Dan's FedEx Damage claim Update - DENIED

TomR

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If you...in good faith boxed up your gear well....and in new fed ex boxes...and THEY...fedex took your money for insurance AND did not tell you that because..YOU boxed them up....the chances of an insurance claim will be probably denied. That to me is a company entering into false and deceptive business practices.
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Fed ex should have said...."hey dude no matter how well packed it is, we probably won't honor the insurance...sign here for a waiver."
That's exactly what Fedex did in my situation.
 

florian1

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Man, they can be a pain in the arse. Good luck with your appeal. Last time I shipped a drum, and also did this with cymbals, I bought a pool noodle from the dollar store, and cut a slit around the inside. They go right on the edges no problem, and are great for the perimeter of a cymbal. Im certainly not saying you didnt pack it well, but for future reference to all, those noodles work great for protection.
Next time buy pipe insulation...its pre-cut and its 8ft per section. Usually a buck or less.
 

WaggoRecords

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Reading this story makes me absolutely sick. I'm sorry this happened, Dan. I've been ordering a lot of equipment lately and have benefited from reading all of the shared stories, strategies and perspectives.
 

franke

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Dan, I can well imagine how frustrated and angry you must feel at the moment. However, I feel I would be remiss not to comment. What follows may not be well-received, but here goes:

If what is shown in your photo is how the bass drum/floor tom were packed, then I would say that the packing was insufficient. What matters most when packing a fragile item is ensuring that it cannot move within the box while in transit and that it is protected from outside impact, particularly at the corners where the carton is most vulnerable (because corners can collapse on impact whereas sides will often flex back).

Placing the item(s) in a cardboard box within another cardboard box and placing a few pieces of broken Styrofoam between the two will not immobilize the item or protect it from impacts occurring either at the corners or on its sides. Moreover, bubble wrap provides protection to surfaces, not structures (i.e. it will protect finishes but not the actual shell), and Styrofoam, while weight-saving, provides almost zero protection if it isn't rigid and sized so that it fits tightly between the item and the inside walls of the carton.

While shipping drums "nested" is acceptable, nesting requires considerably more packing material to ensure that the drum placed inside the larger one cannot move. Also, any drum loses a considerable amount of structural rigidity once one (or both) heads and hoops are removed. Placing a fully-assembled drum that could weigh 20+ pounds inside a drum that (presumably) still has one hoop and head on adds structural tension to the bottom of the bass drum and stress to its top, which in a box where the drum is free to move around, and where there is no "crumple zone" at the corners, makes for a situation where even a three-foot drop or a conveyor belt jam can cause considerable damage; worse if both heads and hoops are off, and the floor tom is free to move around as well, for in an impact scenario, that drum can act as a "hammer" on the other drum.

Hindsight being twenty-twenty, the suggestion of pipe insulation or swimming pool noodles is a good one if such are placed vertically at all four corners, along with other semi-rigid material that is tight against the drum so that it prevents the corners from collapsing while immobilizing the item. What I have done in the past is make "triangles" out of scrap cardboard that are the height of the carton interior and place them vertically at the corners between the drum and the inside corner of the box. I make them large enough so that one flat side of the triangle presses against the drum at four points, thus immobilizing it. If one or both heads are removed on a bass drum, I wrap the hoop with shipping paper and place it on the outside of the shell (which will also add structural rigidity). This method has worked well for the last ten kits I've sold and shipped over the years.

But perhaps better than my suggestions is to look at how drum companies pack their drums. DW has probably the best packing out there with the "box-within-a-box" method. The drum is bubble wrapped and made immobile within a box which is then bubble-wrapped on all six sides on the outside and placed tightly into a double-wall carton. While such may not be practical for occasional eBay sellers, going to such (or similar) lengths is still easier than winning a package claim from FedEx/UPS.
 

Tornado

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Dan, I can well imagine how frustrated and angry you must feel at the moment. However, I feel I would be remiss not to comment. What follows may not be well-received, but here goes:

If what is shown in your photo is how the bass drum/floor tom were packed, then I would say that the packing was insufficient. What matters most when packing a fragile item is ensuring that it cannot move within the box while in transit and that it is protected from outside impact, particularly at the corners where the carton is most vulnerable (because corners can collapse on impact whereas sides will often flex back).

