FedEx and GLASS TUBES

Discussion of various shipping and packing methods, tips and tricks.
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K3TLP
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Location: Meadville, PA

FedEx and GLASS TUBES

Post by K3TLP » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:28 am

I recently bought an amplifier and new 3-500Z tube off an ad here. The amp arrived fine. The tube was broken. It was shipped in the original RF Parts shipping box with foam rubber surrounding the tube. That was wrapped in 2 layers of bubble wrap and placed in a larger box with 2 inches of foam peanuts. A claim was filed with FedEx for the $187.50 insured cost of the tube. FedEx came and picked up the broken tube and packaging.
I received a form letter stating that "we are unable to honor your request for a claim". The letter went on to state that "the contents of this shipment are specifically listed as prohibited items in the FedEx service guide."
After 4 phone calls in 3 days I was able to speak to someone about my problem. I was told that I was sent the wrong form letter. I should have received one that said FedEx assumes NO liability for glass tubes shipped FedEx ground. Even though they accepted the item with a declaration of "electronic tube" and value of $187.50, they will not pay the claim. I was told they do not assume any liability for glass tubes. From my experience I would strongly recommend not to ship glass tubes via FedEx.
Jim Cihon K3TLP Meadville, PA

W9DMW-2
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Glass Tubes

Post by W9DMW-2 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:11 am

I bet they were happy enough to take the insurance money !!!!!!!!!
Don W9DMW

wx1f
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Post by wx1f » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:22 am

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lhk0pd
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Post by lhk0pd » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:59 pm

I used to work for a express Packaging Company (ABX/DHL) and we used to deliver the long florenscent Light Bulbs and they were really packaged well and rarely were able to deliver a complete set with out at least one tube broken. Windshieds at times were a problem mainly in the Winter months.But many a time i delivered dishes and glasses and do not recall ever having a breakage problem. I've had tubes sent to me and have never had a problem in fact i bought a amp with the tubes still inside of the amp with only news paper used for insulation for the tubes with no breakage. I can vouch that in my yrs in the business the words fragile on a package unless it was new packaging were not treated all that speacial and the best advice i would give any body shipping with any carrier such as UPS/DHL/FEDX is the old standard which is package it well enough to with stand a fall from a 3 story building and spend that xtra couple of dollars for packing materials. The man who lost his tube it sounds like it was packaged quite correctly but that still will not prevent all the vibrations/shaking it has to endure thus why filliment tubes are difficult to ship and collect damages on.Best explain the statement on the words Fragile on a new Package getting the attention.It is because so many boxes are reused and that is the reason as it is just assumed Fragile was for a previous order but there is still some caution used.
Larry Huff K0pd

K4ICL
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If interested in the way FedEx does things...

Post by K4ICL » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:38 pm

If interested in the way FedEx does things, download their 2008 Services Guide from this web page.

http://www.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/

Some revelations in the "Guide":

FedEx does not provide INSURANCE of any kind on your packages.
FedEx has no damage liability for many items shipped, including tubes.
FedEx has NO LIABILITY if you drop off your package at a "consolidated package center" not owned by FedEx.

There is much more...

K4ICL

wx1f
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Post by wx1f » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:22 pm

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N8QBY
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Post by N8QBY » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:36 pm

I shipped a radio out yesterday, using Fed-Ex. I asked if there is any insurance on items shipped, and I was told that there is $100.00 worth of insurance without any charge. 73

K4ICL
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Clerk in is error, perhaps,...

Post by K4ICL » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:32 pm

Check page 136 of the FedEx Service Guide for 2008.

It is pretty clear that the clerk you spoke to had not read it.

