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Canadian builders: DON'T DEAL WITH PUROLATOR!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by BassBilodeau, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    Just a quick message to tell all Canadian builders that I recently had a really bad experience with Purolator. I had to send a bass to UK and I used their wonderful estimate tool from their website. I had a 350$CND of shipping estimate which I asked the buyer to pay. When I got up to my local Purolator office, the lady charged me 737$CND for the same thing. I was in a tight schedule, I told myself: "they are the only big shipping company in town, I'll send it anyway."

    I called their customer relationship department to ask for a quote and the guy gave me a shipping quote of 370$ for the SAME details: addresses, size of box, weight, insurances. I got mad and after speaking with half a dozen of people from different department. I end up having the answer that 737$ was in fact the real price because of the size of the box, they charged me for a 80lbs box instead of a 29lbs box.

    So, I went to UPS, Fedex and DHL websites to get shipping quote and they all give a equivalent weight of 49lbs, not 80lbs. They all cost around 450$-500$ which is fine by me. I asked the Purolator guy a refund of 200$ to be equivalent with their competitors and he obviously refused...

    Now what?!? I'm f--ked with this 737$ on my credit card. The buyer told me he had to pay 190£ (~330$CND) of customs fees and taxes, he is not willing to refund me the difference because he wouldn't have bought the bass at the first time knowing the insanely high shipping fees.

    My conclusion is: As a builder and a positive participant in Luthier's corner, I encourage other builders to deal with other shipping company. Purolator is a total rip off and the customer relationship is minimum.

    I don't know which company I will deal with next time, any suggestion?

    Thanks for reading me!

    PS: the guy from Purolator told me they ship with UPS for international shipment, knowing this, it is an other reason for me to deal directly with the company who really do the job...
  2. Ouch. Yes, as a customer of a couple of American retailers for parts, I've often had to pay quite a bit in customs charges. It's rather absurd that they charged you for twice the weight of the package!

    It pains me to hear this bad experience, and I've duly noted never to use Purolator because of this, if I were to ever be in Canada!

    I can't say in terms of shipping a complete instrument over to the UK, but DHL have by far been the best delivery company I've come across. I can't say that much about Fedex or UPS because not much has been delivered to me through them.

    I hope you get some good fortune soon!

  3. austinso


    Jan 10, 2008
    East Bay, CA
    Get the credit card company to do a charge back if you can.
  4. renniw


    Nov 30, 2004
    Lévis (Québec)
    The company I'm working for has a HUGE contract for all shipment and guess who's the transporter??? PURO.

    I have horror stories for days and days....

    In short, Puro is a pain in the a** transporter to deal with.

    I must use them as per our head office directives, but personally, I'd rather bring thing myself than dealing with puro....
  5. renniw


    Nov 30, 2004
    Lévis (Québec)
    Good idea, document your complain with screenshots of quotes and all documentations then forward all to your credit card company claiming a refund.
  6. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    Really? And you think Puro will not run after me for bad payments because I blocked them on my credit card? Or maybe I don't understand what is a charge back?

    I don't feel it's a better solution...

    Thanks for sharing!
  7. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    No, you withhold the "disputed" money from the credit card company; send the credit card company the facts; the credit card company investigates; the credit card company can then take it off your bill.
    Here in the US, using a credit card has very definite rules, and provides great protection in such cases.
    For example, let's say I get a defective TV from WalMart, and WalMart does not want to make it right. I set the TV in a cart and leave it at WalMart's Customer Service desk, then simply write the the credit card company the facts. It's no longer an issue. Of course, it is not something to be taken advantage of, and it can lead to some back and forth, but the consumer almost always wins.
    In your case, I'd simply not pay the disputed part of the bill, and let the credit card company work it out with Puro.

  8. bassman74

    bassman74 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Hello to you fellow canadian TBer!!!

    Honnestly, dealing with all the different carrier is really expensive and time consuming! I've ship parts and instruments all over the world.

    Carrier are there to make money, for large box they charge on the volume not on the exact weight. That's why they charge you 80 lbs.... Don't rely on their website calculator, there are always surprises...

    They may not have the fastest delivery but Canada post is cheap and easy to work with... Even better if you are close to the United States, cross the border and ship your stuff for half the price of canada post...

    I've shipped a bass to england insured for 167$ in the past, ok the delivery was 2 weeks...

    If you are using carrier , your customer may be charge with broker fees. Canada post and usps aren't charging any...

    Take Care
  9. austinso


    Jan 10, 2008
    East Bay, CA
    Perhaps you misunderstood me...

    A "chargeback" is a request made by you to the credit card company to dispute a charge made on your credit card for services not rendered, or not rendered to your satisfaction. Basically you are telling the credit card company that you got shafted by a company for a purchase made on your credit card (or that there was a charge made to you card without your knowledge).

    So you call them up and they will ask you to provide supporting documentation. With this information, they do the investigation on your behalf, and basically decide whether there is any validity to your claim. You pay your bill as usual, and then if the chargeback is successful, they credit your balance of the charge.

