Claiming UPS Insurance?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    0
    I sold a computer of mine on Ebay for $1200 a couple of weeks ago and paid for it to be packaged and shipped via UPS Store and paid for insurance covering up to $1300. So the guy gets the computer in a slightly beat up box and its giving him some trouble. Has any dealt with a situation like this before? I read on The UPS Store: Retail packing, shipping, postal & business services locations that the customer of UPS Store who sent it, me, has to initiate the claim process.

    When all is said and done is it me who gets the $1300 and then has to pay back my customer's $1200? Also who keeps the supposedly non-functional computer? Does it come back to me or does the customer get to keep it along with his money? Lastly, if it is coming back to me who is responsible paying for shipping? Because I paid $102 for packaging, shipping and insurance to have it sent to him.
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    83,922
    Likes Received:
    34
    They should have called themselves OOPS.
     
  3. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    You have to refund the customer exactly what he paid including postage and packaging, he has to return the computer but you also have to pay for return postage - make sure he gets some form of proof of postage. If you refund for a faulty item the customer has to end up in the exact same financial position as if he'd never won the auction.
    When it comes to claiming from the carrier afraid I can't help you there, it'd be different in England, but I think you're going to at least end up out of pocket for the return postage.
     
  4. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought I'm actually making money on this situation. I paid for the shipping myself, on Ebay I advertised for Free Shipping to get more people interested. So here's money situation...

    Customer pays me $1200 for computer.
    I pay $100 to have it shipped to him.
    UPS pays me $1300 when I claim insurance since it was damaged during shipping.
    I pay $100 to have it shipped back to me.
    I pay $1200 back to customer.

    Originally I started with $0 and a computer, now I have $1100 and my computer back. Based on what the customer told me it sounds as if the hard drive may have been damaged in the shipping, I could replace that for $100 and get it working again. So I end up with roughly $1000 and my computer again. I could even sell it again once in working condition probably for another $1200.

    But again my quesiton is, am I assuming correctly in how the insurance works? I'd like to hear from anyone who has had to deal with claiming insurance on damaged packages, the time it takes to get the claim, difficulty, etc.
     
  5. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    The last time I went through this, it went like so:

    You bought the insurance, so UPS pays you, and you pay the customer. UPS generally keeps the damaged goods. Your customer doesn't send it back to you, he either schleps it over to his local UPS office or UPS will send the truck to pick it up. That way nobody has to pay to ship busted crap around.

    Your local UPS office will have one person who knows what the hell is going on with these claims. Nobody else will have a clue. You have to get that person's name and extension.
     
  6. B_josiah852

    B_josiah852 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,025
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In the Rolling Hills
    On ebay your receipt is your winning page notification unless you send out another invoice. So the refund amount will be the winning bid


     
  7. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    I'm not sure how these things work in the US but in general the above is not necessarily so; it depends on several factors the key one being whether it was a personal or a business sale. The customer should have either refused to accept the item with damaged packaging (the best option) or signed it as unchecked/damaged (OK but not always accepted or even possible with electronic signature pads).

    Return postage and damage liability can be a nightmare. In the UK ebay is covered by distance selling regulations and the Sale of Goods Act, well sort of and then only for business sales. For personal sales it depends entirely on the terms the seller stated but in general return postage is the responisbility of the purchaser for returns. The contract for liability is between you and the purchaser not you (or him) and ebay. If the item was paid for by PayPal he may set them on you so act quickly though what action they can take (if any) depends on several factors.

    How long after receipt did the purchaser have problems, did you offer any warranty (or just DOA). I ask because if he had it two weeks before problems (started or were reported) he may be deemed to have accepted it and thus transit damage was not a factor and thus he is on his own. If it was trouble from day one that could be a problem. He may have installed software and/or hardware which could invalidate any warranty you did offer etc etc. I know you just gave us a synopsis so I'm just making suggestions as I don't know US consumer law well. But, from what I do know it seems skewed far more in the favour of the business than the consumer than it is here in the UK.

