PDA

View Full Version : NEVER use Fed-Ex for Lasers



Dave Chase
11-24-2006, 11:38 AM
Hi Gang,

When I first received my Versalaser about a month ago, the laser wouldn't fire. After some great suggestions from the folks in the forum, I popped the back cover off to see if everything was OK. I was completely shocked to find that the laser tube was hanging on by one screw as the other one had been sheared completely off during shipping. Apparently the folks at Fed Ex found it necessary to either drop or run into the package while it was in transit. All this while attempting to deliver it to the wrong address 3 times.

I've since gotten the laser to work, though I don't believe it is running @100 %. The seller and I have put a claim into Fed Ex looking for reimbursement for the damage, but that hasn't gone anywhere. In fact, Fed Ex called the seller and had the audacity to ask for the laser back so that they could "review it" at their facility. My thoughts are that they couldn't handle it properly the first time what makes them think I will give it back to them.

Just a word of caution to all fellow members of SMC.

mike wallis
11-24-2006, 1:00 PM
What a nightmare, who knows what else has been damaged/misaligned from the shock (mirrors etc..). It might be a good idea to send it to Universal to see if anything else was damaged internally, it may need refurbishing.

Kim Vellore
11-24-2006, 2:12 PM
Talking about Fedex I am still working with them to trace a package that has been lost. The package is a 80 pound, big printer that is lost somewhere and the tracers folks from fedex cannot find it. It has been a week, I'll have to start yelling starting this Monday if they cannot tell me how long they will continue to look for it before they determine if it is really lost.
Regarding the sheared screws maybe that is what they call "drop shipped".
Did the same laser tube work or did you have to replace the tube?.
Kim

Dave Chase
11-24-2006, 8:35 PM
I think it's more of a "drop kick ship" :D Amazingly, the laser tube did not have to be changed. I put the tube back where it should have been and the laser fired right up. I intend to have Universal look at it once the claim is processed. I feel your pain, Kim. It took Fed Ex 3 days to get the laser from San Diego to Tampa, FL and 5 days to get it from Tampa to Sarasota(it's roughly 100 miles from Tampa to Sarasota) In that 5 days, no one could tell me where the package was, what address it was going to (my business or home) and when it would be delivered. All they could tell me was that it was on the truck to be delivered. All I can say is that this is far from over and my business is going to UPS.

Dave Jones
11-24-2006, 10:25 PM
I ship a lot of electronic equipment by both UPS and FedEx. UPS consistantly has damaged far more of it than FedEx.

The times items have been damaged I have had to give the package back to them and they either replace them or pay the amount of the insurance (and the pay the shipper, not the recipient). I have never heard of them letting somebody keep the package and paying for some portion of the insurance for damages.

As for lost packages, I was contacted over the summer by FedEx about a package they had in their hands that contained a machine I had manufactured. I put them in touch with the owner of the device. Apparently it had been shipped and lost in February and was found in August. I knew nothing about it. I had sold it in December to my customer, but apparently they shipped it to one of their customers in February and it never arrived.

Marvin Hasenak
11-24-2006, 11:25 PM
All of the carriers, UPS, FEDEX, USPS are the same, almost all of the handling of packages is mechanical from the time they get it to the time the delivery person gets it. All packages need to be packed like a gorilla is going to play with it for a week, even for overnight shipments. They are moved from place to place on conveyor belts in distribution centers, when they reach their destination they may fall 5 feet into a hamper, then a 70 pound package may fall on top of it. Anyone seeing how this works will then deliver it themselves.

Mike Null
11-25-2006, 7:54 AM
I received my new laser via FedEx and couldn't have been more pleased. The driver went beyond the call when he helped us get the machine down a rather severe hill and into my basement shop. It arrived from Austria in perfect condition.

I also use FedEx to ship 6 to 25 packages a week. I have an occasional damage which they pay within 10 days. I file the claim online.

