Shipping Woes - Taken For A Ride

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by MoonKS, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. MoonKS

    MoonKS Member

    I sold a bicycle on eBay recently - I used UPS to get an exact quote online to the buyer's address. I went in and mailed it out today as promised to the buyer. The online quote from was about $65 dollars less than I was charged today. Here is what I wrote the UPS Store today when I got home and saw why the discrepency.

    "To whom it may concern,

    I was in your store at 6:12 PM today, April 21st. My Parcel Shipping Order
    Number is 29045912.

    I brought in a bicycle to ship. The bicycle weighed 50 lbs according to both
    your scale and my scale at home (a calibrated parts scale). The box dimensions

    55 L x 8 W x 29 H. These measurements are actually printed on the outside of the box by the bicycle maker - I also measured twice before obtaining a quote on

    Here is the problem - the woman who measured the box today said it was 30 inches in Height. I told her the box said 29 H and my Stanley tape measure said 29 inches.

    The box is not bulging - I ordered the bike and paid UPS ground to have it
    shipped to me originally- I sold the bike - I used the box from the same model bike, sold it and I am shipping to someone else. That difference of 1" measured by your staff changed my shipping cost from the online quote I obtained of $37.58 to $104.70 for a "large package fee".

    I have a printout of the original quote - it shows the measurements and declared value. I have the receipt from my transaction today showing the overcharge due to incorrect measurement.

    I did not notice the 1" difference as measured by your employee until after I returned home. By this time your business was closed for the day

    I will be stopping by your store tomorrow, April 22nd to see how we can rectify this amicably.

    Thank you for your time.


    Matthew XXXXXX"

    The UPS staff told me the bike would not go out until tomorrow evening since I brought it by so late today. I am going in tomorrow morning to see what I can do. I will cut 1/2" off the box and refold it if I must - but I know what the box measured - and normally I tend to look for the best in people but I can't help feel that the person who waited on me today knew that going up 1 extra inch would more than double the cost of shipping - I measured the box before shipping - it matched the factory imprinted measurments on the box exactly.

    So, anyone ever have this sort of experience?



  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    It sounds like the local UPS shop wants to pocket the difference between what UPS charges them for a standard sized package, and what they charge you for an oversize package.
  3. MoonKS

    MoonKS Member

    Hi everyone.

    So I head down to the UPS Store on my Whizzer at lunch. I explain what happened - I get a cold shoulder and, "It's already on the truck" To which I reply, "Actually, it's not." She says, " is". I said, "I am not trying to be difficult...but I can see the box behind you".

    She drags the box out and measures it - it measures 29.5 inches high - she says UPS policy is that they must round up. I measure it - at the end she measured it was 29.5 inches...due to the fact that the forks are making a slight bulge in the reinforced bottom of the box. I measure the opposite end - 29 inches on the nose.

    I told her that I was told last night that the cost was so high because the value exceeded 100 dollars. She said, "No, it is an oversized package". I showed her the original online quote and the actual receipt from last night - it was that 1" that sent me over into the $100 price range.

    She said, "You can either pay what it costs or get a refund." I said, "I'll take the refund please. Then I will repack it so it is 29" or under"

    I got my refund. I asked if I could borrow her utility knife - I said I would buy a roll of tape but I wanted to just cut the box down an inch or two and ship it out". She said, "No". I said, "No...I can't borrow your knife or no I can't repack and ship". She said, "You can't borrow my knife".

    This is the funny part....SUPER FUNNY!

    I hop on the Whizzer to go to the hardware store to buy a 99 cent snap off utility knife - the Whizzer starts up...then dies. I spend the next 15 minutes driving the length of the parking lot - switch is on - key is on - I have plenty of fuel - maybe it's flooded...I smell gas. I pull the plug - it looks ok. I let it sit for 5 minutes - try go. Maybe a dead battery???? I check wiring. That's when I noticed the petcock for the fuel in the off position....BAHAHAHAHA!!! I was a giant ball of sweat - that 100lb. Whizzer is no fun to pedal and try to start for 15 minutes straight on a warm humid day!

