View Full Version : Caveat Emptor re: Identification Plates Inc.; Mesquite,TX

Greg Bednar
11-25-2013, 11:37 AM
I recently placed an order for 10 - 2" X 3.5" X .025" satin black anodized aluminum business / membership card plates with 1/4" radius corners. The internet order mechanism snapped up my order without telling me the total and charge it to my account. The total for the ten plates came to .82 each. Total order for plates was $8.20. OK - so far so good. I even got an email telling me the net order was $8.20. I'm thinking, USPS flat rate around $5 and change for a total of about $15.00. - Now comes the bend over and take it part.

The total for shipping and handling via UPS was $13.25! So now the total is $2.20 per plate instead of .82. Total cost of 10 anodized plates came to $22.05.

I called the company and was told "that's just the way we do things." I told them I tried to find out about shipping prior to order but the internet took my money and blew me off when I pushed the order button, and the site gave me no way to check on my particular total order prior to purchase. I told them they could have shipped it to me USPS flat rate for circa $5.00 and was told by customer service I should have worked that out prior to my purchase. If you all visit their site, you'll find out if you order something.

Bottom line, unlike most businesses whose customers come first, this place does not have the interests of its customers upon whom they rely on for their livelihood. No mention was made of crediting my account or even broaching the issue on their part. I asked, but I guess the order was small potatoes so their approach IMHO was, well you know........................

Even their paper work smells funny. And I have the copies to prove it. Shipping date 11/19/2013 as per their invoice. But the rubber stamp marking the invoice Paid is dated 11-20-13. So tell me how an invoice gets marked paid and gets back into the invoice envelope sent out a day earlier.

I'm not calling for any kind of boycott, all I'm saying is that it me off to the point of me advising all of you to call the place on the phone first and discuss purchase and shipping option and avoid internet orders. And I know for a fact that USPS will not only deliver the small flat rate boxes free, but will also pick them up from the supplier and deliver them to the consumer. I was told they have to physically go to the post office and mail them if USPS Priority mail is used. Uh....... did they have to physically go to UPS and mail them or did UPS come to them.

Dear ID Plates - call me! You have my number! Put me in charge of shipping because someone there is apparently, again IMHO, not on the ball. They didn't fumble the ball, they spiked it into the ground!!

So everyone have a nice day! I feel better now knowing I might have saved one of you from and exorbitant system that in my case almost tripled the cost of goods.

Mike Null
11-25-2013, 12:17 PM

I don't know of a single supplier I use who ships by USPS. They use UPS or FEDEX as do I. Tracking on USPS is not reliable enough. My guess is that they would have refused your order if you insisted on USPS.

I am further surprised that they didn't add on a minimum order fee--they used to do that.

I run into the same kind of shipping charges from JDS so I pick up most of my orders at their warehouse.

Steve Lambert
11-25-2013, 2:17 PM
Partly this is just the cost of shipping anything...we had to return some cables recently and the cost of shipping one cable back for exchange was more than the cable itself. We had to save up 10 bad ones before it made sense to pay for shipping, otherwise we'd be better off just throwing defective parts in the trash. I had another similar experience trying to order some electronic parts too, that you might want to watch for: a website I was using wanted about $2 per part and wanted about $3 to ship one...if we wanted 10, it was $20 for the parts and $30 for shipping...if we wanted 150 (which we did) it was $300 for the parts and $450 for shipping! They just multiplied the shipping charge times the number you ordered even though this particular part was small and they could easily fit 150 in one box and ship for $10. It was a mistake on the website but you might want to double- and triple-check all the details of an order before you hit 'submit'.

Greg Bednar
11-25-2013, 7:29 PM
But why not give the customer the option of how he wants it shipped? Unless of course you're trying to seduce the customer with a low price only to offset the true cost of production by inflating the cost of shipping. And that, my friends, is deception; and the fact that it is being done and done frequently is dishonest and reflects on the vendor. And IMHO, you're not going to keep happy customers with sales tactics like this.

As far as USPS not tracking as is should, if you give the customer the option of shipping costs and carriers, the onus is on him and you come out smelling like a rose. I shipped the below via USPS for $2.97 to Puerto Rico as a first class package requested by the customer. No problem so far on this one. And shipping this way was at the customers request. Now what's better for business than that? He's happy, I'm happy, I sold a great product, and I didn't do anything sneaky to make a few extra bucks.

Ross Moshinsky
11-25-2013, 8:28 PM
This is a common issue. The cost is X and the freight is 2X. We all pay way too much for shipping on small orders. Orders for resin awards end up to be 20% of the cost. The freight for ceramic mugs is more than the mug itself.

We got burned recently by Marco on an order for large metal trophy cups. They packed 7 cups each in its own box $85.00 total one day ship from Ct. When we buy them from CMA in Canada they cost $40.00 for shipping.

I have requested vendors to ship USPS and usually are told no.
Smith Warren Badges ships most orders USPS, with the exception being rush orders.

The ID-Line website is not sophisticated enough, so we place our orders via telephone or fax. We sell 100's of etched "business cards" which are used by police friends and family as get out a ticket cards. I have not had a problem with them, but I can see where this would upset any of us.