Jim Huston
11-25-2006, 9:59 AM
I recently bought a M 360 60 watt from Universal. It was air freighted and had two sensors mounted on the outside of the box to detect any undo handleing forces. Printed in red was something saying that if the sensors had turned red to take action to insure the machine was not damaged and to register a claim right then. I liked it!!
Jim

Mitchell Andrus
11-25-2006, 10:45 AM
I ship 600+ boxes a year with Fed Ex since switching from UPS four years ago, many of which are full sized mirrors. In four years, one lost box and one broken piece of glass - both clains paid within a month. Compared to UPS, these guys are shipping Gods.

Mitch

Dave Fifield
11-26-2006, 9:22 PM
Dave,

Are you sure the screws weren't loose before it was packed and shipped? Putting on my engineering hat, I can't see how, given the large force/s needed to shear screws (if they were both actually tight), these forces would not also damage other stuff in the shipment, or the packing materials, at the same time. My guess is that FedEx feel the same way (that the screws were loose before packing/shipping). Hence the investigation and why they want to see the actual device in question. I have a feeling that you won't win this one (sorry).

I have had only good experiences with FedEx Freight - I have shipped many things with them, including an Epilog Legend TT laser, and have never had any issues.

:Dave F.

mike wallis
11-26-2006, 11:04 PM
Even if the screws were loose it still should have not sheared under normal shipping conditions. The only explanation other than it being like that before shipping is a severe drop and FedEx would be responsible if this were the case "That's why you get the insurance".

I don't use FedEx anymore either, for a while they were setting the bar but lately, in my experience they have gone the other way. I haven't had problems with shipping damage but have had problems with delayed packages. Every time I called to find out why the packages were delayed they said the driver was out sick. This happened on several occasions and in my opinion was very unprofessional (They should have backup drivers).

art baylor
11-26-2006, 11:42 PM
Excuse me, but what major company has backup people anymore? Most don't have enough to get it done right if everybody is there. Fedex does better than most, but no it's not perfect. Just our times. Just a rant, no reply nessesary.

Art

mike wallis
11-27-2006, 12:17 AM
"Excuse me, but what major company has backup people anymore?"

Well I've been using the USPS for all my shipping for 2 years now. Here are the results of there service for me: No lost packages, no damaged packages in about a year (I learned how to package correctly), and they have never missed a day (They have backup drivers).

Tim Goldstein
11-27-2006, 12:44 AM
And I use USPS also. They do a pretty good job for an organisation that loses money on a regular basis.

I have had them damage items that were very well packed and I have had them lose items. My biggest beef is that their tracking system is a joke. All they can tell you is that it arrived and then only a day afterwards. No actual tracking during shipping. Even the belated delivery notices are weak. Just got one for a package I shipped to CT. Said that my package was delivered to Orlando, FL. I have found them to be very poor in handling large parcels. Always seem more smashed up than with FedEx or UPS.

mike wallis
11-27-2006, 1:09 AM
No doubt there tracking system is lacking but I don't consider customer tracking a major requirement, I do require that they get the package there for the most part when they say it will, and for two years they've been up to par. When using the other two carriers I constantly got calls from customers "Where's my package", now I can concentrate on the business more and not have to deal with tracing packages and saying "I'm sorry for the delay" when it wasn't even my fault.

I've tried all three carriers and have found USPS to be the lesser of the three evils in my area and by far the most cost effective. I'm sure it differs by area.

Martin Shupe
11-27-2006, 1:40 AM
"Excuse me, but what major company has backup people anymore?"

Well I've been using the USPS for all my shipping for 2 years now. Here are the results of there service for me: No lost packages, no damaged packages in about a year (I learned how to package correctly), and they have never missed a day (They have backup drivers).

I hate to break it to you, Mike, but since about 2000, FedEx Express (that would be the air division) has carried a very large portion of the USPS priority mail shipments. Before that time, Priority Mail was a joke. FedEx has brought credibility (in terms of reliability) back to that product. So much so, that they keep upping the amount of USPS PM that we carry, and renegotiated our contract two years early in order to guarantee the extension.