    I get back to the UPS Store - tape and knife in hand - get the box down to 28 inches high - weigh it and get the $37 shipping charge - then she says, "41.85". I said, "Gosh, I know I am being a pain and I don't mean to be at all. I am very thankful for all of your help...but you said it was $37.58 and I am not sure where the extra $4 is coming from."

    She said, "You have to pay for the tape" I said, "I didn't get the tape here" She points to the wall - sure enough there are identical small rolls of strapping tape on a red spool cutter. I just grabbed my tape and showed her the Ace Hardware label. I never saw such an angry woman - she gave me the look o'death that I only ever saw twice before - once when I was a kid and put tea bags in the aquarium and once from my ex-wife on the day she came home and saw the new dog I brought home.

    The UPS Store lady was literally pounding on the keys of the keyboard. I apologized and told her again I was sincerely grateful for her help. She never said a word and just handed me my receipt.

    I got to thinking - if I were in her shoes and in the name of customer service...I would have just pushed down a little hard on the end of the box to get it to read 29" instead of 29.5" instead of having me have to repackage everything. It is not like there is some machine that will detect one end of the box at 29.5 and the other at 29 and cause some worldwide panic....

    I say instead of working on motors and engines we should be working on transporter technology so we can start beaming things places! :)
  4. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    Amazing story,amazing chick....the postal worker from hel........glad she's in your country and not mine. ;)
  5. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    OH, NO. Not Postal Worker, she was U.P.S. ,, & they CAN have an attitude.
  6. cory

    cory Guest


    I hate to say it but after reading about your day I feal alot better about my owne. Good for you for taking the extra time to make them look stupid!
  7. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    Id find something to ship everyday and make sure theres always a problem with it. Just to make her day. Everyday! And you could find humor in it. Opps, thats just plain mean.
  8. MoonKS

    MoonKS Member

    You sound like Oscar the "Graucho" :p

    Actually, the more polite and self deprecating I was the more upset she became - Must be awful to have to live like that - who knows, maybe she was having a bad day in her personal life - maybe she is going through rough times...or maybe she was just being a wanker!

    I think I will skip that UPS Store from now on - I checked my receipt when I got home tonight - the shipping price was correct - but that lady changed my length from 55" to 57" - I can't believe my package grew! (that wasn't intended to sound like that....)

    I think she may have added those few inches to try and stiff me...but it didn't add up enough with the shorter box....

  9. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    I think u were right the second time..."just being a wanker!"

    RATRODER Guest

    Sounds like she chases cars and barks at the moon. louis
  11. Demosthenese

    Demosthenese Guest

    she was trying to pocket the difference. or she was an embittered no-end job worker. But my money's on her planning to refund it to herself if she lied about it even being on the truck. q
  12. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    You know, you should really forward your story to UPS corporate. They need to know when there's a problem with the customer service in one of their stores. WHo knows - they might refund your shipping charge because she was being such a PITA.
  13. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    That's what she said..
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2008
  14. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    I am the shipping manager where I work and deal with UPS everyday. Our driver is great and I've know him for the 13 years I've worked here. He would go miles out of his way to deliver a package that didn't belong on his truck instead of report it, send it back and charge the customer the correction fee. He's rare.
    In the lady's only defense, if she didn't measure the bike at 29.5, the auditers down the line will. She will then be chewed out for charging you less than she should have. If she had been kind enough to tell you that I'm sure you would have understood.
    They have auditers along the conveyer pulling off random packages to ensure the proper weight and size was billed. Unless of course you say it was 10 lbs and it was only 5, they won't correct that.
    You would not believe how many people in the world do not know their own zip code. When UPS corrects a zip code or any address, I get billed $5. That's why companies add shipping charges on top of freight costs. My monthly bill usually has about $25 in correction fees.
    I ship to construction sites quite a bit. If the ground is muddy or the person who the package is directed to, isn't standing by the front door, they drive right on by and return the package as no such address. Thus I have to pay the return charges.