Cheers,

AL

N8QBY
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Post by N8QBY » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:23 am

I will make it a priority to correct him. :o)

W5INC
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Post by W5INC » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:36 am

Just because UPS/FedEX has something written in one of their user's guide doesn't make it legal in the eyes of the law. When FedEx/UPS ships your box in exchange for money they have entered a legal contract with you. All shipping companies must use reasonable care when they ship your package under the eyes of the law. I had dealings with UPS over a Rockwell/Collins S line dropped over a 8' high decorative iron gate onto concrete. UPS wouldn't pay and had the usual excuses for not doing so. The adjuster didn't know I had pictures which turned out to be a very good thing. Before being shipped I had the seller take pictures of the radios the day they were shipped. Packing material used and the radios being packed in the boxes. Jill's boxes with 5" foam was used and then inserted into a outside box with packing peanuts between the 2 boxes. Digital camears with dates are a must have for this undertaking.
I took pictures of the massacre on the concrete and took plenty of pictures taking apart the destroyed boxes. I went to small claims court and filed on the adjuster and UPS. He received the summons and got in contact with me very quickly. I made an appointment at lunch to meet with the head adjuster. At the meeting I explained to him I understood what reasonable care means. Then I showed him the pictures and that is when the adjuster told me I will have my check waiting on me as soon as I bring the radios back to him. End of story is talk to someone down at your local courthouse. Talk to an assistant DA or maybe a judge's clerk to find out what your rights are. UPS/FedEx count on the fact most people won't pursue it to the courthouse and will listen to the dribble in their user's guide. Just my 2 cents worth, De W5INC

K4ICL
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So???

Post by K4ICL » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:14 am

W5INC:

This thread is dealing with exceptions to claims clearly stated by by FedEx and has nothing to do with negligent acts by UPS. You might want to actually read the discussed documentation--the FedEx contract and the stated exceptions provided of the FedEx Service Guide, a part of the contract. FedEx is quite clear about what they will and will not be responsible for if damaged while shipping, i.e. what you risk on your own if you ship and it is damaged. Yours is an interesting story but I don't see how it is related to this issue.

K4ICL

W5INC
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Post by W5INC » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:44 am

"FedEx is quite clear about what they will and will not be responsible for if damaged while shipping, i.e. what you risk on your own if you ship and it is damaged. Yours is an interesting story but I don't see how it is related to this issue. "

The common thread in both stories is that when FedEX knowingly accepts a glass tube for shipment, it still must provide reasonable care for the item. Even if there is an escape clause in their fine print in the contract or on page 186 of their user manual doesn't make it legal in a court of law. A judge has the power to decide if their are supposed to use reasonable care for any item they have in their care for shipping. Many clauses, verbage and other BS make their way into contracts doesn't mean its legal. If you listen to FedEX tell it in their contract you wouldn't be able to hold them liable for anything they do and thats not just the case. Thats why there are judges, he has the power to interpret the contract, even FedExs.

K4ICL
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OK. Let's really pay for the damage--Let's go to court...

Post by K4ICL » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:19 pm

Of course, enough money paid to enough lawyers will bring relief.

You seem to be suggesting we should depend on our legal system to protect us. That is not going to happen. Unfortunately, most hams will not or can not pay the legal fees to go the route you are suggesting. Most of us seem to know this, already.

Nuff Said...

K4ICL

W5INC
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Post by W5INC » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:06 pm

Actually it cost me very little money to get the ball rolling, less then $80.00 and no lawyer. I received that money back from UPS I put out when they settled the claim with me. Small claims court is very user friendly for most folks IF they put in the time and effort in gaining the knowledge of how it works. The legal system is here to protect your rights. You as a consumer you have plenty of rights in dealings with companies like FedEx and UPS. You just have to expend some energy and time to get your case in front of a judge. 9 times out of 10 companies like UPS will settle out of court because in is in their best interest to do so. It will cost them way more to have one of their legal mouthpieces go to small claims court then pay off the claim. On the other hand they save lots of money by telling you all the verbage UPS/FedEx have in their contract and how you have no legal rights according to them. FedEX/UPS want consumers to be like electricity and take the path of least resistance. If you want what is rightfully yours under the law you will have to stand up for yourself and take them to task in the legal system.
Last edited by W5INC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lhk0pd
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Post by lhk0pd » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:33 pm

