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Author Topic:  Fedex - often irritating
Howard Steinberg


From:
St. Petersburg, Florida & Concord, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 24 Aug 2017 2:19 pm     Reply with quote

This afternoon, I brought a 43 year old telecaster to fedex to be shipped. I wanted them to pack the guitar, which they do for $25, as long as I do the inside of the case. When they asked the declared value, I gave them a price of nearly $2,000. I was told by the kid behind the counter that they will only allow me to declare a value of $1,000. I was a little beside myself, having never heard this. I asked to speak with the manager. He told me that this limitation applys to instruments 20 years old, or older. I told him that when I prepare a shipment, using the Fedex website, it allows me to declare any value. He told me that I have to declare that it's a guitar. I told him that there is nothing on the form that asks for the package contents, other than if it could explode. I ended up buying a box, packing it myself and declaring the value as what I sold it for.

Anybody ever come across this. It could be a serious problem when shipping a steel.
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Chris Lucker


From:
Los Angeles, California USA
Post Posted 24 Aug 2017 2:42 pm     Reply with quote

Fed Ex insures up to $50,000 -- except for items of unusual value. Vintage instruments are not covered, unless they the same brand you can buy today. Then declare as having new instrument replacement value.

I still ship FedEx or Greyhound. i pack very well. I never have the clerk working at a shipping place pack for me.

Are you sure you went to FedEx to have your guitar packed? It wasn't Kinkos or another business that serves as a Fed Ex drop off center or something like that? I have never seen a Fed Ex that packs items.

For valuable vintage instruments, I use Heritage for insurance.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 24 Aug 2017 3:15 pm     Reply with quote

The FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinkos), is individually owned and operated. And many of the owners try to limit their liability beyond the standard FedEx system.
I STRONGLY recommend packaging it yourself, since many of the cats behind the counter are inadequately trained in protecting high value items. A Tele is unlikely to suffer damage from cart trips, as it'll fit in the belts.
I don't think they are right about their damage exclusions, but you might want to read the fine print.
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Howard Steinberg


From:
St. Petersburg, Florida & Concord, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 3:01 am     Reply with quote

Got it. Usually I package it myself, but in this case I needed to purchase materials anyway, so I thought I'd let them do it. I was not aware that the Fedex Office was a franchise. Thanks for the info.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 5:05 am     Reply with quote

My only complaint with FedEx is their delivery estimates seem to be pulled out of a hat. Especially FedEx Smart Post, in conjunction with the Postal Service.

Case in point: A recent eBay lap steel purchase from a seller in New Jersey was shipped FedEx Smart Post. It took two days to get from Jersey to the Denver area. Six days shuttling around metro Denver (Commerce City, Westminster, Broomfield, Aurora) before finally being delivered to the USPS in Denver. The Post Office delivered the package to me here in Southern Colorado the next day.

On a positive note, the instrument arrived unscathed.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 5:12 am     Reply with quote

About a month ago I was trying to send my friend in Anchorage Alaska a lap steel so after a battle with a bunch of Styrofoam,rubber cement and packing tape I tried to put a Box together,Finally I drove to one of those places that ships UPS,FedEx USPS and prints copies to see if they could do it ,The gal behind the counter worked some numbers and wanted to ship it FedEx,She tells me to put it in a box and use Styrofoam pellets and ship it will be $436.00I said I gotta go home and rethink this ,So I told my roommate when I got home next morning she had it packed in a nice box,bubble wrapped,Went to the post office $88.00.from Ulster Park N.Y. to Anchorage Alaska,Four days later my friend emailed me and the lap steel made it in perfect shape.
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 5:34 am     Reply with quote

I once had a claim and FedEx outright told me they are not an insurance company! They packed the item and I still had to fight for the claim. I am lucky that my law firm has a big account with FedEx so I got my rep involved and it was finally resolved. Legal pirates
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I was told by the kid behind the counter that they will only allow me to declare a value of $1,000


I've been told by FedEx several times that the insurance limit on "old instruments" is $500. They don't care what the market value is or how much you sold the guitar for. The limit is $500. That limit doesn't seem to apply to music stores though. The local music store ships guitars via FedEx a couple of times a week and has no problems with insurance. They have an account and process their order on line and FedEx picks up at the store.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 25 Aug 2017 1:09 pm     Reply with quote

I took FedEx to court over a damaged guitar. I told the judge that I had insured it for $4,500 and FedEx said: "That isn't insurance, that's declared value."
I said: "I paid extra for the insurance".
The judge decided that it WAS insurance and FedEx had to cough up the money plus court expenses. Very Happy
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Rex Blevins


From:
Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
Post Posted 30 Aug 2017 7:48 pm     Insurance and Shipping Companies Reply with quote

NEVER EVER use UPS. I shipped an Emmons Push/Pull to NC in an ATA case. Not just a shipping case, one that was ATA approved. I insured to guitar for $2500.00, again not declared value, insurance.. They dropped it, busted the inside board that separates the guitar and pedal board. After wrangling with UPS for over 4 months, I just cut my losses and moved on, I was tired, BUT I told everyone about how bad they were, including all of Facebook. NO MORE UPS, take heed.
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Chris Lucker


