My mother passed away in 2006. I received estimates from 3 shipping companies to send her cherished antiques from New Rochelle, NY to my sister and myself in Oakland, CA. Upon using the copy machine at the above store in 2006 I was told that the store could pack and ship all our belongings and do a better job than any moving company. I then described the items in question, which were much of the contents of a 2 bedroom coop. I was told that no price could be given. I subsequently spoke with the manager/owner of the store numerous times and when we finally were to come and close out her apartment in May of 2007, I made an appt. with the store owner to come and see the items and give me a price. When I arrived in NY I spoke with him again and he then tells me, while knowing that I was only in NY for 3 days, that he couldn't price it until he saw it all, but not to worry, that they had just packed up an entire 2 bedroom apartment for someone else and it came to only $800.00. I seriously questioned this a few times, but he kept reassuring me.
So the appointed day arrives and he shows up with a helper, NOT to give me a price, but to start packing everything up! I stated I would not wish to do this until he could give me a price. He stated unequivocally that it would be less than the $800.00 he'd just moved this other party for. I let them begin. When I was busy packing up my own boxes and dealing with other things, they continued to pack up items, only asking me the value of certain items which I stated. What I did NOT know was that they were mixing up items to go to myself and my sister's address, and that he was assigning value to the boxes based ONLY on a single item per box! I had no idea what he put with what.
At least FOUR separate times I asked him what this would cost, since it ended up taking from early morning till at least 5 PM. He reassured me it would not cost more than $800.00. AGAIN! At one point I had my sister decide she might wish to take a sofa, so I asked him to find out what that alone would cost....the answer after a phone call to freight was over $700 for JUST the sofa. At that point I started to really worry, and asked once again for a price, and suddenly the price became, "certainly not more than $1500". And that was to include the antique Brass bed for $700 all by itself......Now mind you we had 3 separate bids for movers to move the ENTIRE apartment for $2,200 to $2350.
NOW I was worried. Still he would not now give me a price until he got it all back to his store. He packed it up and left. He did not call with a price as promised. Mind you I was leaving for CA. in less than 28 hours. I went down to his UPS store next morning, and was suddenly told that just the boxes I'D packed would come to almost $800 on their own. And that the total bill would be: $2,742.86 IF they were allowed to repack the boxes. I was floored and totally unable to speak for a bit, since this was only PART of the items in the coop, compared to the price the 3 different moving companies gave for the TOTAL of the contents. AND I had no more time left in my trip to be able to re-do this! AND if I decided to cancel it, his manager told me that they would then CHARGE me for the day they'd spent packing it all a whopping $500.00 alone. Making it impossible for me to call the moving companies to come to HIS UPS store and pick it all up, re-pack it and ship it for less than $3,000.00. What I did not even know at that time was that in re-packing what they had done at the store, that they'd completely ignored ALL the values of the contents and that the total insurance did not even come CLOSE to insuring those beloved items enclosed. I panicked and called my sister and we made the decision to just pay his price as we were out of time and had been told that he would take better care of our antiques than a moving company. On May 23rd, 2007 I gave him a check for the full amount of $2,742.86. Then left for California.
When items began to arrive on my doorstep, yes doorstep, as some of the boxes were left on my porch and my sister's porch, our dreams of redecorating with my mother's loved antiques were dashed to smithereens.
EVERY single thing I'd packed arrived unscathed, over 13 boxes. Every SINGLE box that the UPS Store had packed arrived here with the contents smashed to smithereens. We are talking about clocks from the 1700's and 1800's. A wrought iron carriage bench had been tossed into a large box with a 1/2 pound filigree corner shelf unit, all hand carved, with only a few peanuts. The box arrived OPENED along the entire length AND was left on my porch when no one was home.
Light fixtures and lamps had not one single bit of bubble wrap on any of them, in fact they didn't use one drop of bubble wrap, so ALL of the glassware was just the splinters left inside the boxes AFTER the boxes had been damaged enough to be open or smashed in. This went on for a week as things arrived. ALL of it gone, not one single thing they packed arrived unscathed. ALL RUINED.
