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Thread: Ups insurance a ripoff

  1. #26
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Some high end violin makers just deliver instruments personally (or pay a flight ticket to a friend who likes to travel and has some time). The price of flight ticket for a person and extra seat for the case and a lunch could be equal or even lower than price of overnight shipping. (Some return tickets within common EU destinations used to be as low as 29€ before COVID).
    When I ship mandolins I always make exactly fitting shipping box out of styrofoam and plywood that is virtually bulletproof. Even the best CF cases are not as safe as such box.
    Adrian

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCh View Post
    Which is why they don't travel by Ups. The more interesting question is that if there were a shipping company that guaranteed individual handling, extra care, complete restitution of any damage etc for say double the price of the mass market shippers then just how many of us would use them?
    If you look at the initial posting about organ shipment it seems that organ shipment costs about the same as overnight FedEx even though the expectations and standard of care are far, far higher.

  4. #28
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlM View Post
    If you look at the initial posting about organ shipment it seems that organ shipment costs about the same as overnight FedEx even though the expectations and standard of care are far, far higher.
    Not quite..... In that example the driver was paid $400 for his time. Without a doubt the total cost of transporting the organ was many multiples of that.
    Todd Yates

  5. #29
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Imagine..

    If I was an expert detailer of feeblefetzers. Yes I am the best feeblefetzer cleaner in the country.

    The cost of having your veeblefetzer polished and cleaned and waxed is $200.

    However if you want to guarantee I will do the work on time for the price quoted and with no damage that will be for an additional $50 "insurance".

    The whole insurance proposition by the USPS, FedEx, UPS is absurd. They contract to deliver but then if you really want them to do it prpoperly, you pay an additional fee.

    And then they invariably will decline to pay up when they lose it or trash it

    That is just plain crazy.

    "Insurance" is where they make their money.

    In the case of UPS, any claim over $500 ( I believe that is the current level) i8s handled by a third party.; When you file a claim it is turned over to them.

    Under $500 I believe it to be handled in house.

    None of these companies follows my personal philosophy of
    " do what's right and worry about the money later."

    When they succeed in a delivery, they win and make a considerable amount of money.
    When they fail they win, because they decline,deny and make it very difficult to file a claim and they strong arm the customer into believing it is the customer's fault.


    Now as to the reason for most damaged goods...
    it is in the packaging. Stuff rarely gets broken from outside, it gets broken because the contents shift internally, or the packaging and packaging material is insufficient or substandard.

    UPS stores and all the rest of the Peter's Packing etc are clueless as to how to package and they do not accept any responsibility for damage and pass that back to the actual shipper.
    That is followed by the shipper passing it back onto the packer.

    Another tidbit.

    Let's say you want to send something and go to Shirley's Shipping. They pack it and ship it and they become the "shipper of record" and you as the actual customer when there is a damage/loss situation.. you are not the shipper of record and have no legal standing.

    BTW they best way to handle a declined claim ( I've had my share) Small Claims Court.

    Also be aware the BBB Better Business Bureau) is a for profit business that enlist businesses who pay for their service.

    This is no government institution and they have absolutely no authority for non members actions and , and "surprise" !!! they have no authority to make one of their member businesses pony up and pay you for your loss. They simple re-rate the business member.

    Trust no one and learn how to pack.
    I make stuff and ship USA and world wide.
    I do my own packing and have done so for the last 30 years.
    I have had two damage claims that were unpaid. And gave up fighting and filed Small Claims. When the guilty party received their notice.. they paid.
    I had one lost item claim.
    You cannot file a claim with UPS for lost stuff for 30 days.
    In my case I smelled a rat with their BS explanations.
    I drove 400 round trip to the UPS distribution Center in Santa Rosa Calif who received the package but "lost" it.
    My surprise visit and a demand to speak to the Distribution center manager resulted in a face to face meeting with same.. my wife was with me.
    And there in his office was the item that was "lost" ( a custom built small table .. I no longer do this work and am doing automotive related artwork) and it was used as a printer desk. Fact. !!! I delivered the item to the buyer that afternoon.
    Net result: I was reimbursed for my travel expenses and got the shipping money back.