Placing the item(s) in a cardboard box within another cardboard box and placing a few pieces of broken Styrofoam between the two will not immobilize the item or protect it from impacts occurring either at the corners or on its sides. Moreover, bubble wrap provides protection to surfaces, not structures (i.e. it will protect finishes but not the actual shell), and Styrofoam, while weight-saving, provides almost zero protection if it isn't rigid and sized so that it fits tightly between the item and the inside walls of the carton.

While shipping drums "nested" is acceptable, nesting requires considerably more packing material to ensure that the drum placed inside the larger one cannot move. Also, any drum loses a considerable amount of structural rigidity once one (or both) heads and hoops are removed. Placing a fully-assembled drum that could weigh 20+ pounds inside a drum that (presumably) still has one hoop and head on adds structural tension to the bottom of the bass drum and stress to its top, which in a box where the drum is free to move around, and where there is no "crumple zone" at the corners, makes for a situation where even a three-foot drop or a conveyor belt jam can cause considerable damage; worse if both heads and hoops are off, and the floor tom is free to move around as well, for in an impact scenario, that drum can act as a "hammer" on the other drum.

Hindsight being twenty-twenty, the suggestion of pipe insulation or swimming pool noodles is a good one if such are placed vertically at all four corners, along with other semi-rigid material that is tight against the drum so that it prevents the corners from collapsing while immobilizing the item. What I have done in the past is make "triangles" out of scrap cardboard that are the height of the carton interior and place them vertically at the corners between the drum and the inside corner of the box. I make them large enough so that one flat side of the triangle presses against the drum at four points, thus immobilizing it. If one or both heads are removed on a bass drum, I wrap the hoop with shipping paper and place it on the outside of the shell (which will also add structural rigidity). This method has worked well for the last ten kits I've sold and shipped over the years.

But perhaps better than my suggestions is to look at how drum companies pack their drums. DW has probably the best packing out there with the "box-within-a-box" method. The drum is bubble wrapped and made immobile within a box which is then bubble-wrapped on all six sides on the outside and placed tightly into a double-wall carton. While such may not be practical for occasional eBay sellers, going to such (or similar) lengths is still easier than winning a package claim from FedEx/UPS.
Good advice for sure, but having to go through such measures would prevent me from ever shipping a drum kit. So I guess I won't ever do it.
 

musiqman

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Dan, I can well imagine how frustrated and angry you must feel at the moment. However, I feel I would be remiss not to comment. What follows may not be well-received, but here goes:

If what is shown in your photo is how the bass drum/floor tom were packed, then I would say that the packing was insufficient. What matters most when packing a fragile item is ensuring that it cannot move within the box while in transit and that it is protected from outside impact, particularly at the corners where the carton is most vulnerable (because corners can collapse on impact whereas sides will often flex back).

Placing the item(s) in a cardboard box within another cardboard box and placing a few pieces of broken Styrofoam between the two will not immobilize the item or protect it from impacts occurring either at the corners or on its sides. Moreover, bubble wrap provides protection to surfaces, not structures (i.e. it will protect finishes but not the actual shell), and Styrofoam, while weight-saving, provides almost zero protection if it isn't rigid and sized so that it fits tightly between the item and the inside walls of the carton.

While shipping drums "nested" is acceptable, nesting requires considerably more packing material to ensure that the drum placed inside the larger one cannot move. Also, any drum loses a considerable amount of structural rigidity once one (or both) heads and hoops are removed. Placing a fully-assembled drum that could weigh 20+ pounds inside a drum that (presumably) still has one hoop and head on adds structural tension to the bottom of the bass drum and stress to its top, which in a box where the drum is free to move around, and where there is no "crumple zone" at the corners, makes for a situation where even a three-foot drop or a conveyor belt jam can cause considerable damage; worse if both heads and hoops are off, and the floor tom is free to move around as well, for in an impact scenario, that drum can act as a "hammer" on the other drum.

Hindsight being twenty-twenty, the suggestion of pipe insulation or swimming pool noodles is a good one if such are placed vertically at all four corners, along with other semi-rigid material that is tight against the drum so that it prevents the corners from collapsing while immobilizing the item. What I have done in the past is make "triangles" out of scrap cardboard that are the height of the carton interior and place them vertically at the corners between the drum and the inside corner of the box. I make them large enough so that one flat side of the triangle presses against the drum at four points, thus immobilizing it. If one or both heads are removed on a bass drum, I wrap the hoop with shipping paper and place it on the outside of the shell (which will also add structural rigidity). This method has worked well for the last ten kits I've sold and shipped over the years.