I was so flabbergasted and in such shock I didn't even know how to proceed. Finally I called UPS directly and was given a claim form. NO ONE bothered to tell me that they would need the FREIGHT department to handle the claim on the brass bed, so it never even got claimed. Though I repeatedly called the UPS Store to find out where the side rails were that never arrived. As this was a custom antique, there is no way to use this bed without them. So sending this many hundred pound brass bed to me. On top of that, in ALL of the receipts that I was given in NY when shipping all this with this UPS Store, NONE of the receipts or claim numbers matched what arrive inside each box. NOT ONE. They had completely changed the contents and mixed everything up AND not insured any of the boxes for more than $500.00, and not ONE matched the tracking numbers on the receipts I was given. To top that off, they NEVER GAVE me a claim form or tracking number for the brass bed.
So you ask, WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
Well after having the claims adjuster arrive here, and I'd been smart enough to take pictures of ALL the boxes on arrival AND as they were opened and I never removed ANY items from the boxes for weeks while they clogged my home, the adjuster was in as much shock as I was. He stated he'd never ever seen a more inept packing job in his life, and took more pictures and asked me to copy all my own pictures to a CD which I did and gave to him.
But after weeks of work on our part and his part, the fact remained that the store had totally screwed up the values on ALL of the items and made them almost worthless. This was over $25,000 in valuable antiques. There ended up being 9 boxes of claims, and no claim on the bed due to the fact that during all this time, no one informed me it needed to go through a separate department and by the time I found that out, it was past the time frame for a claim.
This went on for many many months during which time I repeatedly asked the manager Raul for an itemized inventory, since nothing matched the receipts I was given.
It should also be mentioned that about this time UPS kept appearing on my porch trying to pick up packages for return. On more than 5 SEPARATE occasions I asked Raul at the UPS Store in New Rochelle why. On every single location I was told it was just in the system and that I did not need to return anything. And that was confirmed here with the appraiser. At this point much of it had been put out with trash as it was just pieces that could not be fixed.
The appraiser and I and the claim person and I were all in constant touch re: amounts and values and trying to make sense of what was in which box....remember I had pictures as the boxes were opened.
I then sent the store MY itemized list of what arrived here in each box and the tracking number on THAT box. They never sent me their itemized list, they instead sent me a slip of paper with a handwritten note of "items shipped" and a total value of the paid insurance which came to almost nothing, compared to the handwritten values they put on EACH receipt they gave me when I was in NY paying for all this.
This went on for months during which I was in constant touch with the claims person at this end, my only ally in this mess.
In the end, the UPS Store actually told UPS that the values were even less than their OWN assessor had approved as our claim for. So the total amount was reduced. In the process of this my friend at UPS mentioned to me that he wanted to know the upshot of what happened, as UPS does NOT send the claim check directly to me, they by protocol send the check to the UPS Store who caused all this damage in the first place and they then in turn send ME a check for the claim. I asked why and was told he didn't trust them to give all the money to myself and my sister. HOLY SMOKES! This wasn't even in my mind! And boy did he have them pegged.
The final amount sent by UPS Claims to the UPS Store #4992 in New Rochelle, NY was: $5,830.36. I have an e-mail to that effect from my friend locally at UPS Claims dept. The check we received from the UPS Store #4992, Wykagyl, New Rochelle, NY was:
To THIS DATE 10-04-2008, they've lied and told me that the lesser amount was ALL they were sent by UPS, and I've sent them the e-mail from my UPS friend stating that the higher amount is in the computer and along with the check number. The UPS store has only said to me that THEY were being charged by UPS for the items that weren't returned. There was NOTHING to return!!! And THEY had told me 5 separate times that it was not required. (good thing too since I was not about to try to pack up all that damage for them). It just went into the trash. AND they had required me to get appraisals on some of it showing there was nothing left to fix!
So you do the math>>>>
The UPS Store in New Rochelle to this DAY still owes me almost $1,100.00 and has lied that they have received it. AND it's a mere PITTANCE compared to the actual value of what they've RUINED, and known full well that we were dealing with our mother's death during all this and these were her prized possessions.
Vikki in Oakland