Update by user May 18
Staples is refusing to take any responsibility for their complete lack of communication regarding insurance and consumer shipper rights. They are considering the Staples Customer Receipt as sufficient communication which does not state that insurance must be purchased in order for the value of lost or damaged packages be paid nor does it state that the shipper rights are soley that of Staples upon paying Staples to ship via UPS.
UPS is taking zero responsibility for loosing & then destroying my package since insurance was not purchase & Staples did not put a value on the package. I had no idea that a value had to appear on the package as Staples completed the shipping label after I paid them.
Original review posted by user May 17
Please consider the following a summary of events pertaining to the nature of my complaint in which my relentless digging uncovered possible fraud/theft, removal of customer rights as an shipper/owner of contents shipped without knowledge, a procedure system that leaves the door wide open for the opportunity for fraudulent activity to occur as no party seems to be held responsible even though the paying customer's rights were relinquished unknowingly and the absolute lack of communication pertaining to the importance of purchasing insurance.
There are not very many options to ship a large, heavy, fragile package in Greenville, TX by an individual Customer. After calling 1 other option, I decided to go to Staples to have my 63 pieces of Lenox Opal Innocence china that I have had kept in pristine, never been used, brand new condition stored away since my divorce years ago, traveling with me from Washington state and to each home I have resided in since. I had finally reached a point in my life where I needed to let this china go and found an exceptional woman who seemed very sincere in her desire to appreciate and use these beautiful pieces as they were intended to be used. These pieces were valued at over $2,000.
On March 28th, 2018 I had spent 2 hours at Staples Greenville, TX, store # 1098 packing the largest box they offered with massive amounts of paper and bubble wrap, taking every precaution possible that these would arrive in mint condition. At no time did anyone during those 2 hours of my packing the china, mention the fact that I was about to loose my rights as the shipper/owner of the contents of this package once I paid Staples as what I had perceived, operated similarly to that of a pick up location for UPS.
I had zero idea that a customer looses such rights when a 3rd party, such as Staples, is used as the pickup location for UPS until April 2, 2018 when I learned from the person who purchased my china that it had not yet been received and in fact UPS communicated to her, the recipient, that they, UPS, was actually attempting to locate this package. I was never contacted by UPS regarding this at all, because upon calling UPS I was told that I was not the shipper of record, nor did I have any rights to know the details pertaining to this package at all whatsoever as my name was not attached to this package. I was advised by UPS that I needed to contact Staples for the answers to my questions as they were names as the sender and all communication by UPS would go directly to them.
Furthermore, during my 2 hours at Staples packing the 63 pieces of china, the employees in the printing department had learned through periodic questions and communication that it was worth about $1500 - $2000. I had not been made aware of the crucial importance of purchasing insurance until the package was deemed lost, on April 2, 2018. I was completely devastated by the fact that I was told by the Staples Claims Department that I would only receive the liability payment of $100 plus the shipping charge of $53.24 for this china since insurance had not been purchased.
None of this process was ever mentioned to me so I had no reason to suspect that this is the way the system works. I, absolutely & unequivocally, would have either not chosen to ship my package using a 3rd party and would have with absolute 100% certainty confirmed that ample insurance was purchased for the entire value of the china had I even suspected the possibility that I would not be able to present my case to the party responsible if the package was lost or damaged. I've shipped with UPS in the past and was paid for the value of a lost package even though there was no insurance. So I'm in complete disgust that when I stated the value of what I was packing that Staples' employees didn't mention insurance nor the importance of it.
Staples has had this problem occur with customers in the past and had such an enormous problem with this issue when they were shipping for USPS, which I learned later trying to find some answers through research, that USPS stopped allowing Staples to accept packages from customers on their behalf. Staples even accidentally (I'm assuming) typed USPS in their initial response to the BBB instead of UPS. With that said, it is shocking that there is such a major lack of attempt to communicate to the customer that their rights will be relinquished and insurance is of utmost importance. There is no signage, agreement, nor verbal communication that tells them of these facts.
