UPS, UPS Store And Repair Shop All Blame Each Other For My Missing PS3 (Updated)

John sent his broken PlayStation 3 off for repair, but the game console has vanished thanks to either UPS, a UPS Store, the repair shop to which he sent the device or some combination of the three.

It’s not as though John is looking for an explanation, because he’s got enough of those already. All three stories conflict with one another, leaving John to play a game of real-life Clue to determine who committed the murder, with which weapon and in what room.

He writes:

As of this moment, I have spoken to the UPS Store (which I no longer live anywhere near), the recipient, and – despite their policies I had to fight against (more on that later) – UPS itself, and received three different stories about what happened. This is on top of everything else from before, which is apparently irrelevant now.

According to the recipient (Gopher Mods) the package arrived damaged, and after I filed a claim with the UPS Store, the package was picked up for inspection and never returned.

According to the UPS Store, after I filed a claim, the package was picked up, inspected, and returned. They claimed this information was obtained directly from UPS.

According to UPS, the package was never picked up. They decided that they were at fault, and never actually took it from the recipient.

Complicating this is that the people who should have the most complete records (UPS) do not want to talk to me, as under their policies they do not discuss the status of damage claims with anyone apart from the shipper, who by their opinion is the UPS Store, and I am just a third party. Even getting an answer out of them about the status of the package required pushing for escalation, escalating with the UPS Store lead to them telling me to talk to the local store, and there is no one I can escalate to with the receiver.

I am now left with no idea who to blame or how to proceed from here. My first inclination is to tell the receiver that they need to pay me the cost of the hardware plus a bit for the data and that they can work it out with UPS, but if they are really not responsible and/or refuse to give me any reasonable compensation then I still don’t know what I should do about it. They have been responsive and seem to be genuinely trying to help me, but I don’t know who’s lying to me or understand why anyone would.

The nuances of blame in this scenario are too fine for me to really understand, but if you can offer any help or expertise, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sounds to me as though this is clearly the work of Col. Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick, but that’s only a hunch. Your guess?

UPDATE: John reports the repair shop accepted the blame and gave him a refurbished unit.


Edit Your Comment

  1. sonneillon says:

    Luckily the Uniform Commerce Code makes it so that when someone buys something from a merchant it is the merchants job to make sure it gets to you as advertised. In this case it is the repair shops job. He shouldn’t even dink with UPS.

    • ShruggingGalt says:

      How is the repair shop liable? Default UCC is FOB Shipper, which means that it’s the OP’s responsibility to make sure that the package arrives safely.

      In this case the OP subcontracted out shipping to a UPS Store, so the OP should go after the UPS Store for reimbursement.

      (The repair shop said the package was damaged on arrival)

      • describe_one says:

        SCEA sends you boxes with a prepaid UPS tag. It’s called “the coffin.” Unless they have changed their policy since I sent mine in about a year ago, then the OP wasn’t given a choice of shipping. He was sent a box that had to be dropped at a UPS store or shipping facility fo repairs.

        • Admiral_John says:

          Judging from the name of the company where he sent the PS3, I would hazard a guess that he was having his PS3 modded to be able to play out-of-region or *ahem* backup copies of games, which means he probably packaged and shipped it himself with no Sony involvement other than paying someone to void his warranty.

      • sonneillon says:

        I was under the impression that the repair company got it. Fixed it and is sending it back but the problem is that UPS didn’t pick it up from them. It could go the repair company didn’t pick it up from the UPS store but that doesn’t make any sense because UPS just delivers. The article is hard to read.

      • Megalomania says:

        Hello, OP here.

        What makes it not straightforward is that the store did their job – they shipped it off (dropped the ball on packing it, though) and the intended receiver got it. After that, they didn’t come in contact with it again. They can’t be responsible for this according to anyone else involved. It comes down to the repair shop and UPS, and my main thought right now is that I should press the repair shop and if they don’t feel at fault they can get UPS to cough up.

