Just had a nightmare experience with DHL shipping a Wadia 16 from Richmond,Va to South Carolina. Yesterday, the driver came to pick it up and tried to turn his van around where it could not be turned around in a shared driveway, almost ran over my new heat pumps, ran over my neighbors drainage pipe, and then stormed off without picking up the package. I tried to stop him and could not. I called DHL and reported the driver. His manager came to pickup my package. His manager told me that the driver is a hothead sometimes. Great! It was scheduled for delivery today. I told the guy it was a CD player, delicate electronic instrument and the waybill also had that info. My buyer just called me told me that the Wadia 16 arrived and was completely totalled. They had dropped it on its side and broken all the connections on the back. The styrofoam was crushed into powder. I almost feel like they did this intentionally. When I called to report the problem I was told that unless I could produce a receipt that they would not pay the claim as I had it insured for $ 2K. She seemed amazed that a CD player could be worth $ 2K. The way she talked it could be months before I get my money back, if ever. I had thought that DHL was trying to take business from FedEx and UPS and was doing a good job. Obviously, I will never use them again. Also, lost the $ 125 I paid to have the unit shipped overnight and to insure it. This is my first experience like this and I am ticked!!! Beware of DHL. I can understand how accidents can happen but that is what the insurance is for. I just got a poor reception when I called to make a claim. Consider this experience when you decide on your shipper!!!!
So, where does this leave you at this point?
Sorry to hear about your experience I too had herd that DHL was a quality company; but apparently not. Good Luck in getting your money back. I know, because of the Holiday Season, shipping companies in general are using alot of temporary help. But this does not appear to be the case in your instance. Again Good Luck.

Thanks for the heads up.......... I was considering using that company, I'm gonna stick with Fedex from now on. Hope they pay you back every penny. "CD player for $2000 just go to Wallmart and pick one up, jeees"


Sorry to hear about your misfortune. It's amazing that there can be such a huge disparity in a company. I've used DHL at least 10 times and have never had a problem. I've shipped everything from CD players to a pair of JM Labs Electra 926 speakers. Maybe the fact that I take the items to a drop off center, usually an Office Max, makes a difference. I hope you can get some satisfaction in your troubled time.
Best of luck.
$2k is the price of a professional digital music recording/playback station.

You can bring a picture and pricing from the internet for ex: and show it to miss or mr Dumb.
I had just as bad of an experience with FED EX, and have seen threads saying the same about UPS. And, the insurance really is a joke. Just try and collect.

I think that the US Post Office actually is safer, more careful, and more responsive to insurance claims. However, they are more expensive and can be slower. Pick your poison.
It is very easy to get your money. Just file a claim at your local court. I did this to UPS after they said they wouldn't pay on my claim for the CD player they broke of mine. I got the entire value that I insured in for, plus they sent me back the damaged player and I was able to eventually get it fixed. Don't put up with this crap, it's their first course of action to just say sorry we're not paying. I'm sure it works with a lot of people thats why they do it. It's cheap and easy to file the claim and they can be served via registered mail. You've got a clear cut case here and I'm sure you'll immediately be refunded your money. Cost me about 27 bucks, which I also got paid back by UPS.
ok first of all your not screwed but you really need to approach this the right way & YOU WILL GET PAID,first you need to understand that you did not buy insurance you paid a declared value fee & the 2 are not the same,no matter what you claimed as the value dhl will only pay you what you sold it for & the canceled check is your recipt,if you used paypal simply print out that transaction as proof,how ever your buyer paid you will be your recipt & if there is no record just go buy a recipt book & write one up,been there & done that & it work's.

it's not just dhl ALL shipping company's suck when it come's to paying off claim's & it never happen's over night,ups has an unwritten policy to deny all claim's on the ground's of improper packing & i would imagine that dhl is the same,you need to follow these step's as soon as possible.

1 contact the buyer & make sure he does not throw away any packing not even a peanut & not to hook the player up.

2 tell the buyer that he is not to let dhl show up to pick up the package under the guise that it need's to be taken to an inspection center,once dhl get's it they will ship it straight back to you without even looking at it.

3 call dhl & request an on site inspection of the damaged cdp & all packing & make sure the buyer knows that dhl will be calling to arrange a meeting,if dhl give's you a blast of s#!t saying you must let them pick it up you tell them that its not safe to handle due to the broken glass & sharp metal & they will give in.

