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Marcia Selsor

Question About Fedex

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I have been shipping with FEDEX way before I moved to Texas and have had a business account for over 15 years with them. The pick-ups were convenient. I recently have been going to Kinko's/Fedex to ship out to shows. I have a question. Since last May, they have started opening my boxes to see if they were packed well enough.I use double bubble wrap, 1-2" of styrofoam boards between trouble boxing. The last two times I left the boxes open so they could inspect them. Today I was told if I wanted to insure for more than $200 that I would have to have them repack the box. ..for $30.

I had a hissy fit and took the one shipment back home, put it into 2 boxes. Then I called FEDEX to asked about this new policy. The tech guy had me hold on while he researched the question. He said no, the shipper who I assume is me must be responsible for packing the work for all ground shipping. I assume this because they pick up ground shipments from my house. No questions asked.

So I took the 2 boxes back, tapped shut, and the FEDEX clerk weighed measure,said they'd be there tomorrow, no questions about my ability to pack pottery.

I think FEDEX may have given them a call.

I will go back to scheduling pick up and get them to send me the supplies. What a waste of time today. Two visits to Fedex.

 

I am going to look into UPS with Potters Council after this event. The Fedex Depot where I have shipped pallets as well as boxes, has cut back to ambivalent hours so you never know when they are opened.They were opening at 2 pm the last time I went there.

 

 

Marcia

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I had a similair issue with a Kinkos a year ago-I got a qoute from fed ex wih my usual potters discount then when I got to kinkos the price was away high-I just bit the bullet and shipped the oversized package as my time into town was worth more than the hassel-since then its been UPS with zero issues-

I have not heard about the potters councils ups deal other than its coming in the future?? Let us know if its on now?

Mark

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I had a similar experience several years ago with the local UPS store.  I believe both UPS stores and Kinko's are franchisees and set some of their own policies.   I have used FedEx for the past couple years, no issues, timely delivery(over the past holiday ground shipments took the normal 2-3 days), I take of the packages at the FedEx terminal as I am relatively close to it.   Since I switched, I have had less breakage, faster deliveries and more cost effective.

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Thanks Up.I never had any problems with Fedex until I started using the Fedex/Kinko's location. I am thinking of getting the supplies delivered again for pick-ups and then won't have to deal with the store. The Fedex depot in town is right by the International Bridge to Mexico. It was great. Good service, but they have changed their hours to who knows what. Always different.

 

Marcia

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I have tried FedEx on several occasions over the last 10 years, but they were never able to match the prices UPS gives me. Plus there's a UPS store right up the street for convenient drop-offs. I had the same problem with UPS wanting to see proof of interior packaging a long time ago when I was in grad school, but never since. I print my own labels here at my shop, then just drop the pots off at the UPS store. They don't have to weigh them or anything. Or if I see the UPS truck drive through my business park I flag him down and he takes the package. So maybe look into that, if you're not printing your own labels already. If they ever give me any grief about my packaging I'll just tell them to look up how many claims I've made over the last 10 years-zero.

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I had horrendous shipping experiences with the USPS in December.  I have had to make numerous claims.   So I contacted the local PackCenter.  They ship, USPS, FedEx and UPS.   They are giving me a 20% discount since I am a business.  I do my own packing although for a fee they could do that.   They give me a quote for each (usps, fedex, ups) and let me decide how to ship.   I have been pretty happy so far this month.  I have used FedEx ground this month, and everything is getting there in one piece and in a timely fashion.   I wonder if Kinkos is the problem??

 

Roberta

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Yes, I think the local office is the problem. They were making up rules. Last May there was a new manager and she started opening my packed boxes. First time that ever happened. I always ground ship with Fedex unless I am shipping overseas.

Marcia

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I have just recently made the inquiry and submitted my information to participate in the Potters Council/ACS UPS program (start here: https://www.1800members.com/ACerS# )  I shifted to USPS over the holiday season last year following a conversation with the manager at my local post office ove package handling...did not have any problems at all.  The convenience of preparing my own labels, printing my own postage, and having regular pick-ups at my door by a postal employee that I know by name is pretty hard to beat.

