At UPS, 'Improper Packaging' Means 'Someone Cut Open Your Package'

Michelle sold her engagement ring to a friend, and shipped it from a UPS Store in the Midwest. The ring was valuable, so she purchased $200 worth of shipping insurance on the ring and sent it on its way to New England. When the box arrived, it had been cut open and the ring removed. Michelle’s insurance claim was denied because the item was “improperly packaged.”

We don’t have pictures of the item as it was packaged and shipped, but here’s Michelle’s story.

I have a problem with UPS and I want to know how often it happens to others. I stopped in my local UPS store 6 weeks ago to ship a $12,500 engagement ring. It is my old ring from a verbally abusive relationship. I was so glad to find a friend who wanted to buy it and the money would help pay for grad school.

I packaged the ring in the store and asked the girl what I needed to do to protect myself from loss. She looked into the cost of insurance and $200 later I was shipping my ring to [redacted] to my friend who bought it from me. I took pictures of the ring in the store and I thought I did EVERYTHING to protect myself. She gladly took my $200 and placed a sticky note on the front of the package that said “high $$”.

I left with the assumption that a.) my package would make it to the buyer or b.) if something happened I would be protected under the $200 worth of insurance. The package arrived with a small slit in the backside and the ring was no where to be found.

Two UPS “investigators” “worked” on the case. They said a police report would be filed and they would perform an internal investigation. I worked with them for 6 weeks only to have the original sales girl call me and tell me that my claim was denied due to improper packaging. I called the investigator and there was no police report filed.

So, I have lost a ring, lost my $200 in insurance and what ever UPS employee that stole my ring gets to take it to a pawn shop and make a fast buck.

The problem here is that UPS Store employees are not necessarily UPS employees: UPS stores are often franchises and independently operated.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.