But perhaps better than my suggestions is to look at how drum companies pack their drums. DW has probably the best packing out there with the "box-within-a-box" method. The drum is bubble wrapped and made immobile within a box which is then bubble-wrapped on all six sides on the outside and placed tightly into a double-wall carton. While such may not be practical for occasional eBay sellers, going to such (or similar) lengths is still easier than winning a package claim from FedEx/UPS.
My DW tom and snare came wrapped in thin sheet material, and then that box was boxed again in a box with bubble wrap.

From my previous work I have seen what a forklift forks can do to flightcases (and even a steel warehouse rack) when ran in to them, so I always expect the worst when expecting a box and just avoid getting big stuff shipped or to have to do such myself.

I received a heavy kit nested, a lighter one and shipped one. Two in Europe and one from the US.

Luckily all arrived well, but man does it gives me the chills.
 

DanRH

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I'm gonna say it like it is. The packing was a joke !
I appreciate that! I will say of all the kits I’ve shipped, I’ve never, ever got a complaint. Even this guy said he was impressed by the packing. Whatever, we’ll see....
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Tough situation. Looking at the photos again, I don't get how the relatively moderate shallow corner box damage caused the shell damage.

When shipping a drum over 16", I will usually take the rims off and nest the heads into each other, then the rims on top (head, head, rim, rim - all upright). I will bubble wrap the heads and I have a tendence to overwrap and overtape. For the shell, I will do bubble wrap vertically on the outside, then in, then out in a zig-zag pattern and heavily overlay just in case. I sometimes bubble wrap around the drum, too. I then tape in the same way to ensure the wrap stays on. I will then layer padding, cardboard, bubble wrap, newspapers, foam/peanuts and whatever else I have laying around, on the bottom inside of the box, all around the shell (especially the corners) and put the hoops on top as added protection. I take photos of the process if more than just an individual drum, and tape up the box a lot, too.

I assume it will be kicked/dropped and want the drum solidly secured so it can't rattle, shake or be penetrated (unless a fork lift jabs it as noted above). I've done multiple kits and never had an issue. Once, years ago, a DW performance FT had a leg mount mildly caved in - I don't know how or why, but I did not want it back. I think I offered 1/3 off the price and the buyer jumped on it. It was much cheaper than having to pay to ship it back and to jump thru hoops to make a s/h claim. He was very happy.

I prefer nesting drums and when I do, I wrap each shell, put into each larger shell, then wrap all the shells again. Better safe than sorry. Luckily I have a stock pile of boxes/padding and have been know to overkill packaging, but better safe than sorry.

I bet you could try to "fix" that bass and salvage the kit (with full disclosure of course), or just sell the toms separately. I don't know 100% without seeing it, but it's just unfortunate. With all the drums I've bought and sold (which is probably the tip of the iceberg for you!), I've only had that one issue and as the seller, I had to suck it up.......but having to suck up $1,300 is crazy. I'd try to get it repaired and sell it again - maybe contact Precision? I don't know of anyone good on the W. Coast.........maybe call Gelb to see if they have a guy or reach out to Stretch who runs the Starving in S.Cruz or call the Berkeley one.....of course, in my mind, I'd like to think I could fix it, too.....but start with the pro's....
 

lrod1707

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After reading this whole ordeal, I've decided to never ship anything fragile. If it's drum related, I'll send cymbals, hardware (anything metal) etc.. but no drums! Whatever drums I would sell would have to be sold locally and if they don't sell, I'll sit on them for the rest of my life!
What a headache!
 

Tornado

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After reading this whole ordeal, I've decided to never ship anything fragile. If it's drum related, I'll send cymbals, hardware (anything metal) etc.. but no drums! Whatever drums I would sell would have to be sold locally and if they don't sell, I'll sit on them for the rest of my life!
What a headache!
And whatever you do, never, EVER, write "FRAGILE" on the box!
 

Gunnellett

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After reading this whole ordeal, I've decided to never ship anything fragile. If it's drum related, I'll send cymbals, hardware (anything metal) etc.. but no drums! Whatever drums I would sell would have to be sold locally and if they don't sell, I'll sit on them for the rest of my life!
What a headache!
I feel the same. I've been lucky with any drums I've received having not been damaged but when selling, I'm not shipping as I don't want to deal with potential damage during shipping or someone saying the item was not as expected. I'd rather just sell locally.

That being said, I bought an Inde snare from Dan a year or so ago and it was well packed, damage free, and exactly as described.
 
