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Old 11-24-2010, 12:28 PM
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Is UPS liable for stolen packages?

Our condo building has a keystore outside, which is a small box attached to the building that contains the front door key. A numeric code opens the box. UPS has the code and is supposed to leave packages inside the front door.

A few months ago we got a new driver who often leaves the packages outside. I have filed complaints, and the manager at the depot is aware of the complains, has the code, and knows that packages are supposed to be left inside.

I would assume that under these circumstances, if a package is left outside and is stolen, then UPS would be liable for it. This seems logical but I don't know this for fact. Do any of you know the answer to this?
Old 11-24-2010, 12:34 PM
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Speculating in GQ is always risky, but I'm going to do it anyway.

I suspect that if UPS is liable to anyone, it would be to the sender, and not to the recipient. UPS has a contractual agreement of sorts with the sender. The recipient is not a party to that contract. If a package is lost or stolen, the recipient has a claim against the sender for failure to deliver the goods. The sender will likely replace the goods, possibly with some sort of sweetener to satisfy the recipient, and then look to UPS for compensation on whatever terms they'd agreed to in their contract.

Note: I took contracts in 1992. I probably misremember most of it, and taking the above as any sort of definitive statement of law would be unwise.

Last edited by Oakminster; 11-24-2010 at 12:35 PM.
Old 11-24-2010, 01:08 PM
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I am not sure if they would be liable if a package got stolen if a signature is not required for delivery. I have no idea though.
I will share an incident that occurred last year that has me annoyed to this day. I ordered an expensive product for my office. When I called to check on delivery status, I was told it had been delivered days before and was signed for. Since it is possible that something got put in a closet without my knowing, I checked around. Nope, no product. I was sent over a copy of the signature and it was no one I had ever heard of.

Seems simple to me. UPS delivered it to the wrong address and they need to track it down. Except no. They told me to go ask all the offices in my six story building to find out who has my package as they are "pretty sure" it was delivered to the correct address, if incorrect suite number.

Ultimately, UPS was liable for the missing product but not without a fight.
Old 11-24-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Notchimine View Post
Ultimately, UPS was liable for the missing product but not without a fight.
What was the procedure you had to go through? Did the sender have to file a claim, or did you file a claim?
Old 11-24-2010, 01:32 PM
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In general, the buyer is responsible for getting the payment to the seller. The seller is responsible for getting the paid-for goods to the buyer.
Old 11-24-2010, 01:57 PM
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Hmm... by not putting the goods inside, could the driver be an accessory to theft? After all, he's got the code, so he's deliberately not putting the goods inside, right?
Old 11-24-2010, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Hmm... by not putting the goods inside, could the driver be an accessory to theft? After all, he's got the code, so he's deliberately not putting the goods inside, right?
That's an interesting angle....
Old 11-24-2010, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Hmm... by not putting the goods inside, could the driver be an accessory to theft?
Not unless he was then telling accomplices that the packages were there.
Old 11-24-2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Speculating in GQ is always risky, but I'm going to do it anyway.

I suspect that if UPS is liable to anyone, it would be to the sender, and not to the recipient. UPS has a contractual agreement of sorts with the sender. The recipient is not a party to that contract. If a package is lost or stolen, the recipient has a claim against the sender for failure to deliver the goods. The sender will likely replace the goods, possibly with some sort of sweetener to satisfy the recipient, and then look to UPS for compensation on whatever terms they'd agreed to in their contract.
This. I'm doing seasonal work with UPS right now to make some extra money before next sememster, and it's not the first time I've done it. The bolded part might as well have been a direct quote from the orientation I just sat through the other day. When you consider all the possible complications of a driver released package, this makes sense from a business perspective. For expensive packages there are some safety procedures to prevent loss or theft, as well. Most importantly, all packages are scanned in real-time every time they're handled, and the last person to scan the box is the first to come under fire if something goes wrong. There's exceptions for extenuating circumstances, but that's the long and short of it.

As for the OP, if you ask the driver yourself when you see him he will more than likely remember to drop packages indoors. As a seasonal driver's helper I've had houses on route that the driver would deliver personally because of this, instead of just passing them off to me, even if it complicated how we delivered a certain block. I doubt the driver just doesn't care.

