Thanks ups for destroying what I thought were unbreakable speakers

Discussion in 'Packing & Shipping' started by gentlejax, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. BillyTheKid

    BillyTheKid Active Member

    The 860
    UPS sucks, though fed ex isn't much better.
    We used to ship custom made guitars from Rhode Island to dealers all over the world.
    Everybody got their instruments just fine, but this one dealer in Kentucky always had damage....every single time.
    One day the dealer was watching as his ups guy pulled up in front of his store, opened the tailgate, threw the boxes out onto the sidewalk, then got out of his truck and carried them into the store...the same MO everytime.
    We eventually had to drop the store as a dealer simply because his UPS guy was a total moron.

    "Stupid" trumps "good-packing" every time !

    And, of course, UPS never gave us a dime in compensation....they always claimed it was our fault for bad packaging.
    We could ship product to Sweden and Canada and California and the UK...just not to Kentucky.


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  2. Hobie1dog

    Hobie1dog Super Member

    Brother retired from UPS

    Fragile is a French word for ....kick it harder.
  3. gentlejax

    gentlejax AK Subscriber Subscriber

    shreveport Louisiana
    since then I have looked at the boxes for sale at Fed Ex...I have looked at the boxes I have gotten from places like parts express and Amazon and I have come to the conclusion that most things I have received would not pass UPS supposed guidline.

    My big gripe in the deal is that if you are buying insurance then you should also have to read the guide before paying so that you know before if you junk is proper or not.

    the way that UPS does it is backwards buy insurance and then they catch you after with the reach around.

    its very shady since I know that they know they have a bad rep. apparently when you get so big you can afford to lose customers left and right.
  4. kfalls

    kfalls Super Member

    Dennison, Illinois
    I ship a lot of recording and playback equipment for repair. I once used peanuts to ship a Sony TBC. The repair shop griped me out because he had to remove them from the external heat-sinks. Never again. I routinely ship broadcast quality Umatic, Digibeta and VHS players from the mid-west to the East coast. For the larger gear I use rolling shipping cases I bought used for $150/ea. For the smaller VHS and beta machines I'll line the box with semi-rigid open-cell foam I've saved from incoming shipments, wrap the player in three layers of bubble-wrap and fill any spaces with foam or bubbles to avoid any shifting. I've never had to double-box.

    I once purchased a Nakamichi MR-1 off ebay. It arrived slipped into a thin bubble-wrap bag with peanuts surrounding it. It apparently shifted the peanuts aside and rested against one side with only the thin bubble bag protecting it. It had been dropped flat because there wasn't any corner damage, but the transport had shaken from the casing and was loose in it's case. It was unusable. We archive media collections so need to use vintage player to digitize. There are a limited number of players out there so I hate to see any get ruined.
  5. sheltie dave

    sheltie dave Addicted Member

    St. Louis
    Just think, if you had insured them for $5K, and paid the extra $60 odd, they would have been hand carried on and off every truck, and would have made it safely to their destination without a blip.
  6. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    This is exactly how I ship electronics. Sharp edges of faceplates and exposed amp fins get cardboard to prevent sawing through packing material. The key is furniture grade sheets which has give and retains structure.


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  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    SCS, MI (near a lake)
    UPS drove the iceberg.
    slimecity and darkblue94 like this.
  8. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    VA near DC
    Styrofoam building insultation from Home Depot,
    Cut it to fit to surround and caress your gear - takes time but well worth it.
    I've even used 2 layers to build double boxes around larger speakers
    To hell with packing peanuts - they're basically USELESS for anything we care about!
    botrytis, Pio1980 and invaderzim like this.
  9. invaderzim

    invaderzim Active Member

    The big companies that do a lot of shipping tend to focus only on the packing speed rather than the merchandise.

    The smaller companies often just seem to have too much turnover and/or poor training so things get boxed poorly.

    In both cases they play the odds and they generally have enough volume that they can write off the damaged goods pretty easily.

    I've gotten plenty of shipments with lacking packaging that shouldn't have survived but did and ones with impressive packaging that were still damaged.

    I just got a side view mirror for my car last week. I opened the box to a good amount of paper for padding but when I lifted it up the mirror was just sitting directly on the bottom of the box. One good drop and it would have shattered. I got my other one out of the UK and it came in a padded envelope with a couple layers of thin bubble wrap. Somehow both survived.
  10. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Central Missouri
    Well, anything heavy. I've received lightweight items in a small inner package (rolled up in bubble, or in a small box) suspended in a sea of peanuts and that works fine. Vacuum tubes for example. But I get what you're saying and for amps and receivers and speakers I totally agree.
  11. a_retent

    a_retent Daddy's little shadow Subscriber

    St. Paul, MN
    They all suck!
    UPS, FexEx, U.S. Postal Service and so on.
    Everyone of them has damaged something or another either sending or receiving. Even if item is okay package is thoroughly beat to shit, footprints on the box, even tire tracks once.

    If it wasn't bad enough that they all damage your stuff in transit and I do mean all of them. When you go to insure that item your sending from U.S. to Canada they consider the insured amount as a declared value and charge half of the declared value of the item when it arrives in Canada and before they'll release the package, both FedEx and UPS call it "brokerage fees".

