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Old Dec 19, 2011, 05:54 PM
Boomer1
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UPS mystery - or ??

Wanted to share a mystery with you guys. Recently, I helped friend sell a few of his RC boats via the forum. The mystery comes into play on one of these transactions.

We sold a nearly new Carbon Fiber Edition 1M Seawind RC sailboat to a fellow in Florida. Extra care was taken in the packaging of the boat, and other measures were incorporated by the UPS store to protect the boat from shipping damages. I tracked the boat and it arrived on time, but sadly the buyer reported to me that UPS damaged the hull in transit. I asked the buyer to provide me with detailed pictures of the damages to the boat and the box.

The damaged area was hard to see in the photos due to the boat being carbon Fiber, so the cracks didn't show up to well. I contacted my UPS store the same day to process a damage claim. I provided them with the photos, proof of the boats value and an estimate for the repairs - which were more that the amount of insurance we'd purchased. Nonetheless, we provided ample evidence of the value of the boat and of the expense involved in repairing the reported damages incurred in transit.

Those familiar with UPS know it takes a while to get UPS to process claims. Anyway, I have stayed in regular contact with buyer, keeping him informed on any progress and following up with UPS.

Where this starts to get weird is when UPS said they wanted to pick up the boat from the buyer, I told him I didn't understand that, and suggested he not give it to them unless we had some assurances from my UPS store that was what should be done. The buyer calls me and said he was OK with them taking the boat, and so he gave it back to the UPS driver - he did get a receipt.

UPS has a 3rd party handle these claims so the box was suppose to ship to them according to the buyer - I guess for evaluation. I never let them take anything from me! I don't trust them!

That was on 12-5-11 on 12-19-11 a boat is returned to my UPS store with a note stating the claim was being declined. The store owner tells me he thinks something is very wrong, and is concerned because this boat appears to not to be the same boat we shipped, and that this boat appeared to have been painted. I drove over to the UPS store to take a look at the boat that had returned. It in fact is not the boat we shipped! It was a Seawind, but it was not a even a Carbon Fiber boat, it was a badly damaged ABS bare hull. Primed deck and a poorly painted hull (black) Bare hull, no rigging, no electronics no sails, no boat stand etc.

It appears some one has made off with the brand new Carbon Fiber edition Seawind which was shipped in perfect condition and complete in every way! The UPS store owner tells me he has never seen any thing like this before and promised to get to the bottom of it! We are both getting very curious at this point.

My sense of this is there are only a couple of possibilities here - it is clear a switch has taken place. How could this be a simple mistake? If the buyer gave the original boat back to UPS - then what happened to it? If UPS or it's 3rd party contractor made a mistake, how is it possible that they had a similar boat on hand that had bottom damage?? Told you this was weird.

And how stupid is it to think that this piece of would fool anyone? We provided UPS with pictures of the boat just prior to it being packaged showing a perfect boat with a Blue deck and natural carbon fiber hull. Besides all the guys at the UPS store saw the boat and they packed it!

I don't know who is yanking our chains here, but I promise I will get to the bottom of this. I have provided Pay Pal with a complete report and the contact information for all parties involved.

I have had one other claim processed by UPS and that went smoothly and they paid the claim, and I refunded the buyers money. If there is to be a refund, I need the real boat back and complete before any money changes hands.

I don't know who's doing what yet, but I will! If I discover UPS or their contractor is responsible for this, I am done with UPS for ever. One way or the other the claim will be paid and or the responsible party will be exposed.

Boomer

UP DATE
As of last week, both UPS and Pay Pal have concluded that the buyer intentionally substituted a different hull and returned that to UPS to try to fool them into honoring his now very questionable claim of shipping damage.

They both have released me from any responsibility in the matter. I don't know what UPS or Pay Pal will do to the guy, but I know they don't like people that try to scam them and have ways of taking care of such things.

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Old Dec 19, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Carbonboat

It was the buyer you know that.the driver that picked up the boat for return probably didn't even look at it I would go right back to the buyer he is trying to pull a fast one
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 07:21 PM
Boomer1
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Originally Posted by Terrel13r View Post
It was the buyer you know that.the driver that picked up the boat for return probably didn't even look at it I would go right back to the buyer he is trying to pull a fast one
Thank you for your comments! I really hate to think that he would do such a thing. I am afraid that is one of the possibilities. I will post an update when I have more detective work done.

I've purchased and sold a number of boats and planes through this and other RC forums and never had anything like this ever happen. I only had one boat damaged by UPS in transit and they paid the claim.

I go to great pains to make sure the things I ship arrive safely, but UPS moves a lot of goods and some packages are bound to get damaged or lost. But this one is very strange.