And, uh, YMMV. I can only speak for my personal experiences.
Old 11-24-2010, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyscrapers Are Gravestones View Post
As for the OP, if you ask the driver yourself when you see him he will more than likely remember to drop packages indoors. (...) I doubt the driver just doesn't care.
I wish you were right! I have spoken with him personally about it and the problem continues. I am wondering if he is trying to save time on the route or something like that.
Old 11-24-2010, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
I wish you were right! I have spoken with him personally about it and the problem continues. I am wondering if he is trying to save time on the route or something like that.
They run them on a very tight schedule. Our FedEx driver comes in the back door and if I am not right there he literally runs across the warehouse to find me and then runs back to his truck. UPS used to periodically send managers with stopwatches along with the driver to time deliveries. I haven't seen that lately.

My house is close to the street with lots of foot traffic on the sidewalk. UPS tosses packages on the steps or porch in plain sight of anyone driving or walking by. I never lost anything but started having anything shipped to me sent to my workplace or to my mom's house. At work, chances are good that I will sign for it and my mom is usually home and her house is far enough away from the road that there's not much chance of a passerby seeing a package sitting there if it's left at the door.

Last edited by River Hippie; 11-24-2010 at 05:59 PM.
Old 11-24-2010, 06:29 PM
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Yeah as others have said, it's the seller that has to deal with it. Insurance protects the sender, but most senders on eBay or the like will make out like it's your problem. I have had stuff go missing and the sender tells me to file a claim. Even after I point out the insurance is for the SENDER they don't want to deal with it. So I just disputed and won.

If you go to the eBay forums it's very time consuming to make UPS pay up. They don't make it easy for you to file a claim for non-delivery, that's why it's best to make sure everything must be signed for.
Old 11-24-2010, 06:51 PM
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Two years ago at Christmastime, UPS delivered a computer to my front porch with no signature, even though I had requested a signature-only delivery from the company (Costco online). It was stolen off my porch within minutes by someone following the truck around. UPS had decided to go ahead and deliver packages with no signatures because the region was having snowstorms and they were behind on deliveries. Costco reimbursed us immediately and they settled up with UPS. I did have to file a police report in order for them to proceed.
Old 11-24-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
I wish you were right! I have spoken with him personally about it and the problem continues. I am wondering if he is trying to save time on the route or something like that.
That could be (and yes, I know how tight they run the schedule). Years ago, I was sitting in my apartment waiting for UPS to show up. Finally saw the truck stop in front, waited, waited, waited and he drove away. That's strange. I walk into the hallway, no tag. I stepped a bit further and on the window next to the door for the 'semi-private' entrance to hallway that fed 6 apartments I found three notices all saying the package was at the main office. From what I can tell, he just went and stuck those on every apartment door and dropped all the boxes off in the main office.
Old 11-25-2010, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Yeah as others have said, it's the seller that has to deal with it. Insurance protects the sender, but most senders on eBay or the like will make out like it's your problem. I have had stuff go missing and the sender tells me to file a claim. Even after I point out the insurance is for the SENDER they don't want to deal with it. So I just disputed and won.

If you go to the eBay forums it's very time consuming to make UPS pay up. They don't make it easy for you to file a claim for non-delivery, that's why it's best to make sure everything must be signed for.
Professional online seller here.
At least one of the major insurance providers will make me send the claim form to the BUYER, then reimburse me after the buyer signs the form and mails it in to them.
You can easily save 50% using the third-party shipping insurance providers; the coverage from the carriers is a rip-off, and the carriers are no easier to collect from than the third-party insurers.
Old 11-25-2010, 02:06 PM
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I order Guy Ottowell's Astronomical Calendar. One year it arrived while I was out of town. UPS left it. It somehow fell off the stoop in front of the door and landed in grass alongside. Then snow fell on it. By the time I discovered it, it was ruined. I called UPS and they replied that any claim had to come from the shipper, not me. The shipper was unwilling to do the paperwork for $25 (+shipping) and I never got indemnified.
Old 11-25-2010, 03:02 PM
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I have a friend who sent a 3 piece vase via UPS to his sister. He insured it for 100 bucks, which is not equal to the vase value. It arrived broken with a hole through the box. He has been fighting them for over a month. He is retired and says he will spend all the time it takes. They refused to pay saying it was poorly packaged. The department that made that judgment did not even look at it. He has taken it in several times. The person who will make the decision is never there. He emailed photos. He sent affidavits from his sister who received it. They just don't want to pay. He is preparing for small claims court next.
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