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View Full Version : Rant/The Travelocity Gnome has nothing on my Starrett micrometer



dockrat
03-03-2009, 01:54 PM
So I ordered this starrett 4-5 digital mic fron an Ebay outfit in Texas. After begging him in large block capital letters to “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send by USPS and NOT by UPS”, guess what…you got it…he sent it UPS :( and there started the adventure from Texas to Ashcroft, British Columbia Canada

Leon Valley TX to San Antonio TX
San Antonio to Richmond BC Canada (this was just an electronic paper clearance request to customs)
Richmond BC to Mesquite Texas
Mesquite TX. to Selina Kansas
Selina Kansas to Commerce City Co.
Commerce City Co. to Richmond BC Canada
Richmond BC to Salt lake City UT. (sat here 3 days)
Salt Lake City UT. To Hermiston Oregon
Hermiston Or. To Redmond Wash
Redmond Wash to Richmond B.C. Canada
Richmond BC to Kamloops B.C. ( At this point it was 60 miles and 1 hour away from me. It sat there 3 days And then for some unknown reason someone scanned in a notation saying “address in a remote area..no daily delivery) Which is kinda strange because I am 3 blocks and less than 1 minute drive from the courier’s agent in this lil town and the delivery guy drives past my house every day. (Shrug)
Kamloops back to Richmond B.C…300 miles away again.Sat here 4 days till someone phoned me and cleared up the “remote” thing. Meanwhile, ever since it hit Kamloops I must have made 15 phone calls to both UPS and their sub agent Puralator trying to find this thing. They each claimed the other one had it.
Richmond to Kamloops
Kamloops to Ashcroft OMG!!! IT’S HERE!!!!!! But with a $36.00 brokerage fee. If it had come USPS like I asked there would have been no fee. So from Feb 10 to March 3 this thing traveled all around North America. Gawd I hate UPS. I have got things from DX in China faster than that. Anyone else got UPS horror stories. At least it was in good shape on delivery

ckelloug
03-03-2009, 02:13 PM
Take a look a www.unitedpackagesmashers.com

lazlo
03-03-2009, 02:41 PM
OMG!!! IT’S HERE!!!!!! But with a $36.00 brokerage fee.

Been there, done that :mad:


If it had come USPS like I asked there would have been no fee. So from Feb 10 to March 3 this thing traveled all around North America. Gawd I hate UPS.

If it makes you feel any better, I find that USPS is a lot more brutal with packages than UPS. That's saying a lot :)

I gather you're talking about Travers (based out of Texas). I'd be on the phone to their customer service right now. If you refuse the UPS package, they'd be stuck with the brokerage fee, twice.

Liger Zero
03-03-2009, 02:51 PM
I prefer the postal service because UPS has a habit of not delivering when I'm at home. The postal service at least will divert something for you, or hold it at the local office for you to pick it up.

UPS, over the phone they come across like this "Yes well that's what time the truck hits your area. If you want we can try again tomorrow at the same time... what? No you can't come here and pick it up don't be daft."

Not exactly what they say but that's how they come across.

Mcgyver
03-03-2009, 03:11 PM
Kamloops to Ashcroft OMG!!! IT’S HERE!!!!!! But with a $36.00 brokerage fee.

enough to make you mental isn't it?

I received a $30 item recently, $40 in shipping costs they want an additional $25 for customs. Thing is, there is not duty. Its just line after line of concocted fees while the line item for duty is zero :mad: .

Unusually, they invoiced it rather than the normal extortion of demanding it on your doorstep. So I wrote a curt letter advising i had no record of ordering or authorizing those services and to please credit my account. yeah, good luck, but if everyone went 5 rounds of correspondence and threatening small claims court well maybe the bastards would cease

It really is extortion. Applicable tax, yes i can see why the receiver has to pay; the government has eminent domain over extortion. However to not advise and include the amount or give an estimate of when you are shipping cost are being paid/calculated and then to demand it when you have very little choice is an unsavory business practice.

so who's the ebay outfit so we can avoid them? I would have thought about refusing the shipment and the demanding my money back from the vendor....or ask them to pay the $36 because they screwed up

Every opportunity i can I insist vendors and e-retailers use a shipper other than UPS. Spread the word, join the boycott.

