UPS. Friend Or Foe?

Recently shipped two speakers and the stands all in very good (8/10) condition to a buyer in another state. One speaker and the stands were in the factory boxes. The other speaker was boxed by UPS. The buyer sent pictures and stated they arrived damaged. One of the speakers had a rattle but no visible damage, the other speaker, (the one UPS boxed), had visible damage. Not surprisingly, the stands arrived unscathed.

All items were picked up by UPS in that city and taken for inspection.

And the results were...UPS is not at fault because they have a policy, buried in very fine print, that it is the shippers' (sellers') responsibility to ensure proper packaging.

My wife and I also found out the local UPS stores are legally not affiliated with UPS!!!

We are currently attempting to discuss this with the owner of the local store.

Sad but true...


Thanks for all the posts!

No progress so far...

@jhills A letter sounds really good. Thank you.

@jhills Was the letter sent to the company UPS, or to the UPS store you used to ship them?

In my situation, I was the buyer. I took photos of the crushed boxes and speakers and refused the shipment and they were returned to UPS for inspection. After a couple of weeks of run around with both the seller and myself, UPS confirmed that they were damaged beyond repair, but they would make a settlement only to the seller and for less than 1/2 half of the $2,400.00 that I had paid for the speakers, shipping and insurance and claimed I would have to get settlement from the seller. My lawyer said differently and sent a letter to UPS, CC to the affiliate company that packaged and shipped the speakers, threatening litigation for the mishandling and destruction of my property.

As the seller I’m not sure if your recourse would be the same. You may have to work with the buyer to get some action, but I’m sure UPS is counting on you rolling over and taking whatever offer they hand you.

Best of luck.....Jim

Shipping has gotten to be so much fun lately.  I had to ship an amp back to Audio Classics for repair by UPS this week (too heavy for USPS, FedEx can be very, very tricky, and they don't offer insurance anymore).

After getting different instructions from the 800 number, the business reps (I own a small business and have a business account), and the website, and the escalated call center.   If the package is worth more than $1000.00, then the drop off points and the UPS Store aren't allowed to take them.  The instructions on the website was either to drop it off at the service center, or have a driver pick it up and to make sure you get a signed receipt.  Called UPS to find out where the service center was; no one knew or could tell me.  Couldn't find it on UPS website.  That site only listed all the places I couldn't drop it off at.  When the driver came, he did not have any receipts, so I did not let him take it, but he told me where the service center was.  Called the rep, got a long explanation on what the driver doesn't give out receipts.  Didn't want to hand it over w/o a receipt.  (From this adventure of misinformation, you could see why I wanted a written receipt now.). Took it to the service center.  Audio Classics got it in two days.  It took a week to figure out how to give the amp to UPS, two days for them to actually deliver it.

Now the problem with FedEx.  They have figured out ways to damage stuff that to me is incredible.  In a previous life, I was a certified, international hazmat shipper.  Needless to say, I know how to pack things.  The previous comments for the former driver at UPS said something that was absolutely correct.  Triple box your stuff.  That almost always works.  (also always keep your original packing material.  That handles two of the three boxes, and the boxes are engineered to protect in shipping--at least for all the equipment I have.). FedEx managed to break the glass on a properly packed piece of equipment w/o showing any signs of damage to the outside box.  When the guys at AudioClassics received that piece, they were amazed that the glass was cracked.  They said, "This was even packed correctly."

Shipping companies ability to break things is absolutely amazing.  And these days, one end doesn't know what the other end is doing at the different shipping companies.