    In this case I agree with BD your agreement is with UPS and you need to read the T&Cs very closely. I hate to say it but I suspect unless you acted immediately you may be too late to claim. Courier firms are notoriously slippery when it comes to accepting liability. In general (in the UK anyway) you will also need to provide proof of the value of the item by way of a purchase receipt and your claim may be limited to that value (i.e. of the goods) not the sale value unless it was a business sale (see above). This is to stop people scamming by selling 50p items and claiming £100.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    Dong - return postage for items which aren't working or misdescribed is the responsibility of the seller not the purchaser, sellers will often put in their item description that they won't refund this or that and if it gets lost in the post the buyer has to claim for it, but those are their little flights of fantasy not Ebay's terms.
     
  9. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    First, there is a world of difference between items not working possibly as a result of transit damage and those deliberately misdescribed so let's be clear I'm (and the OP) talking about the former not the latter.

    *Sigh*

    Such seller conditions (and exemptions for lost items etc) are not flights of fancy by sellers and they are indeed part of Ebay terms but not in the way you say, quite the reverse:rolleyes:. May I suggest as a starting point you review Ebay's terms and conditions for buyer protection (UK)

    Note especially where they mention (as an exclusion) :

    "Items damaged or lost in transit. Please contact your postal service for information on its reimbursement policy"

    and also,

    "....Please be aware that the Standard Purchase Protection Programme will only cover the final winning bid amount of the merchandise. It does not cover additional fees such as postage and handling and/or escrow."

    You may also want to read about Ebay's role:

    "What eBay cannot do
    • We are unable to take action on your behalf. This includes contacting the seller directly to ask about the status of an item.
    • As we are not involved in the actual transaction, we cannot force the seller to meet their obligation."
    Note especially the red, as I alluded to earlier. Policies and liablities on return postage are well established and apply outside ebay just the same, they may sometimes seem unfair I grant you.

    I suggest you should do a little research before posting next time. You may also want to review the sale of goods act, the distance selling regulations (2000), the law relating to auction sites and so on.
     
  10. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    Did you purposely misunderstand why I provided the main two examples of why an Ebay buyer would wish for a refund just so you could be snotty and condescending?
    Ebay has to abide by the rule of the land and for a seller to put down 'no refunds' is a clear contravention of the Sale of Goods Act (which I suggest you read).
    The buyer's contract is not with Ebay it is with the seller therefore it is up to the seller not Ebay to refund him and Ebay's buyer protection is in addition to statutory rights and used only when unable to gain satisfaction from the seller (given the nature of Ebay and the sometimes small amounts of money changing hands this is the easier option). Just as the buyers contract is with the seller, the sellers contract is with the carrier, therefore any claim against the carrier is pursued by the seller not the buyer which is the whole point of why it's the seller who has the proof of posting.
    Of course you left out the first part of Ebays terms where it tells you to contact the seller in the first instance.
     
  11. transformer_99

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,466
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Funny, I received a UPS package the other day and the ebay seller was gleaming over how good UPS is and how they were a superior shipper and so on. I even got into a detailed conversation with the seller over which I preferred delivery (FedEx). Anyway, I get a 6 X 6 box that seller packed exceptionally well. They had to, it arrived as a 4 X 4 box with only one good side. I can't stand UPS, this isn't the first time they crushed something I received. DHL is worthless too. I use FedEx or the USPS when I ship.

    BTW, the computer probably isn't trashed, it just had a bumpy ride, I'd open the box and reseat components in their slots before going thru dealing with a claim with UPS. They're going to fight this one, $ 1,300 insurance claim over the fact they broke it. UPS doesn't ever break anything if you talk to them.
     
  12. D_Roderick Beresford Stiffington IV

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate you all trying to help me but I don't understand why you guys are arguing as to what I'm responsible for refunding and other policies of eBay. As I stated originally I offered free shipping so there is nothing there for me to consider. All there is, is the original $1200. Also from theupsstore.com I'm aware that the customer of the UPS Store, i.e. the seller, shipper, me...has to initiate the claim process. I called the store today but the person who deals with claims is only in M-F.

