Sorry for the delayed reply. Thank you for all of the responses and
advice both off-forum and on. [And sorry if this is a tad long.]
I’ve learned quite a bit from the whole experience and won’t
take-for-granted/assume some of the things I did before it happened.
I don’t sell in large or frequent quantities, so when stuff like this
happens, IMHO it feels a little more pronounced. Is this on my
"Lessons Learned List"? Absolutely.
I think that, at a minimum, I kind of sillily assumed that I couldn’t
possibly have TWO major shipping snafus, all on behalf of the
shippers, within a six month period. Well, prior to this incident, I
had a ring go missing about five months ago (via international mail
to Canada). The recipient said she never got it–I’ll never
know–maybe she did, maybe she didn’t–or maybe it was indeed "lost"
by the carrier or by Customs. And of course I ate the loss because,
according to USPS, you’re not allowed to insure international
packages–at least that’s what I was told at the PO when I inquired.
Also, I don’t lie on my Customs forms, so anyone who looked at the
package might have read that it was a ring. Following that incident,
I immediately researched and signed up with a third-party insurer
(InsurePost), and I now feel a lot better about shipping
internationally. --That is, vs. forcing my customers/clients to have
to pay for international Priority Mail with “tracking” info.
Now I don’t send ANYTHING—ANYWHERE—AT ALL—without 3rd party
insurance. I don’t care if it’s $4, $400 or $4000. I just need to do
my job and declare properly–always.
These two incidents PLUS other weird stuff within the same span of
time–e.g., like having a USPS Priority Mail package take a long
detour from Illinois to Ohio via Anchorage, Alaska (during the
hectic Christmas shipping season)–have had me a little “edgy” about
shipping, to say the least. So, when this happened, I was a tad more
jaded in having to deal with it–as in, “Aw, naw, MANNNNNNN…not
@Barbara: I called UPS to see what the deal was as soon as I
discovered that the status had been changed to “Delivered.” I
specifically asked them about the change AFTER the payment of the
claim, and wanted them to indeed confirm that the item had evidently
been miraculously found and delivered. So, they knew. [I’d signed up
for email notification for ALL status updates with regard to the
case, but seem not to have received that one…]
@Ken: Thanks for that–I really appreciate it. ::bowing deeply:: I’m
definitely rethinking the way I handle my insurance coverage and
related policies going forward. I will always declare full value–
even on discounted items (plus “hassle-compensation” ;-D), for
@Les: HA–as tempting as the second part of what you said sounds,
nah…I couldn’t do that.
@Ellen: --Wow. I guess even with an “agreement” in place, there is no
guarantee you will get your work back outside of taking the person to
court, if it comes down to that. Grrr. Going forward, I highly
recommend looking into InsurePost =>
No matter what you send out–or where? Insure it. --IP is pretty
darned cheap and provides decent coverage. From the reviews I read,
IP is worth it.
@Ted: Thank you–I think I’m just going to take my lumps on this one
and chalk it up to “lessons learned.” --I really do have a firm
notion of how I plan to re-craft my policies going forward. That, in
and of itself, is gold for me at this point.
@Aileen: Oooo… Thanks for the tip on Legal Shield. I hadn’t heard
about them before. I have a local biz attorney, but her specialty is
mostly IP. I need something like Legal Shield because I have some
questions about other stuff! (LLC benefits, formation, etc.)
@Bill: Oh heck no. UPS hasn’t asked for the claim money back–and
they’d better not, at this point. (I’d have to go all “Flo” on them,
and stuff–think “Alice”/Mel’s Diner…) As much as I know that
"/UPS paid for the lost piece therefore they technically own it/," I
kind of feel as if the little bit that they paid me (my mistake of
not insuring for the full amount notwithstanding) is punitive
damages; but, I know that’s not how it works. ;-] No–they haven’t
asked for it back. ::giving UPS the stink-eye in the event they’re
even thinking about approaching me with that…::
@Judy: I’m in agreement. Thank you. ::bowing deeply::
@Tom: I used to have JM insurance years ago, but then I got a good
biz policy from our personal insurance company–may look back into JM
as I start to do shows and fairs–will look into the shipping benefit
you mentioned… Thx!
@Alma: Good luck!
@Al: See what I wrote for @Bill. Punitive damages for time spent +
frustration + BigCarelessCorp almost losing SmallBiz a customer and
not giving a rat’s patootie, etc. However, I do know that it’s all
about the value of the lost item, and that you can’t declare
"punitive damages" in a claim, etc.
@David: A little excessive with the snark, and I lost you in a
couple of places, but you do present some ponder-worthy points
nonetheless. [And sorry, as an INTJ, former academic, and
researcher, old habits tend to die hard. I live for testing
"schtuff"–random theories, behaviors, etc. No harm intended to the
customer–I just simply wanted to see what she was going to do. I
believe my character and my ethics are very much still in-tact.]
I guess I just operate from the perspective of–say I bought a
Widget from TheCompany. My Widget gets lost in the mail. TheCompany
either refunds my money or sends me a replacement (TheCompany then
either files a claim with TheStupidShipper or takes the loss
directly). As a customer, I am satisfied that the TheCompany has done
right by me with either the refund of my money or the replacement
Widget. Weeks later, my (original) Widget somehow finds its way to me
after we thought it was ::gasp!:: gone—Forevers! As a thoughtful
customer, I immediately call TheCompany to say,
“Hey–TheStupidShipper finally found and delivered my (original)
Widget–what do you want me to do with it?” I don’t presume for a
minute that I own the original Widget as I’ve already received a
replacement, and I haven’t technically paid for both
Widgets–regardless of whether or not TheCompany was reimbursed via
claim by TheStupidShipper. As I now have two items–one of which I
didn’t technically pay for–I think it’s TheCompany’s prerogative to
tell me to either keep it, send it back,
etc.—StupidShipper-be-damned for being careless and doing stupid
stuff to begin with–and if need be, TheCompany takes it up with
StupidShipper. As a customer, that’s what I would have done, and
that’s kind of what I expected. That’s all I was trying to present.
Thanks again for all of the feedback.