It is my understanding that UPS stands for "Umteen Pieces and Slivers".
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Make sure your buyer photographs ALL damage, including the outer box, inner packaging, etc. Take tons of photos, preferably digital if possible. After UPS comes back to your buyer's house to pick up the damaged TT for "inspection," they will tell you via form letter that they find your packaging defective and deny the claim. Start calling whoever signed your form letter and offer to email your photos. I would begin this claims process w/UPS at the same time as you file a claim with Mail Boxes. And you don't need to go to small claims court yet. With constant pressure and phone calls, you can prevail without going to court. Hopefully, you still have your original sales receipt for the 'table. UPS will want to see that too, to corroborate your claim for total loss. And I am assuming, of course, that you insured the package. Make your claim for your full insurance amount. And good luck! I just went through this (my third time altogether) with FedEx Ground and ultimately got a check, though, as usual, it was denied a couple of times at first.
Sorry for your misfortune Slipknot1. Your experience almost identically mirrors my own almost 1 year ago. A near perfect condition 17 year old turntable shipped after meticulous packing. It also arrived with a broken plinth, frame and completely shattered dustcover. The motor wouldn't turn, the sapphire bearing was damaged and the base of the unit had a crack almost side to side, in other words trashed. It looked as though it was dropped off a 30' roof onto a concrete surface. Better to leave only non breakables in their uncaring hands, certainly not expensive electronics and NEVER, NEVER something as fragile as a tt.
The damages were fully documented on the other end. I sent a check to the buyer for his expenses and received payment from UPS approximately 1.5 months after the incident. The squeeky wheel gets the most attention. Call, take names and document times and keep the pressure on, otherwise it won't we resolved as quickly as you might like. Best advise I can give after 3 bad experiences with UPS is DON'T TRUST THEM WITH YOUR EXPENSIVE ELECTRONICS!! They are supremely incompetent. I am a slow learner but the 3rd time was the charm, shame on me.
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. Yes UPS certainly does screw things up - more often than most of us would care to admit. However - FedEx, Airborne, and the USPS are your other options - and none of them have exactly what I would call a "sterling" record either.
Though I maybe shouldn't mention it - but it does seem like a turntable is probably not the most suitable item to ship long distances. Lots of moving parts that can get easily out of alignment, not to mention flimsy plastic dustcovers and small parts that have next to no resistance to breakage. Certainly not an item that I would ever buy mail order.
I really enjoy reading the threads on UPS vs FedEx It truly is interesting in the bussiness that Im in we have had the most problems with FedEx they LOST 3 machines in the last 6 months $600 to $800 and would not pay for any. Like Avideo stated NO shipper is pefect. Sometimes you can package it up that a tank could drive over the stupid package AND you still get a claim. I guess if there are any risk takers out there with say 10-20 milion you could try to start up a nitch type worldwide shipping company or use whats allready out there and cross our fingers when they come to get it.
I brought a package to Staples in Pittsburgh marked "Fragile" and the clerk told me her friend at UPS said never to do that, as it marks the package for special destruction. Apparently some of the handlers are unsupervised and angry at their customers. My experience with UPS has been highly unsatisfactory. I've had damage so bad that one could only attribute it to willful destruction.
I've discovered an alternative that seems pretty good so far - Greyhound express. It goes out on busses. I had 3 day service from Pittsburgh to Phoenix. You have serious people handling your package. The only drawback is there are different, and sometimes low insurance limitations. Don't believe the website showing 24/7 counter open hours either, it's more like 7 or 8 to 4 or 5 weekdays. I've used them 4 times so far with complete satisfaction. They also take the largest size packages of the three Fed-Ex, UPS or GPX. There are many more shipping points than bus terminals, if bus service passes thru your area there's probably a shipping location for you to use.
Actually by far the most reliable and safe shipper is DHL even when they go to the third world the package never leave the control of their direct employees and they are amazingly careful. They are also, however, amazingly expensive. I once shipped a laptop computer from France back to the US for repair and it cost over $200 (this was 10 years ago too). But if you need to be sure, they are the way to go.
I just received my DVD player from UPS and it was defected! I asked the seller to clam insurance for me. They smashed one corner so bad that a thick layer of cardboard actually tourn out and inside was showing. It's frustrated. I read UPS website and was told that anyting under $100.00 will be automatically be insured by UPS. Is that true? Want to know more about how to get full advantage for claiming insurance from UPS, since they always try to blame on some other BS reasons. What can I do to give them enough reason to approve my claim?
An update to the latest UPS buffoonery: I initiated the action with Atlanta headquarters yesterday. I called to arrange for an "inspecter/rejector" to go to the buyer's house to inspect the damage. The customer service rep asked me for the usual information. She asked me about the value of the item in question and I told her. She responded that her manifest shows an insured/declared value of $100.00. I said, "No, I declared and insured for $500.00. I am looking at my reciept from Mail Boxes Etc." She informed me that the receipt "doesn't count", only the manifest. So, now I not only have a beef with UPS, but one with Mail Boxes Etc. as well. The buyer emailed me photos of some of the damage. The dustcover is cracked all the way through end to end and one inch or larger chunks are broken off the corners. I think it was dropped from some distance, or something very heavy was dropped on it. The platter bearings were destroyed as well as the motor. Stay tuned. As an aside: All AudiogoN members who have had claims against UPS, We should consider a class action lawsuit. Any lawyer/members willing to take up the cause? ;)