    My remaining questions are what is the claim process like. What will become of the damaged computer, how long does the process take, etc? What documents or proof might I need to claim insurance? I imagine there's something involved to prevent people from committing mail fraud.
     
  13. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    No, I understood perfectly but your statement that responsibilty for shipping costs liability lies with the seller as a de-facto statement of fact was simply incorrect.

    Yes of course they do, I didn't suggest otherwise. I'll get back to the SOG act a little later if I may.

    Interesting, I have already stated that, did you miss it or simply choose to ignore it?

    If you read the above why did you throw that back at me when it was me that stated it in the first place:confused:

    Now, please explain how does the requirement for Ebay's legislative compliance have any bearing on the claiming of a refund and or postage under the SOG act beyond the publishing of a statement of terms and conditions and the provision of any additional voluntary assistance it may offer?

    Just to clarify; the sellers contract is also with the buyer in terms of the goods, his contract with the shipper is irrelevant in the context of the SOG act (although the sellers claim against a shipper will likely be covered by the supply of goods and services act), you seem to be confusing the two.

    Well yes, but only because it's not entirely germaine to the SOG act and so obvious I didn't believe it needed to be spelled out.:rolleyes: In any event it makes no difference to the fact that Ebay state expressly they will not allow a claim for a refund of postage costs, that is what it says or do you dispute that?

    Sale of Goods act:

    This is from the DTI about Ebay.

    "The role that eBay itself plays in transactions is often misunderstood. EBay is a trading arena, rather than a party involved in the transaction. This means it carries no responsibility for ensuring that buyer and seller abide by their responsibilities, so the onus is on eBay's users to complete transactions."

    Can we at least agree that we agree on the above?

    The Sale of Goods act (in a nutshell) is intended to provide protection for consumers (not businesses) and provide a means of remedy in the event that an item is not as described, inherently faulty etc. It is not intended to cover shipping damage (the OP).

    Now, a vendor may choose to deny that shipping damage occured in which case the buyer may therefore have a claim under the SOG act. Such a claim will likely include a claim for additional compensation and no doubt postage. The problem with ebay and the SOG lie mainly in establishing the sellers liability under the SOG act where the status of that seller is in doubt. Private sellers must comply with the act as professional traders must but the levels of liability are different as are the means of enforcement.

    A seller may describe an item's faults, if a purchaser buys the item based on that description they are deemed to have purchased the item as described and no refund can be claimed on the basis of those faults unless the item is proven to be significantly other than as described, e.g. a colour TV that is described as having a "poor picture" when it only works in B&W may give rise to a valid claim whereas a description of "colour is faulty" would probably not. A key thing to note is that the only means of redress the purchaser has against private seller in such cases is through the civil court.

    I.E a seller must ensure:

    "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description. Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description. "

    and

    "Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale). "

    Note the phrase "conform to contract". An item may be sold as faulty if that condition is known to both parties at the time, e.g. a laptop sold with a broken screen or for spares or repairs. There would be no right of redress in such a case.

    As another example someone buying an item that would normally cost £500 for say £10 (especially if it's described as untested or sold as seen) would almost certainly preclude any claim under the SOG act "taking into account the price", if the item was described merely as a "bargain" but no claim was made about it's quality then it's a little more murky.

    Again the levels of expectation and right to redress will also vary depending on whether the item is new or used.

    Some real life examples.

    and

    I could find a hundred more but the theme is the same.

    I agree that a blanket statement of NO REFUNDS would almost certainly be a breach of the SOG act, I've never said otherwise. You see this frequently in shops where they say "Sale items - NO REFUNDS". It's so dumb and I always point out they are committing an offence. What I'm saying is the right to redress is contingent on several factors; the type of seller, the venue, the description of the item and it's faults and whether these are implied or expressed with clarity. We're not talking about blatant misrepresentation here (or at least I'm not).

    My disagreement with you is that you seem[ed] to be asserting that a buyer has an automatic unconditional right to a refund (inc. postage) and/or an automatic right to have return posage refunded if a refund is granted voluntarily regardless of the terms a seller may state when that simply is not the case. We are fortunate in the UK in that the burden of proof lies with the seller to prove that the goods were not faulty, rather than with the purchaser to prove they were.