BigBoy1
03-03-2009, 03:11 PM
I live in a very rual area, close to the end of a long peninsula. Many times I will look at the tracking record for an item and I will see notes from the drive: "Attempted delivery, No one home." I was home all day. I think they just didn't want to drive all the way down to make the delivery. After I filed a complaint with the local area manager, it has not happened recently.

Bill

lazlo
03-03-2009, 03:44 PM
It really is extortion. Applicable tax, yes i can see why the receiver has to pay; the government has eminent domain over extortion. However to not advise and include the amount or give an estimate of when you are shipping cost are being paid/calculated and then to demand it when you have very little choice is an unsavory business practice.

Every opportunity i can I insist vendors and e-retailers use a shipper other than UPS. Spread the word, join the boycott.

The way it was explained to me, which could be horsesh!t, is that you're paying for the custom's broker to file the paperwork when the truck hits the border. So it's not a custom's fee per se, it's a "handling fee."

That said, FedEx, DHL et al all charge custom's brokerage fees. The only way to get around them is to use USPS or Canadian mail.

HSS
03-03-2009, 03:53 PM
And another one goes belly up. DHL threw in the towel.

Patrick

pcarpenter
03-03-2009, 04:34 PM
You should have marked it "refused" and sent it back to the original shipper. I presume he would have been liable for all the fees which would serve them right for not following directions. If you provided a phone number when ordering, if they could not comply with your shipping request, they owed you a phone call at which point you could decide if you were willing to pay almost twice the value of the item.

I imagine that someone in the US would never think of the potential costs that would pile up if not shipped by the correct method, but with specific instructions from you on how to ship, it should have taken their thinking (or lack thereof) out of the equation.

Horror stories? When we sold my wife's former house from 600 miles away, we had to overnight some paperwork back. It went UPS. It made it all the way to its destination (well to Wichita, KS, not to the *actual* destination) where some pinhead then inadvertantly sent it to Minnesota. So close....and yet so far. By the time we figured this out, it was sent back 2-3 day from the place it was redirected to by mistake! I gave the customer service rep. a piece of my mind (a small piece since I cannot afford to give away much). They not only screwed up an overnight shipment by redirecting it across the country after it was within miles and minutes of its final destination, but they then sent it via the "slow boat" when I had paid big bucks for the overnight service...and that after several days of already wasted time.

I don't think that there is anyone who really cares working there. Tough economic times have a way of sorting these things out, though. I hate to wish ill on anyone, and I am sure there are some good folks at UPS. However, if a company that was providing poor customer service and didn't care started paying the price for lousy service during a time when they can ill afford to loose customers, maybe then someone would get a clue. Or...maybe not even then.

Paul

lazlo
03-03-2009, 04:35 PM
Is DHL going completely bust? I thought they were just going to focus on international shipments?

DHL: Talks with UPS continue
http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2009/02/23/daily39.html

DHL Express continues talks with United Parcel Service about a possible deal for handling its international parcel shipments, but UPS isn’t the only route the shipping giant is exploring, company officials in Germany said Thursday.

John Allan, chief financial officer for DHL parent Deutsche Post, said in conference call Thursday morning that the firm is considering alternatives to UPS’s offer from a number of other parties. A deal for those services would begin when DHL closes its air cargo hub in the southwest Ohio town of Wilmington.

The hub is expected to close later this year, which likely will cost about 8,000 jobs. More than 3,000 jobs already have been cut in the past several months as DHL draws down its business in Wilmington with ABX Air Inc. and other firms in the area.

DHL last May first announced a tentative agreement with UPS for its air freight service to be handled from the rival company’s hub in Louisville, Ky.

DHL since has decided to curtail all U.S. domestic package delivery and focus on international shipments only.

lazlo
03-03-2009, 04:38 PM
I imagine that someone in the US would never think of the potential costs that would pile up if not shipped by the correct method

It goes both ways Paul. I've bought stuff on Ebay from Canadian sellers, where they promised to ship by Canadian Post (to avoid the brokerage fees). Despite our agreement, they shipped UPS, and I got stuck with the brokerage fees.