Thanks again
Boomer
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 11:59 PM
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It must be the buyer, how else would the same type of boat come back to you. That is very weird though.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 01:41 AM
Boomer1
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Originally Posted by ian145 View Post
It must be the buyer, how else would the same type of boat come back to you. That is very weird though.
Ian
Appreciate your comment. I am a trusting person by nature, so I like to take the high road. It is clear, this situation has limited scenarios.

The UPS tracking system will report to us each stop the box made along the way back to the UPS store here in California. It is my sincere hope this information yields another plausible explanation of how the "mystery boat" got in the box.

As you say, this is very weird indeed! Thank you for your response!

Boomer
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 03:13 AM
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Your buyer is pulling a fast one on you. The problem is that you probably will not be able to prove that (unless his prints are on the fake boat), and will be the one suffering the loss. You have my most sincere sympathy.

Odd
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
Boomer1
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Originally Posted by wizard of odd View Post
Your buyer is pulling a fast one on you. The problem is that you probably will not be able to prove that (unless his prints are on the fake boat), and will be the one suffering the loss. You have my most sincere sympathy.

Odd
Odd,
Thanks for your compassion. This is one of those things that doesn't make sense. If the boat was really damaged in transit, we'd have been able to receive compensation from UPS via their claim process. I had the boat insured for the purchase amount. With the old "switch-a-rue" that possibility has been dashed.

The finger prints, were UPS to take their investigation that far, would certainly be revealing. I think the information we get from their tracing the package back to when it was picked up at the buyers home, will provide enough information to be able to determine where, when and who made the switch.

There is no way we can be expected to, or will issue a refund if we don't get the complete boat back, just like we shipped it. Whoever thought up this ill conceived plan, must think we are all simple dolts.

It would be great to find out that UPS mixed up some boxes and found the real boat - that would be very encouraging - we will know for sure very soon.

Again, thank you for your response.

Boomer
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 11:29 PM
Grumpa Tom
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99% of all roads lead to the buyer. Is he a member of RCG?

Hard to believe someone could even concoct a hare brained plan such as this. Except for the money involved, it is almost comedic.

Hope you get it sorted out to your benefit.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 11:46 AM
Boomer1
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Originally Posted by Kmot View Post
99% of all roads lead to the buyer. Is he a member of RCG?

Hard to believe someone could even concoct a hare brained plan such as this. Except for the money involved, it is almost comedic.

Hope you get it sorted out to your benefit.
Kmot.
Thank you for your comments. It is clear, whatever thinking went into this scheme was defective! I agree with your observation of this being a bad joke. When you think about it, the substitution of the bogus boat eliminates any possibility of a refund, or of UPS honoring a damage claim.

The buyer reported that he returned the complete boat which would have included the keel, sails, electronics, boat stand, mast, booms, sheets and all the hardware etc.

The only thing in the box was a damaged ABS Seawind hull, badly painted black with a primed deck - completely stripped -and no parts or accessories! Wonder where they went?

If I were to offer a full refund, I would require the entire package be returned to me with all the parts and accessories. If the fellow comes up with that, it is in reality a confession of to trying to steal the boat, and/or attempting to defraud UPS - I am not sure, but messing with inter-state commerce might be considered a federal offense?

Very very strange situation, and unfortunate.

Be well - Merry Christmas.

Boomer
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Old Feb 07, 2012, 07:33 PM
Boomer1
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Just an FYI - This matter has been closed by both Pay Pal and UPS. They came to the same conclusion that everyone else that new the facts did, and that conclusion was that the buyer tried a "bone head" attempt to scam all involved. The good news is it didn't work.

UPS and Pay Pal aren't talking, but it is clear they have recourse and will handle it from this point forward. They don't like folks that try to scam them. Nor do I!

Finally, the good guys win one!
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 01:21 PM
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Thanks for posting the story of the missing Seawind. I'm glad it isn't an everyday thing. Hopefully the only time it will happen to you.

Rick
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 10:36 AM
Boomer1
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Originally Posted by Fairwind900 View Post
Thanks for posting the story of the missing Seawind. I'm glad it isn't an everyday thing. Hopefully the only time it will happen to you.

Rick
This was one of those things that needed to be made public. I'd post the guy's name but I don't think it would accomplish anything, he knows who he is and that his attempt to scam us failed. That works for me.

I have purchased and sold a number of boats, planes and accessories on the forum without issue until this dolt tried this. I just got another boat from another forum member and all went flawlessly. I've made friends of those that have purchased my items and hope to continue doing so.

There will always be a bad apple some where, I am just pleased that this bad apple failed to spoil the rest of the apples!

Boomer
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