[AMRadio] Add FedEx ground to the bum list

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Mon Nov 16 10:15:09 EST 2009

On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 6:06 AM, Gary <xfrmrs at roadrunner.com> wrote:
> Only one package out of hundreds I have shipped with FedEx was damaged. That
> says a lot.
> UPS on the other hand, about one out of every ten that arrives is not
> damaged. As for USPS, would not use them if my life depended on it.
> Regards,
> Gary

And I remember all too well which one!  (o:

Gary had done a beautiful rewind job on the modulation transformer for
my KW-1, mounted it on a board, and double boxed it with foam packing
between the layers. Far from being a massive, heavy box, it weighed in
at roughly 40-45 lbs. It had to travel only 200 miles or so from his
place in Maine to mine in VT, yet when it arrived, it looked more like
a soccer ball than a box. No corners left, black with scuffs and dirt,
and a large hole gouged in the side. Turned out that there was no
visible damage through the hole but once I got it unpacked, one of the
cast iron frames was snapped from a sharp impact and several studs
were bent (no insulators broken, amazingly).

Gary and I had a bit of a time getting them to pay for it also, but
they finally did. The only reason was that I found an old (2004) Peter
Dahl price list online and provided it to them along with plenty of
photos of the damaged box and transformer. That is what they refunded.
Had I not been able to provide that, I'm not sure how much, if any,
would've been refunded. That's the problem with old relics, it's
difficult to establish a value in their eyes. If you claim it's an
antique, you can bet they'll deny your claim if you didn't describe it
as such and pay additional fees. Otherwise it's obsolete and has no

Fortunately I was driving up to northern Maine the later to pick up a
nice ATC and brought the damaged iron with me to Gary's shop. He
tested it out, all was well. He then removed the frame, I had it
welded and ground down, shot it with some primer and sent it back to
him (Priority mail). He reassembled it and hauled it to the next
Hosstraders for me.

Moral of the story is, as always, it matters not which shipper you use
- your time will come if you ship enough stuff. I'd been moving radio
gear all over the globe for more than a decade with no issues, using
mainly UPS for large items and USPS Priority for smaller items. I had
also used FedEx with no problems until this. Usually it's more a
matter of poor packing not handling, but sometimes it's just your
turn. Gary had packed the transformer very well, but apparently the
crew at FedEx didn't want to handle it so they tossed it to the floor
and kicked it across the place.

If you keep in mind that these places are in business to make a profit
which equates to throughput, not in the business of babysitting your
package from point A to point B, and pack as if it's being sent from
the back hills of China to you, you'll greatly minimize the
possibility of damage. But when it's your turn, all the packing in the
world won't help. A forklift through the side, dropped off a ship,
whatever. It's just a matter of time...

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4

BTW - I've still had nothing damaged by UPS despite the horror stories
others can relate. Which no doubt means I'm due there, too!

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