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Tornado

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FedEx absolutely destroyed a server I shipped with them a couple of years ago. I even had them pack it. I think they were pissed about how heavy it was by the looks of the box. It looked intentional. Several years earlier UPS did the same thing to a storage shelf. If it had been tossed onto the freeway and hit by traffic, it wouldn't have looked any better. The server was was valued at about 20k. I insured for $15k, no idea if my company ever got it. But both times, it was so bad that I couldn't imagine it was accidental.
 

Cauldronics

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Getting into a situation like this can be draining on your daily life, to say the least. If there can be one extra-horrible shipping experience I've had, it makes up for the lack of times I've had drums shipped to me (only about 4 times) from private sellers. That doesn't count pro drum companies sending me new drums. There was never once a problem in that situation.
 
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Cauldronics

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The BEST shipping I ever did as a seller was when I shipped a very high end, pro audio equalizer down to Los Angeles. I had an extra thick, double-walled, cardboard box, a lot of leftover studio treatment foam, some thick, heavy duty bubble wrap, and newspaper at my disposal, and I was going to make sure NOTHING happened to that EQ during shipping. It was tight enough that the box felt solid, and the EQ wasn't budging inside.

When the seller got it, he was extra happy with the packaging and made comments to that effect. The piece arrived in perfect condition.

Just wanted to put a good outcome here to make up for the misery many of us have felt.
 

Rich K.

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Teamster union is the strongest lobby in the US. They have seen to it they are not responsible for shipping accidents... I dealt with it for years early in my sales carrier in contract office furniture. They would damage something and just off load it and the driver would say to the receiver to turn it into their claims rep and he would settle it. They then would get in their truck drive off and that would be the end of it usually because you would never get anywhere with the carrier claims rep. Most times the manufacturer would just send out a new piece at their expense... There needs to be more accountability from the shipping carriers but it will take an act of congress to accomplish it.
Isn't fedex non union?
 

Rich K.

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I understand many folks' fears about shipping drums, and it can be a pain in the butt if you're not use to it.
Dan knows how to pack...
It's not hard to do, but, especially if you haven't done it a lot...
Give yourself a few hours, even if nesting everything in one or two boxes. Only use new, sturdy boxes. Have plenty of packing materials around and don't skimp. Buy a huge roll of bubble wrap online (I like medium bubble, 24" wide, perforated).Remove as much hardware as possible, wrap it in bubble wrap and use it to fill the corners of the box.
 

Hazelwood7

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I appreciate that! I will say of all the kits I’ve shipped, I’ve never, ever got a complaint. Even this guy said he was impressed by the packing. Whatever, we’ll see....
Dan,

I sold a blue sparkle Gretsch kit to you. I think it was a 7 piece. I had the bass drums hoops on the bass drum and one of them cracked. You ordered a new hoop and I refunded some money back.

From that day forward, I don’t ship the bass drum hoops attached and the issue never happened again. You taught me to be a better packer. In fact I have shipped 30 kits in my career and I think yours was the only broken drum. I have shipped two Sonor SQ2 kits to China.
Dan, it’s a bad experience but I’m sure you sold and shipped many kits around the world and they did not break. I would buy dnd trade with you anyway. I would do like we did when this forum was new so many years on the phone. I would send a check out and a person would send me drum gear before they got the check! I used to do the reverse as well.
Fedex is tough to deal with but keep fighting and they will give you the money. They deny you every time when you file a claim. Many people just give up right then. Just keep it up and they will pay.
Chris
 

Tigerdrummer

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Dan,

I sold a blue sparkle Gretsch kit to you. I think it was a 7 piece. I had the bass drums hoops on the bass drum and one of them cracked. You ordered a new hoop and I refunded some money back.

From that day forward, I don’t ship the bass drum hoops attached and the issue never happened again. You taught me to be a better packer. In fact I have shipped 30 kits in my career and I think yours was the only broken drum. I have shipped two Sonor SQ2 kits to China.
Dan, it’s a bad experience but I’m sure you sold and shipped many kits around the world and they did not break. I would buy dnd trade with you anyway. I would do like we did when this forum was new so many years on the phone. I would send a check out and a person would send me drum gear before they got the check! I used to do the reverse as well.
Fedex is tough to deal with but keep fighting and they will give you the money. They deny you every time when you file a claim. Many people just give up right then. Just keep it up and they will pay.
Chris
This is my feeling too. As many drums as Dan has bought and sold he knows how to pack them. Probably as experienced as anyone here who doesnt buy and sell full time.
 

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