    If UPS screws up I have to fill out 4 pages of info and fax it back and wait 2 billing cycles for any update. When you call 1-800-PICK UPS. You are not talking to UPS, you are taking to an angency hired by UPS, so it's usless to yell at them or ask for their super cause they don't have a clue, they are just looking at what you see on
  15. Alan

    Alan Member

    After all that, I would have paid her in pennies.:D
  16. MoonKS

    MoonKS Member

    Hi Scott,

    I do a lot of shipping - both at work (Fed Ex) and in my personal life (mostly Fed Ex and USPS). At work I am shipping technology items (returns of dead equipment that was replaced under warranty) that are no longer working - it is usually smaller in size - motherboard, raid controller, hard drive, etc - the company just happens to have a Fed Ex account so we don't use another shipper.

    In my personal life I have sold some of my firearms online via - and here in KS the only shipper that will ship firearms is Fed Ex - it has to go Priority Overnight. And I also sell random odds and ends on eBay where I was using UPS all of the time - but I have had a number of good that arrived on the other end (as well as on my end) from UPS that were broken - some boxes actually had shoeprints on them like they were stepped on.

    I only used UPS this time because the shipping quote was so inexpensive compared to Fed Ex and USPS - although DHL was reasonable too.

    Not sure if it is this way all over - but UPS Stores are independantly franchised. And I do realize that they have to go by what they measure - but the package was over by .5" at one end - it was dead on at the other end. I could have walked over to the package and just pushed down on it enough to slightly buckle the cardboard and make it an even 29" all the way across -

    To top it off, she told me that evening I brought it in that the reason it was $104 instead of the $37 quote I got online was because the value was $500 and anything over $100 goes up in price. However that was not the case - in looking at the receipt they charged me more to ship THEN they tacked on a $50 large package fee - so either she was lying to me or she does not know her business - I tend to believe it was the latter.

    So the next day I get treated like I am a PITA - and I realize no one here knows me - but I am a very down to Earth guy - pretty quiet but congenial and polite. I was completely self effacing, apologetic and thankful to her the entire time - but she was just angry and upset that I even questioned the shipping fee - even to the point to tell me my package was already gone (when I could see it behind her) and then to tell me that the manufacturer's box dimensions that are printed on the outside of the box are not the outside dimensions but the inside dimensions. I almost asked her why then were the external measurments for length and width exactly what was printed on the outside of the box - only the height was greater by .5" - which I know is my fault.

    I guess I just didn't appreciate the fact that she seemed so inconvenienced and then rude by my request to refund it and allow me to modify it so I could save $60+ dollars - and after all of my efforts she tacked on 2 extra inches to the length of the box - changed it from 55" to 57" - I just trimmed across the top - I did nothing to the length - amazing how my box grew. So it was either she miskeyed, she did it on purpose, she doesn't know how to measure, or her tape measure was a factory second and starts at inch number 2....

    Ok, enough about this little adventure. It happened - it's done - but the refund has not showed up on my debit card - but the first $104 showed up the same day (online) and the charge from yesterday for the new shipping cost showed up within 30 minutes online - perhaps refunds take longer - but I will be monitoring to see if it really went through!
  17. butch27

    butch27 Guest

    That is total BS! People trying to rip everyone off anymore.
  18. cory

    cory Guest

    Hey Bud

    Check your Pivate Messages. Lets talk bang bang.:shock:
  19. MoonKS

    MoonKS Member

    Oy - it continues to get better and better....

    The bike was packaged very soundly. I used a cruiser box - pretty heavy duty directly from the bike shop. I bubble wrapped and taped up the painted surfaces. I stuffed in padding and such to make sure there was little to no wiggle room - all items that were removed (fender, seat, pedals) were wrapped securely in bubble wrap as well.

    The bike arrived today - it just had to go one state away - and here is what the buyer wrote me tonight:

    "Hi Matthew,

    It made it, but it did not hold up well in shipping. Lost some paint on most of the parts, packing was roughed up, box got punctured a's sad. I will give you a call 04-25 Friday or you can give me a call at xxxxxxxxxx to see what we can do."

    How the box got "roughed up" and "punctured a bunch" is beyond me. It makes me feel like they did this on purpose.
  20. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    "on purpose"....sounds rather suspicous doesn't it.