        • sonneillon says:

          Yeah this isn’t usual. Screw it put pressure on the repair company to get the money out of UPS. You could say that you rejected shipping based on damage, but that may not hold. Really though unless you want them to dick around on you for the next 2 or 3 months then put pressure on the repair shop and make them deal with it.

  2. Jubei says:

    File a lost package claim with the UPS store. Have fun waiting.

  3. SonarTech52 says:

    I would push on the UPS store more, or even UPS. You can ask to speak to a manager to see about getting proof of delivery and there should be some kind of record if they picked it up for inspection.

    At my company, usually we would just replace the unit, since it was in our hands.

    I think asking for compensation for data is asking too much, just go for a replacement.

    • Megalomania says:

      The implication seems to be that there is no proof one way or another it was picked up for inspection, which is where the stories begin to diverge.

      Also, three years of PS3 data and 3 years of copied over PS2 data represents a lot of time lost.

  4. describe_one says:

    Ouch! When I sent my ps3 back in the coffin, it came back working fine. I hope yours finds its way out of limbo soon!

    When I had issues with a ps2 at launch, a formal letter written to SCEA executives via certified mail (similar to an EECB now) got everything fixed. You may want to alert them via that route, twitter, etc. just in case that garners a response. They even sent me an apology letter and some chotzkies along with it.

    Best of luck.

  5. Dyscord says:

    So, if UPS decided that they’re at fault, then what are they doing to fix/replace it?

    And I would think that the recipient is responsible after it’s been confirmed that they received the package. So I’d probably be focusing on them.

    • Megalomania says:

      They decided they were at fault for the DAMAGE – that probably should have been clearer. The pickup was to inspect the box to determine if it was their fault or someone trying to pull a fast one, and they claim they decided to take my word for it…. Which sounds incredibly unlikely

  6. bee8boo8bop8 says:

    UPS Stores are franchises, and when you went to ship your package, you probably signed a little waiver thing. The UPS Store is the shipper (it goes out under their number) and you are technically reimbursing them. Any claims do have to go through the UPS Store, because they are technically the shipper. Your best bet may be to ask the owner of the UPS Store to contact their UPS Representative. I have family in the business, and usually the business’ own UPS Rep is best able to pull strings to get something fixed.

    • bee8boo8bop8 says:

      On the other hand, if you dropped off a package that had a prepaid UPS label at the store and all they did was hold it until the truck picked it up, then all bets are off and you need to:

      1. Track your UPS package and make sure it got picked up from the store. (It happens that sometimes they don’t.)

      2. If it was, then the UPS Store will be of no help to you, and you need to go through UPS proper. You may find it helpful to go to their local depot in person.

  7. Puddy Tat says:

    So the lesson here is to not use the UPS Store but UPS directly?

  8. skapig says:

    Former UPS Store employee here.

    There’s something shady going on here, but another possibility is that it was returned: dropped off outside and later stolen. Stuff like this is hard to prove.

    If it was damaged in transit, it was probably packed poorly by the customer. Most people are lousy at it (this would make a good LH tutorial). I’ve seen some scary things.

  9. Amnesiac85 says:

    This is making me nervous. I literally got the box to send my PS3 off for repairs about ten minutes ago. Oy.

  10. jaya9581 says:

    The UPS Store is the most terrible invention ever made. I’ve never had a good experience in one. Bored employees who don’t want to help you – and when they do, they make it seem like they’re doing you a huge favor. Incorrect information. And their flat-out refusal to ship a package using a UPS account number. That last one is what made me stop using them altogether – my complete inability to send a package to my mother on her account. Fedex does it (on Fedex account) happily at all their Fedex stores, so problem solved – we use Fedex now and our account with UPS is closed.

    • Britt says:

      You’ve been going to the wrong UPS Stores. I know the locations in my city absolutely have motivated employees and will take anything – even supply the forms for account numbers.

  11. Jerry Vandesic says:

    NEVER use a UPS store to ship anything. The Stores are simply a scam that seperates you from UPS.

