Shipping Woes - Taken For A Ride


Local time
8:46 AM
Apr 4, 2008
Wichita, KS
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?


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

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!
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....