4 call dhl & make a formal complaint of the driver's behavior & make sure you talk to a supervisor & tell them the lame ass excuse you allready got telling you that the driver get's hot headed.

5 call dhl & dont tell them anything about your claim just inquire about what their packing guideline's are for electronic item's are & make sure your packing meet's the guide line's,most shippers use the same standards.

6 take pic's of the packing & the damaged player & also get any pic's you might have of the player before they killed it,auction pic's are great if you auctioned it but ad pic's will work too.

7 print out any info you have on the sale of the player,if it was from agon just print out the ad & if it was from ebay print the auction.

8 gather any & all payment info you have regarding how your buyer paid you,that is your recipt not what you paid for it.

9 after dhl make's the on site inspection have the buyer take the player to a repair center & have him get a repair estimate or if it's damaged beyond repair have the repair center put that in writing,even if you have to send the player back to wadia it need's to happen as you will not get one red cent without an estimate or a statement saying the unit is damaged beyond repair.

after dhl complete's the inspection you are free to take or ship the player as needed to get a repair quote,after the repair quote is recieved you can call dhl & find out where to fax or send the estimate,if they will not let you fax it in do not just mail it,you need to use either ups or fedex so you can have a record of it's delivery,once the quote is recieved by dhl you need to start calling them to check the claim status.

every time you talk to somebody at dhl about anything write down what they say,what time ,day & date & what their name is,if your packing either met or exceeded dhl's guidelines make sure you point that out to every person you speak with,even if the person at dhl seem's to be on your side & is telling you all good thing's still write it all down.

if you approach this agressively & know the answer's to all the question's you will get paid but if you sit back & hope for the best you may as well grease yourself up because your gonna take it in the crapper.

i hate to sound like the voice of doom but what i just wrote is the way it is,occasionaly claim's are fast & simple where guy's get paid fast with no head aches but being that your claim is for 2k plus it's xmas time i would plan for the worst & have all your duck's in a row,ive been thru this quite a few time's & believe me if you cut them the slightest slack they will hammer you.

be smart,be agressive,be constant,get paid.

good luck

I had one DHL experience in my life- A dealer was fixing my Vox AC30tb when it was still under warranty. They shipped it back to me so I wouldn't have to pick it up.
DHL left the amplifier in a snowbank near my house without getting a signature or anything.
Yes, the snowbank was on my property, but they could have tried the porch.

...maybe—as you speculated—they did do it intentionally.
Bigjoe, when you have some spare time can you go into detail about how to get this done...
I wish I would have known all this a few years ago when a shipping company damaged a pair of Kharma speakers I had shipped to me. It never occurred to me to go to court over the matter! AND I live in America, where everyone goes to court over everything!!! I should sue bigjoe for not posting this info earlier.

Bax never did pay me a penny for the damage to my Kharma's, Etmerrit33 I hope you make out better than I did.
I've had problems with everyone DHL,Fedex,UPS. The best luck and prices is with the US Post. If its not to big. I watched the fedex clerk drop an audiomeca cd player from counter to floor. Box said handle with care highly fragile electronics. Her quick reply was "thats what insurance is for". I watched the dhl courier pull a piega speaker from the van and let it smash to the ground. Result: Big Damage to cabinet and tweeter.
Bigjoe: Great advice and it made me think that it would probably be a good idea for everyone to take a few pictures of their units, in it's packing, BEFORE sealing it up and sending it out. That way we would have before and after pictures in the event we need to file a claim.

Bigjoe is exactly right. My wife suggested the same thing yesterday. I took digital pics of the Wadia and all the pieces and parts that were going with it before I packed it. It makes me mad as hell because this was a really nice piece. When I detailed it before I packed it I was surprised at how nice it was. Not a scratch on the faceplate, top, or sides. They just trashed it completely. It won't power on and I suspect the circuit boards are broken also. I really feel this was intentional after the confrontation I had with the first driver when he almost ran over my brand new heat pump units. How long do you think it would have taken me to collect on that?? I will pursue this and get my money and damage DHL as much as possible. Obviously, these companies don't care what they destroy as they make it hell to collect on claims. I have a ton of documentation and pics and emails about this. They would have zero chance in small claims court against me. My question after that is once you get a judgment against DHL that is just a hunting license. But, they have assets so I guess I couple seize a couple of those yellow vans??? Please advise on the collection process, Bigjoe and what you had to do and how long it took?? Thanks for all the responses and empathy. This is my first time with shipping damage and I'm mad as hell. This is a scourge to the entire audiophile community as we can't do this hobby without reliable shipping. I can understand that accidents can happen but these shippers should be quick to pay on these damage claims when they occur. I could accept that but they make it as difficult as possible to collect and time consuming as well. The buyer is disappointed and the seller loses his money and goods. Makes no sense to me. Don't now why we could band together and try to do something about this larger problem.
if you go through the court, don't forget the attourney's fees to be paid by dhl...
There MUST be an Audiogon member who is a lawyer, who can advise us all, as to what our rights are, and procedures to follow when we experience a loss.