The only written communication pertaining to any insurance can be found in very tiny print at the bottom of the Staples Customer Receipt given to the customer after payment has been made. Item number 5 states of that list states, “I may elect to pay an additional fee (as specified on this receipt) to add my package to the Staples' parcel insurance. This election is entirely optional, and any fees do not include any markup by, or commission payment to, Staples. This option is offered as part of our UPS Ship Center services and does not provide insurance to you, and you are neither an insured nor an additional insured under Staples' parcel insurance.” This statement to me says that I wouldn't be insured nor be provided insurance so it definitely has me question whether or not I would even have been paid the value of the contents, had I purchased insurance from Staples. It certainly doesn't appear that there is ANY guarantee that I would have been paid for the value, nor does it state that insurance is required and that I will not be able to work directly with UPS in the event that they lost or damaged my package, which they did both! The definition of line item #5 of the Staples' Customer Receipt was only answered by the Staples' Legal Team on May 14, 2018. It is thereby assumed that this written policy is not only confusing to the customer, but to most Staples' employees as well.
On April 11, 2018, 9 days after learning the package was lost, I noticed an entirely new problem that opened a fireball of additional questions and confusion as I noticed that UPS' scanning dates & times of the package began 1 day prior to my even going to Staples and the last scan is dated & timed in Albuquerque (I'm in Texas) approximately 1 hour before the package was even paid for. Within 2 hours after I email & phoned the Staples' Claims Department notifying them of this, I received an email from Staples' Claims Department stating that UPS may have found my package and requested me to view the attached pictures then reply confirming that it was mine. I find this coincidence nearly unbelievable! Was my package originally set up for theft, opened and waiting for the claim process to end or was it never searched for? The package was found in the same location as the last scan read, 1 day earlier in Albuquerque.
I did reply that the 3 pictures of 4 unwrapped, unpacked china pieces were of the same brand and type. I requested to know the condition of the package and all of the pieces as at this point I had lost all trust in Staples & UPS and was highly concerned that fraudulent activity had possibly occurred, involving Staples employees & the UPS driver who scanned the package. I was told by Vicki at Staples' Claims Department that she could not verify nor find out the condition of the package, which was very odd to me as UPS had sent pictures of unwrapped contents of the package She also refused to send me a copy of the email Staples received from UPS pertaining to the found package, which is beyond me why that is considered confidential.
I immediately called UPS and spoke with a supervisor, Colleen Employee ID # PZB1JPF and she stated that with 100% certainty UPS had not found the package. I explained in detail & even cried at one point in complete and utter frustration as I clearly do not know what the truth was at this point as Staples claimed UPS found the package, yet UPS claims they have not. I also told her about the incorrect scan dates and times by UPS and gave her the date and time indicated on my Staples payment receipt. She assured me that this was being reported to upper management.
I contacted and spoke with Keith, the store manager of Staples Greenville at the request of Colleen at UPS and he knew absolutely nothing about any of this besides when I last spoke with him on 4/6/2018. He said he would look out for the check and the package and that he would call me to have whatever he received sent to me. I expressed huge concern of the discrepancy of information I was being told, the fact that I suspected fraudulent activity and that I wanted to speak with someone at the corporate office regarding Staples' lack of communication, insurance, my rights being relinquished unbeknownst to me, the inadequacy of collection efforts, refusal to find out the condition of the package and the fact that as far as UPS is concerned the agreement is between UPS and each store individually, whereby edging out the customer/owner of what is shipped entirely.
I was simply crushed, deflated and continued to be in absolute shock that this is a way of business. The customer, using Staples or any other 3rd party, to ship their own product via UPS is left with NO RIGHTS. Additionally, the customer has no possibility of receiving payment for the value unless adequate insurance is purchased & even that is questionable due to item #5 of the Staples Customer Receipt and the fact that UPS doesn't consider the paying customer the shipper, so the customer is at the mercy of Staples' policy & procedure, which certainly NEVER was communicated to me in any way, shape or form during my 2 hours packing my china at Staples Greenville! Also, the fact that Staples employees knew the value of what I packed and that the UPS scan dates & times are wrong presents a huge opportunity for theft/fraudulent activity.