I have had similar experiences at the Kinko/FedEx store...and have made my concerns over customer service clear to the company.  I go there only as a last resort...for now, at least.

 

Paul

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i have shipped via fedex ground for years and never heard of anyone opening boxes. that is absurd! however, i think the insurance may be the issue. if you read the fine print, (i did years ago, but not recently, so i need to paraphrase), ceramics is mentioned as something that is problematic to insure. i never insure anything over the $100, because it is highly unlikely i would be able to collect anything off of a claim anyway, as the claim will likely  be denied because it is ceramic. i spread an order out over several boxes and figure if one is excessively damaged i will simply replace it. i've only had to do that once in 15 years of doing tile.   if they ask I  assure them the items are double boxed with 3" of foam between boxes, etc., that i have shipped hundreds of times with them, and i act like i know what i am talking about, becasu i do. after awhile they get to know you as someone who ships regularly with no problem.

 

also you can print your labels online and drop them off there. they should have no reason whatsoever to ask you any questions.

the problem is often with the local retail people though. in AZ the nearest fedex retail outlet folks are very rude and won't let me put pre labelled boxes inside at all when i drop them off.

many years ago i did file a claim with UPS on some sculpture that came back to me from a show in pieces. it was obvious that a  UPS fork lift tine had gone all the way through the double box. but they inspected the packing and did pay the claim. since then , i think UPS has also tightened up on claims paid for ceramics, at least in print.

 

i've been using USPS on some single tile and small orders. the regional rate priority  boxes are a good deal if you have a size that works with them. you can order the boxes for free and fill out the labels onlline.
 

i must say though, fedex ground is still better , in my experience, than either UPS or USPS when it comes to breakage free shipping success. my personal experience only.

 

Stephani stephenson

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in CA i used Kinkos as my fedex connection and they were great. in general ,uness you are going to an official fedex /ups terminal, the local franchise person can really make or break your customer experience with their own odd procedures and rules.

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A bit on way it works in terms of packaging and making claims with fedex/UPS

For an insane fee: you send them item the way you pack it to their testing center..

They try to break it:

If it does not break, then they approve your packing for that one item. When you ship another one of those items packed the same way, then they will approve your claim if they do break it.

Unfortunately, you have to have every one of your products' packaging approved.

It's several thousand bucks per item.!!!

This is not going to work for any small business.

Even larger companies like those who manufacture wheels cannot afford the expense of UPS/fedex approved packaging.

This is why, technically, all the wheels on the market are really supposed to ship freight. None of them are in approved packaging.

 

Without approved packaging, each damage claim is on a case by case basis and it is very easy for them to say that you did not pack it well enough (obviously you didn't or it wouldn't be broken) and then they deny your claim.

It is good when a forklift  tine goes through the box: that claim they will approve, but when the outside of the box looks decent. but the pot inside is broken, it is often denied as insufficiently packed. This is "concealed damage" 

If your stuff is double boxed with styro/corn peanuts and or bubble wrap they usually approve the claim even if it is "concealed damage"

 

So best practice is to bubble wrap the pot first: put it in a box, and put that whole box in another box with a peanut buffer. (peanut buffer and jelly, my fav)

Not too great for the environment, ... use the natural, biodegradable corn packing peanuts !

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i ship around 400 - 500 pieces a year with Fedex Ground. Every time their prices start to climb (yearly) Ill give UPS a shot. I might get one broken pot a year with Fedex Ground. I've tried the switch to UPS 3 times over the past 10 years. Every time I ended up with a broken pot within the first 10 shipments. I dont know if it's package handling in their distribution centers or delivery staff. I do know there is a huge difference in how gently, or not, they handle packages.

 

I agree with an earlier post. i mark everything at a value of $75 and Ive never had my packaging questioned. Maybe because I pack well but probably because Im not claiming a high value. If you do get a broken piece its almost impossible to succeed at a claim.

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As far as claims with UPS I have only had a few (less than 5) over the years (40) and thay have always paid up to worries. Had one last year -one plate in a 8 place setting shipped from the west coast to Az. They made good no issues.

Mark

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