What do you think guys? A little public 'audiophile' service? Just to help recover our losses at the hands of big businesses.

Just a thought.
Thanks for ALL of this. Most I can follow. I may get in my car and drive down and get it myself. I will call DHL again tomorrow. The customer service person from DHL I spoke with about the damage hung up on me without giving her name when I asked to speak to her supervisor. I do understand the insurance piece and am only claiming the amount that the seller paid. They refer to it as "Asset Protection" on the DHL waybill of which I have a copy. I also have a copy of his bank check which has been returned uncashed to the buyer as well as all the emails that went back and forth between us prior to finalizing the deal. Also, I paid $ 124 for shipping and Saturday delivery so he would have it over the weekend.
Unfortunately what we experience in these case is the concept of risk management on behalf of the shipping vendor. From a financial perspective they know exactly how much it costs them to risk manage a damaged goods claim. As someone else pointed out their first line of defense is to deny. You would be amazed at the number of folks who will walk away at this point. The shipping vendors know this. Then, for those who don't walk away there is the stonewaling process. Your claim will be tied up in red tape for as long as the shipping vendor feels it's necessary. Then they will deny again in most cases. On the oft chance they are litigated against, they will most often pay or settle, and then they haggle over the amount. Very rarely will they go to court, unless it a sure win in their opinion, because that will begin to cost them money and from a risk management perspective they won't take the chance.
Etmerrit33 wrote: 'I almost feel like they did this intentionally.'

Perhaps this was the case.

Since an unpleasant experience with a UPS delivery a few years ago, I have gone out of my way to be as polite and courteous as possible to drivers and personnel who work for courier companies...similarly with the post office people—even though I trust them a whole lot more.

As a student I worked as a handler for a shipping company and though I'm sure this is not always the case, I did feel that some of the employees in for the long haul didn't have a lot of pride in their work. Issues arising from the complaints of irate customers often resulted in packages getting 'misplaced' or deliberately returned to the shipper, deliveries delayed and, occasionally, deliberate damage to goods.
I've always wondered about "insurance" with these shipping companies. What exactly are you paying to insure? That they will do the job you've already paid them to do? And then if they don't do it (deliver your item intact) they fight you every step of the way. I think it's a huge and profitable scam! I agree that the post office can be a viable alternative in some cases.
As far as I can tell, the insurance is if they sctually loose it. Otherwise its an "excess value claim". No need for an attorney in small claims court, BTW.
We're paying additional money so they won't loose our stuff? Still sounds like an huge scam to me.
I would agree with your statements and I normally have good relationships with all that come here to pick things up or deliver things. HOWEVER, if you could see the area that he tried to turn a long van around in you would have probably done the same thing. It was STUPID period. Just image a shared residental driveway of normal width in a Y shape and trying to turn a van around in an area where you could not turn a Mini Cooper around. Anyone with that little sense and judgment should not be driving a truck for a living!!!! When I tried to stop him he just continued. I have two almost brand new heat pump units that he was about to run over. If that had happened I probably would have pulled him out of the truck. The whole thing was just stupid. I've had a few DHL deliveries and pickups in the last few weeks here and they all except this moron drove straight in and then backed straight out with no problems at all. Any idiot could do it with his eyes closed. My gut tells me that this was intentional and they dropped it a few times to pay me back knowing I would have trouble collecting.
This fits very nicely into small claims court. Would not need an attorney. I think I could argue this and win easily. The time to collect.. who knows. I never hear people post with how long it took to collect. I did get the forms via email from DHL and will complete them today. I have a ton of documentation to prove my case.
I have the forms from DHL to file a claim and will do that today. Will never use DHL again even though I know that the other carriers are far from perfect. The thing that still gets me is that it is obvious that DHL is trying to get business from UPS, USPS, and FedEx by providing better service for better rates. This just isn't the way to go about it. It would be bad enough to have a piece damaged in shipping if they responded differently instead of being flabbergasted that a CD player could cost $ 2K. They were glad to take my money to provide "Asset Protection" for the unit when I paid for the shipping.