Scott Shepherd
11-25-2013, 8:56 PM
I shipped a laptop a few days ago to New York, from Virginia. About 300 miles, or a 6 hour drive. Was a little stunned when the total came in at $33.

$33 to ship a laptop UPS ground? Nothing I could really do, other than start over and drive to the post office and deal with that hassle. Shipping has gotten outrageous.

Larry Bratton
11-25-2013, 9:37 PM
A good word in here for the USPS. I unfortunately live in a place that is devoid of decent UPS or Fed Ex service. So, I am forced to use the USPS. I have actually been pretty surprised with their service. Say what you may, but their tracking is not that bad. Why this is, I cannot answer, but I can order something online from the West Coast, that goes in the mail, I have actually had 2-3 business day service in Alabama. Now, mind you, this is not this deal that Fed Ex has where they pick up the shipment and then hand it off to USPS, that shipping is awful. Just remember, the Post Office is not supported with tax payers money, they have to support themselves from the sale of postage and shipping. So, I for one give them as much business as I can and hope they don't close my Post Office. But I agree with the rest of you, UPS and Fed Ex charges are just ridiculous. I could be a sheet of paper and it'll be $15 bucks.

David Somers
11-25-2013, 10:24 PM
I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii for about 12 years and companies that insisted on shipping Fedex overnight drove me crazy. The cost was insane, and you could not convince them that overnight delivery to the islands was not going to happen, let alone overnight to one of the islands other than Oahu, the shipping hub for the island group. It took me a while but I finally convinced some companies to ship to me USPS. Cost a fraction of Fedex, arrived in the same amount of time, and was a big benefit for me. Part of convincing them was showing them the shipping receipts and when things actually got delivered and what it cost, versus what I was seeing and paying with USPS.

The difference between Fedex and USPS in shipping to HI was much greater than what you are seeing, but I understand your frustration. Good luck.


Kev Williams
11-26-2013, 12:34 AM
Hawaii... I laugh every time I think about the clock showing the Hawaii time zone--- at the Greyhound bus station.

Ok, so I'm easily entertained ;)

As for shipping- I use USPS every day, and Fed-ups only when someone wants me to. Right now sending an envelope across the street is well over $7 for UPS. My favorite thing is to ship small stuff via first class, usually less than $2, goes nearly as fast as priority, AND they track it now! (provided the parcel is at least 1/2" thick)

As for ridiculous charges, my all-time favorite has to be those companies who emblazon
On their catalogs and ads, only to find

we only charge a $14,99 handling fee

hidden somewhere nearby... ewww... :mad:

matt heinzel
11-26-2013, 8:39 AM
We have used ID Plates for many years and have never run into this issue, but generally we are ordering orders of 25-50 12x24 sheets and USPS isn't needed. I do agree that they have strange ways of invoicing and shipping.

We offer a few choices for people when they order from us including USPS. We have a slight increase on the final cost of shipping, but people still call us to complain about our "outrageous" shipping prices. Sometimes it is not as simple as just throwing what you want into an envelope and shipping it for next to nothing.

When a customer calls and asks for betting shipping rates we do the best we can to accommodate them, sometimes we will downgrade the shipping method in order to reach their price point, but sometimes it's just not possible.

Greg Bednar
11-26-2013, 11:13 PM
<snip> When a customer calls and asks for betting shipping rates we do the best we can to accommodate them, sometimes we will downgrade the shipping method in order to reach their price point, but sometimes it's just not possible.

The main thing is you worked with the customer, and not against him. This goes toward establishing some customer loyalty. And loyal customers are more apt to take this into consideration in conjunction with looking at their bottom line. The days of "take or leave it" are over, because a customer just may flush a rude contractor down the toilet and establish another one in China in this new world economy; perhaps one who is loyal. Why put up with a supplier who doesn't want to work with you or is biting the hand that is feeding him? - Everyone answers to someone.

rich shepard
11-27-2013, 12:26 AM
I ship USPS all the time and in ten years think they lost one small package/ Do the postage online and stick in the mail box 3 day across country is the norm and have had stuff make Japan and Australia in 5, Europe 10 days. Now Canada is a whole different thing 2 weeks just across the boarder. Did have to send two packages overnight to the same place one went USPS and cost under 40 and the other at less weight had to go UPS due to the time of day was over 100 to ship and had to take it across town to their pick up center.

Wayne Grecco
11-27-2013, 1:41 AM
I had the same experience today with JDS!

I ordered a bunch of items this past month and didnt think anything about it until I got my UPS invoice.... $193!!! So I go back and check the orders.... I ordered several items in one order that could have EASILY fit into one shipping box but nooooooooo they divided up the order and put a few items in each box. So this order had 4 seperate boxes! And to make matters worse... I got charged an average of $17 per box! What really ticked me off was that one box had keychains in it!!!! $17 for keychains!

I called them on the phone and they basically told me that they couldnt do anything about it for these orders but to request that 2 boxes be "strapped together" and that would help cut costs. I have an idea... how about put everything in one box! (when reasonably able to do so).

