Shipping and Packing Information
often we receive customer machines that have been improperly packed and damaged
in transit. This happens for a number of reasons, so we decided to publish
this page in an effort to educate our customers and share some horror stories
about damaged equipment. Please take our advice to assure that your
valuable equipment arrives safe and secure.
Do not use Styrofoam
peanuts! They will not keep the instrument from shifting in
the box, which will likely lead to damage when the instrument works it's
way to one side of the box and then is handled roughly. Additionally,
they tend to disintegrate and become lodged inside of the instrument, requiring
a careful cleaning. Not to mention that they are an environmental disaster.
Be careful when reusing foam in place
packing. If it has been reused more than one or two times, it
tends to loose its rigidity and will not protect your instrument. Also,
the dust from the foam that has been crushed is difficult to remove from
your valuable equipment.
Do not use steel or plastic banding on
the outside of the shipping box. This provides an easy handhold
for a large and heavy box. It WILL be
thrown by the banding. If banding must be used, secure it to the box
with packing tape so hands can't get underneath it. This should prevent
it from being thrown by the banding.
Do not depend on "fragile" or "delicate
instrument" labels on the outside of the box to protect the contents.
UPS, Fedex, etc. drivers do not look at these labels or care (the claim
adjuster will even tell you this if you ask). If your instrument is
damaged, the claims adjustor will immediately deny your claim as "insufficiently
packed" if you tell them it was marked fragile and you thought that was sufficient.
If you are concerned that your high value instrument might be mishandled
and you are uncertain of the packing (first - fix the packing), use a label
that reads "High Dollar Insured. Amount $xxx". Print this in bold
black lettering on a 8.5x11 sheet of paper so that it fills the page. Place
copies on every side likely to face the driver.
Take pictures of the instrument
and the box before shipping. If damage does occur, this will
help defend against the claims adjustor accusing you of shipping the instrument
out in that condition. Yes, this happens often with high value claims.
Insure your instrument for replacement
cost! This can't be stressed enough. We have had many
occasions when a university or company hands a valuable instrument to thier
shipping department without the instructions to insure for the value of the
instrument. The default insurance value for Fedex and UPS is only $100.
You won't get far with a claim when the insurance is missing.
If your instrument is damaged:
Take pictures of
the outside of the box and the packing material as soon as you become aware
there is damage. This is very important. Without documentation,
your claim could be denied (and likely will be).
Save the box and packing material in its
original condition (as best you can). If a claims adjustor comes
out to inspect the package, they will want to see it.
Report the damage to the shipper and to
the shipping company promptly. We have seen claims denied when
the box was received but not inspected for some time.
Be persistent and don't give up.
Both Fedex and UPS tend to deny claims outright in hopes that the person
gives up and goes away. If the claim is denied, ask for a supervisor
and, if necessary, an appeals process. UPS uses a "risk management"
company called Crawford & Company
to handle their high value claims. If you are unfortunate enough to
run up against these 'claim adjusters', have your institutional/corporate
counsel get involved IMMEDIATELY if your claim
is denied. We have had occasions when we have tried to file a claim
with Crawford, only to be told that the packing, which they never sent anyone
to inspect, was insufficient. When asked what was wrong with the packing,
the Crawford claims person referred us to the UPS web site 'packing guide'.
In this particular case, UPS had even misdelivered the instrument to
the wrong address and it took them several weeks to find it.
call us at 920-955-3693 or email [email protected]