I still can't get over the smile I got from the driver's manager who picked the player up when I asked him if it would still be delivered on Saturday since it was 7:30 when he got to my house. He smiled and said "Oh, it will get there alright, don't worry". He probably threw the box down a few times himself before it ever went out. He told me the first driver was really a good guy but a hot head sometimes. I'm sure they did nothing to him as a result of this. He should have been fired.

This is a problem for the audiophile community because we can not do high end audio if we can't depend on shippers. Just stop and think of the shipping paths that all equipment has to go on. With CES approaching think of all the equipment that has to be shipped for that. I guess this doesn't make up enough volume for them to care.
I'm sure you are exactly right as this shipping is a huge volume business that is not suited to high end audio. They say they have 30-60 days to evaluate the claim but they set that time table. I will likely advise them via email that I expect a settlement in less time than that and that I will sue them in small claims court. I know I will win. But, I may need to consult a lawyer friend of mine to determine how to best collect the judgment. That may be the hard part. May need to seize a couple of these yellow vans???
I've just received my Fertin 20EX driver from France. They were shipped by DHL. I had no problem whatsoever. They were packed in a wooden crate and bolted at the bottom. I think if shipping co offered further protection for electronic products, this would lower the chance of having problems later. I would pay more to get my amp, cd or speakers in a metal box or wooden crate so they would arrive safe. Plain carton box with styrofoam isn't enough. After your thread, I was quite anxious to see if everything was ok. You spend hard earn dollars, you don't want more problems. Unfortunately, you may have to spend an extra 20 dollars to go to small claims court, this is what we have in Canada. But at least you will have a chance of getting your money. In these situation, you must continue to build your case. Good luck.
Yes DHL is the pits! They don't track the packages as they move across the country. They lost a pair of Revel Sub 30s and had no idea where they were or when they were picked up. They don't scan the item as it moves from hub to hub. I'd never ship with them again.
I had bad experience with Fedex and UPS,but Fedex paid for the damage fairly easy,in my case anyway.But back in the summer UPS destroyed a set of TICE Powerblock/Titan that were delivered to me from Hawaii.To this day I haven't seen a penny.I gave them 48 pictures showing clearly the internal damage,I called the UPS store owner in Hawaii noumerous times,I send them a copy of the M.O I paid with for the purchase,packing and shipping of the Tice.I mean they packed the Tice themselves (UPS),and I paid for all that.They denied the claim saying that the units could of been broken to begin with,when you can see very clearly that they got broken during transit.Basically the transformers inside where torn apart from the chassis and all cords were cut and pulled away from the connections.I am still trying to recover my money.
Best of luck
I had a problem with a Fed Ex delivery. They busted up a pair of speakers. But I received full payment within 2 weeks and they shipped them back to the manufacture, to be repaired, for free. Although they did receive additional damage on the way to be fixed.
I don't know if any company is better than another. I do drive my items to be shipped to a dispatch center. First, I always double-box the items. I always got for two-day service as I think that the less time they have it, the less chance of damage. I use Fedex and I keep records of all transactions, thinking that maybe they might be worth something when I plead my case.

Still, I have not photographed things sent in for service. This is a good idea.
I put together an overkill package of documentation and sent that to DHL in Tempe this pm via USPS requiring a signature. I put a cover letter on it indicating that I will give them 21 days to pay me the $ 2K they owe me or I will go downtown and file a suit against them in small claims court. The 60 days they say the can take is BS in my book. They have not yet bothered to contact the buyer to examine the damage.

I have instructed the buyer to under no circumstances let DHL take the damaged player. I will likely drive down to SC next week and get it myself. I will take it to small claims court with me along with the rest of my package.

Any other suggestions please feel free..

DHL is in fact providing a new level of customer service in shipping as their TV ads tout but they don't tell you that the new level of service is actually worse than any of the competitors.

