FedEx, and HELL VTL to the rescue

Well, about a month and a half ago I sold a pair of VTL monoblocks to a gentleman in Canada. A real nice guy. They left on the 19th of August and one amp arrived and the other just disappeared.

The buyer, being an understanding and patient guy agreed that we should wait it out for a bit. I called FedEx almost daily and got the same BS response - "We don't know", "Maybe you should just file a claim".

After dealing with FedEx for as many years as I have, I know that things do not just disappear. This past Friday, I made my usual daily call to FedEx and spoke with a very smart women. She asked "Was there a manufacturers name on the box?". I told her the VTL logo was on the box. Clever as she was, she checked the shipping records out of Portland to VTL in Chino, California and found that on the 27th of August, VTL received a shipment of the same weight. We then called VTL and spoke with Bea.

Bea is marvelous and was genuinely helpful and concerned. She asked for the serial number of the amplifier and verified that the amplifier was received by their shipping department on that very day. Of course VTL had no idea what the amp was doing there since there was no RA or label.

What we speculate happened was the boxes were loaded on top of each other and the top one when it was being pulled off, must have removed the shipping label from the lower box. FedEx had no idea where it was to go, so they returned it to VTL, who they thought was the shipper.

My applauds and thanks to Bea at VTL for being so kind and helping with this situation.
What a great human-interest story, thanks for sharing. It’s nice to hear how a mystery was solved!
Best Regards...
Well, that's one story, and it ended very nicely.

Mine didn't end quite as well.

I shipped 2 speakers, each in an identical box, to a nice fellow in St. Louis. Both were scanned in back to back in Memphis at the Fed-Ex hub. My buyer received one, but the other one simply "disappeared" IN THE FED EX FACILITY IN MEMPHIS.

I filed a claim, and of course Fed-Ex would only pay for the one missing speaker. Trouble was, these speakers were no longer manufactured, and we could'nt buy just one. No matter how I argued it, I was told they were sorry, but paying for the one speaker was their only obligation.

We got screwed.

Moral of the story- If you're shipping a pair of speakers, band them together as one shipment, put 'em on a pallet, and send as insured freight.
Danlib1 - wait until they stack something on top of your pallet that is clearly marked "DO NOT STACK", regardless of how well banded or over-packed it is. Or when they run forks through your pallet it in a warehouse. Neither have happened to me with audio transactions (only a couple things I've ever shipped/received were big enough to send common carrier), but I've encountered this regularly in sending/receiving computer equipment at work.

There is no way to guarantee success as soon as your cherished item leaves your sight. Excuses are all you'll get from the shipping industry, and that's if you're lucky.

I'm starting to really appreciate the motivations of sellers who list "will deliver within x miles radius", and "will meet buyer halfway". Some items just aren't a good bet to ship.
Yep. Good point.
Besides Bea, I also think thanx should go to the Fedex woman for being so resourceful. Not just another black and white thinking employee.

I was also ammong the ones falling in love with VTL's oriental lady:-)
I ordered three Riot kayaks from Canada (three years ago) they were to be shipped to me in Ohio using Kingsway trucking. They were tracked to Customs and then disappeared, never to be found again as far as I know. Luckily for me the manufacture absorbed the cost and shipped me three more, which I received.
Yep the good old FedEx shipping label lets you put multiple items going to different locations. Big dumb me asked, are you sure this will work, the items are going to two different places in different states. Yep, I was told, so now you know the rest of the story. They both ended up at the same location which happened to be a manufacturer of one of the products so they were kind enough to ship it back out for me.

Happy Shipping!!
Yep, I used a VTL preamp for years and spoke with Bea on a number of occasions. Definitely top notch folks.
Well Good for you!
You are a very very lucky man, that dont usually happen.
Its a little different in Canada, FEDEX/UPS will not insure personal goods when they are shipped out of Canada, they will insure it and you pay for it believe it or not, but if it gets lost, you are on your own. Silly but true.

I believe UPS is far better here in Canada in my experiences. I have heard excellent things about FEDEX from the US mainly complaints yet! They have bad brokers here thats all in my town.
They have too many brokers here to do thier work depending where you are located in Canada.

I onced ordered a Classe Omega Preamplifier from the US, private sale. I insisted on UPS, When it got here, there was a small puncture in the box, thinking it was no big deal and accepted the unit as it is. Guess what, the $500 aluminum remote handset was missing! Was I pissed!

Called up UPS and explained and also contacted the seller.
He said he will try to see what can be done.
Anyway the Broker for UPS at my town, Newfoundland, Canada knows me well since I do buy and sell quite a bit and a day later, I called the broker as well and explained the situation, the broker boys were nice enought to call Moncton in New Brunswick (a close province to Newfoundland Canada) and god know some how tracked something down and called me 2 days later and told me, hey we found something, "looks like a fancy cell phone and its god damn heavy" must have dropped of somewhere and send it down to the closest branch and there it was, with its own box/packaging and seal "Classe" and I got it back by word of mouth............. I have never stoped using UPS ever since!
Never had any problems ever yet with them so.........thought I should share this! Cheers
Jtinn, thanks for sharing the story. Now we can all remember this as another possibility when dealing with Fedex. I agree with Mattybumpkin, thanks should also go the Fedex woman. How about 2 nice boxes of chocolate to the ladies? That would set precedence for the future. Fedex will still be around and some of us will continue having to deal with them.
Nice story but it still doesn't make me feel any better about the Vintage Kenwood 9100 amp that was lost/stolen by Fedex last week. Completely restored and insured for shipment at $500, Fedex only paid out $175 because that's what the Orion book said it was worth. Funny, they didn't have any problem taking my money when it came time to insuring it.
Danamc, sorry about your loss, but I can certainly understand the shipper's policy of not overpaying on overinsured items. If the customer wants to buy insurance at 3X the book value you can't expect the shipper to check or dispute that when the purchase is made, only when a claim gets filed. Otherwise, where's the limit? Far be it from me to side with a shipper who screws up your package and sale, but somebody could take out $1,000 insurance on a $50 item if they wanted, however collecting on that would constitute a scam. I don't know if there's any way around this connundrum when shipping a piece that's been upgraded beyond book value.

All this makes me feel well justified for taking 30 hours and driving the 1,000 miles round-trip, spending for the gas and overnight hotel instead of shipping and insurance, when I bought my VTL monoblocks from an Agonner in Atlanta. And then for packing the amps in the van when we took a cross-country road trip summer before last, so I could personally bring them to Bea at the factory for updates while we were staying with relatives in LA. I dig driving, saving money, and peace of mind.