  6. #30
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    I spent years in the transportation industry and then the insurance industry. There is a magical number where any carrier will simply pay the claim because it will cost them more to investigate than to pay the claim. I have no idea what that number is but we had one when I was in the industry. Someone mentioned taking them to small claims court. They probably have a number there that they will simply settle the claim rather than fight it due to the cost to fight it as well. They are never going to advertise that but they will have a policy to deal with it. It also might be that the policy is to reject everything the first time. Understanding what you're up against is probably a good thing. I personally have shipped dozens of instruments. I had one that got lost and was found a week later after I had filed the claim. I never had one damaged so I'm guessing I was lucky. I did have a 1921 Martin Style A that I bought show up via the USPS that simply had the stamps and the address stuck to the case. The postal lady was as shocked as I was. She had me check it out because it was insured. It's a crap shoot, I get it but I always try to send things as close to overnight as I can just so they aren't bouncing around in a truck for any extended period of time.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #31

    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Well, I was planning on posting my tale-of-woe about US postal service tonight anyway so here goes. USPS insurance is NO BETTER than UPS. Purchased a Martin made Paramount Style L tenor guitar (only 30 or so style L extant!) from a reputable dealer (a frequenter to MC), arrived with a broken headstock and big crack in the side. Well packed and fully insured. Arrived with a broken headstock and a big crack in the side. They require tons of info and make their decrees in a three or four word sentence. The first denial: "USPS wasn't responsible for the damage." After hours on the phone to find someone to talk to, it seems they determined this because there was no visible damage to the packaging. Then they asked me to take it to the post office for an inspection. Apparently I was supposed to leave it there (right!) but the postal worker told me to take it take it. Which was the reason for the denial of the first appeal. I waited hours on the phone, and found a sympathetic voice who said that they also had a note that it was inadequately packed. Which was curious, since the person who inspected it said, "well, they certainly packed it well!". (PS: The seller assured me that strings were de-tensioned, and saw for myself the ample packing material both inside and outside the case). Long story short: they denied the final appeal, despite, letters, appraisals, photos, etc. NO transparency, poor communication, and no acceptance of responsibility.

    And yes, I have received or shipped dozens of instruments with no damage, following all the advised procedures. But occasionally someone in the shipping sequence messes up: drops it from a height, throws it around, etc. and despite the best precautions something breaks. Isn't that what insurance is supposed to be for?

  8. #32

    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Coupla thoughts........

    1. I believe 3 different members have mentioned having packages "Lost" and then show up later.(?) In my way of thinking, if it shows up, even a week, month or year later -- IT IS NOT LOST -- it is DELAYED!

    2. I've been doing "mail order" for 37 years, long before the internet and eBay, etc. I've sent valuable instruments, records, cameras, and other collectables all over the world. Again, all very "breakable" stuff. I've sent over 8,000 items in that time. I've NEVER had anything get lost. Of course, I triple-check the address and always get a tracking number. Of those 8,000 items, I have had shipping damage only 5 times. I agree with a previous poster in that the "secret" is great packing. Basically, picture yourself inside that box and what it would take to not be bounced around. Good packing is your BEST insurance.

    3. If you are filing insurance claims or going to small claims court or better business bureau on a REGULAR basis -- YOU are doing something wrong, IMHO.
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Oct-07-2020 at 10:37pm.

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  10. #33
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    UPS sucks. I have a good idea how these get damaged. And yes. There pathedic with there insurance claims. Most of the parcels are damaged at there main facilities. I worked at the hub in Alberta. Aircraft comes in. Move the bins from the aircraft to the 1000s of feet of conveyor belts to certain sections These items go from a conveyor , Bombed by many hands into truck trailers for sorting for there destination. Keep in mind even thought they have a supervisor at each post , they dont see all that takes place. . These packages are not treated nicely. If you can picture 4 or 500 boxes that weigh anywhere from 5 lbs to 80 lbs eight feet deep in a truck trailer. Chances are it could be your item on the bottom. All this takes place within 4 hours every morning. Then the following morning the trailer is moved around to another part of the building to unload and sort to the trucks waiting to deliver. UpS may have strict policies in place. But just about all the warehouse employees are part time and dont really care. I had the pleasure of working for that bunch. What a joke.