From:
Los Angeles, California USA
Post Posted 30 Aug 2017 11:17 pm     Reply with quote

I don't want to add insult to injury, but you could have declared new Emmons replacement value. They would not have known the difference between a 2500 guitar and whatever a new Emmons model costs. It works. Tried, tested and true.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 12:33 am     Reply with quote

Yesterday I took one of my Desert Rose guitars to the FedEx/PDQ place to ship it to Chuck Back in Tucson,The guitar is in one of those nylon Rifle type cases with wheels etc,My friend built a Box that will go on the outside U-Haul has wardrobe boxes that are great for shipping steel guitars,Anyway the tall scary gal who works the counter came over and said that She suggests that I put the guitar on my home owners insurance?I had just paid her for three grand worth of insurance...I told her that I suggest that you send my guitar to Tucson!idiots Why do I go to the PDQ place?because it's in the same shopping center where I can buy ice cream!
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 5:08 am     Reply with quote

I keep my gear insured by heritage insurance. When I sell a steel and ship it it is fully insured. I take it off my insurance once it arrives safely. When I buy an instrument I contact the insurance company and put it on my personal insurance before it is shipped.

The money I save by not buying the bogus shipping insurance offered by shipping companies is significant.

Thanks to a smart forum member who showed me how to use my personal instrument insurance a couple steels ago !
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 10:40 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I keep my gear insured by heritage insurance. When I sell a steel and ship it it is fully insured. I take it off my insurance once it arrives safely. When I buy an instrument I contact the insurance company and put it on my personal insurance before it is shipped.


Same here. I also have insurance on anything I ship anywhere for repairs. I use Music Pro, but I understand that Heritage is similarly recommended. You can modify your coverage online in more or less 'real time'.. hard to beat that.

My take on the Fedex 'Declared Value' is what somebody up the thread conveyed. If you read the fine print, despite the implication that it's insurance, it's really not. It's intended to try and establish a limit of liability. Sounds like Erv got a judge who saw through the 'intent'.. because it sure 'looks' like insurance. Since I've started using Music Pro, I usually keep the declared value very low, because it impacts the shipping charge too. Or at least it does if you use their online calculator.
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Mike Scaggs


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 12 Sep 2017 10:42 am     Reply with quote

Erv Niehaus wrote:
I took FedEx to court over a damaged guitar. I told the judge that I had insured it for $4,500 and FedEx said: "That isn't insurance, that's declared value."
I said: "I paid extra for the insurance".
The judge decided that it WAS insurance and FedEx had to cough up the money plus court expenses. Very Happy


Good for you Erv...
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 14 Sep 2017 5:28 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
43 year old telecaster to fedex to be shipped.


These days shipping anything of value is a gamble.

Have you seen the Kokos they hire these days to deliver?


There are videos all over Youtube taken of these "men" throwing boxes over a fence, kicking stuff out of the truck.

Apologies if anyone works as a delivery guy/gal but all it takes is one bad apple so the cliche to "speak" for the system.

If the shipping company cared more, then taking a chance might be better odds.


















If you have something of value, it's not just the monetary replacement end, it's the life of the instrument at stake.

I had a friend send me a vintage 60's Rick bass through UPS from Omaha to Cali circa late '70's early '80's. When I got the guitar the neck was broken. He worked for a music store and knew how to pack...

If it is a true elderly instrument I would use uShip if possible and if you want, insure it as well if you can't deliver it or buyer can't fetch.


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Mike Hultin


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 8:34 am     Reply with quote

Jack Hanson wrote:
My only complaint with FedEx is their delivery estimates seem to be pulled out of a hat. Especially FedEx Smart Post, in conjunction with the Postal Service.

Case in point: A recent eBay lap steel purchase from a seller in New Jersey was shipped FedEx Smart Post. It took two days to get from Jersey to the Denver area. Six days shuttling around metro Denver (Commerce City, Westminster, Broomfield, Aurora) before finally being delivered to the USPS in Denver. The Post Office delivered the package to me here in Southern Colorado the next day.

On a positive note, the instrument arrived unscathed.



Smartpost relies, like Parcel Select with USPS, on the availability of room inside a truck. They load trucks based upon the service - Priority first. That is why there is discrepancy. If they can't find a truck to fit a big package on, it will sit.
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Mike Hultin


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 8:37 am     Reply with quote

Godfrey Arthur wrote:
Quote:
43 year old telecaster to fedex to be shipped.


These days shipping anything of value is a gamble.

Have you seen the Kokos they hire these days to deliver?


There are videos all over Youtube taken of these "men" throwing boxes over a fence, kicking stuff out of the truck.

Apologies if anyone works as a delivery guy/gal but all it takes is one bad apple so the cliche to "speak" for the system.



I have shipped $2 million dollars with USPS, FedEx, and UPS and despite the awful, pathetic, disrespectful quality with which clearly daft sellers/shippers ship their expensive guitars to me (after I paid, no less), it is amazing to me that these carriers manage to get them from Point A to B without them getting damaged.

Can count on two hands the number of damages I've encountered as both buyer and seller combined.