That's only happened twice -- I don't mean to imply that Canadian sellers are like that, but the stupid brokerage fees make me think twice about buying from Canadian sellers...

hardtail
03-03-2009, 04:49 PM
but the stupid brokerage fees make me think twice...

There lies the whole problem no matter which direction the package is crossing.......

Mcgyver
03-03-2009, 04:49 PM
The way it was explained to me, which could be horsesh!t, is that you're paying for the custom's broker to file the paperwork when the truck hits the border. So it's not a custom's fee per se, it's a "handling fee."

That said, FedEx, DHL et al all charge custom's brokerage fees. The only way to get around them is to use USPS or Canadian mail.

I can only speak to things coming this way, but suspect its the same. There are about 6 line items of charges on ups extortion, in mean invoice document. All various handling fees, one of which is customs brokerage - that's paying for their processing of the whole, the duty line item is zero. No one mentions there international rates are already very high compared to the same domestic distance, so imo they are already compensated for the extra processing of an international shipment.

We are not immune from duty, taxes, or processing fees when its mailed, its just that its more reasonable. I get a $30 item with zero duty and a couple of bucks in sales tax and a $25 ups fee. With the post office, an item of that low a value just comes through. UPS processes everything they can, not that they have to, through their customs group because its a rich profit centre. the same low dollar items go through unmolested with the post. As a sidebar, an item that came in via the post with iirc $15 in sales taxes (federal and provincial sales tax is due when importing) had only a $5 post office charge - the post office will charge taxes and handling but its more reasonable.

i believe the limit is $200 into the States, anything under $200 can go through without being checked, not sure if there is a formal limit coming this way

Mcgyver
03-03-2009, 04:52 PM
I don't mean to imply that Canadian sellers are like that, .

i don't know that you can imply period, there's millions of us, many of whom are not exactly the same :D

lazlo
03-03-2009, 05:00 PM
No matter how I typed that, it came out wrong. :) I think it's (lazy) human nature -- yeah, yeah, I'll ship it however you like. But when it comes down to it, it's easier for Travers, or whoever, to send it out with all the rest of their boxes...

Seastar
03-03-2009, 06:00 PM
I live in the Arrowhead of Minnesota in the middle of the Superior National Forrest in the Summer.
Miles from anything.
The post office made me put my mail box 13 MILES away, on a dirt trail, from my house.
UPS delivers to my door, puts packages on the porch if I'm not home and comes 2-3 times a week.
The drivers like to come to my house because they see bears, moose, wolves, eagles and lots of other animals on the way.
You can guess who I use.
By the way, Fedex can not find my house.
They left a large package (portable generator) at a bar 42 miles from my house and then called me 3 days later and told me I would have to pick it up myself.
Bill

lazlo
03-03-2009, 06:45 PM
By the way, Fedex can not find my house.
They left a large package (portable generator) at a bar 42 miles from my house and then called me 3 days later and told me I would have to pick it up myself.

Bill, you win the bad shipper story award! :eek:

Liger Zero
03-03-2009, 06:48 PM
Fex Ex drivers are rated on time, so many of them use the excuse "can't find address" in an effort to keep time down.

I forget exactly how it works, a friend of mine worked for Fed Ex until he got fired for not keeping his scores in an acceptable range.

lazlo
03-03-2009, 06:50 PM
One thing I can say for FedEx -- maybe it's just me, or maybe it's just luck, but they sure seem a lot less brutal on packages than the Post Office and UPS...

dockrat
03-03-2009, 06:51 PM
I guess I shouldn't be whining and sniveling about all this. The only issue I have with the vendor is that he sent it UPS. As far as the micrometer is concerned it was a used but mint Starrett 733 in case that cost me $310.00 including the UPS extortion and I am really happy with it. The same mic from KBC tools in vancouver is listed at $540.00 with the case plus probably about $15.00 postage. So it was a good deal. It was just the UPS dance that drove me nuts.