On April 12, 2018, after being denied via telephone that Staples would not obtain a picture nor description of the found package, I received an email from the Staple Claims Center stating that UPS claims the package does not have any visible damage. I was told via telephone by the Staples Claims Center that the china would be repacked and put in a new box with a new label for shipping. Since I was assured that there was no damage, I requested that the package be sent to the original recipient, the person who purchased the china from me. I was told that UPS would have a new tracking number available by end of day 4/13/2018. I felt good about this finally, and thought surely nothing would happen to the package after being repacked by UPS. I also felt assured that if something did happen from the Albuquerque UPS delivery point to my customer's home also in Albuquerque that UPS would be held liable since they repacked everything. But they were not!
I contacted Staples yet again, after learning from the recipient that the package was in fact DAMAGED and that many pieces of the china were broken, with a replacement cost of over $700. The recipient also told me that she actually heard the UPS driver drop the package at her door when it was delivered. I emailed Staples a copy of the inventory, the replacement value, shared 95+ pictures the recipient took, and the recipient's phone number. I was told UPS will check out the damaged package and its contents as well as the packing material used to determine a decision. I was also told via telephone by Diana at the Staples Claim Department that even though UPS REPACKED THE CONTENTS OF THE BOX THAT WAS NOT BROKEN AT THE TIME OF REPACKING, I STILL WILL ONLY RECEIVE THE LIABILITY AMOUNT PLUS THE SHIPPING COST! All since insurance was not purchased, which I wasn't made aware that was even required.
The fact that
1) my rights were relinquished to Staples unbeknownst to me and that they have zero vested interest in fighting for me as the owner/shipper of the package contents and I am unable to discuss what UPS has done directly with UPS;
2) Staples did not communicate the absolute importance of buying their insurance, even after they new the value, nor is it stated anywhere that insurance must be purchased in order for the customer to recoup any losses;
3) the Staples Claims Department did nothing to help me since I did not have insurance, not even initiated 1 single phone call. (I was told their department is very small & they do not have sufficient time.);
4) the confusion of line item #5 on the customer receipt pertaining to the customer not being insured, only to be defined by the Staples' legal team on 5/14/2018 as no one else seemed to understand its meaning;
5) the UPS tracking/scanning device stated the day prior to my even shipping the package;
6) the package being found in the SAME LOCATION AS LAST SCANNED, 2 hours after my reporting the UPS scanning error to Staples Claims Department;
7) UPS can repack the contents of my package (stated to me via telephone by Staples), which UPS reported it to have no visible damage (stated to me via email by Staples) and take zero responsibility for damage that according to their own statement occurred AFTER they repacked the china;
8) the UPS delivery driver can handle a package however they want to even though it says fragile all over the box, and UPS will not be held accountable because insurance was not purchased; and
9) Staples has closed this issue and cannot help me further since the claim has been approved.
Well all of this is an absolute nightmare and is incredibly wrong!
As it stands, Staples refuses to answer and/or complete the following which I've requested, with the exception of item number 4 as they did forward me the Staples' Legal Team definition of line item #5 of the Staples Customer Receipt:
1. File a damage claim against the 2nd tracking number and request that UPS correct the records. Again, UPS will in fact take the damage claim from the shipper of record on the 2nd tracking number. UPS 1st Tracking # (lost claim approved, incorrectly as the package was found) & New/2nd tracking # (UPS destroyed the package and the total value of loss is over $700)
1a) Submit my name as the owner of the package to UPS, enabling me to communicate with them directly.
2. Provide proof of a document stating something to the effect that insurance must be purchased at Staples by the customer in order for Staples to pay the value of the package contents in the event of a lost or damaged package.
3. Provide proof of a document stating something to the effect that the customer paying Staples is not considered the shipper and in fact is to work solely with Staples as UPS will not recognize the customer that paid Staples. UPS only recognizes the shipper of record, which is Staples.
4. Provide the definition of line item #5 of the Staples Customer Receipt stating that if insurance is purchased, the person is not considered insured. 5/14/2018 @ 4:43pm the Staples' Legal Team provided the following definition: "The Customer has the option to purchase Insurance on their shipment for an additional fee. If customer purchases the insurance, they are opting in to Staples Insurance Coverage with UPS. If the customer elects to purchase this insurance and a claim needs to be filed there would not be a separate insurance policy taken out for the customer and their name would not be listed under our insurance policy. Staples Claims department would file the claim with UPS and UPS would file insurance claim under staples Insurance Policy. This is listed the Customer Agreement that is signed.”
