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UPS "Large Package Surcharge" burn!

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UPS "Large Package Surcharge" burn!

Old 03-07-10, 05:14 PM
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jebensch
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UPS "Large Package Surcharge" burn!

I just looked at my UPS invoice from last month, and it turns out that a bike I had shipped for $57, created the shipping label using my online UPS account and printing at home, was corrected to $120-some-odd, due to a $50 large package surcharge.

Apparently, UPS disagreed with my determination of the package dimensions. I measured its length + girth to be 129" (rounding up to the nearest inch). UPS denotes 130" and above as a large package, but specifies rounding to the nearest inch when making this determination. I figured I would've had a little leeway with my rounding up. Should I call UPS and plead my case, or do I just have to eat the $60 surcharge.
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Old 03-07-10, 05:16 PM
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Call them. I hate when that happens.
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Old 03-07-10, 05:40 PM
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2 words: FedEx Ground
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Old 03-07-10, 06:09 PM
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At my old job, we had our own UPS machine in the warehouse. So when time came to ship, I would make a custom box (tear apart a big box to make a smaller box and then tape the crap out of it), and ship off the frames. I sent out 3 frames with that method; cheapest shipment cost me $17 from Southeast Michigan over to Minnesota. Mostly, I ended up paying around $30 to $50.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:25 PM
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They suck. I work in high-volume duplicating and ship things out every day through a corporate account, and the company gets a negotiated discount. In the rare instances when I send something personal, I use a calibrated shipping department scale to judge the weight. I am quoted a certain amount for shipping, but when I look at my bank statement later, the amount is ALWAYS HIGHER. $7 for a derailleur going UPS Ground, after being quoted $4 something. We asked the UPS sales rep, and he was unable to explain the discrepancy. We asked the regional sales rep, and he has no explanation either.

I had a customer that shipped a bike through UPS, and he also got burned with the UPS surcharge. Seems like these after-the-fact charges are part of the UPS business plan.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:40 PM
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The Airlines are not demanding their 200 dollar shipping fee. Gotta keep up with the Jones'.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:44 PM
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OP since you are in Brooklyn I would use Fed Ex ground through a Kinkos location. nlerner, who used to post here a bit more, suggested them and I have never had a bad experience (so far). I have shipped over 50 bikes/frames that way. What he had pointed out was that Kinko's is responsible for any errors regarding package measurements surcharges etc. since they are an authorized Fed location. They are also open late 7 days a week.

I learned this the hard way (as you did above) and no longer trust either of the major shippers when I am sending a large heavy package. When I had my own Fed Ex account they hit me for over $200 in "surcharges" even though I over estimated the package dimensions when I printed the shipping labels.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:45 PM
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Yep.

Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
2 words: FedEx Ground
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Old 03-07-10, 06:49 PM
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Thanks guys. I really needed to just vent and get some sympathy. Customer service problems are one of the things in life I have the least ability to put in perspective, and consequently get really frazzled about.

I'll call them tomorrow, anticipating an end to the issue where I pony up the full amount and never give them my business again.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:54 PM
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We fought it every single time at the bike shop and they always backed down eventually. They have been doing this for years!
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Old 03-07-10, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
We fought it every single time at the bike shop and they always backed down eventually. They have been doing this for years!
Fight them. They did this to me on a bike shipped to CA from NC, even though I used a box with the dimensions pre-printed on the box itself. The refused to back down, even when I asked them to go back to the recipient's address and get the box. They ended up having to go there, anyway, as they damaged the bike. They could not explain the tire marks on the box.

The very next time I shipped with them, they did it again, but I managed to get ahold of the recipient, and he made the driver stay and measure the box, which was within limits for no surcharge. They refunded.

If I ever get a bike box, or a wheel box for that matter, from UPS, I refuse to accept it until the driver sees me open it. If you accept it and open it, they are stone-immovable if it's damaged. The driver will be pissed, but make him/her do it. Otherwise, your options are severely limited. If their driver sees it damaged, he can take it back to the terminal, and it becomes a case with a number that has to be resolved, often by them paying LBS for repairs.

UPS does not care what the actual dimension are, they are all about revenue. The only way to avoid the UPS ripoff is to send it via a UPS terminal, where their employee actually measures, weighs, and calculates shipping. Then, it's set in stone. The employee at the terminal is very helpful.

My Fed Ex ground terminal is great, but you need to check the shipping label that they print. It could go anywhere, as rat fink and gmouchawar can attest to, as rat fink's frame went to CA to NC and then back to CA for their label error, and gmouchawar's frame went to ME and then to CA for their label error.

I have good luck with USPS on non-bike boxes; they just really aren't that interested in bike-sized boxes. They did ship a wheel set to TX for me, where it sat for over two months (Parcel Post) and I got it back with postage due. The local postmaster recalculated shipping and it was originally correct, he apologized and sent it Priority Mail on USPS dime, and it was hand-delivered in TX, too, by the postmaster there, with an apology.

Currently, a package to 23skidoo, with confirmation, is "out there" somewhere. I have to check with them tomorrow to find out what the deal is.

So, 3 for 3, they all have problems. Still, I like Fed Ex for bike, just check the lable, and USPS for everything smaller. UPS can bite me.
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Old 03-07-10, 07:28 PM
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+3 UPS is the worst. Anything smaller than a bike box, USPS is your best bet. For bikes, most report that Fed Ex is the best. Commercial rates are lower.
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Old 03-07-10, 07:31 PM
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I use FedEx or USPS, UPS can go jump in a lake. We have a commercial account with them and it is nothing but a PITA. We usually end up spending half a day once a month disputing and getting our money back from them. It had gotten so bad that we started taking pictures of the boxes being measured as well as the pre printed tags. One month they tagged us over $2,000 in excess charges. That is when we switched to FedEx for good. For small stuff the single rate Priority Mail boxes are the way to go. They have gone up in the past year, but they are still a decent deal....now if they would just come up with a bicycle sized one...

