Global Shipping Program - Item arrived damaged (poorly repackaged)
May 13, 2014 10:30 PM Subscribe
Hello all -- I had purchased an expensive antique item from a US seller on Ebay about three weeks ago. (I asked him to opt out of the GSP, but he insisted that he didn't want to opt out of it. Since this antique item was a rare collectible that couldn't be purchased anywhere else, and since I haven't used GSP before, I decided to go along with it (despite hearing all the negative accounts of GSP on the internet). I was charged around US$85 for the GSP "import fees" on the ~$500 item.
posted by vanizorc to Shopping (12 answers total)
Yesterday, the parcel arrived (I live in Canada), and lo and behold, I was utterly aghast when I came home from work and found that the parcel had been left outside in the mailbox in the heavy rain by the lazy GSP postal delivery employees. I've used many other shipping companies before, and ALL of them always left a pick-up notice in place of the parcel if 1) the item is of a value over $40 or 2) it is snowing, raining, or otherwise extreme temperature outside. The contents and the parcel box were soaking wet. Keep in mind this was an expensive 19th-century collectible watch with delicate metal casings -- rust develops easily when exposed to moisture, and rust can and will completely destroy an antique such as this.
However, perhaps the biggest slap in the face was when I opened the parcel -- there was almost no protective packaging materials, as if most of it had been deliberately removed. There was an outer cardboard box and an inner cardboard box, and ONE pathetic layer of bubble-wrapping that wasn't even properly enclosed around the watch! The watch itself (and its key) were hastily thrown together in one small zip-lock plastic bag that the GSP employee didn't even bother to close! Furthermore, there were random boxcutter knife marks all over the two parcel boxes and bubble-wrap. All of the tape holding the box flaps together had been cut loose as well, and the GSP employee in question did not even bother to properly tape the parcel back up again! The fragile antique watch was literally bouncing around freely inside the box from one end of the box to the other -- with no protection (save for the thin, single layer of bubble wrap).
I contacted the seller, and he told me he had shipped out the item wrapped up and packaged very carefully and meticulously with a lot of protective packaging material. He was genuinely surprised when I explained to him the condition of the parcel I found it in. No doubt then, that the parcel had been opened up and VERY POORLY re-packaged by the GSP employees at the GSP shipping center in Kentucky.
At the moment, I am very concerned about two things: 1) water damage from being left out in the rain, and 2) impact damage to the inner watch mechanism from the antique watch bouncing around so freely inside the box that it was re-packaged in (which was too big for it), and from having most of the protective packaging material deliberately removed by the GSP employees (WHY THE HECK does GSP do this?).
As I work long hours, I haven't yet gotten the chance to have the watch checked out by a watchmaker for any signs of the two aforementioned damages (and doing this will also cost me even more money!). (And if there turns out to be no damage, then it will just have been because of LUCK, considering how shoddily the parcel had been re-packaged by GSP.)
Needless to say, I am absolutely LIVID right now. It's severely stressing me out. I don't even know how a company with such sub-par service and standards has managed to stay in business. I want to file some sort of claim against GSP and Pitney Bowes, but from the information I've gleaned on the internet so far, it seems that the only route of action that is available to me is to raise an Ebay dispute against the seller for an "Item Not Described" case. I feel this isn't fair at all -- it's not the seller's fault, and he shouldn't lose out over the stupidity and negligence of the GSP employees. Believe it or not, there doesn't appear to be any existing option to file a claim DIRECTLY against Pitney Bowes and the GSP. Isn't this ridiculous? (Then again, the seller had originally insisted that I use GSP, so I'm not entirely sympathetic to his lack of foresight either.)
At the very least, even if it miraculously turns out that the item was not damaged, I feel there should be an option for me to file a claim for a refund of the ~$85 in "import fees" I had paid to Pitney Bowes. I do not think they deserve this money, because they simply did not do their jobs properly -- they re-sent my parcel and item to me in a WORSE condition than it had originally been packaged in by the seller. (If only the seller had just simply used USPS or something, this dilemma would have never occurred.)
Has anyone had a similar experience from parcels received through GSP? And does anyone know if there's another method for me to file a direct claim and/or official complaint against Pitney Bowes and the Global Shipping Program?