5. I am in possession of the Staples Customer Receipt and a Staples brochure. Please provide a copy of all additional Staples policies and guidelines that I had agreed to adhered to.
6. Have an individual from upper management or legal contact me. 5/16/2018 Craig Parker, Office of the President emailed me stating that he is continuing to review this matter and will get back to me. This is after repeatedly being told that Staples can do nothing further to assist me.
Since Staples is refusing to complete the above, I am left with only one choice and that is to seek legal council pertaining to the complete lack of communication by Staples pertaining to insurance, the customer's rights as the shipper of their package as well as the hundreds of similar cases. Staples has take zero responsibility and is considering their Customer Receipt and its terms at the bottom sufficient communication of such insurance requirements and customer rights. Furthermore, by Staples stating there is no more they will do, it appears that these type of complaints and issues will continue to occur.
It is nearly inconceivable that none of the above was ever explained to me as customer paying for UPS to ship my package. It is indescribably mind blowing that a package of this one's sheer size and 60 pound weight went missing. It is incredibly disheartening to know that I have had to fight tooth and nail to be heard as the owner of this package and that the more I demanded answers, the more I uncovered, and the confusion intensified. I have collected enough information that I am at this point left to assume fraud, theft and at the very minimum a system that creates an opportunity for fraud & theft to occur. So please, assist me in my efforts to change this system. I am not the only one this has happened to and there are hundreds of complaints online regarding the frustration and loss customers have had to face as a result of this sheer lack of communication by Staples, the handling of packages by UPS and the fact that neither will accept any responsibility for their negligence and complete carelessness. What happened to the customer is always right? What happened to the paying customer's rights? What happened to taking responsibility and correcting a problem clearly existing by the sheer number of complaints?
This has been an emotionally upsetting last few weeks, to say the least. The number of hours I have given to get help is outrageous. I have done everything I can do to have Staples and UPS take responsibility for their actions and/or lack there of. I even at one point begged the Staples Claims Department to help me, to represent me, to fight for me as they are the only entity that UPS would recognize as the shipper of record. They hold all the rights with UPS, yet refuses to exercise them. Additionally, UPS seems to accept Staples' negligence. Staples even at one point communicated that I ought to start the arbitration process against UPS for their handling of the package. Yet, since I've learned that my agreement is solely with Staples, would this even be accepted? UPS has stated that they cannot enforce Staples to communicate to the customers the requirement of insurance nor the rights, risks and procedures and that I need to take this communication negligence with Staples. Through the hours and hours of trying to fight for my rights, trying to seek understanding of a process that I've learned edges the customer out, and that no one is yet held responsible for, I'm at my wits end. I can only hope that as I continue to share my story which is the story of so many others, that systems are changed so that not one more customer has to go through this again. Ample communication presented in multiple ways would enable each customer to understand the process, their rights and their risks so that they can make the right choice for them. I will continue to send this summary to entities that may be able to help, because again, all of this could have been alleviated.
The loss of consumer rights, the sheer negligence of communication by Staples (zero notification to the consumer pertaining to insurance, shipper rights & lack of completing responsibilities as the shipper of record), UPS' handling of this package (potential fraud by incorrect scanning dates & times, negligence due to lost 60 pound package & destroying the package after reporting no visible damage.), continues to be swept under the rug with each party pointing the finger at the other, taking zero responsibility for their actions and/or lack thereof.
This cannot continue. It's just not right.
Reason of review: Shipping via UPS. Communication Negligence of customer rights, risks & procedures.
Monetary Loss: $722.
Preferred solution: Full replacement value of damaged package contents & implementation system-wide of at minimum 1 document effectively communicating the customer's rights, risks, insurance requirements and procedures eliminating the possibility of this continuing to occur..
I didn't like: Communication negligence, Shipper rights removed, Lack of documentation regarding required insurance, Refusing to take responsibility, Refusal to submit requested procedural documentation.