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Old 03-07-10, 07:33 PM
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this EXACT thing happened to me the one and only time i shipped a bike via UPS using ebay's online shipping form generator. i even erred on the side of caution and rounded up the measurements. i still got hit with a surcharge the day the bike got reached the destination. i called and fought the surcharge on the grounds that i disputed UPS's measurements, and i insisted on proof of the measurements (which was impossible for them to provide because the package was already delivered), and they reversed the surcharge. i told them i was never going to use UPS again, and that declaration has held true. i now use fedex ground exclusively.

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Old 03-07-10, 08:10 PM
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UPS, I dunno. Land's End opened up when the local UPS there was open from 3-5 pm, 2 days a week. Within a few years, UPS was running out of there 24/7. Now it's Fed Ex. It's not the guys in brown, that's for sure, at least not here, they're super. Somewhere up the food chain, I presume.
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Old 03-08-10, 04:51 AM
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I use FedEx most of the time and I PAY CASH right at the shipping depot. I used to have a FedEx Account and I go screwed time and again with the account. These days it is one bike at a time with paper work filled out right at the FedEx depot. The guy measures the box and weighs it right in front of me. And then I had over the cash. Never once has FedEx tried to bump the shipping cost if I go this route.

And do not think FedEx is great. They drop the ball from time to time also. Just try and get a damage claim completed and damages paid. Your best insurance is GOOD PACKING!

As for opening the box - FedEx often times just leaves the box at the front door - unattended.
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Old 03-08-10, 06:00 AM
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I hate UPS - here's how my Litespeed frame arrived a few months ago, left on my porch; yep, that's the fork sticking out of the box. They graciously refunded the shipping cost but I was still out the difference between the that and the cost of new fork.
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Old 03-08-10, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I use FedEx most of the time and I PAY CASH right at the shipping depot. I used to have a FedEx Account and I go screwed time and again with the account. These days it is one bike at a time with paper work filled out right at the FedEx depot. The guy measures the box and weighs it right in front of me. And then I had over the cash. Never once has FedEx tried to bump the shipping cost if I go this route.

And do not think FedEx is great. They drop the ball from time to time also. Just try and get a damage claim completed and damages paid. Your best insurance is GOOD PACKING!

As for opening the box - FedEx often times just leaves the box at the front door - unattended.

All my deliveries are this way, regardless of carrier.
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Old 03-08-10, 02:33 PM
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That litespeed was not packed good. It's not UPS but the company who packed it. The fork should have been padded in a separate box inside the existing box. But I agree UPS is too expensive.
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Old 03-08-10, 02:51 PM
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The only reason that I use UPS is because I get the shop's discount because they have an account. Therefore, this discount is extended to my customers. And, since I know a lot of cyclists have their preferences on who ships their bike, I always ask the buyer. It's their money, so they can spend it how they choose. I'm always willing to accommodate.

All shipping companies have screwed up some odd package of mine before. What I really hate is Customs thinking they know the value of something and then changing it so I get hit with giant fees. I always declare my items at value and have had to combat them more than once.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:59 PM
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I'm not sure if they do it in the States, but the best way to ship within Ontario to anywhere with a VIA rail train station is by passenger train. They will ship a bike for a flat rate of $25 to anywhere in their service area. They just label it with the recipients identifying details and check at the station when they come to pick it up. It's kept in the baggage compartment and from the limited experience I have with this method there has never been an issue.
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Old 03-08-10, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Currently, a package to 23skidoo, with confirmation, is "out there" somewhere. I have to check with them tomorrow to find out what the deal is.
RT that package is still lost in space....

I've had a FedEx shipping account for several years and they use exactly the same standard as UPS: exceed that length + 2x height + 2x width at 130" or more and they will burn you royally with the large 'dimensional weight' package surcharge. And I can only echo what RT said about making the driver wait while you open and inspect the contents of any package that has obvious enroute damage; they will deny, deny, deny and blame the shipper and appealing the decision will only lead to further denials. They have folks over the proverbial barrel and they are not about to budge an inch.
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Old 03-08-10, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 5cagm View Post
I'm not sure if they do it in the States, but the best way to ship within Ontario to anywhere with a VIA rail train station is by passenger train. They will ship a bike for a flat rate of $25 to anywhere in their service area. They just label it with the recipients identifying details and check at the station when they come to pick it up. It's kept in the baggage compartment and from the limited experience I have with this method there has never been an issue.

You are assuming that there are trains in the U.S..........
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Old 03-08-10, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mike047 View Post
All my deliveries are this way, regardless of carrier.
Blame that on the shipper. There is a box that they can check where a signature is required. We use it all the time to make sure when things actually arrive. In fact we busted FEDEX when they lost track of a company laptop. They put it behind the bushes at our office after hours. The ticket said signature required and the driver didn't get one, too bad someone didn't steal it...I would have liked to have a new laptop instead of the POS that corp sent me.

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Old 03-08-10, 07:53 PM
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I called UPS this morning and in all fairness, the woman I spoke with was exceedingly polite. She immediately corrected the surcharge and then chatted with me for a bit about how I can avoid triggering it in future bike shipments, which she acknowledged are very tricky. In particular she cited that where I probably measure the edges of the box for its dimensions, UPS uses a scanner that would pick up the width say, in the middle of the box, which might be significantly wider than the edges if the contents were to shift around at all and cause it to bulge out.

I'll probably still go FedEx for my next shipment, as you guys certainly provided a chorus of raspberries for UPS, but I wasn't ready to encounter a sympathetic human at the other end of that 800-number!

Thanks for all the tips, fellas.
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