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Thread: What FedEx's Shipping Insurance is Worth (Not Much)

  1. #1
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    Default What FedEx's Shipping Insurance is Worth (Not Much)

    I recently sold a Kamoa Evolve E3 to another UUer and long story short, it was damaged in shipping.

    I had shipped via FedEx and insured for full replacement value. I had also had my local "mailboxes etc." type store (used to be named that, but now it's independent) pack it up for me. They've done this several times for me, and they do an excellent job. The uke was securely in the custom hard case that Kamoa provides for the uke, and then surrounded by peanuts in a box that was much larger than the case, so it "floated" in peanuts. Considering the uke was shipped to me in an oblong box with almost no cushion between the box and the case, I thought this was overkill, but I always want to go the extra mile shipping instruments.

    I had taken a ton of pictures of the uke before I shipped to send for the buyer to review before he pulled the trigger. The buyer opened the box, realized the damage (a crack and separation of the bottom binding near the end pin) and took pics of it right away.

    To cut to the chase, FedEx just rejected the claim. Their reason? The box doesn't look damaged from the outside (which is true, and definitely a head scratcher) so there is no evidence that they mishandled the package.

    Essentially what they are saying is that the contents of the package can be damaged all to hell, but so long as the box looks okay, then they aren't going to pay on an insurance claim. I had no idea I was paying for insurance to protect the appearance of a box, rather than the integrity of the contents!

    We're not done fighting this one, but I just wanted to get this out there for everyone so you know what you're dealing with when you buy insurance through FedEx (and it may be the same for other carriers, but this is the first time I've ever had shipping damage and had to go through a claims process and happens to be with FedEx).

  2. #2
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    Good luck getting your money for the uke..
    they say not to use those peanuts for packing as your uke can shift around in the box..sounds like they droped the box and the bottom part of your uke moved and hit the ground..you don't want your uke moving around..cardboard or newspapers to keep it from shifting

    maybe next time try the post office..might be a Little easier getting your money back if there are problems
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  3. #3
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    It's not going to help with the claim, but might the damage be due to temperature variations?
    Bill

    Pono Concert - Mahogany Deluxe - K&K Twin Spot Pickup
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaii 50 View Post
    Good luck getting your money for the uke..
    they say not to use those peanuts for packing as your uke can shift around in the box..sounds like they droped the box and the bottom part of your uke moved and hit the ground..you don't want your uke moving around..cardboard or newspapers to keep it from shifting

    maybe next time try the post office..might be a Little easier getting your money back if there are problems
    Just to be clear, the uke was in its custom hard case and then put in a larger box surrounded by peanuts. So in your scenario, it would have to be dropped, shift in the peanuts, and then the case would still be there to provide protection. I cannot believe that this is not a better option than shipping it with almost nothing between the case and the box (which is how it Kamoa ships it out!).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bildio View Post
    It's not going to help with the claim, but might the damage be due to temperature variations?
    Bill, I've had this thought as well, and it may be. No way to know. The damage (at least to me) looks more violent than what I would expect to see for something temperature related. At the end of the day, what FedEx is saying is that if they put your box in a paint mixer and shake it all to hell, any damage that my cause is not covered by insurance so long as the box looks okay.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bildio View Post
    It's not going to help with the claim, but might the damage be due to temperature variations?

    +1 that was what I was just thinking...temperture changes.... not sure if it is covered but you can check...maybe note that next time....temperture sensitive content

  7. #7
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    grendel, is Mailboxes, etc., under any insurance liability--it was, in fact, they that packed it, and you paid for that service?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendel1972 View Post
    Just to be clear, the uke was in its custom hard case and then put in a larger box surrounded by peanuts. So in your scenario, it would have to be dropped, shift in the peanuts, and then the case would still be there to provide protection. I cannot believe that this is not a better option than shipping it with almost nothing between the case and the box (which is how it Kamoa ships it out!).


    well tell me what you think happened..if it was left out in the heat for sure you are not going to get repayed..did you have>> keep out of heat stickers on it?

    I still think it dropped and the case must of hit the uke.. using a hard case does not mean anykind of damage will not happen..did you have some kind of packing(newspapers..etc in the case too?)

    I shipped all my ukes from Calif to Hawaii via the post office and no problems..but I did not use peanuts for packing material

    only my 2 cents
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 03-04-2013 at 04:43 AM.
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaii 50 View Post
    well tell me what you think happened..if it was left out in the heat for sure you are not going to get repayed..did you have>> keep out of heat stickers on it?

    I still think it dropped and the case must of hit the uke.. using a hard case does not mean anykind of damage will not happen..did you have some kind of packing(newspapers..etc in the case too?)

    only my 2 cents
    I really don't know what happened, but I think that it was packed way over the top (in terms of good packaging) and the buyer agrees. Also, FedEx has indicate in their claim rejection letter that one of the reasons they are rejecting the claim is because the packaging I always make sure that check the fit of the case and include some clothes inside the case where there is any movement. I didn't have to do that here where the damage occurred because the fit was so perfect. I totally agree that using a hard case doesn't guarantee anything, but I would have thought that insurance would cover the damage if the shipper drops the box.

    I've reached out to the store owner about whether damage cause by temperature shifts are covered by insurance. I'll let you know what I find out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bildio View Post
    It's not going to help with the claim, but might the damage be due to temperature variations?
    My thoughts, too.

    When I ordered my last uke, we were going through a particularly cold snap. My instructor warned me to not open the box until it had been sitting in my house for several hours so the uke could come to room temperature gradually. He said the music store where we do lessons always lets their solid wood instruments stay in their boxes a full day before unpacking if it is cold to avoid cracking.

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