UPS Shipping/Damage Claim policy experience

For your general information:

I made a claim to UPS regarding an item bought through A'gon. It arrived in what I call 4/10 condition; the shipper (a newbie) says he sent it in 8/10 condition.

I made a claim to UPS, preferring to believe the shipper that the item arrived damaged.

Apparently, in the eyes of UPS the machine still belongs to the shipper and will only pay him. Moreover, they refuse to have any scale for damage. If you send it to them as damaged, you better consider it totaled since you are unlikely to see it again.

In my case it would have been better to pay to have it repaired independently; it would have been more money out of my pocket, but I feel I would get a semblance of what I paid for. Now I may not get the item back and the shipper will end up with my money twice!!!

Hope this never happens to you, but beware of who you choose to ship with. For me, it's now always going to be the USPS.
How is this UPS' problem?

Sounds to me like you were taken by the seller.
I shipped a pair of Martin Logan speakers through UPS in the original manufacturers packaging.

They punched a hole through one of the panels. They openly admitted that they damaged it, but claim that the packaging didn't meet their requirements, so they would accept no responsibility.

I now ship everything through Fedex.
Two turntables I received were damaged. I was lucky that the two sellers were very cooperative. I report to then what happened with photos. They agreed that there were damages. I asked them to file damage claims. Both did, but only one claim was accepted by UPS.

One TT was packed by a local UPS store (it was very securely packed except the weight not removed and the toneare not secured, causing scraches on the surface from the needle. The needle was bent.) UPS admitted their wrong doing. I got a full refund from the seller, and the seller got a refund for the damage (I don't know how much) from UPS.

Another one was fully insured, but it was not packed by the original packaging material. The TT cover was cracked, the hinge was broken, a coner was dented, and most of all, the needle body part from the sumiko blue point special cartridge fell off from the impact (might have been droped or banged on a wall?). It clearly looked like the TT was mishandled by UPS. I don't think the TT would have survived from such impact with the original packing or any packing. UPS declined the claim due to non-original packing. The seller did not want to get the TT back, but I settled down with the seller with a partial refund. The TT was still operational.

Without original packing, one should prove UPS that his/her own packing was at least as safe as the original to get a full refund for the damage.
I worked for UPS awhile ago as a claims adjuster. Did you know it is very common practice that a courier says a package must be able to fully withstand a five foot drop on bare ground? This is almost an industry standard no matter which courier you choose. The reasoning is the automated conveyor system every center utlizes. When there is a jam, the packages will be bottlenecked and one may fall past the guides and fall to the floor. This is extremely rare, but it certainly does happen.

To properly protect an item in transit of a delicate nature generally requires two or even three corrugated layers with proper fill volume in between each. the vast majority of people that ship do not know how to properly ensure against damages, and these are the people at most risk of experiencing such damage.

If you do have a claim, always save every ounce of packing material. Additionally, if there is no clear outward damage to the parcel, the claim will be denied 100% of the time.
UPS is by far the worst of the shipping companies. Though there is no way in Hell that I would trust anything of value to the our wonderfully government employed post office workers.

I bought a 90 pound tubed amp from a guy in California in mid 2007 who packaged it in a BBQ grill box with foam peanuts and loose tubes. The box arrived via UPS and I made my UPS guy (Mike) stand there and watch me open it, taking pics the whole way.

I knew the claim would never be paid as it was terribly packaged. However, I immediately filed with Paypal (my only method of payment for items I purchase that I don't personally pick-up). The seller shipped it for 25% of the selling price. I ended up getting my money back, but it wasn't easy. The box was rated for about 50 pounds and nobody in their right mind would have every packaged a $5000 fragile amp in it. I am sure the seller lost a ton of money on this feable, lazy attempt.

My rule is to photograph the packaging process as proof of proper packaging. For any very heavy items, I always add plywood to the sides and bottom of the boxes as added protection. I always make sure the boxes are rated for 150% of the actual weight.

I never use UPS and always use either DHL or FedEx I hear both a more reliable with handling claims on a reasonable basis. I can honestly say I have never had any shipping damage on anything I have shipped and three times on items I have received - all via UPS.
From my experience UPS is a real CRAP they lost a Mephisto Drive years ago, denied their responsability and offer me a basic 100$ refund that i did not accept because i went in court with tem it took nearly one year and i won over UPS because of the international rules regarding their responsability and during one year they lies to my trying to escape their responsability.
Mister Brown is a kind of para military that do not have any respect for their customers...
UPS NO NEVER (got good result with satandard USPS depending of the weight of the products)
Although I won my only claim against them in Small Claims Court, I may not have needed to go there had I not asked their claims examiner if there was any truth to the rumor that "UPS" stood for "Ur Parcel Slipped".
Although I haven't had any damaged packages using UPS, I always try to stay away from it and use Fedex. The packages handled by UPS often times are delivered with dents, small holes, crushed corners, etc. UPS handles packages very roughly. I am quite happy with Fedex.
You should get your money back from the shipper and he should deal with UPS, unless you agreed that he would not have any responsibility with shipping damage should it occur. I shipped a CD player years ago and it arrived damaged and not working. I immediately refunded the buyers money and then went about going after UPS for the claim. I had to file a lawsuit in small claims court to get my money. They paid me one day before the court date. They also returned the CD player to me, so I ended up with full retail price as well as the broken CD player. I sent it back to the manufacturer and they repaired it for free and I was able to sell it again later. Good for me, screw those a$$holes, they should not sell insurance on their shipping if they don't want to cover it when they mishandle it!
I agree with the other gentleman when he says you were taken by the seller. First, did you contact the seller and inform him the item was damaged? If not you need to do that. He has to file the damage report. Support your end with pictures. Usually, there is damage to the box to confirm your story. If such a damage exists then you should be just fine. Make sure the person on the other end
acknowledges that he will either accept the package back for a full refund and he can has it out with UPS but do this with UPS involved ONLY!!! Or you keep the item and he will forward you the check to get the unit repaired to your satisfaction. UPS will always try to discourage you. If you are not able to get this matter resolved call the UPS customer service center (Claims) and ask for a supervisor. They should come to your home to inspect the item NOT pick it up or have you drop it off. You will not be left unprotected unless you do something S????D (you get the picture).