What a money maker!

matt heinzel
11-27-2013, 11:45 AM
"What a money maker!"
I doubt JDS is making a killing the shipping for this. We buy by the case from them generally and they strap things together without us even asking them to. Then there is usually a box with mixed parts in it, I'm surprised they don't do that for you.

Bill Cunningham
12-05-2013, 9:26 PM
In Canada UPS charges incredible rates unless you ship 40 or 50 packages a day. I ship everything via Canada Post (venture1)Expedited post (only available to businesses) which is a little faster than regular parcel rate, includes 100.00 insurance and guarantees on time delivery or your shipping cost refunded. Canada post is almost always a day late, so I get back about 80% of my shipping costs every year. I know that if I'm shipping to 'middle of nowhere' Alberta and the delivery time is guaranteed 5 business days, they will take 6 to get it there and I get a full refund. I'm also not shy about claiming it either!! If your shipping in Canada, Expedited parcel is your friend.

Kev Williams
12-06-2013, 12:19 AM
And now for another USPS plug ;)


I don't know of a single supplier I use who ships by USPS. They use UPS or FEDEX as do I. Tracking on USPS is not reliable enough.

Last week when my new laser and related equipment arrived wired for European 220v, I ordered a 3000w step-up/down transformer so I could run the thing. It was shipped FedEx on Monday. Tracking said it would be delivered Thursday (today). Yesterday I received a recorded message from FedEx saying it would be delivered today. At 3pm I ran tracking, it arrived at the FedEx office in town, 6 miles away, at a little after 1pm.

It's now 10:15pm and FedEx has yet to deliver my transformer...

The USPS isn't perfect, but they're cheaper, faster, and in the long run I've had better results with them.

Brian Robison
12-08-2013, 9:59 AM
I ship USPS all the time also. Free boxes too! And they pick up.
Shipping to NY or Ca is always more expensive. I've sent heavier boxes to
Hawaii for less than NYC, go figure.....

Doug Novic
12-13-2013, 6:33 PM
Went to ship products with my UPS account. 3 pounds for 28.00. Went to the USPS account and shipped the same for $4.15 AND it got there in two days (Maryland to Kansas City MO). Clicked the FREE option box to have my customer notified of the shipment. They got updates that were so accurate they changed their preferred shipper to USPS. Their estimate is a savings of 70% +/- with the same shipment times. Not bad at all.

Glen Monaghan
12-14-2013, 1:01 PM
I ship almost exclusively USPS Priority Mail (which is essentially First Class mail for packages over 13 oz) and have been generally pleased with it. Whenever I've compared prices for small to medium packages, USPS has been fairly significantly less expensive, although one heavier package was less expensive and faster by FedEx. USPS flat rate priority shipping is particularly cost effective because the boxes are free (saves $0.40-1.00 each on 100-140 boxes per month) and most of my packages are pretty small (fit into small and medium boxes) but fairly heavy (pounds, not ounces, so by-weight postage is significantly higher than flat rates), and the price is the same for any US destination.

That said, USPS tracking could stand improvement. In the last three weeks, I've had three packages that USPS tracking showed leaving a nearby sort facility and then nothing for 7-10 days. In each case, I waited the mandatory 5 days past expected delivery and then contacted the USPS. Every time, they basically said "We don't have any way to tell where it went or where it is until an employee picks it up and scans it again, try contacting the destination PO and ask if they've seen it." I was told that they scan arrivals and departures, but the departure scan doesn't tell them where it actually went! In one case, the package was misrouted to 9xxxx instead of 7xxxx, and apparently it was set aside on receipt and left to rot for a few days before getting scanned and sent to the correct destination. The other two waylaid packages just "magically" appeared at the destination PO 8-10 days after expected delivery date, with no other tracking updates in the interim.

Come to think of it, I had another package go missing back in July, for which I sent a replacement after 2 weeks. That missing package never turned up and I eventually forgot all about it until now... probably too late and too bothersome to try to file the claim for thirty-something bucks...

Greg Bednar
12-14-2013, 8:22 PM
So this package is coming to be from a supplier via UPS, looks to me like they are the middleman at times for the USPS because they turfed it off to USPS and it still isn't here. - My delivery via USPS to Puerto Rico took 3 days. And the projected delivery date is the 16th277131

Mike Chance in Iowa
12-15-2013, 1:11 AM
It's called UPS Surepost. Fedex is doing the same thing called Smartpost. They both carry it a portion of the way, then dump it at the Post Office for them to deliver it. While it is much cheaper for the company shipping, it typically more then doubles the shipping time. On a Sunday evening, I recently ordered a small item online that was listed as UPS shipping with a fee that was appropriate for UPS. One State away with shipping on Monday and it should have arrived by Wednesday at the latest via UPS. By Wed night, tracking shows it is sitting in a depot 3 hours & still 1 State away. UPS was closed Thurs-Fri for Thanksgiving. By Monday morning, it was received at the Post Office 3 hours away and finally delivered Wednesday. If it had been shipped USPS, even if it was delayed, I still could have received it on the Fri or Sat after Thanksgiving.

One more lesson learned. Call to verify if the company is truly shipping UPS and not UPS Surepost.