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.