  11. #34
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Be glad you don't have to ship upright basses around the world.

    I could buy a car for what it costs to ship one.

    Imagine a six foot tall eggshell that takes up a whole refrigerator box and is worth $30K +...

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  13. #35
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    I had UPS deny a claim when they packed the whole guitar, in the case and in their own box!
    Well, ain't THAT just the ultimate hypocrisy and poor customer service concerning insurance on an instrument! What nerve they have to deny an insurance claim when they packed it themselves in their own box.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Oct-08-2020 at 8:25am. Reason: fixed quote syntax

  14. #36
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Conclusion:

    The major shippers: OOPS, Dead X and the rest, have a contempt for their customers and the bottom line is all that matters.

    To repeat... UPS, and possibly others, have a third party handling their "insurance" claims. They make their money on what they do not pay.

  15. #37
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. #38

    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Normally, I’d be with you all on this: precious instruments and hours of handwork on the line every time.
    But, right now, with vast and new reliance on shipping versus shopping, huge workforces beset with illness, many of us even getting food by truck, I’d be inclined to cut a little slack.
    Most of the stuff I’ve shipped for my company also tended to have hundreds of hours of difficult labor, tens of thousands in purchased parts, and followed often year-long purchase negotiations. Sure, we always used truck direct, and never lost anything, simply because it’s never offloaded in transit, never sees those forklifts. You load it, you talk to the driver, and he’s the one who lets the customer take it off. There are other items in the load, so not terribly expensive. Ordinary freight: crapshoot. FedEx, UPS, small stuff, generally insurable new stuff with warrantee.
    Once, when I worked for Texas Instruments, we spent close to a year getting a custom-build, half-million dollar research tool. Our own dock guy was pissed at his girlfriend the day it arrived, and ran those forks right through the midsection. For us, a year penalty box, and total responsibility right off our own budget.

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  18. #39
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    I recently bought a mandolin. It was sent from England to Spain by UPS. On receipt the box was undamaged. However, I did note how heavy the box was. When unpacked I noticed the sender a mandolin maker had put two pieces of cheap plywood either side of the case. He argued that the weight is calculated by volumetric means. So one afford to put in extra protection as the actual weight is going to be less than the calculated weight. Yes packing is the key and marking the box with red fragile stickers.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
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  19. #40
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    to Jeff's point (above): The damage to the Gilchrist that arrived to my office was from the box falling out of the plane (after landing, no doubt!). The accordion nature of the box was the tell. The damage to the mandolin all happened inside the Calton. It was this incident that led me never to trust the Calton! I found it no better than any other case I've ever used for shipping. It was the design of the Calton that caused the damage! Well, other than the fall!

    f-d
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  20. #41
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    fattdad: I'd be interested in how the design of the Calton caused damage to your Gilchrist and what the damage was. Was it a new model, or one of the older ones with little wiggle room for the headstock?

  21. #42
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    (I've also never loosened the strings. That begs yet another problem. With the string tension, there's less problem with inertia in the event of a fall.

    f-ds
    Well, only true if the box falls on its back. If it falls forward [just as likely] the string tension is pulling in the direction of the shock. It's a crap-shoot.
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
    Now located in Nevada City, California
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  22. #43
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    I pack mandolins like this:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I cut the styrofoam as exactly to shape as possible and fill the space above headstock with wedge of styrofoam so there is no movement possible without crushing the foam. The whole box is lined with 4 mm plywood on all sides (glued with epoxy and edges reinforced with linen/glue). Weight is still much less than volumetric calculated value and still light enough that falling box will not gain high enough velocity to really damage itself. The foam/plywood is stiff enough to stand on (yes there is mandolin inside the box I'm standing on). I don't trust cases in general...
    Adrian

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  24. #44
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    These problems are also encountered with commercial interstate trucking companies. The local Humane Society (volunteer animal shelter) has their large shipments sent here to my farm because I can unload trailer trucks with a forklift and bring the shipment to them broken down. They are not set up for this. Recently, cat isolation condos were shipped here (South Jersey) on four pallets from Kansas City. Three pallets arrived last Monday. One went to Denver instead. It was finally located and is due here today. We will see what shape it is in.