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh67/Dockrat1/IMGP1212Medium.jpg

MLAToolbox
03-03-2009, 07:24 PM
I've been shipping USPS "flat rate" Priority Mail for about three years, maybe longer, anyway since about the time it was introduced, and I cannot recall EVER having had to put in a claim for a domestic shipment. But something seems to happen when mail crosses the Canadian border. I'm now working on my second claim for missing items. Might be my third. UPS? From the way I've been treated at their customer counter it's clear they don't want my business and I'm happy to accommodate them. FedEx? Too many sneak charges: fuel surchange, inconvenient to deliver to surcharge, etc. The Post Office: What they say is what you pay. Andy L.

Robin R
03-03-2009, 10:27 PM
I was grinding my teeth all through this thread, UPS from the US is something that drives me wild, I've been dinged about $35 in brokerage on a $20 item before now. If I'm considering bidding on anything on ebay in the US, I will email the seller and tell them I will only consider bidding, if they can assure me it will be shipped by USPS. If it's a small and light item, it's worth getting a quote for UPS Airmail, for some reason the brokerage is built into the cost of shipping.

Jeffw5555
03-03-2009, 10:50 PM
I do a lot of buying and selling on eBay. If I sell to a Canadian customer, I will ship USPS insured. Haven't had a problem yet. I even sold a very expensive, fragile instrument to a buyer in the Netherlands USPS; no issue.

HOWEVER, I absolutely will never use USPS for shipments to a US customer. I also will never use UPS for a US customer. Both USPS and UPS have screwed me in many ways, including rough handling/damaged goods.

I sold a piece of test equipment for $600 on eBay. The buyer sent me a postal money order via USPS, delivery confirmation. Delivery Confirmation showed I received it. I never got it. I had to file a claim against the Postal Service (the buyer sent me the Postal Money Order receipt). I finally got my money after 6 months. At the time, I lived in a subdivision that had multiple PO boxes for adjoining neighbors. I was always getting other peoples mail. I was complaining to the local Postmaster, and one day the carrier showed up at the door, and asked why I was complaining. I stated that he was careless, and was constantly misdelivering the mail. He protested that he was a professional, and was always careful to properly sort our mail. As he was ranting, our next door neighbor came up to the door with a package. She said, "here, this package was in my mail box by mistake" and handed to me. The mail carrier turned beet red and walked away......

My wife ordered a pair of jeans last month for my daughter that was shipped from Ohio to Indianapolis via UPS, and it took two weeks. We watched it on the tracking page; it bounced between Cincinnati and Cleveland 6 times. How can this happen?

I only ship Fedex Ground for all my packages. Many of the things I sell are fragile. Fedec clearly treat the packages better than the other two. The tracking system and reliability are impeccable....

38_Cal
03-03-2009, 11:07 PM
Knock on wood, the only problem I've had in shipping was by USPS, when a holster I sent to my son in Iraq went away in an IED attack. Don't know how the poor schlubs in the convoy made out, at least my son wasn't wearing it at the time. He did manage to get all the food items I sent...did you know that a can of beer fits nicely in a Pringles can? <VBG>

David
Montezuma, IA

wierdscience
03-04-2009, 08:18 AM
#1 UPS outgoing,prices quoted on website are always %15 less than the ACTUAL bill at the end of the month.

#2 UPS calls me one day trying to collect $xxxx for past due shipping charges on my account.Only problem was I hadn't charged anything to that account in six months because of problem #1.

They asked for proof that I hadn't charged shipping,I said easy where was the bill to and received by address?The sender was in NYC and the receiver was in Puerto Rico says the man on the phone.I asked him then where I was located at which point he says oh,sorry for the inconvenience etc.

Four months later I get another call,this time I owe $xxxx,same drill,but this time I worked my way up the food chain an cussed out the person closest to the top.Hasn't happened since.

Now there could be several reasons for this,it could be they were just pinging for someone to blindly pay up.Or it could have been their new call center was in Puerto Rico and two Puerto Ricans were scamming the system or it could just have been blinding incompetence:)

JCHannum
03-04-2009, 09:03 AM
USPS, especially the Flat Rate boxes is the only way I will go, unless the weight is too much, and UPS is less expensive. I will not use FedEx.

