How do we know that you didn't remove the contents from the box and stomp all over it? See my point, that's what you'll have to show in small claims court...
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The sender files the claim, since he is the one who bought the insurance. Go to local court and get the paperwork, they will help you out with it, it is very simple. You will serve UPS via registered mail and they will pay up just shortly before the court date almost guaranteed. I had a similar situation and that is how it worked for me. This is assuming the package was packed in the original factory packing. UPS will not send a lawyer to represent them in small claims court for 1600.00 they are going to loose anyway.
Bought a pair of speakers here on Audiogon that were damaged during shipment to me. They were shipped during the December holiday season which made matters even worse.
Anyway, after trying to be civil to their claims department, I started making some noise.
My first course of action was to e mail the young lady who promised to get back to be within a week. After 2.5 weeks went by, I simply e mailed her and asked for her boss's name and mentioned in that e mail that I was documenting everything.
Not an e mail, but I received a personal phone call that very next day.
A very long story short, I received a fair settlement about 4 months later after all was said and done.
A couple things for your consideration:
1. The squeaky wheel does indeed get the oil. Be relentless and goes as high as you can on the managerial food chain. Mention that you're going to take the issue to court but would rather avoid that scenario. If it takes calling 3 times a day, then call 3 times a day.
Be relentless in your follow up.
2. Having said that, be prepared for a rather drawn out process. UPS is in no hurry to refund your money.
On the other side of the coin, once both parties-myself and UPS-were on the same page, they handled my claim in a very professional manner.
It just took a long time and I really had to make myself a pain.
I was going to send a BAT preamp to CA and when to the UPS store. The guy asked me is that the original box, and I said yes it is in great shape. He told me that they may not pay a claim since the box was used already. He also advised me to double box it if I wanted ot be safe. I sent the preamp by US mail.
I'm the original shipper of this item. The unit was double boxed with additional foam padding between the 2 boxes. I received the unit back yesterday for inspection. The power conditioner is designed with a large 26 A Plitron medical grade transformer. After we opened the chassis we noticed the transformer was ripped from the center core resin. For those unfamilar with a transformer, the center resin core is where you install the bolt to secure the transformer to the chassis. The core remained attached to the bottom panel via the bolt, but the magnet was ripped completely free from the core. UPS supplied us with a standard letter that shows they did not inspect the damage once the unit was in their possession. The letter stated that the unit was packed in a single wall box that was unable to support the weight of the unit. Basically they blamed the damage on packing material. Neither the inner box or the outer box was damaged. It looks like from the damage that the unit was dropped upside down several times for the transformer to break free. I contacted Plitron to check on the test specs for mounting the unit. Once I get all my facts together I'm filing with the local small claims court.
I recently had a problem with fedex; they booted around a '74 gibson les paul guitar pretty good, and the finish on the top cracked. As a matter of course, they denied the initial claim due to "inadequate packaging" (there's little doubt that this initial denial is SOP).
Fortuneately, I had a lot of electronic photo evidence (before and after shipping), which was dated. Once I got the guitar back in my possession, I took several photos of the mounds and mounds of packing materials that I had used in the shipping. Basically, they didn't have a leg to stand on.
After several emails to the woman who initially denied the claim, I received a check for half the original $1000 claim, which turned out better than a full settlement because I ended up resaling the guitar on eBay for 1,100! I came out about $600 ahead on the deal!
Sometimes, the little guy wins!
It is clearly beneficial to photograph the packaging job before shipping it, both before and after closing the box. If the box appears damaged on arrival then it should be photographed before opening it. The more evidence you have, the more carefully you document the process and any damage, the faster any shipper is likely to "pay you to go away". I know that problems do occur, but I've been surprised sometimes how well electronic components survive shipment, even from Canada. I've had boxes arrive from Blue Circle that looked brand-spanking new after spending a week traveling 3000 miles.