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How Not To Ship Computers 1554

jutus writes: "I recently relocated for work from Canada to Florida, and on a suggestion, shipped my equipment (well-packed), with UPS Ground. I've posted some images of the destruction my shipment was subjected to by UPS. UPS Ground does not insure international shipments, so basically I'm up shit creek, no paddle. They have been giving me the textbook run-around for the past week. UPS Canada blames UPS in the U.S., and you can imagine who UPS down here in the States blames. As of yet, UPS has not even attempted to negotiate any compensation for my loss due to their severe negligence ... For Gods sake, use FedEX." My luck has gone the other direction -- I've mostly had good luck with UPS and some misdeliveries with FedEx. Would be nice to hear from any UPS employees reading this about what could have led to the damage jutus illustrates.
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How Not To Ship Computers

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  • Heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by jms ( 11418 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:31PM (#2571350)
    You probably shouldn't have requested delivery by "International Trebuchet"

    Now you know.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:31PM (#2571351)
    "The files are in the computer"

    "in the computer??"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:32PM (#2571363)
    Blame Canada! Blame Canada!

    I wonder how long it will be before the U.S. invades that wasteland up north?
  • Re:UPS... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:41PM (#2571479)
    Would be nice to hear from any UPS employees reading this about what could have led to the damage jutus illustrates.

    After working for UPS for a summer I found that when a package has "FRAGILE" written on it, this roughly translates to "drop from 3 feet instead of 5."
  • by szyzyg ( 7313 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:42PM (#2571481)
    Born Slippy by UNderworld - 12" vinyl, they shipped it to me using UPS in a Padded envelope with a Big sticker saying 'Do Not Fold'

    Vinyl may be fragil but it must've taken a fair amount of force to Produce the neatly folded package I recived, I was amazed at how symmetric the fold was as well.

    Needless to say amazon have used Boxes ever since.
  • by donutz ( 195717 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:54PM (#2571619) Homepage Journal
    You can take comfort in the fact, that at least Tupperware has a lifetime guarantee on their products. Take that bowl to the nearest Tupperware party and the Tupperware representative can either get it replaced right then and there or possibly give you a voucher to get it replaced. Good luck.
  • by pcidevel ( 207951 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:56PM (#2571634)
    One way to guarantee tender treatment would be to mark the box "nitroglycerin", but that may cause you some other problems

    Your average UPS employee probably would think that was french for fragile and treat it just as harshly.. ^^
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:58PM (#2571658)
    I had a laptop shipped to me via FedEx. Los Angeles to San Francisco, and the company shipped it "overnight" on Thursday morning.

    Friday night, I call to ask where my package is. It's in Miami, and everybody's closed, so I have to call back the next morning.

    Saturday morning I call. They apologize. They'll have it to me by Friday, they promise.

    Six FedEx working days for an overnight package? Not acceptable. I may not get it today, but I want my package on Monday.

    "Well, sir... shipping overnight is only $30 for your package. If you would like to pay $30, we can have it pulled and shipped to you via our overnight service. Then it would arrive on Monday."

    "Why can't you do that anyway?"

    "We only deliver overnight on packages shipped via our overnight delivery service."

    "And how does your computer say my package was shipped?"

    "Via our overnight delivery service."

    "So you can deliver it to me overnight, then."

    "No, sir. It will arrive on Friday unless you pay to have it upgraded to overnight."

    "Upgraded? It was SHIPPED overnight!"

    "I understand, sir. It will arrive on Friday."


    I called back and spoke with supervisor after supervisor, until I finally reached somebody who understood that I was not going to pay $30 for them to correct their monumental screw-up. He had the package pulled and overnighted to me for free.

    Agh. Whenever you deal with shippers, always ask for the supervisor. I don't do it often, I'm a shy person. But you will NEVER get ANYTHING out of FedEx (or UPS in my experience) unless you "turbo" it and go for somebody with authority. Be polite (always), but be firm. If one person can't help you, ask them to put you through to a person who can. Don't fly off the handle. If the guy in the phone center doesn't have the broad, sweeping discretion you need, yelling won't help.
  • by Lethyos ( 408045 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @06:59PM (#2571661) Journal
    Next time you ship a computer with UPS, label the box with "BIOHAZARD" (with that nifty, sharp, menacing logo). Chances are, shippers won't want to break it open, exposing themselves to strange, white powder. Of course, they may call the FBI... which would only lend more scrutiny to the package care... and if it's damaged, you could sue both the FBI & UPS. Right?