I have lost only two shipments in the past eight years of over five thousand items. One was a camera of mine, returned on warranty with delivery confirmation. I still believe the adressee got it, but "lost" it accidently on purpose. The other was a couple of gear cutters I sent to Australia in a flat rate envelope. I don't use the envelopes anymore for heavy items.

UPS charges will often be more than quoted, as Weird states, and only show up when the bill comes in. With FedEx, it is almost impossible to guess what the actual cost will be they have so many different adders.

Nobody can beat Priority Mail normal delivery times at those rates. I frequently get overnight shipping from Ohio to Texas or Florida and two day to Cali, Hawaii & Alaska, three day guaranteed anywhere in the US. That, coupled with a 70 pound maximum for $10.35 cannot be bettered.

lazlo
03-04-2009, 09:09 AM
HOWEVER, I absolutely will never use USPS for shipments to a US customer.

The buyer sent me a postal money order via USPS, delivery confirmation. Delivery Confirmation showed I received it. I never got it.
I had to file a claim against the Postal Service (the buyer sent me the Postal Money Order receipt). I finally got my money after 6 months.

This happens all the time. I really wish the Postal Service would crack down on postmen faking the delivery confirmation.

wierdscience
03-04-2009, 01:24 PM
What irks me is I pay extra for delivery confirmation and only %50 of the time do I actually get it.

jim davies
03-04-2009, 10:14 PM
Same UPS horror stories as everyone elese. Brokerage fee into Canada is a joke. My last Ebay/UPS horror story was the purchase of a welder out of Fla. The multiple promises to ship USPS ended in no parcel for a long time, only to get a message saying UPS had it.

To cut to the chase, they were totally minddead, not apparently knowing the difference between Canadian provinces, let alone really complicated stuff like city and town names. I had to go to the nearest town and ask around as to which local idiot might be the UPS depot of the day. Even with that info, the zombies at UPS
couldn't figure out what to do next. My helpful suggestion to just put my address on the box and mail it didn't seem to help.
Oh well, the offset the stupidity, slow service and long drives to new towns by tacking on their usurious brokerage fees.

Stupid and expensive is okay...if you're a well equipped hooker.

JS
03-04-2009, 10:31 PM
I ordered a book off of eBay ... USPS sent it to 6 different states over a month.

No insurance for a $7.00 book . It had delivery confirmation LOL

The package was stamped somewhere over by phoenix AZ contents lost / missing, but I got a partial package . more like I got half of the envelope and the damn tracking sticker.

My wife asked how come they delivered it since it was obvious that the contents where missing ...company policy ...........BS

Paul Alciatore
03-05-2009, 01:19 AM
What I don't understand is why is it necessary to pay brokerage fees when an item is shipped via a freight company but not when shipped via the postal services? And who do I complain to?

lazlo
03-05-2009, 02:17 PM
What I don't understand is why is it necessary to pay brokerage fees when an item is shipped via a freight company but not when shipped via the postal services?

Just to clarify, you pay the same customs brokerage fee whether you're going US to Canada, or vice versa. And the customs brokerage fee is roughly the same whether it's UPS, Fedex, or DHL.

You know that long line of cars that pile up when you get to the border? That's what you're supposedly paying for: some guy to get out and hand the customs paperwork to the border guard.

Apparently the US and Canadian Postal Services have some sort of bilateral agreement.


And who do I complain to?

Talk to the hand :)

Mcgyver
03-05-2009, 03:26 PM
What I don't understand is why is it necessary to pay brokerage fees when an item is shipped via a freight company but not when shipped via the postal services? And who do I complain to?

Paul, read me earlier post, what is stated above is not correct - you can pay a customs brokerage fee from either. One pounces on every opportunity to 'process' and the fees are exorbanant and the other does not seem to process under a certain dollar amount (for example in the US, I've read its $200).....but bring something in that is say $1000 on the declared form and, at least coming this way, the post office will clear it and charge a fee, albeit much smaller than ups. Whether its ups/post/fedex whatever, all the clearing is done in a bonded warehouse.