I will inject myself into this again and am taking no sides as both are correct between K4ICL and W5INC in there two separate arguments. As for the Filiment Tubes i would find it hard to prove that the Tube was damaged due to shipping mishandling unless the package was damaged. Even with a Picture taken it would not show it perfect. I may be wrong but i doubt it as in W5INC case he had excellent proof and i know all the carriers have similar rules for there employess and one that comes under common sense is even if a signature is not required at a residential delivery your not to leave a package in what would be considered a unsecure location.And throwing a package or dropping it is never tolerated if the Company is made aware of the Problem and dropping one over a fence into a yard is definately not proper procedure and not only if or if no damage occurs it should be reported as no company needs or wants a employee that inconsiderate. One last comment and even tho W5INC had a friendly small claims court that is not going to be the case in every jurisdiction.Small claims courts decisions are decided by a Judge and and they have differing opinions on degrees of who to believe or not. Just my thoughts on this from a retired express driver.
Larry Huff K0pd

W5INC
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Post by W5INC » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:57 pm

"Small claims courts decisions are decided by a Judge and and they have differing opinions on degrees of who to believe or not."

You are correct in that statement Larry. When talking to a small claims court judge here in Harris County, Texas here are some of the things judges look for in making a descision in a case like this. Was the item shipped and packaged in the original shipping container. This is very important when judges review a case like this. The manufacturer has a lot to lose on shipping a "new" item to a store or the end user and get it returned because of shipping damages. So it is accepted(by the judge I talked to) this will make the item useuable when received. K3TLP stated" The tube was broken. It was shipped in the original RF Parts shipping box with foam rubber surrounding the tube. That was wrapped in 2 layers of bubble wrap and placed in a larger box with 2 inches of foam peanuts." That would be a big plus for K3TLP. Why would FedEx take the tube from K3TLP and not pay him? Maybe one reason is he doesn't have any proof to pursue his claim any further. Another thing the judge will look at is the feedback of the seller from different buyers. Did the seller have a bad rep for selling defective parts or has he positive feedback in his dealings. Feedbacks here on QTH. com and Ebay will mean a lot in the judges decision also as to the character of the shipper. The judge I talked to didn't like it when a shipping company is paid for insurance and doesn't deliver on the payout when the item does arrive broken. It puts them in a negative light, again to the judge I talked to. Like Larry said in his post not all judges will be the same in their opinions but it is worth a shot to get what you have coming to you legally. The legal system is very far from perfect but at certain times it does get things right.

N9LCD
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Post by N9LCD » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:24 pm

I'm a tube collector. I have several filamentary-type transmitting tubes in original cartons with legends to the effect the manufacturer would not honor warranty claims for tubes with defective filaments IF the tube was returned via parcel post. "EXPRESS" was the preferred mode. I also have a number of mil-surplus tubes in cartons with a caveat that the tube MUST be repacked in at least 3 inches of cushioning if reshipped.

I'm not implying negligence on the part of the seller/packer. I only want to point-out that the fragility of filamentary-type transmitting tubes is a problem dating back at least to the '30's.

As for FedEx accepting the 3-500Z for shipment at a declared value of $187.50, I would think that FedEx is legally bound by the act of their agent. A principal is bound by the acts of his agents/subordinates unless the principal can show that the action was so unreasonable that it would cause a reasonable person to question the act.

I can't comment on the economic viability of proceeding against FedEx for damages to the tube. I strongly suggest contacting an attorney to evaluate your chances in Small Claims Court.

JERRY

N9LCD

K3TLP
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Resolution FEDEX Paid

Post by K3TLP » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:17 am

On Feb. 6,2009 I received a check from FedEx for the full amount.
I would like to thank Fred, N8BX, who gave me advice to talk to a C.A.T. team person. The Customer Assistance Team person acts an an advocate for the customer, not for the company. I called and insisted on speaking with a CAT person in Dallas. I told them (upon advice) that I was prepared to seek damages in small claims court but was giving them one more chance to settle. I was told that FedEx would make a "One Time Exception". I needed to have the shipper of the tube send FedEx a signed letter saying they gave up any claim on the shipment and to pay me. I believe that letter was the holdup. After a few letters and e-mails from me, the shipper did finally send such a letter in January.
I would also like to thank Bill Leahey, K0ZL of B and B technical services. He contacted me and has his FedEx person contact me to help. Bill recently became a SK. and the ham radio community is poorer for it.
Thanks to all who helped. 73,
Jim Cihon K3TLP
Jim Cihon K3TLP Meadville, PA

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