    I wasn't intentionally being 'snotty' but this is not the first time you have made blanket authoratative statements without, (it seems) proper knowledge of and research about the subject at hand and seemingly unable or unwilling to read what's actually being written.

    It's complex legislation, especially on the margins. I own and run my own Ltd company so I need to know this. :smile:

    Here are some useful links:

    Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (PDF Link)
    Sale of Goods Act 1979/Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994
    Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
    The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002
     
  14. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    I know, sorry. It wasn't my intent to hijack your thread:redface:. But a clear understanding of the actual real life implementation of law is vital to avoid dissapointment. As we all know there can be a world of difference between the way legislation is written and they way it's enforced even when such legislation is clear and unambiguous.

    I would think all you would need would be a good read of UPS' T&Cs and complete and submit a claim form. If it were me, I would consider getting the item back from the purchaser for inspection (they may have fooled with it). It seems to me that the longer the item is out of your possession with an ongoing dispute the more you increase the risk that you are be left with a broken machine and a need to refund the buyer and being left out of pocket for the shipping.

    The loss you may incur on return shipping (should you re-imburse) may be less that the loss of goodwill, reputation and possibly the resale value of the item.

    I hope you achieve a satisfactory resolution to the problem.:smile:
     
  15. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    In my original post on here I was referring to Orbitz's sale which seems to have been damaged in the post and was not working properly upon receipt, I then made a further mention of the onus for payment of return postage being on the seller when the item was faulty. I did not think anyone would be so deliberately obtuse as not to realise that I was talking about faulty or misdescribed goods.
    Now let's let Orbitz have his thread back, if you feel the need to indulge in another diatribe rein it in.
     
  16. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    There is a world of difference between onus and legal liability, I would have thought perhaps you could have read that much but it's evidently beyond you.

    Also, it would be also of assistance if you had real (as opposed to imagined) knowledge of the subject at hand. I have already apologised to Orbitz, guess you missed that. But whatever, Princess.
     
  17. SpoiledPrincess

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,167
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    england
    [​IMG]Outside In - Outside In Your Statutory Rights

    Your Statutory Rights
    [​IMG]
    Under UK Consumer Law these include the following:
    Where the goods are returned due to being faulty the consumer is entitled, under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended), to return the goods within a reasonable time after purchase and claim a full refund plus any other losses that have been incurred as a direct result of faulty goods being supplied, such as the costs of postage.
     
  18. davidjh7

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    seattle
    One thing to be aware of...often, in larger monetary claims of damage by the carrier (and this amount counts), the carrier will initiate an investigation. The will REQUIRE proof of the damaged package, which means that the person receiving it had to have taken pictures of the unopened package, and retained all packaging in the original received condition, to be inspected by a designated representative of the carrier. If the receipiant disposed of the packaging, or didn't secure all the approprate documentation required by the inspector, your claim will most likely be denied, and you would have to take them to court. They know that court costs aremore than the insurance claim in most cases, and that most people won't fight it. This has happened to be a few times on expensive, insured for full value items that were damaged in shipment. Basically, unless the person who got the package did NOT open the package, and has proof and witnesses that the package arrived from the carrier that way, AND you initiated the claim within usually one or two business days of the receipt of the package, you are screwed. The limits are usually AT MOST 10 business days, or you are left with bupkiss. I hope you started the claim process the minute you heard about it, because they are very nasty about such things. They will do everything possible NOT to pay this claim. Including claiming that it wasn;t packaged properly in the first place. You have to have a strong preponderence of physical evidence to get your claim. It's an ugly process. Frankly, once I lost a few claims, the only satisfaction I got was calling my claims representative regularly for months afterwards, and calling her every filthy name in the book. She was a total bitch to me from the get go, otherwise I would have abused her manager instead. She deserved to be treated like shit, because she started the process of treating me like shit. I wish you the very best of luck, and I truly hope your experience is better, and more positive than mine ever was. Good Luck!
     
Draft saved Draft deleted