Believe it or not, no company, be it FedEx, Big Brown, or the USPS, goes out of their way to mishandle packages. In fact, I have seen, on many, many occasions, just the opposite. It is important to us to keep the customers happy, so they will use us again. No one and no company is perfect, but we try very hard to be. I cringe whenever I read about any unhappy customer, and take it personally. I don't want anyone to get the idea that our people would deliberately smash a package just to save time. In fact, if you are caught throwing a package, you will be disciplined and it had better not happen again or you will be fired. One of the other posters talked about mechanization. There are literally miles and miles of conveyor belts in our hubs, and sometimes malfunctions occur. That is not an excuse, just reality.

Several years ago I was flying when we had a 48 hour ice storm in MEM on Dec 23rd and 24th. The ice finally cleared for the a.m. launch on Christmas morning. We got to Lubbock around 9 a.m. (scheduled for before 6 a.m., IIRC, delayed due to de-ice and runway clearing at MEM), and the station manager was hot because he had not gotten any freight in the last two days. He had every one of his people there to meet the plane, and those guys worked, on Christmas Day mind you, until 10 p.m. that night or until the last package was delivered, whichever came first. The only reason they stopped at 10 p.m. was it was too late to ring doorbells. The plane to Lubbock carries packages that go all the way from Midland to eastern NM, southeast CO, western OK, and western KS, in case you were wondering why all the boxes didn't make it by the 10 p.m. curfew.

Remember hurricane Katrina? Well, it passed abeam MEM that night as a tropical storm. Every other operator at the MEM airport bugged out, except us. For us it was business as usual. We landed in severe turbulance, gusty crosswinds near aircraft limits, and rain pouring down in sheets so hard we were shooting Cat III approaches, which means the RVR's were down to a minimum of 600 feet on the runway. No pax carrier, except maybe Southwest in the few planes they have equipped with HUDS, is even FAA certified to shoot Cat III's. You don't see anything until right before touchdown. Several aircraft were forced to divert when they had to go around for windshear alerts and didn't have the gas to get to the back of the line and try again. When we touched down, the airport lost power and we were in the dark, trying to get a quarter million pounds of screaming metal slowed down to taxi speed on a runway that had just turned into a black hole. The takeoff a couple hours later was just as intense. Same conditions, but the tower gave you a few seconds on the runway to pick a heading that would take you through the least red and yellow on the radar.

On two other flights I have been the last plane into and out of New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale prior to hurricanes making landfall. What was I carrying that made the flights worth risking my life for? We were pre-positioning disaster relief supplies.

FedEx isn't perfect, no company is, but we bust our butt to get your package there, on time, and in the same condition as we got it. Considering the millions of packages we will handle over the next few weeks, I think are failure rate is amazingly low, and we are always striving to make it zero.

Disclaimer: The guys that know me on this forum know that I fly for FedEx Express, but some of you might not. I generally try to stay out of these types of threads, but I can only take so much.

Martin, A-300/310 FO who spent the last 12 days, including Thanksgiving, working to get your package where it is supposed to be.
FedEx guy and proud of it.

Martin Shupe
11-27-2006, 1:42 AM
I've tried all three carriers and have found USPS to be the lesser of the three evils in my area and by far the most cost effective. I'm sure it differs by area.

Mike, see above.;)

Randy Meijer
11-27-2006, 5:45 AM
Seems to me that almost any accident that created enough force to shear off a screw would leave some indication of the event on the packaging. I would also suspect the strong possibility of damage to mirrors, glass tube, lenses and other fragile parts which all seem to have survived without injury. Since you didn't mention any other damage, I wonder if your analysis of the cause of the damage is correct?

Another equally possible explanation is that the screw was over tightened during assembly and popped loose/broke during shipping thru no fault of FedEx. I suppose a metallurgist could examine the broken screw and determine if it was actually sheared by a lateral force or a rotational one. Not sure a layman could.

If there are more details of the incident that you have not provided, my thinking might be revised. Right now, I think the case against FedEx is pretty weak??

Mitchell Andrus
11-27-2006, 9:32 AM
Martin,

I'm a Fed Ex convert. I've been on the recieving end of the extra effort.

Mitch

Dave Jones
11-27-2006, 10:21 AM
Of the three (UPS, FedEx, USPS) my worst experiences have been with USPS. They have lost packages that have never been seen again. Packages that went Priority mail have taken as much as 3 weeks to be delivered (a couple of years ago), and packages have been damaged far worse than UPS (my second worst shipper). Priority mail for the most part is OK, but parcel post is a joke.

