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UPS outdoes themselves shipping bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mysterion, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    I'm not sure it this is really the best forum for this, but I thought folks here might want to know...

    I just shipped out a bass to another TB member in a trade, much as I have shipped plenty of other stuff. Weighed it, paid for it, dropped it at a UPS store.

    Going over my bank balance, I found a $30+ "UPS adjustment" added to my charges, out of nowhere. I contacted UPS, and they explained that box was pulled for "a random audit" and determined to be oversize, so it was upcharged based on "dimensional weight." (Never mind that mass and volume are different properties...)

    I was completely civil, and UPS responded by being very nice, and removing the charge. But I'm still really amazed that they added this to my card without notifying me, and that they did so after accepting the package--and weighing it--at one of their retail locations.

    Be aware of this when you're shipping out basses, folks. I've shipped a lot of big packages through UPS, and they are my shipper of choice, but I've never heard of such a thing.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I've seen this sort of charge after-the-fact happen often in the commercial world, as a shipping manager. This is the first time I've heard of it happening to a "civilian" so to speak, a person just shipping one item and paying from their personal bank account.

    Also the "dimensional weight" thing has been in force since the late '90s or early 00's, it means something that is larger than it "should be" for the weight (using their own arbitrary standard). :) They used to call it a "balloon charge".
  3. 49sfine


    Apr 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    I refinish Wishbasses and other stuff too, and ship pretty frequently, but I never use UPS anymore. I have just heard too many horror stories about abuse to go back. I use FedEx and USPS - always insuring everything. Have not had a problem yet, since 2010, knock on wood!
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    If you ship the same box at 2 different UPS stores you will get 2 different prices ...

    I usually ship basses Fed-ex ground ...

    Hey if ups and fed-ex merge they will be called Fed-Up

  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Ask anybody who used UPS or Fedex (or any courier) internationally, they can tell you all kinds of stories about how they just magically "find" charges.

    My personal favourite is Fedex, they somehow always find a small fee to add at the border, sometimes as low as a couple dollars when if you ship USPS you never get these charges. And since Fedex HAS to cover these petty charges they charge you a $10 fee for service charges to cover the couple dollars they lend you. Since they charge it as a service fee it isn't loan sharking to charge you $10 to loan you $2.
  6. Kentucky Ryan

    Kentucky Ryan

    Feb 12, 2012
    i worked at a fairly large ups hub for 7 years. they should not be your shipper of choice. idk how bad the other guys are when it comes to package handling, but it cant be worse.
  7. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    Interesting. I spent a lot of the 90s and 2000s in the bicycle biz, and shipped/received a lot of large boxes--obviously, on a commercial UPS account. Still, I can't recall ever being hit with a retroactive charge.

    I was irked mostly because:

    1) The same package had already gone through UPS at least once without any upcharges. Nobody made any notice of the size when I dropped it.

    2) An additional 50% charge on my card without notice seems really uncool, and poor business practice.

    I use UPS because I've always had best results with them. They've never busted a bike or a bass, and my local UPS guys are awesome. FedEx, OTOH, has managed to lose a tube audio amp, break a solid brass commercial plumbing fixture, abandon a Les Paul on my porch in my crappy neighborhood, among other problems. USPS is simply incapable of delivering to my address--it's a repetitive sequence of digits, and they can't seem to handle it.
  8. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I've never been impressed by UPS...every time that a bass has been shipped to me with UPS it always seems get to the town I live in on friday morning and sits until monday. I have to wait all weekend and be tortured...With FedEx I know that I'll get it saturday.

    However, I use FedEx for shipping basses. I had total faith in them until last week when they delivered my bicycle to the wrong address and now can't find it. I currently have no faith in any carrier.
  9. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    They can send you a bill. And if you don't pay the bill they can sue you.

    But they are not allowed to put random not specifically authorized charges on a credit card they happen to have on file. That is against the rules for being allowed to store credit card information in the first place. A call to the credit card company would have sorted this out quickly.
  10. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Never quite understood why they don't deliver on saturdays, is there a special reason for that?

    I can totally relate to your experience though. I know that feel... :meh:
  11. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner of iron ore Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Try sending something to Hawaii UPS.
  12. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    If you read the fine print on the shipping document, you will find by using the carrier you have agreed to all the "contract" and in fact, shipping charges can be adjusted per the agreement, and yes they can add those charges to your credit card.

    And if you think UPS, Fedex, USPS, DHL and all legal departments don't have the contract worded correctly, then have at it. A friendly CSA might reimburse you, but trust me, they have their rate fees and surcharge process completely air-tight.

    If you walk into a shipping company and tell them you want stipulations to their written policy, guess what?
  13. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I think it is because they are Union employees with a five day work week (couriers).
  14. Tewest86

    Tewest86 Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Slidell, LA
    FedEx delivers on Sat but they don't do home delivery on Monday. UPS doesn't deliver on Sat but they deliver on Mondays so its the same amount of days. UPS does do Sat deliver for an outrageous fee.
  15. Tewest86

    Tewest86 Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Slidell, LA
    Well ain't this a b! I just shipped a bass last week using FedEx. I went to the store, they weighed it and gave me a cost. I paid $54. I checked today and they just charged me an extra $7.00. WTH! They are the ones that gave me the original price so how could they need to readjust and charge me more money? I'm paying with cash next time. Try to readjust that.
  16. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    UPS does deliver on Saturdays, but only for packages that the shipper has paid extra to have delivered then. They bring in a skeleton crew to service those.

    There are limitations on the number of hours that commercial drivers can legally work daily and weekly. This is one of the reasons that the Monday through Friday system will likely stay in place. Even the post office is dropping the majority of their sixth day service.
  17. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    In that case maybe the OP shouldn't have ignored the fine print, or put in correct measurements?

    UPS is not economical to use for guitars anymore, at least if the insurance you purchase is for a valuable guitar. Last time I shipped they wanted 2% of the insured value just for insurance, plus the actual shipping. Not so great for a custom shop reissue Stratocaster...
  18. I've only shipped out a few basses but I've always gone through UPS and never had any problem with them. I really don't want to imagine what they do in any carriers shipping hub since I work in shipping/handling too and know what we do to some boxes...
  19. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    Yes, well. Clearly I (OP) realize that I should have paid better attention to the boilerplate. But I still had to ship the bass.

    Reviewing my earlier posts, you see my dismay was at being retroactively charged without any communication from UPS (they had my email as well as my credit card on file, so that wouldn't be rocket science.) I was equally peeved that UPS accepted the package--through one of their franchisees--without any objection to the dimensions.

    Sure, UPS certainly covered both of these contingencies in their Terms of Service. I just think they're lousy terms, and it might be nice to alert fellow TBers. (And it appears that Tewest86 has already discovered this pleasure, with another shipper.)

    Finally, to the credit of UPS's Customer Service, the charges were reversed, after I pleasantly made my case.
  20. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I've used UPS to ship quite a lot over the years, and I recieve a ton of packages as well. Never had an issue with UPS. Major crap with fedex and USPS. It's amazing how peoples results vary. Life really is a crap shoot.