You folks may remember my frantic email of a few weeks ago concerning issues I was having with UPS and I thought you might be interested on how things turned out.
The frame fixture we sent Specialized is apparently lost forever; it was never found. I still don't understand how a plywood crate that big could get "lost" but it was. Once I was able to connect with someone at UPS who had some stroke, thanks to the help I received from people on & off these lists, my problems were addressed professionally and with amazing quickness.
As a result, UPS accepted responsibility for the damage & loss, quickly paid the full value of the claims on both the Specialized and the Rivendell fixtures and...are you sitting down?...they also compensated me IN ADDITION to my claims for the impacts the losses had on my business and the overtime we had to work as we scrambled to replace the fixtures. I didn't ask them for that and wouldn't even think it possible short of a lawsuit; they offered it outright. They also paid to have Specialized's replacement fixture shipped overnight to them which we finally finished up and they received in good condition on Wed.
In my opinion, UPS did what they could to make up for losses. I still believe that there is some sort of disconnect between the customer service call center and the small business account representatives as there appears to be a world of difference in their attitudes.
What I learned from this is that if you're a small business and you have a problem, don't call the UPS customer service number. Call your local hub and ask to speak to the Small Business Accounts Manager (Mary Kay Courtney & Brenda Highwater for Denver folks). These folks' job is to develop and KEEP small business accounts and they seem to have amazing stroke within UPS. After I established contact with my hub's SB Account Manager, I had the distinct impression that she was looking out for my best interests; she called often to give me updates, said all the right things to calm my nerves, and made the whole process of making the claims fast and painless.
Some tips I learned are that if you use the UPS software and print your own labels, write the tracking number in permanent marker on the package away from the label. If the label is lost and the tracking number is still on the box, it will get to its destination. For high value shipments, document your packaging with pictorial evidence, i.e., take a digital photo of your product and how you packaged it in the box before you close the lid. We do this and it played a significant role in proving our case to UPS that the damage (total loss) to the Riv fixture was clearly improper handling.
In the end, I'm not canceling my account with UPS. I felt they were putting the boots to me there for a while and my a$$ is still hurting and though the repercussions of the losses are still being felt, I think they did what they could to accept responsibility for it. I also promise to stop taunting Jim, my UPS driver.
Thanks again to everyone who offered their help, suggestions, and contacts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cheers! Don Ferris Anvil Bikeworks, Inc. Littleton, Colorado Ph: 303.471.7533 / 303.919.9073 Fax: 413.556.6825 http://www.anvilbikes.com