I still can not believe that the first DHL customer service rep I spoke with last Saturday after my buyer informed me of the damage, immediately took the position of arguing with me that no CD player could possibly cost $ 2K. Boy, did we ever go into the ditch after that remark!!!
DHL has been horrendous in the area I live. Once the punk of a driver dumped my 70-pound amp in the rain about quarter of a mile from my house down the road...Ever tried hauling a monster amp up the hill in freezing rain?
That's the way to go.
Careful with the anger. Other than a couple of phone conversations and a lot of speculation you really don't have much evil intent on their part. You are right in that they damaged your Cd player. Just tell them that you are the injured party. Your documentation is good. You will prevail. Yes, we certainly understand your feelings. Going to what you perceive is their level might make for more work on your part.

Just my 2 cents, which might be what my advise is worth.
I got a good laugh from your post...

"I had a problem with a Fed Ex delivery. They busted up a pair of speakers. But I received full payment within 2 weeks and they shipped them back to the manufacture, to be repaired, for free. Although they did receive additional damage on the way to be fixed"

May I add a little fiction?

Then after the speakers were repaired they shipped them to the buyer who reported they were dammaged agan! So they shipped them back to the manufacture but when they got there they were nothing but a formless mass of cardboard, splinters and foam.
I had a problem with FEDEX freight damaging a pair of speakers I had purchased laset February. They of course refused to pay, claiming there was "hidden damage" and since they were dealer demo's, they considered them "used" and so were only liable up to $.30/lb. I had explained to their representative what we were shipping beforehand, and was told the speakers (600 lbs in crates)it would be covered for $25./lb. I got her name and extension.

Took me 3 months, 4 inspections, an accomodating seller and a lot of threats to finally get them to pay an $1100. repair bill. They really don't care. It helped that I had the name and extension of who I had originally talked to, but ultimately, I think it was the threat to go to the TV stations and newspapers that got the local regional guy to put some pressure on the corporate office. I had to pretty much prove to these idiots that the only way the damage they saw could have possibly happened was for the crates to have been dropped. Again - 3 months.

By the way, they tried to charge me $250. above what I was quoted for shipping and wouldn't unload the crates from the truck parked in the middle of my cul-de-sac for 3 1/2 hours when I refused to pay their inflated fee!! At that point I didn't even know they had been damaged. We even shipped on a Monday to avoid a weekend "layover" when most anything can happen to freight.

I don't have any brilliant answers here - the carriers hide behind the Interstate Commerce Commission rules and Common Carrier rules, which are written in advanced legalese using lots of arcane phraseology designed to protect them, not the consumer.

Its very frustrating - I had an OK result, but it took me 3 months of trying to communicate with people of the same mentality potrayed by David Spade in that credit card commercial running for the past several months - I must have heard 27 different excuses to say "NO"!!
any expensive item is worth a wooden box,bult around original to make,15.00 worth of home depot stuff.also, at least with ups,if you insure for 7000.00 or more,i think this is the magic #,not sure,your item is hand carried in there routing[so i am told by my driver].this all relayed to me as i sent a marantz sa-1 for service,insured for 8000.00.the wooden crate is invaluable.more shipping cost,but it gets attention.
I have had the same problems with UPS and I spent months trying to get them to pay me. I even spoke with a manager with the insurance company that does their claims for them and she told me they are allowed to throw in the air or drop a box up to four feet. She said the box and the packing is suppose to take that type of damage. I told her that is great but I was not selling nor buying the box but what they destroyed on the inside. She did not care and was very hateful saying it was my problem and they were not going to pay. I got on my computer and emailed my state's Consumer Affairs Department and filed a complaint against them and the sameday they got the complaint the lady called me back and told me they would pay. She said I did not have to do that because they was going to pay but that was another lie. However, after the complaint I got a certified check for the total amount and my destroyed amp back. I know this will not happen but if we would all take the time to call or email a complaint to UPS, FedEx, DHL and all the others this might help if ALL of us would stick together. We must understand that all they care about is bonuses for the number of boxes they throw thru and that is it, period. I don't think on the most part anyone is trying to damage our stuff but Wall Street has caused all big America companies to care more for numbers than for their customers. I worked for Bell South for years and that is all they cared about was personal bonuses and the numbers sent to Wall Street. THE BOTTOM LINE!!!!