I've moved roughly $3.5 million dollars in guitars as buyer and seller at this point.

I thank the carriers every day for their work.
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Mike Hultin


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 8:41 am     Re: Fedex - often irritating Reply with quote

Howard Steinberg wrote:
This afternoon, I brought a 43 year old telecaster to fedex to be shipped. I wanted them to pack the guitar, which they do for $25, as long as I do the inside of the case. When they asked the declared value, I gave them a price of nearly $2,000. I was told by the kid behind the counter that they will only allow me to declare a value of $1,000. I was a little beside myself, having never heard this. I asked to speak with the manager. He told me that this limitation applys to instruments 20 years old, or older. I told him that when I prepare a shipment, using the Fedex website, it allows me to declare any value. He told me that I have to declare that it's a guitar. I told him that there is nothing on the form that asks for the package contents, other than if it could explode. I ended up buying a box, packing it myself and declaring the value as what I sold it for.

Anybody ever come across this. It could be a serious problem when shipping a steel.



Don't use any chain to pack your items. Waste of money. They will pack it in an oversized box with expensive materials; dimensional pricing will kick in.

Print a label online, buy packaging from a nearby company or just use newspaper and some bubble wrap. If you drive to a box store and find the cardboard dumpster you can easily find a box; or, a music store.

The key to packaging is simple - no contact with any ends with a surface. Even a little newspaper padding around the sides of the item in the box solves the problem. I recommend more but a little goes a long way. If it is heavy, cut out handles. Items get dropped because they're big and goofy. When I ship amps, for example, I cut out handles. Then the worker can lift it better if they so choose.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 10:20 am     Reply with quote

It is really not insurance. It's a declared value to determine liability limits as Bill says. Better read the fine print in their Service Guide pdf.

Erv was lucky to have a judge side with him. We should all be so lucky.

I once took a boxed up D10 to FedEx to ship to Texas. I filled out the paperwork and declared $2500 as the value.
The agent said he couldn't accept that amount. Had to actually see anything declared valued over $500.

Well, I had just spent half a day packing the thing and I wasn't about to open it up just so he could verify what was in there and voiced my displeasure to him. They did finally relent with a "next time" warning. As it turned out the delivery went fine, but you never really know.

Still overall, FedEx is the best for me. Never had anything damaged or lost. Can't say that about UPS.

Things may be different depending on your area, but far as packaging goes, good luck finding a shipping carton in a dumpster any more. All the ones around here are kept locked and all the cardboard is broken down and baled up. Sometimes even law enforcement will question what you're doing around back of a shopping center or store too.

Music stores won't give you cartons either. They wanted anywhere from $18 to $25 for a guitar box the last time I searched. They tell me that with all the eBay buying and selling everybody wants them so they stopped giving them away and started selling them.

Last time, I bought a carton from Uhaul for 8 or 12 bucks and cut it down to fit.

Best thing, if you anticipate selling and shipping anything in the future is save your old cartons and packing if you have space and means.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 21 Sep 2017 11:58 am     Reply with quote

Mike Hultin wrote:




Can count on two hands the number of damages I've encountered as both buyer and seller combined.

I've moved roughly $3.5 million dollars in guitars as buyer and seller at this point.

I thank the carriers every day for their work.

Smartpost relies, like Parcel Select with USPS, on the availability of room inside a truck. They load trucks based upon the service - Priority first. That is why there is discrepancy. If they can't find a truck to fit a big package on, it will sit.






If an automaker or tire company makes a mistake that company pays for its mistake. Same should be for shipping companies. A sloppy autoworker will undermine not only the company but the life of the end user. Shoddy workmanship is shoddy workmanship and sloppy employees needs to be let go, not even hired in the first place.



Quote:
Jack Hanson wrote:
My only complaint with FedEx is their delivery estimates seem to be pulled out of a hat. Especially FedEx Smart Post, in conjunction with the Postal Service.


Overseas shipping does the same with waiting for containers to fill before placing a container on a ship. What would take 45 days to arrive can sometimes be 90 days. It's all about the economics today. Many would rather opt for this type of shipping vs using the postal system which is rife with theft. Packages arrive in a shamble, contents missing with a note that says "arrived damaged" when what really happened was someone along the postal route tore into the package took what they wanted and taped up the package so that it would be considered as damaged in transit.

A box-door to door company overseas shipping system fares much better in that the shipper in order to maintain trust and reliability makes sure that a customer's package is treated as their own.



There is a monopoly in the truck ship industry which like the software industry is not really wanting to be as careful as they need to be. You use a company's software and lose all your work because their software crashed, you're SOL!

Granted blame is to be placed on both sides, customer not packing properly. But given that, a shipper needs to be more careful. If something is ill-packed it should not be accepted.

It doesn't take a college degree to carry a box.

The heavy U-haul boxes are thicker walled.

Again economics looms its ugly head and cartons cost money making them and shipping them to be used. I think GC is reserved about what it does with its cartons and there must be an economic reason.

Years ago when the world was more sane and touring bands could bring their gear all over the world, it was not uncommon to have flight cases for the guitars inside their OHSC, double packing.


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