  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:01PM (#2571679) Homepage Journal
    Why don't you mark it "Anthrax" and when the FBI delivers it to you personally you can just show them the fact that their is an anthrax shirt and CD in there along with whatever else you are shipping.
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:01PM (#2571681) Homepage
    Yeah, this is why I freeze everything I ship -- from electronics to Han Solo -- into a block of carbonite.
  • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:05PM (#2571714) Homepage
    Last summer, I was a-wanderin' down my street, and lo, there was a Fed Ex truck double parked to the right of me.

    Overhead and moving fast, a package launched from the truck landed hard and skidded on the greystone's front stoop.

    I looked at the driver; he said, "You didn't see that."

    I agreed I didn't.

    Fed Ex, UPS, it's all the same -- don't judge by brand. Men will still throw packages around, because it's fun.
  • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:08PM (#2571739) Journal
    Geez, I didn't know UPS took "Fragile" as a challenge ;) Does anyone know if FedEx or USPS is better?

    Now, how about you put a "Biohazard" sign prominently on the box? "Biohazard" covers everything from used syringes to Anthrax, so it wouldn't be immediately obvious what you're shipping, and I'm sure the employees would treat it with respect, if not outright fear ;)

    A "Radioactive" might work, but I think there are laws against shipping such materials (or claiming to), and would be less plausible...
  • by EccentricAnomaly ( 451326 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:09PM (#2571744) Homepage
    The computer was shipped via UPS flight 1331 which is occasionally used by the Canadian Secret Police for black ops. It seems that a group of terrorists from Greenland were attempting to infiltrate Quebec and poison the Maple Syrup harvest and blame it on the OntarioFirst! movement, thus giving more fuel to the Quebec independence movement. (If Quebec gets its independence Newfoundland will be cut off from the rest of Canada and ripe for invasion by Greenlander nationalists who have strived for centuries to liberate Vinland from the yoke of Canadian oppression.)

    Well, flight 1331 was diverted to drop paratroopers into Northern Quebec in an attempted to foil the dastardly Greenlander plot. After the paratroopers were dropped, unexpected windsheer downed flight 1331 over Hudson bay.

    Search and rescue failed to find any traces of flight 1331, but the copilot, Red McFearson miraculously survived. Red managed to swim his way onto an iceberg.

    On his iceberg, Red had many adventures... including a near fatal attempt to milk a polar bear in desperation brought on by hunger. However, it turns out that polar bears like to be milked and Red was able to survive.

    Only two things kept Red going during those months stranded on the iceberg suckling the polar bear... his special relationship he developed with a hocky puck, Marsha... and his drive to fulfill his duty and DELIVER YOU PACKAGE which he was able to salvage from the wreckage.

    So, you see, you have no room to complain and you should be greatful for the patriotic, dedicated men and women of UPS.
  • Re:FYI (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:12PM (#2571768)
    That Mac plastic is tough, but is not bullet proof. I once conducted a test with the door of a rev A iMac and my .762 CZ-52 handgun and a 12 gauge. The Mac plastic did not shatter when shot with the .762, which was pretty amazing, but the 12-gauge pretty much pelletized it.
  • by stressky ( 218896 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:17PM (#2571807) Homepage
    My god.... I'd say that was intentional damage by looking at those photos!

    Hey, anyone want to try an experiment?

    Get an old 386 in a tower case - something you wouldn't mind losing, or something you'd actually *LIKE* to see mangled (eg : That old pentium that won't stop BSODing in Windows and that you can't get Linux to work properly on.)...

    ...And ship it UPS with "kick me" written on the box instead of "fragile" :-)

    I'd like to see how mangled a condition the box is in wen it arrives at its' destination :-)

    ...Of course, they'd probly leave it alone and it'll arrive in pristine condition, but you'd sorta expect that :-)
  • by Mandelbrute ( 308591 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:18PM (#2571815)
    They're called UPS ground. The stuff is not quite ground up, but they had a fair go at it.
  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:20PM (#2571826)
    My father had a similar experience.

    He shipped three collectible rifles via UPS Ground (the only legal way to ship them) they were so damaged that the barrels were bent and engravings on the stock were damaged beyond repair.

    After six months without receiving his insurance money (almost $5000), he got his revenge. He filled 6 pickle jars with concentrated deer urine (very nasty smelling stuff) he packed them together, marked the box fragile and didn't insure it.

    Not suprisingly, the box was never delivered :D
  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:21PM (#2571843) Homepage
    Judging from the photos, you packed your gear........well....like a Mac user.


  • by chabotc ( 22496 ) <[chabotc] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:23PM (#2571859) Homepage
    Heh, gues my next shipment will be marked "Anthrax, Will disperse upon heavy shock"
    (fight evil with evil not good? bah)
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:23PM (#2571869) Homepage
    F log
    R elentlessly
    A nd
    G rind
    I nto
    L imp
    E xtinction
  • by Zagadka ( 6641 ) <{moc.anihcamonex} {ta} {akdagaz}> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:25PM (#2571884) Homepage
    One question: how do you get a deer to pee in a jar?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:28PM (#2571902)
    OMG!!!, Looks like it fell out of a moving truck or plane!

