Besides the BBB how do you fight claim resolution against FedEx

I shipped a subwoofer to a buyer with FedEx and despite packing it with hard foam and double boxing it, the subwoofer was damaged in transit, most likely dropped.  FedEx denied my $350 claim. Interestingly, I was the receiver of a subwoofer that was damaged in transit a few weeks ago.  It seems that FedEx is not too good at shipping fragile items. Has anyone had such experience withe this company and were you successful in your claim?  thanks.


BBB puts complaint for 36 months. It won’t help to resolve anything. FedEx does not really care about BBB as well as the rest of large companies. Normally they require packaging safe enough to drop from the flying by airplane to the concrete ground. Otherwise, better not ship at all or small claims court

An issue with hard foam is that it is sacrificial. It does absorb the force of an impact but in doing that is crushed, losing effectiveness in the case of any subsequent impact. I've found high-density but resilient foam to be more effective than rigid foam.

The only time you might have a case with Fed Ex is if you used the factory shipping box and system as they are designed to handle shipping stress. Not 100% foolproof, but you’ll be in a better position. Rarely will any of the big companies pay out a claim if something was packed “unprofessionally”.

Your only protection is a packaging that can withstand multiple drops. I found freight shipping on a pallet to be much better alternative for subs, speakers and sensitive electronics. 


Good points. I like the approach by some companies (AGD) to put their electronics in hard cases. Very effective. 

Shipping large, heavy, sensitive items is problematic, and expensive, at best.  As a seller, I do everything I can think of to minimize my risk of shipping damage, which takes time and costs money, so I eventually became more conservative wrt buying/selling large stuff.  Considerations include:

  • Only buy stuff that comes with the original manufacturer's packaging, and save the packaging
  • Use wooden crates (e.g., like Lamm) or Pelican-type cases (e.g., Mola Mola, Khozmo, and others) in addition to other packaging as needed
  • Offer large, heavy items  to local buyers only, to avoid shipping
  • Second-best option for shipping large, heavy, sensitive items is to strap them to pallets and ship by freight (expensive)
  • Use prominently visible labeling on the packaging indicating "Fragile" and/or "Sensitive Electronics"
  • Take sufficiently detailed photographs to document the suitability of the packaging
  • Have the item "professionally" packaged by the shipper, using "guaranteed/insured" services like those available at The UPS Store

Unfortunately, my only suggestion for your current situation is to persistently work FedEx's system, provide any documentation you have of the suitability of the packaging, damage to the packaging upon delivery, and/or the purchase of insurance and, if they still offer no suitable resolution, ask them what you should have done differently in this case where even double boxing was not sufficient to prevent damage by their shipping process (i.e., at what point is the shipper responsible to prevent damage to an adequately packaged item?).


Very good advice. Won’t happen to me twice, there is no wisdom in the second kick of a mule. 

I wonder if anyone has had experience with FedEx/Kinkos  packing it and then it having shipping damage. Would FedEx cover the claim or try to weasel out of it because of the type of item it is?

@spenav was the item insured via FedEx for the $350 value? If not they would not even consider the claim. If it was insured then continue to fight it with hopefully pics of damage and packing.

Good luck

I will only do local sales anymore on speakers and subs. Crating a $350 sub is not very cost effective. If you are in a metro area local buyers abound. Facebook marketplace is great. 


I got some money back from them including shipping. It was very close to what I was asking. 
I agree that subs are better sold locally. Thanks. 

If the item was insured and you have documentation, then I would file a pro se lawsuit. Fed Ex will try to quash it but then you’ll just provide the documentation to the judge and the lawsuit will move forward. Most likely after that, you’ll get a phone call from the attorneys at Fed Ex and they’ll give you a settlement offer for the insured amount. 

I'm sorry about your loss. This has happened to me many times and shippers almost always fall back on "packed incorrectly..."

But IMO shippers are also almost always right. Most folks who buy and sell used audio have no idea of how delicate audio items should be packed for shipping. I can't tell you how many turntables I have purchased that were bagged and set into a box full of packing peanuts. Needless to say, I almost always ended up pouring the broken bits of turntable out of the box.

My suggestions are:

1. Hard foam and strofoam packing is a big no no. As is soft foam. Blur or green polyethylene foam works well, if you know how to use it. I typically assemble a "cradle" made of fabricated pieces and assembled with a hot glue gun.

2. You need a strong, NEW box. Don't reuse or recycle another box. Most old boxes are soft. Order a new box from Uline or one of the shipping goods firms. I try to use 2x wall thickness but 1.5x will work for lighter pieces. This will also negate the need for double boxing. I only do that for very high priced items going internationally.

3. You need a minimum of 2" of clearance between the box and your equipment - 3" is better. That means that your foam cradle is keeping your item that far away from the box boundaries. But the cradle needs to fit tightly - absolutely no slack or slop when the box is closed.

4. Tape your box well. That means using good quality tape and knowing how to use it. Life is too short for cheap packing tape. and more tape is not necessarily better if the tape is of good quality.

Have fun


Thanks for the advice. I don’t think I will be selling another sub unless it’s a local sale with pickup.