    The difference is that rather than dealing with you, the seller of the service (in this case Purolator) has to deal with Visa or Mastercard or whatever, and the financial resources at their (not yours) disposal. Purolator now has to justify its charge to your credit card company and not just to you. Big companies are now fighting bigger companies.

    Don't you see the inherent advantage of that?

    Anyway, there is a 90 day window to file a chargeback claim (or dispute a charge).

    Good luck!
  10. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    Thanks for your explanation. I'll see with my credit card company tomorrow.
  11. ironrat


    Sep 24, 2008
    The same one that do oil filters?????:confused:
  12. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    No no, Purolator, a canadian shipping company...
  13. ironrat


    Sep 24, 2008
    WOW what an Impersonator!
  14. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    Just to compare, I called a few company to know how it would have cost for the same shipment:

    Fedex: 486$CND
    DHL: 583$CND
    UPS: Must call today

    I spoke to a lovely lady at DHL and she confirmed me that Purolator only works inside Canada and they have a deal with UPS for international shipment. Before UPS it was DHL. This means that Purolator is a "man-in-the-middle" and take 250$ from my wallet to do the same job as UPS.

    I just got at work, I will call Visa to talk about "chargeback".

    I hope others will learn from my experience.
  15. I had a similar problem with UPS.

    Booked through their website, paid the price shown and sent my Mesa Boogie cab from Glasgow to London (400 miles). 3 days later, UPS charged me an extra £180.

    According to UPS, I was charged correctly and they offered to refund half the costs as a "goodwill gesture". I stuck to my guns and eventually got an explanation and a full refund, 4 weeks later The error was blamed on the "methods used to handle heavy items" and they agreed that they shouldn't have just deducted further charges without notifying the customer first....
  16. Gone


    Mar 21, 2006
    Cape Town
    Jayda custom basses, builder
    IMO that was your mistake. You should of been sure of the price to ship before passing on the costs to your customer. If the cost of shipping had turned out to be significantly cheaper would you have credited your customer the difference?

    When Purolator gave you the actual price you chose to pay it.

    But I agree it sounds like their estimating tool is misleading.
  17. BassBilodeau


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada
    Builder of Bilodeau Basses
    Of course I could have take the box to the purolator office to get a shipping quote, then tell the guy it would cost more than half the price of the bass and the wait if the guy decide to buy it anyway :meh:

    I know I decided to send it anyway and I should have done my research before going there.

    I understand my mistake but on the other way, the company is not helping itself by giving such a big difference between the quote and the final price.

    The point of this thread is not for people to hear me cry, I really think everyone should know how to choose the right shipping company. I'm guessing Purolator is fine if you send within Canada and maybe USA, but other than that they are not the right one. Also their customer services is poor. When I spoke to the lady at DHL she told me she worked for a while at Purolator and she quit because she could'nt stand the company anymore.

    My decision is made, even if I have to ship something to next town, I will not choose purolator.

    I want to come back with UPS details as soon as I have time.
  18. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    I hate shipping companies, I love building basses but when it comes time to box one up and take it to ship I get a twist in my stomach that's unreal.

    FWIW I had almost the exact same thing as BassBilodeau happen with FedEx. $750.00 no insurance to ship to Germany, fortunately UPS was right down the road and charged me $480.00 with insurance which is about what the FedEx online calculator and over the phone first quoted me.

    The biggest problem I've noticed is that the people that work at the departments are either not too bright or they just don't care.

    I had an individual over measure a box. I told him you over measured the box, he said “no I didn't”, I said what size did you get? He told me “21x9x51” I said that's wrong, he gave me an ugly look and I said look at the top of the box the actual size is stamped on it I doubt its grown any since it was stamped “Well I was close” was his response.

    Don't get me started on USPS, I don't even use them anymore after they completely lost a bass. It never even made the scan out of the post office. I've got a receipt saying I purchased for shipping and that's it, they have no other info on it, none whatsoever. That's been over 6months ago and I still haven't received any word from them. Filed this form filed that form still nothing. Of course they don't offer an insurance that would cover the value of the item unless you ship through the co-op they have with FedEx so unfortunately it was money straight out of my pocket. Not to mention the stress of knowing one of my beauties is floating around somewhere unclaimed or in undeserving hands. :(

    Did I mention that I hate shipping companies?:scowl:
  19. I have had good success with a credit card chargeback. It will take a few months to settle. Remember, one company has no obligation to be competative so you have to prove that their pricing was misleading or inaccurate.
  20. dbthump


    Mar 20, 2009
    If the girth of a package, dimensional weight, is larger than the actual weight you'll be charged the dimensional weight price for shipping. Everything shipped overseas must be flown and the space your box takes up is valuable to the shipper, so the larger the box the more you pay despite the actual weight. The word "estimate" can be considered a guess, since many people will use an online tool and lie about the size or weight to try to get a cheaper rate. Only when you bring the package in can the real cost be known.

    As austinso very nicely points out you can contest the charges , but since you not only agreed before you paid by paying and the services you paid for were completed it will only be a temporary refund. While I might agree that INT shipping is costly, you can't get great rates unless you are a heavy shipper. It's not Purolator's fault.

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