I say it’s time for a class action lawsuit. Also I looked into whether the UPS stores are licensed to sell insurance. It seems they are not. This may a simple way to go after them.

Ryan Spradlin
2015 years 8 months ago

To whom it may concern,
I am an “eBay” person. I buy and sell things via eBay with relative frequency. I have a 100% feedback rating after 10 years of business. I package my items well and I send them out within 24 hours after receiving payment. I typically use UPS to ship my items unless it is going to an outlying US territory where USPS is significantly less expensive. I have a UPS Store around the corner from my home (Wahstach St. in Colorado Springs). The ladies there are great and know me. My packages have always arrived on time and in good shape. I have never registered a complaint or filed a claim in those 10 years. It is because of this history that I am disappointed to say that I will never use UPS again.

I recently sent a package from Colorado Springs to Brighton Mass (tracking number below). It had a vintage music recorder in it. I double wrapped the machine in bubble wrap and then filled in the rest of the space with air packaging. There was about 4 to 5 inches on each side. The package was housed in a brand new sturdy box. I took extra care in packaging this item because it is vintage and irreplaceable. When it arrived to the recipient it had a large dent in the back of the metal housing and a piece inside had been knocked loose and was rattling. I had the recipient take photographs of every angle of the machine so that I could verify what had happened before filing a claim. I then contacted UPS customer service and explained what happened.

Issue number 1) Upon calling customer service they explained that they would pick up the package and inspect the packaging materials along with the damage. They never contacted me nor the recipient about when the package would be picked up. So, when a day passed and we heard nothing, we called and they said they attempted to pick it up but nobody was home. Yeah, most people work during the day, so, it’s nice to actually communicate with the customer before attempting to pick something up.

Issue number 2) They returned to pickup the package for inspection. I called to make sure they had gotten it. They had and said they would return it to me after it was inspected. I explained that the recipient wanted to keep the item regardless because it is rare and would be hard to find again. So, we wanted it returned to him rather than me. They brought it back to him, but with additional damages (from inspection I am assuming). Now, the front door to the cassette holder was broken off and a knob was cracked in half. Plus, when I called for details of the inspection, they told me they didn’t complete it because I “asked them to return it to the recipient”. Again, an example of the customer service people not listening and communicating with me at all. Never once did I say that I didn’t want it inspected or that they should just break it more and then give it back.

Issue Number 3) After becoming very frustrated over having the item damaged and then damaged again by UPS, I demanded to talk to a manager. I got in touch with someone from the claims inspection group. I explained what had happened and that we needed to have the item inspected and then returned to the recipient. I also explained that the recipient was hesitant to give the package back to UPS given they had damaged it during the first inspection trip. She said she understood and gave me another option of sending in all of the photographs of the damage and the packaging materials and they could inspect those (I might add that she was rather unsympathetic and at times rude). Again we waited for nearly a week. I called and complained. They said they would need to have someone from their claims account processing group contact me. I was called by a woman who told me all further communication would have to be done through my UPS store. Hearing this was odd since that had never been explained before (in the past two weeks), but I agreed. Today, three and a half weeks later, we are being told that the claim was denied.

This process and our package have been handled so monumentally poorly that I see no other recourse than never using UPS again, and running your name through the mud on every social media forum I can find. It’s not something I like to do. It’s not something I want to do. However, we gave UPS every opportunity to make this situation right. We weren’t asking for the full insurance amount. The package was packed properly and the damage was caused by improper handling. Over and over, we explained that we simply wanted the damages done by UPS to be repaired. In reality, this was likely 100$ or less. It’s not like this was some grand scam to get 100$ out of UPS. The item cost 45$ to ship! Instead, we were passed around, given incorrect information, and ultimately scammed by UPS. They damaged our item not once, but twice and denied me the very insurance that I purchased for this specific reason. As a customer, I can’t imagine being treated any worse. In the end, you’ve given me a huge headache and cost yourself money in the process. I will not use your services again. My parents, who own a medical supply office will be changing services, and I’m sure my buyer will look elsewhere as well. Not to mention, I will post this email in every corner of the Internet. Why would you do this to a customer with my history of business with you? It makes no sense.

Bravo UPS!

Sincerely,
Ryan Spradlin

Package# 1Z6E965Y0339608969

Michael Yearwood
2015 years 8 months ago

5/15/2014 –

I just lost a case in El Paso Texas for a claim on my $5000 embroidery machine. I took in my own box and asked them to help me ship it back in March 2013. They gave me the materials to ship and helped me pack it. I did not know how to ship such an item but after watching a commercial saying they will help pack I decided to use them. Big mistake. The claim was denied 2 and the lawsuit against the store was lost because of the statement in the affidavit you sign for the “insurance/declared value.” It clearly says the store cannot be held responsible. I even asked for the footage because the employees all lied on the stand about telling me it was my fault and that they never helped me. The owner said we don’t keep video footage despite in order telling them too. Even with that the judge said because the statement says they aren’t responsible they won. I am not sure what steps to take now but I am considering a lawsuit against the actional corporation.

Guestcharles marchesani
2015 years 8 months ago

I shipped a 51″ Samsung 3d tv from Brandon Fla to Vineland n.n, before shipping i asked the man at the ups store what is necessary to ship this package so it wont be damaged and for the insurance to be in effect!he told me that it needs to have at least 2″ of peanuts all around the tv, thats all he said, i put 2″ of styrofoam at each corner, then wrapped the tv with 3 rows of bubble wrap completely covering the entire tv, i put a layer of cordboard on top of the peanuts at the bottom so the weight of the tv wouldent slip down thru the peanuts.When the package arrived the bottom corner was crushed in and the tv will not power up…i have been given the run around and was told improper packaging,NO WAY..i followed there guide lines to the tee…and im getting ready to contack fox news, btw im a disabled vietnam vet, fox will love this story

anne
2015 years 8 months ago

Do you think they might have thrown it over a fence :) Just saying!