The "tracking" is useless, even for trying to find out where a package might be that never showed up. Their insurance is a joke. You have to wait a month before filing a claim. I sent a package with a signature required, return receipt (cost extra of course). The postcard came back with no signature. When I asked them, they said "oh, the card probably fell off the package before it was delivered." So what good was that? I needed proof that the recipient had actually received it.

I no longer ship anything of any value via USPS. Why wory about saving $2 if they are going to lose or damage it?

UPS ground tracking is also not good. I often receive packages that are still showing in the tracking system as being 1000 miles away. Their 2-day and overnight tracking is OK. FedEx tracking is excellent. It is reare for anything I ship via FedEx to ever arrive late. When it does it is usually because the recipient wasn't there to accept it. Occasionally UPS and FedEx will be late because of snow.

BTW, FedEx around here does have spare drivers. We get to know the regulars and when somebody new delivers or picks up we ask where the regular guys are and they say things like "Oh, Joe called in sick today". So I know they have spare drivers here. And I'm in the middle of nowhere, 40 miles from the nearest FedEx office.

mike wallis
11-27-2006, 12:40 PM
I hate to break it to you, Mike, but since about 2000, FedEx Express (that would be the air division) has carried a very large portion of the USPS priority mail shipments. Before that time, Priority Mail was a joke. FedEx has brought credibility (in terms of reliability) back to that product. So much so, that they keep upping the amount of USPS PM that we carry, and renegotiated our contract two years early in order to guarantee the extension.

Believe it or not, no company, be it FedEx, Big Brown, or the USPS, goes out of their way to mishandle packages. In fact, I have seen, on many, many occasions, just the opposite. It is important to us to keep the customers happy, so they will use us again. No one and no company is perfect, but we try very hard to be. I cringe whenever I read about any unhappy customer, and take it personally. I don't want anyone to get the idea that our people would deliberately smash a package just to save time. In fact, if you are caught throwing a package, you will be disciplined and it had better not happen again or you will be fired. One of the other posters talked about mechanization. There are literally miles and miles of conveyor belts in our hubs, and sometimes malfunctions occur. That is not an excuse, just reality.

Several years ago I was flying when we had a 48 hour ice storm in MEM on Dec 23rd and 24th. The ice finally cleared for the a.m. launch on Christmas morning. We got to Lubbock around 9 a.m. (scheduled for before 6 a.m., IIRC, delayed due to de-ice and runway clearing at MEM), and the station manager was hot because he had not gotten any freight in the last two days. He had every one of his people there to meet the plane, and those guys worked, on Christmas Day mind you, until 10 p.m. that night or until the last package was delivered, whichever came first. The only reason they stopped at 10 p.m. was it was too late to ring doorbells. The plane to Lubbock carries packages that go all the way from Midland to eastern NM, southeast CO, western OK, and western KS, in case you were wondering why all the boxes didn't make it by the 10 p.m. curfew.

Remember hurricane Katrina? Well, it passed abeam MEM that night as a tropical storm. Every other operator at the MEM airport bugged out, except us. For us it was business as usual. We landed in severe turbulance, gusty crosswinds near aircraft limits, and rain pouring down in sheets so hard we were shooting Cat III approaches, which means the RVR's were down to a minimum of 600 feet on the runway. No pax carrier, except maybe Southwest in the few planes they have equipped with HUDS, is even FAA certified to shoot Cat III's. You don't see anything until right before touchdown. Several aircraft were forced to divert when they had to go around for windshear alerts and didn't have the gas to get to the back of the line and try again. When we touched down, the airport lost power and we were in the dark, trying to get a quarter million pounds of screaming metal slowed down to taxi speed on a runway that had just turned into a black hole. The takeoff a couple hours later was just as intense. Same conditions, but the tower gave you a few seconds on the runway to pick a heading that would take you through the least red and yellow on the radar.

On two other flights I have been the last plane into and out of New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale prior to hurricanes making landfall. What was I carrying that made the flights worth risking my life for? We were pre-positioning disaster relief supplies.