    I prefer to use FexEx. There are lots and lots of FedEx Kinkos and they are owned by FedEx. No middleman.

  12. xspook says:

    I’ve never known of anyone getting money from UPS for any claim.

    The USPS is much more “forgiving”.

  13. cgpeanut says:

    okay here is the scoop on this. I used to be a mbe store owner that later became UPS stores. As a customer of the ups store you file your claim through the ups store. If you packed it yourself they will facilitate the claim but have no reponsibility for the damage if the package was not packed up to UPS specs. If they packed it then they are responsible but only if you packed and shipped both on their ups account through the store. Point # 1 UPS is hard on packages. It has a lot to do how they process them through there big hubs and the automated equipement they use to shove them through their system. If you shipped it on the ups stores account they should have a tracking # for that package. If you request the track # you can tell who had or did not have the item. It should show under the original track # being returned to the ups store for inspection. So you should see a come and go. If ups did pick it up for inspection and took it into their possession from the UPS store then UPS ITSELF IS RESPONSIBLE. In the 20 years I owned a store I had 4 damage claims and non from a package that I packed. I do remember having ups come back and pick up a package for inspection once. The driver have me paper work similar to a call tag for the package he picked up. Ask UPS if they issue any paperwork., do they use the original track# for further tracing when it is in their hands or did they issue a new #.

    UPS is notorious for passing the buck. They will try to blame it on everyone else. They have gotten even worse since they bought mbe and rebranded it to the UPS Store.

    For my customers I would always Facilitate the claim. But if I did not pack it, it was in UPS’s
    ball park to either pay or not pay a damage claim. At this point this is not matter of damage but a case of loss which is making it UPS problem if they were the last one with their hands on it. They pay what ever value protection you put on the package. If you used a prepaid label and did not pay for shipping they the problem lies with UPS and the Person you sent it to because they were the person whose shipper # was used on the prepaid label, In this scenario the Ups store is out of the picture all together.

    It is UPS that needs to be leaned on, either by you or the UPS store through his/her service rep. The truth of the matter is that for both you and the ups store it is a nightmare to deal with UPS and it is a nightmare of UPS’s own making.

    • Britt says:

      This times a thousand. The rebranding has been such a pain on business. UPS and The UPS Store get lumped together, when situations like this are entirely between UPS and the shipper – Unless, of course, those at that specific UPS Store location were acting shady and took the parcel.

  14. evilpete says:

    name all three in a small claims suit, thus forcing them to work it out

  15. dg says:

    If you shipped it, it was delivered, damaged in shipment, and supposedly returned to the UPS Store – BUT UPS has no record of this return, then the repair joint still has it. Let them pay you for the package you sent to them, and all the data.

    Not your problem – this is an issue to be handled by UPS, the UPS Store, and the Repair joint – you just get a check from someone – you don’t care who – for your missing item.

    Send a bill to the Repair joint – if they refuse – sue them. Let them prove that they don’t have it and returned it to UPS. UPS has no record of it, so the repair place will be on the hook for it…

  16. Griking says:

    Gopher mods? For a repair?

  17. sopmodm14 says:

    how about all three split the cost of the missing item by 1/3’s ?

  18. EBone says:

    I had to send my Nintendo Wii for repair using a UPS store, since the shipping label from Nintendo was only good thru UPS. First I was told it was going to cost an additional $12.00 to put my Wii into a UPS document mailer box with some packing peanuts. Then, the creepy clerk started questioning me. ‘Why are you sending this to Nintendo? Is it, like, uh, broken? What doesn’t work on it? Can it still play downloaded games?’ I started to get the distinct feeling my Wii was never going to make its way back to Nintendo if I left it with the clerk, so I told him I changed my mind, and took it back.

    I went to another UPS store near my office. The nice woman there put the Wii in the document mailer box with packing peanuts for no charge, put the shipping label on the package and shipped it off. I got a replacement machine back from Nintendo the next week.