Glen E. Zook gzook at HOME.COM
Fri Nov 23 11:28:31 EST 2001

Unfortunately, UPS, in some areas, is much "harder" on the packages than
other areas.

Since before Christmas of last year UPS is, as an "official" procedure,
supposedly opening EVERY package that is presented at one of their pick
up stations.  There is a sign at each of these indicating such.  Also,
it is grounds for immediate firing if an employee does not examine a
package for proper packing if the shipper is unknown to them personally.

By opening and inspecting the packing, UPS IS accepting complete
liability for the quality of packing.  Also, even if they do not open a
package the assumption is that they did check it.  Since the failure to
inspect a package can result in dismissal no employee is going to admit
that they did not inspect the package.  However, they are also having at
least as many, if not more, claims for shipping damage.  They virtually
always say that the package was improperly packed and initially deny the
claim.  But, since they accepted the package after examining the
packing, they have to pay off.  The "national" customer service
automatically rejects the claim.  When you "push" them by reminding them
that they inspected the packing, they "refer" the claim to a regional
office which will almost always "pay off".

UPS has been damaging even triple boxed items.  Also, it is no longer
"acceptable" to use only 2 inches of padding material.  6 inches is the
minimum that now is acceptable.

Pelspan (the sytrofoam peanuts) are acceptable as "fill material" only.
The main packing, in my opinion, should be comprised of solid styrofoam
sheets (these are available in 4 x 8 feet sheets at home improvement
centers for about $6 each (don't buy from packing centers - you'll pay
about 5 times the amount for the same quantity!).

I have been shipping items by UPS for over 30 years (used to own the
Motorola reconditioned equipment center for the south-central US and we
shipped from 5 to 30 packages a day by UPS).  The only item that I ever
had damaged during the period was one box that UPS ran a fork-lift
"tang" through.  Even then, they tried to deny the claim!  But, that
didn't hold water!

It has only been in the last year that I have had any problems with UPS
and those have been with shipments from Texas to Louisiana.  It seems if
the package goes through the New Orleans area that it is very likely to
get damaged.

About 4 months ago I shipped a Johnson Challenger transmitter to an
amateur in the New Orleans area.  First of all it was "lost" for almost
a month.  The "bar code" did not get entered into the system and UPS
employees can't seem to read the to/from labels anymore.  If the bar
code doesn't work, the box gets shipped to their equivalent of the USPS
"dead letter office".  I started a tracer on the package.  After abut a
week UPS called and said that they had found the package, unpacked it,
and described the transmitter to me.  They repacked it and sent it on
its way.

When the package arrived the person that received it said that the
package looked like it had been useds as a basketball.  He unpacked the
box while the UPS driver looked on.  The transmitter was severely
damaged.  UPS did pick up the damaged package several days later.  Then,
of course, they claimed that it was improperly packed.  This package was
examined by their personnel before it was accepted for shipment and was
repacked by their personnel.

After I pointed out that they had done both, their national customer
service organization referred my claim to their Fort Worth, Texas,
office.  The person who called from there immediately took
responsibility for the damage and sent me the proper claim forms already
approved.  It took about a month, but I did receive a cheque for the
full insured amount plus the shipping charges.

The reason that UPS gives for their practice of examining the packing of
each package is that they need to reduce the number of claims.
Unfortunately, this does not seem to be working!  Also, UPS has been
having an on-going labor/management problem for several years.  Frankly,
a good number of the people who work in the distribution centers feel
overworked and underpaid (that is debatable!) and don't care about doing
anything correctly.

Also, I have heard quite a number of "tales" about drivers throwing
boxes off the back of their delivery trucks, etc.  Fortunately, my local
UPS drivers are extremely good and very helpful as well.  Whenever I
have to contact UPS about anything, I take the time to point this out.
The problems are at the distribution centers.

Since UPS has damaged even triple-boxed items, it is impossible to
insure that everything will make it through their system.  But, if you
put at least 6 inches of good packing material around the item which is
then put in a second box with another 6 inches of packing material you
do have a good chance of it making through the system.

However, if the item is damaged, stand your ground and point out that it
is company policy to examine every box for proper packing.  Since UPS
does that, they are legally accepting liability if the package is
damaged in shipping.  The national customer service organization will
automatically deny your claim.  Just point out to them that they have
accepted liability by examining the packaging before accepting the
package for shipping.  It will take several weeks, but you will get your

Glen, K9STH

--- Dan Arney <hankarn at> wrote:

The main point is the requirement of 2" of packing on all sides. Claims
are based on proper packing not labels.

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