Don't let someone tell you differently, they will come out to inspect the item. But the seller must do his part to settle this with UPS. I believe he can sign his rights over to you to handle the claim especially if you arranged for the shipping and pickup on your account.

If all fails and the seller does not want to assist you contact Audiogon immediately with your problem. They can suspend the seller's listing priviliges and make sure he does not take advantage of someone else.

If I sell anyone an item I will graciously, help with filing a claim. But get everything supported with pictures.

If it was packed and shipped in a UPS store they have a 100 percent gurantee to make sure the item arrives. That could change from store to store since they are privately owned. In my neck of the woods they will protect the seller. They charge you handsomely too.
Agree the package MUST be able to withstand a five foot drop. (2 meters).
The problem is no-one packs to meet this sort of test.
They think the shipper (for the least possible amount of money) will hand cuddle/cradle the flimsy box.
The box you send will be SPEARED, DROPPED, KICKED...
For example, My own experience:
At the UPS counter waiting to send something, I see a UPS dude with a handcart and two giant boxes on it. He is coming through a door smaller than the width of the boxes (they are crosswise on the cart) The dude begins to bang the cart against the doorframe, trying to squeeze the stuff through the doorway. He does not give up. (somehow he cannot figure out that the boxes are several inches LARGER than the door!)
After abount fifteen seriously hard pushes, crushing the corners a few inches.. he gives up, and goes back in.
I saw this. It is not a hand-me-down story.
I just recieved a new turntable. The facotry original box was double boxed. I wonder whether the turntable (or a CD player, tube amplifier, ..., 40+ inch LCD TV, or whatever those very sensitive and fragile electronic components) would have withstood a five foot (1.5m) drop.

Are those components made to withstand 5 feet drop?
I have had claims with both UPS & FedEx last year which were both eventually resolved.

FedEx wins the award for the most careless handling of a package EVER!
I shipped a pair of VonSchweikert VR4JR speakers last summer.
If you've ever seen VSR packaging you know it's some of the best. Thick foam, surrounded by a wooden crate, surrounded by a cardboard box.

FedEx managed to destroy one of the of the speakers!
This really took some effort, it couldn't have been just a simple drop. The damage was so severe it must have have been deliberate.

The claim process wasn't great either, couldn't get anyone to talk to me. They settled with the receiver directly and didn't really involve me.
Thought they should have.
Traudio and others. How do you deal with shipping paired equipment (like speakers) in different boxes? If one gets lost or damaged the other may be useless if it isn't a current model and the manufacturer will sell a single replacement unit.

Do you insure each speaker for the full value of the pair? How will UPS or FedEx respond to a claim for the full value of a pair if only half is lost or damaged?
Don_s- I assure you that no carrier will pay the full value of a pair of speakers or monoblocks, if only one is lost and even if they cannot be purchased singly. And they will not pay the insured value if it cannot be justified with a bluebook or invoice or some other data. Otherwise, someone could insure an inexpensive item for big $ and keep shipping it until it gets lost or damaged.
Swampwalker, That is exactly what I thought. Kind of scary shipping speakers, mono-blocks, or items with power supplies packaged separately.
Last year I purchased a pair of speakers which arrived damaged... and came to realize that there is a long and steep learning curve when dealing with the UPS's and FedEx's of the world. Everything said above about items falling off conveyor systems, and worthless insurnace coverage is sadly true.

In that experience, the most honest and helpful answers came from the person who picked up the damaged cartons to take them to the "special warehouse". That person said that anything of value has to be shipped either UPS Ground or FedEx Ground, because "Ground" is the safest way.

I enjoyed the story about meeting the shipping company on the small claims court house steps... which says to me that when someone says "see you in court" the UPS's and FedEx's of the world know their responsible for the damage.

At the same time, when you look at the newer speaker designs, a lot of them are moving away from the square sharp edge designs. I wonder if that has something to do with the manufacturers incuring shipping damage costs.
Bowling balls or books are the ONLY things I would ever ship UPS.. They flat out suck...