Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

dogma
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Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Fri May 04, 2018 10:59 pm

Hi
just wanted to give a general heads up in regard to pitfalls of posting a bike here and o/seas

I recently sent a near new Wilier zero 7 to California via a company called interparcel who run a comparison site
for various courier companies and organise payments , printing of labels, shipping docs etc. The cost was $560 inc insurance

due to the value of the bike I purchased maximum insurance cover of $2000 with interparcel and then took out a second
policy via QBE for the difference in value

in transit, UPS managed to damage the box and contents with absolutely no regard for the goods and cracked the frame so badly
it cannot be repaired. We sent claim forms and pictures to both interparcel and QBE but with vastly different outcomes

the cheapest frame we can locate in the USA is approx $3800 Aus so we put in claim to interparcel for $2000 and QBE for $1800

QBE paid their part of the claim within 3 days, done and dusted money in the account, all done by email

Interparcel said we can take up to 28 days to make a decision and we will not discuss by phone or email any information about the claim??
once we have made a decision we will send you a letter that can also take a further 10 days to arrive from sydney to queensland

true to their word they took exactly 28 days despite various calls and emails and it then took another 8 days for the letter to arrive, so 5 weeks after submitting a genuine claim , with photographic evidence they refused to pay the claim

first reason was that any form of Carbon is listed on there site as a restricted item and is not covered in transit, even though they accepted an insurance premium for it?

second, was that in there opinion the bike was not packed correctly and not in the correct box and their transit network is not suitable for items that maybe fragile??.

It was actually packed by a bike shop with foam and bubble wrap and sent in a reinforced bike box, similar to thousands of bikes shipped worldwide every week

so the upshot or advice is to avoid this company like the plague, as they will use any loophole or excuse to get out
of paying a claim. It is also to check the fine print in regard to cover for goods in transit and do some research online in regard to feedback which is something I now regret not doing enough

it has left the new owner of my bike currently $2000 out of pocket , plus shipping cost plus cost of rebuilding the bike

if i can stop another person making a similar mistake then job done. i am pursuing interparcel as there decision is an absolute disgrace

WhingingPom
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby WhingingPom » Sat May 05, 2018 8:14 am

Which of the following happened?
  • You read the policy wording, saw that carbon items aren't covered then went ahead and paid the premium anyway
  • You didn't read the policy wording and paid the premium for a policy where you didn't know what was and wasn't covered
  • You told interparcel that you were shipping a carbon item, they said that they'd covered it and you paid the premium

If it was the third option, go through the insurer's appeal process and if you don't get a satisfactory outcome complain to the insurance ombudsman.

If it was the first or second options, you've experienced a teachable moment.

Cheers

WP

dogma
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 10:17 pm

Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Sat May 05, 2018 6:28 pm

there was no policy, just a link to a page of fine print on there website which mentioned carbon as being restricted,
it was disclosed on the shipping documents it was a bicycle and they allowed me to pay a insurance premium for something that
they now say is uninsurable?

my main issue with this company is that it took 36 days to confirm they would not pay the claim and
this could have been communicated shortly after recieving claim form and pics and to further suggest it was not
packed correctly is an insult

i will be going after this company as the way they have dealt with this is terrible not to mention
the $2000 that the bicycle purchaser is now short on buying a new frame
Last edited by dogma on Sat May 05, 2018 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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queequeg
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby queequeg » Sat May 05, 2018 9:02 pm

It’s clearly not going to help you now, but I sent my Lynskey frame from Sydney to the USA (Chattanooga, TN) late last year.

I used Pack and Send. I boxed it myself with foam tubing, bubble wrap etc, and then created custom end caps for the frame to be supported in the box, reusing the packing material from my LCD tv. After that, all the empty space in the box was filled with packing material.

The Pack and send agent said it was the mostly securely packed item they had ever seen.

Anyway, cost for express air freight with $2000 insurance was $475, calculated on a volumetric weight of 34kg (actual weight was 6kg). As the agent saw the packed item before the box was sealed (as they needed to inspect to ensure customs documentation was done correctly), there were no doubts about it not being sufficient should any warranty arise from damage, but being a titanium frame, it’s not easy to break.

When I looked at options for shipping, interparcel did not come up in any searches.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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Thoglette
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby Thoglette » Sun May 06, 2018 12:31 pm

dogma wrote:It was actually packed by a bike shop with foam and bubble wrap and sent in a reinforced bike box, similar to thousands of bikes shipped worldwide every week

Welcome to the world of couriers and postal services (v.s. freight services).

Those bikes you mention are all safely packed inside a sea container (in bulk) by someone who is responsible for the goods being in saleable condition at the other end.

Couriers and postal services aren't like that. Indeed, they regularly (1 in 100 in my experience*) don't supply what you bought. Especially as the actual carriage is subcontracted to the lowest bidder. And that each "office" is probably an "independent contractor" and there's no-one actually responsible at XYZ couriers.