    I hate to sound like the old guy sitting on a porch lamenting the loss of past ways, but it seems to me that everything has become too complicated. Sure, it is great to have anything available anywhere at any time, but the world has become so complicated that lots of things just don't work as well as we would like.

    It really is a balancing act. Price, availability, convenience, safety. . . Nearly everything really is available to us anytime, if we can afford it, yet we still have not gotten it right. Maybe we are all (me included) expecting too much. Could it be that we need to focus on reliance on local craft and supply? Would that lower shipping volume and lead to better service? I don't know. I just try to source locally whenever possible, but it seems like it is becoming less possible as time goes on.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  26. #45
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    From Bob's post, his pretty much sums up the entire thread:

    Cat isolation "condos".....


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  28. #46

    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    I pack mandolins like this:
    Seems sensible to me.
    I modify all my instrument cases so the body is fully supported all round, although I try and leave the headstock in air and incapable of contacting anything. I seem to treat instruments in cases with far less care than I would treat the instrument, I guess it's human nature. Back in the 1930s there was a famous and notably eccentric boat builder in the UK who reckoned not to crate the new boats he had transported because he thought shippers would take care with a beautifully varnished boat, but a crate would be thrown about like any other crate.

  29. #47
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Just a quick follow up to my post 44. The fourth pallet did arrive yesterday and looked a bit shopworn for its travels. Contents were fine though, and my wife and I completed the installation of the cat condos at the Humane Society last night. Tonight there are otherwise homeless kitties relaxing comfortably in their new condos. All is well.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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  31. #48
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    I had UPS deny a claim when they packed the whole guitar, in the case and in their own box! USPS is the only one to lose an instrument. Had a Kimble A5 lost for about a week before it showed up in a destroyed box. Fortunately the mandolin was fine. Had good luck with FedEx so far but others have plenty of horror stories. I just don’t buy and sell much anymore. Too much hassle and it’s not fun. And I have what I want....
    "too much hassle and it's not fun"... Shaun has got this spot-on correct. I will also add that shipping with any of the carriers (Including USPS now) has gotten RIDICULOUSLY expensive.

  32. #49
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ups insurance a ripoff

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    "too much hassle and it's not fun"... Shaun has got this spot-on correct. I will also add that shipping with any of the carriers (Including USPS now) has gotten RIDICULOUSLY expensive.
    I hear that a lot, but it seems most people experiencing that are taking packages to the stores to ship, paying for packing services, or paying for high declared value. Oversized boxes increase cost dramatically, but that's typically a problem with guitars more than mandolins. I just recently shipped a full sized guitar from Kentucky to California for about $65 UPS Ground. Overnight is tremendously expensive, so I seldom use that. Ground shipping from here will get anywhere in the lower 48 in a maximum of 4 days, and surrounding states in only 1 or 2 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimCh View Post
    Seems sensible to me.
    I modify all my instrument cases so the body is fully supported all round, although I try and leave the headstock in air and incapable of contacting anything. I seem to treat instruments in cases with far less care than I would treat the instrument, I guess it's human nature. Back in the 1930s there was a famous and notably eccentric boat builder in the UK who reckoned not to crate the new boats he had transported because he thought shippers would take care with a beautifully varnished boat, but a crate would be thrown about like any other crate.
    That will work for most normal use, but if you ship it you want the headstock immobilized. If it can move, it can break. It's being held by a fairly small section wood. It's comparatively heavy on it's own. And it has heavy tuners attached. That much mass has considerable momentum in the event the shipping box is dropped, particularly falling forward or backward.
    Todd Yates

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