FedEx isn't perfect, no company is, but we bust our butt to get your package there, on time, and in the same condition as we got it. Considering the millions of packages we will handle over the next few weeks, I think are failure rate is amazingly low, and we are always striving to make it zero.

Disclaimer: The guys that know me on this forum know that I fly for FedEx Express, but some of you might not. I generally try to stay out of these types of threads, but I can only take so much.

Martin, A-300/310 FO who spent the last 12 days, including Thanksgiving, working to get your package where it is supposed to be.
FedEx guy and proud of it.

Hi Martin, sorry if I hit bias soft spot but I'm just telling my honest experience. I'm sure most at FedEx do bust there butt.

I actually never had an issue with FedEx Express times, it was there ground shipping/home delivery that are tied to the above mentioned problems.

I'm sure you could/will hear of experiences from all sides both good and bad. The reliability, cost and shipping times of USPS are the best fit for my business right now and bonus, they even pick up my packages for free.

Ken Garlock
11-27-2006, 7:15 PM
Every one who ships via any carrier should have the common sense to know ahead of time that their package, box, or crate has the potential to have the 'dickens' kicked out of it.

The UPS people have a test lab for stressing various packages. They EXPECT a package to withstand a 30 pound force when the package is kicked on to a new set of rollers. They also expect a package to be capable of withstanding a drop from 30 inches. That is the package, not the contents. It seems reasonable that FedEx must have like tests.

Any shipper that is selling a big dollar product, should have enough savvy to know how fragile their product is and to make sure the shipping container will protect said product.

Damaged laser tube? Go stomp on the manufacturer for doing such a poor job of packaging the product for shipment. Selling a $10K+ product and cutting corners to save a dollar on packaging is more that false savings, it is just plan stupid.

To the buyer. Why are you buying such a shoddily made product that the major component is not properly mounted? I would send it back and find another vendor, ceteris parabus.

Ken Garlock
11-27-2006, 7:46 PM
Martin said:

Remember hurricane Katrina? Well, it passed abeam MEM that night as a tropical storm. Every other operator at the MEM airport bugged out, except us. For us it was business as usual. We landed in severe turbulance, gusty crosswinds near aircraft limits, and rain pouring down in sheets so hard we were shooting Cat III approaches, which means the RVR's were down to a minimum of 600 feet on the runway. No pax carrier, except maybe Southwest in the few planes they have equipped with HUDS, is even FAA certified to shoot Cat III's. You don't see anything until right before touchdown.

Martin, is that "foreign" aircraft equipped with hands-off landing capabilities? From what you describe, you were doing at least Cat IIIb landing plus all the fun of cross winds. Can an autopilot react fast enough to keep you on the glide slope?

I'll bet you were glad you spent all that time in the flight trainer.:)

Martin Shupe
11-27-2006, 8:08 PM
Ken,

You are correct and obviously know the business. Yes, it was Cat IIIb; autoland with rollout for folks who don't know what that is. Good thing, too, as my job after touchdown is to give steering commands to the Captain based off the runway centerline deviation indicator. I have to give those commands in case the Captain, who is looking outside, cannot see far enough down the runway to keep the nosewheel on the centerline. When the lights went out, that little instrument kept us from ending up with muddy tires.

The autopilot works pretty well keeping you on the glideslope, but the autothrottles don't always keep up with the speed deviations caused by the gusty winds. If you get a windshear alert, it's a mandatory missed approach.

Yes, the sim training is invaluable in the real life scenarios we get to experience. As we sometimes say "You can't buy training like this".

Kim Vellore
11-27-2006, 8:12 PM
In some of the packages I have received I have seen a three stickers stuck in three directions (XYZ), These stickers show if it exceeded the G force to cause any damage to the contents inside. The stickers are stuck outside the box and it clearly shows by changing color or physically moving something inside and it says on the outside of the box do not accept this package if this sticker shows "red"... I am sure these stickers are cheaper than the cost of insurance, if anyone wants to use them.
Something like
http://www.shockwatch.com/shipping_handling_monitors/impact_indicator/index.php

http://www.lpsind.com/DropTell.htm
Kim