*I used to ship a lot of fragile equipment made of "unobtainium" around. One f*#$gup in 100 means one more item send back whence it came for repair$$$$ or, worse, lost forever.
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hamishm
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby hamishm » Mon May 07, 2018 10:33 am

dogma wrote:there was no policy, just a link to a page of fine print on there website which mentioned carbon as being restricted,
it was disclosed on the shipping documents it was a bicycle and they allowed me to pay a insurance premium for something that
they now say is uninsurable?

It says they don't insure their restricted items, of which carbon is one... https://au.interparcel.com/help/guides/ ... ricted.php

dogma
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Mon May 07, 2018 11:22 am

i now realise that but they new what the item was and took an insurance premium for it?

they are far better off to say "arrange your own insurance" as we have so many restricted and prohibited uninsurable items on our list. ?

as mentioned the main issue is that the decision should have been communicated straightaway and not take 28 days for decision and further 7 days to send a letter

refusing to discuss or send an email is totally unacceptable

looks like a partial win as just got off phone with credit card company and shipping cost and insurance has been reimbursed

eeksll
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby eeksll » Mon May 07, 2018 9:32 pm

dogma wrote:i now realise that but they new what the item was and took an insurance premium for it?


sounds like fee for no service :evil:

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AUbicycles
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby AUbicycles » Tue May 08, 2018 7:23 am

This is a tricky one - if everything goes well then everyone is happy. But the policies are there because they don't get read but help the company if things do go wrong for them. It is not good form if they knew it was a carbon fiber product. It is not good service if they knew it was a bicycle and should have informed you of their 'exception' for carbon fiber.

For clarity - when you paid a premium, was it a premium for 'carbon fiber' or was it a premium for the value?

If it was a premium for the type of product and material (CF bicycle) then it would fairly clearly be their failure and something they have a responsibility for. While you have a solution - if this had not been possible - I would have looked into an ombudsman for a complaint. Business hate it when the government start asking questions - and it usually helps them to clean up their act.

dogma
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Tue May 08, 2018 9:20 am

the premium was the cost of shipping a bike in a certain size box and weight and then
additional for insurance cover which was max available of $2000,

I know how slow any of the complaints procedures can be and it doesn't resolve the issue
that the purchaser has been without a bike for 6 weeks after paying 6k for it

I have managed to re open the claim with QBE so hopefully we can get a resolution

lessons learnt

bianchi928
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby bianchi928 » Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 am

"it has left the new owner of my bike currently $2000 out of pocket , plus shipping cost plus cost of rebuilding the bike "

Dogma,

Serious question.

Why is the purchaser out of pocket? If they didn't get the bike in one piece, isn't that your cost?

Cheers
Stand on my dog I cut off your head

dogma
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Tue May 08, 2018 10:57 am

no

he paid full price for bike via ebay and pay pal and when it left it was perfect condition
so this is why we took out the insurance to protect him from damage to bike in transit
as the goods became his property once paid for and shipped

I have sent a number of bikes o/seas and this is a first to be damaged like this

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RonK
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby RonK » Tue May 08, 2018 11:23 am

dogma wrote:no

he paid full price for bike via ebay and pay pal and when it left it was perfect condition
so this is why we took out the insurance to protect him from damage to bike in transit
as the goods became his property once paid for and shipped

I have sent a number of bikes o/seas and this is a first to be damaged like this

And that is the only way I would be prepared to ship a bike - adequately insured and at the buyer's risk.

The warning I take from this is not to deal with a broker, and of course to understand the conditions of insurance.

I have used Pack&Send to ship bikes, and even though I have packed them myself the agent checks and supplements the packing because the item is insured.
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Top_Bhoy
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby Top_Bhoy » Tue May 08, 2018 5:32 pm

Clearly in this case, due either to not fully reading the policy or a difficulty in understanding the policy, there was no adequate insurance in place prior to shipping. Therefore, shouldn't the person who selected the insurance cover, not realising the T&C were invalidated, not be the one to cover the loss (whoever that may be in this thread)?

To the OP, I'd make a complaint to the Ombudsman/ACCC. It's frowned upon where T&C are so heavily biased in one parties favour or the exemptions are so wide and varied as to make the policy inadequate and 'not fit for purpose'. It may not help you immediately but it will allow the regulators to build-up a body of evidence for future direction. Companies also don't like the bad publicity cases like this can bring.

dogma
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Re: Warning when using a courier service to post a bike

Postby dogma » Tue May 08, 2018 5:52 pm

that is a more likely scenario that I will end up paying some or all of the $2000, the first ins company QBE paid there part of the claim but it was for only part of the claim due to the fact that we never thought that interparcel wouldn't pay there part $2000

I have no doubt if bike was fully insured with QBE it would have been done and dusted weeks ago? they
have agreed to re open the claim with a view to hopefully paying a further amount

the other small issue is the purchaser is wanting a new frame whereas the one I sold was 2 years old but in perfect condition and there are some used frames available to purchase

there are a number of issues, taking premium for shipping and insurance on a bike that shouldn't have been allowed to be shipped in the first place

the damage done to the box and frame in transit even though was packed by a bike shop and clearly labelled fragile etc

interparcel taking 35days to inform us that insurance would not be paid and refusing to discuss or email during this 35 days

etc etc

if you are shipping anything of value then the team at HWA insurance brokers of Melbourne have been fantastic

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