    See the following link

    Then to add insult to injury you pay the brokerage fee, get the package to find damage and then they deny the claim because of inadequate packing. :mad:

    I just went through that this summer exchanging a Pioneer TX-9800 wooden case for a metal case with another AK'r. Figured to make a new one would cost $150-200 so I insured accordingly and when it arrived in Canada they got slapped with $125.00 brokerage fee before they could even get the package. Went to the UPS store I sent it from to talk to the flunkies at the counter. That's when I put it all together, grabbed another declaration form, filled it in for $20 instead of $200, emailed a copy to the UPS location in Quebec, they dropped the brokerage fee to $12.00, AK'r went in to get package, they set it up on counter, AK'r asked if all was good, guy said "Oui" and out the door he went. 2 weeks later I started getting autocalls from UPS saying they were going to suspend my account and no further deliveries will be made to my location until this account discrepancy is cleared up.
    So spoke to a rep, told her I was the sender, she said my phone # was listed as contact on the declaration form, told her I didn't have phone # for package recipient so used my #, she said "in the future make sure you put the recipient's number in the appropriate space provided." She went on to say she would make the necessary changes and hung up....yeah good bye.

    Don't know if they ever got their $12.00 brokerage fee or not, don't really give a sh!#. To tell me a package MUST be able to withstand a 6' fall to a concrete floor is not only bullshit but to witness a FedEx delivery driver just toss a package onto the stoop then about face and stroll off?! Needless to say I ran out through the garage and met him at the end of the sidewalk, right up in his face. He ain't gonna forget my address anytime soon.

    Damn I hate negligence, incompetence and excuses; especially excuses to justify negligence and or incompetence.
    darkblue94 likes this.


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  12. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Construction foam is too hard and transmits the inevitable bumps and shocks straight to the speaker.
    Andyman likes this.
  13. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    VA near DC
    Maybe, but I have never had a problem with the gear I've shipped.
    My buyers will vouch for that!
    Snow likes this.
  14. Andyman

    Andyman Scroungus Stereophilus Subscriber

    15 miles North of Canada
    "40 pounds" and "shipping peanuts" don't belong in the same sentence.
    I use old shrink wrap from work and jam it into the voids between my bubble wrapped item and the carton. It absorbs shocks rather than transit them as described above, and have protected literally thousands of items shipped, including large speakers, reel to reel decks, turntables, and receivers.

    Sorry for your loss, but shipping is what it is, and if you've ever seen the back of a UPS truck, you know what you're up against.
    The old story says that you don't have to wrap your package to survive the fall off the 20' high conveyor. You wrap it to survive the impact of the bowling ball that followed it off the belt...:D
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    Snow and ETLS like this.
  15. roadrunnerx

    roadrunnerx AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I know, old thread but very relevant
    Several years ago I shipped a Pioneer SX-1050.
    I payed the extra for the UPS store to pack. Good decision.
    It was dropped on it's corner ruining it.
    The manager of the store packed it ,took care of me, and I made more than the sale but it was horrible that
    this classic was destroyed.
    How do you drop a 60 lb package marked fragile on it's corner?
    Intentional was my conclusion. Have not shipped large since.
  16. eiraved

    eiraved AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Antelope Valley, CA
    No sir, I'm sorry but I must disagree with that conclusion. First of all, I work for a major shipper and the majority haven't a clue about how to pack stereo equipment. Allowing them to pack your delicate receiver was a bad decision. They place a bunch of packing peanuts in a box and throw your equipment in, covering again in more peanuts. They believe this is sufficient. :no:
    Not only that, but most people who handle these packages have time constraints and shipping deadlines to meet, and sometimes miss the fragile warnings. They work for 3 to 6 hours moving our 50 lb. packages and sometimes they're tired which leads to errors. They're human after all...

    You're best bet is to pack yourself, bubble wrap and double box and all that. Know where the package is going and pack appropriately. Know that humans handle your package and are prone to errors, intentional or not. I sent a 40 lb. receiver to Germany and packed it myself. I TRIPLE boxed that shipment! It arrived with the outer packaging damaged, but the two inner boxes were intact and the receiver arrived in the same condition as when it left the states.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018


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  17. zunde

    zunde Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree more. Shipped a mint pair of Infinity CS-3009's to California, had the UPS Store pack them for me, and decided to go ahead and ship them UPS since the counter guy said "since we packed them if they get damaged UPS will honor a claim no questions asked." Sure enough corner of one got pretty heavily dinged, I filed a claim and UPS would not honor it, saying that I had to take it up with the UPS Store since they were a "separate entity!" REALLY? A store with your company right on the name is not affiliated with UPS?? Went back to the UPS Store and they told me it was between me and UPS. THis back and forth BS went on for about 3 months, finally convinced UPS Store to contact corporate directly or there would be legal ramifications. Finally got the money but never done business with those idiots ever again. To be fair, I've had my share of issues with FedEx too, but it has not been nearly as hard to get a claim honored. Plus UPS's rates seem to be considerably higher than Fedex.
  18. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

    People have probably been grossed out by the method I use, but I usually grab a few of the ever-present throw pillows from Goodwill, and shove those behind each flat surface of the INSIDE box.

    Not double-boxing is asking for trouble. With that said, I received my SX1250 safe and sound, SITTING LOOSELY in a thin lake of peanuts. It boggles the mind.
  19. roadrunnerx

    roadrunnerx AK Subscriber Subscriber

    That is also what I found, the UPS stores being separate entities.
    As I posted I was lucky the manager was the packer. He took very good care of me.
    I am aware of double boxing and many techniques now. Was new then, and trusted the store with their guarantee.
  20. zunde

    zunde Well-Known Member


    Thing is, it was the owner of the 2 UPS Stores in my area that told me a claim wouldn't be a problem. I am unsure whether he actually did the packing or not but when I went back to his store after UPS Corporate initially denied my claim, to ask him to contact UPS directly and back up his promise, he absolutely refused and said it was my problem. F%^* anything to do with UPS ever again.

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