    One more reson why the CPU/Monitor ride up front with me and NOT in the trunk.
  • by pele ( 151312 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:29PM (#2571912) Homepage
    Maybe next time you should put "ANTHRAX CAPSULES - SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE" on the box and see if it arrives in tact? Or just put "Osama" in the "Sender:" box on the UPS form...
  • by jazman_777 ( 44742 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:31PM (#2571929) Homepage
    WTF ever, if I saw a box the read 'Indestructable', I would try my hardest to destroy it.

    Does anybody remember the American Tourister advertisements? When the luggage went behind the wall on the conveyer, it went into a room with a couple of gorillas who picked it up and threw it around and jumped on it, just for fun. Maybe it wasn't an ad, but a documentary on UPS...

  • by displaytest ( 31803 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:43PM (#2572016)
    I guess you'd have to make it out of the same stuff that they make the black boxes out of...
  • by LadyShiva ( 112606 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:46PM (#2572033) Homepage
    My mother-in-law sent a box of irreplacable things via UPS. Like my husband's childhood teddy bear. A photo album from birth to now of her beloved youngest son. A quilt she herself made (and she can't make any more due to arthritis). An heirloom deviled egg dish (yes, there is such a thing-but you only find it in the South). You name it. 2 whole boxes of such stuff. Uninsured.

    However, she was told at the Jackson, MS, depot that she was not allowed to close the 2 boxes--a UPS person had to do that. Dutifully, my extremely gullible mother-in-law hands over her 2 open boxes to get sent off to me.

    Fast forward 2 weeks after I receive the boxes. She is talking about how I haven't said how I liked my egg dish and cookie mix. Bells go off on my head, as the box was rather strangely empty and the quilt had been covered in chocolate chips, and I had only gotten one box. Evidently, she had actually sent 2--some low-life had taken out what s/he wanted (some of the pictures were missing, and 2 photo albums had been "combined" into one.
    I had a quilt, and one Xmas present. Some idiot had taken the heirloom deviled egg dish (causing _my_ mother, who is not AS southern as my mother-in-law, to HOWL with laughter thinking of THAT gift getting explained to a grandmother/brother/girlfriend). I was extremely offended, and got designated to call UPS.

    The conversation went something like this:
    "Yes, I need customer service. Yes, ma'am, I'm missing over half of shipment number XYZ, and would like to speak to the supervisor of the Jackson, MS, depot about what I consider a theft."

    Customer Rep: "Ma'am, what was in the box?"

    "Well, let's see, the usual irreplacible, priceless objects such as my husband's childhood teddy bear, a photo album tracing from his birth to high school, an heirloom piece of glassware.."

    The customer service lady groans.

    I didn't get off the phone until I had an issue number, her name, and her phone number, and had assured her my father-in-law was returning to the depot the next day to "speak" with the supervisor. In case you don't know Southernese, "speak" is a pretty serious word.

    He got a personal apology from the supervisor about the theft. And eventually, a $100 check (all uninsured packages are worth).

    But sometimes, I giggle to myself, thinking of the guilt someone's carrying over giving a stolen egg dish to their grandmother.
  • by cHALiTO ( 101461 ) <elchalo@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @07:48PM (#2572044) Homepage
    you leave it in the forest with a "deer toilet" sign on it.
  • by pyramid termite ( 458232 ) on Thursday November 15, 2001 @08:42PM (#2572385)
    One question: how do you get a deer to pee in a jar?

    Put a Miller Lite label on it.
  • by itwerx ( 165526 ) <itwerx@gmail.com> on Thursday November 15, 2001 @10:26PM (#2572797) Homepage
    Yah, same here. We had a machine arrive in perfect condition. Nice clean box, not even a scratch. But when we opened it the keyboard inside was crushed with a forklift tire track across it!
  • by Klockwerk ( 513985 ) on Friday November 16, 2001 @01:24AM (#2573269)
    As opposed to writing "Fragile" on the box, I wonder what effects "Danger, nuclear waste inside" would be...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2001 @04:25AM (#2573625)
    that items fallen of a truck were stolen. But it appears that it really happens. No more UPS for me thats for sure.
  • by donski ( 536993 ) on Friday November 16, 2001 @10:10AM (#2574228)
    You can get the Tupperware replaced for free. On the rest good luck.
  • What sort of idiot delivers a package to a recycle bin?

    He must have been a Windows user. :)

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich