Problem Solved: The Ups and Downs Of UPS

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Q: I purchased three items from Amazon that I returned via UPS. UPS has admitted to losing my package in transit and said they will refund the money to Amazon. But Amazon has to file a claim first.

Amazon is refusing to help me file that claim and will not give me my money. I have been very stressed over this whole situation because I need the money. I have asked Amazon if I could send them proof of pickup and they said no. Can you help me get my $334 back? -- Vanessa Armendariz, Odessa, Texas

A: You shouldn't have to lose $334 because UPS lost your package. A large company like Amazon has systems to deal with lost returns. As you noted, it would need to file a claim with UPS to recover the cost of the items lost.

But to be clear, this wasn't your fault, and you should not have to pay a dime.

How do you prevent the loss of a package? Your options are limited. Make sure you have the correct return label when you bring the package to the UPS store. Also, take pictures of the package, just in case you need to show someone proof that you tried to return the items. No matter what you are returning, always get a tracking number from the carrier." Without a tracking number, a consumer has a very weak case if the package goes missing. Keep a careful record of everything, which will allow you to quickly build a convincing paper trail and fill out any necessary claims.

Don't just slap a label on the package and drop it in a box -- especially on a high-value item. That's just asking for trouble.

It's unclear what was holding up your claim. But there's a way to release the hold. I publish executive contacts for UPS and Amazon on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. A brief, polite email might have nudged them into action. I also have some useful strategies on resolving your next consumer complaint on your own, which might have helped you fix this on your own.

I contacted Amazon on your behalf. It looked into your case and quickly refunded two of the three packages and offered a gift card to cover the third.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at chris@elliott.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

© 2022 Christopher Elliott.

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