I shipped a completed deer head to a customer through UPS and they managed to break both antlers off at the bases. The rack "was" a 190 class typical whitetail. I had it packaged in a nearly industructable (I thought) 2X2 framed, 1/2" covered CDX plywood crate with the mount free floating in the crate by screwing it securly to one side. When the mount was recieved by my customer, the screws of the top of the crate had been removed and the lid was missing. The antlers were boken off, but the rest of the mount was not damaged and the crate had no signs of damage. It looked as if someone had removed the lid and broken off the antlers on purpose. I had the package insured for $1000. I am planning to offer my customer the option of sending the head back to me where I will repair it and send it back to him. I'll cover all the labor and shipping costs out of the insurance and send him the balance that is left. The other option will be to send him the total insurance payout and let him get the mount fixed locally. Have any of you ever delt with this scenario before and if so, how did you reconcile it? I am also considering going after UPS for additional compensation as it aprear to have been purposfully damaged. I may even consider pressing criminal charges as it does apear that a crime has been commited. I'm just real POed and so is my customer.
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I will never deal with UPS again. High shipping cost, Fast shipping is their major concern, and never had a problem with the lower cost of US Postal Service. Sorry about your dilemma. Sounds like it was malicious. I'd take it to court based on the fact that those antlers can never be scored in the record books now, and were once irreplacable.
i worked at fed ex ground for a bit, and it is all about how fast you can load those trucks. there were times when the conveyer belts got so full of packages that they went off over the side. but for the most part everything was stacked into the truck nice and neat to use up all the space. man it sucked working there at times.
You would not be able to file criminal charges against a company. To file criminal charges against an employee you would have to be able to prove who actually broke the antlers. Then you would have to prove malicious intent. This I would believe would be next to impossible. If you can show that they were damaged intentionally I do believe that you would have a civil case against UPS for whatever amount you determine the lose is, even over the insurance. Insurance is strictly to cover an accident or loss. This sounds like neither. Of course insurance will cover it because UPS will say it was an accident. I think if insurance will cover the loss and make the customer happy I would go for that. If you have a situation like Pete-pec said and the customer wanted the antlers scored then you may have to go to civil court to make the customer happy. I'm a police officer in Maryland and this is what I would tell someone if they called 911. Yes people call 911 for everything. I'm sure your probably in another state. What I said will probably hold true in your state also but ask an officer or a lawyer what they think. Hope everything works out for you.
I was talking with another supplier that was having trouble with UPS. They said that if you mark the box with the words taxidermy or list animal parts on the outside of the box, employees of UPS that are PETA friendly are damaging and even loosing the shipment on purpose. UPS is having internal problems with is's employees.
Before I shipped it, I checked with several other freight companies with better reputations, but their prices were much higher than UPS, 3 to 5 times higher. The crate needed to be 44 X 27 X 27 to fit the mount with a couple inches to spare around the edges for safty. I did not have any indication that it was a deer head on the crate, but I did disclose to UPS what the contents were, so they may have labled it as such. I did have Fragile marked on all sides along with dirrections on how to open the crate and remove the head writen on the outside. My customer tells me that both antlers broke off cleanly right at the skull plate, so the repair should not be to difficult. He could even make the antlers removable. As for scoring it, it was a re-mount with a different cape and it has already been scored.
marking Fragile on the outside. someone from UPS once told me that do nat mark Fragile or Glass on the outside. It is like an invitation to beat up the box a little harder.
Anytime you insure anything for a thousand dollars or more it will be opened by UPS; 999.00 and down they will not. They WILL NOT pay on taxidermy mount damage unless they lose it completely. If you ever do get them pay I would be shocked to find that out, they will never pay you twice on a different shipment because you are then on a automatic DENY list. NEVER mark fragile on the box. NEVER write the word taxidermy as part of your address or as the contents, write artwork and just the the first part of your business name or just from you.
with UPS, or have your customer do it. They may not have to pay, since you have insured it. Either way, the customer or you, depending on who paid the freight charges, will get compensated. I work for a major truck company, and we handle ALOT of taxidermy work. We never open it, and handle it with care. Might be because most of us are hunters. Might cost a little more going with a freight company, but quite often it's overnight or second day delivery, and gets there in good shape.
UPS SUCKS !
You know how much force it would take to break off 190 deer antlers at the bases? I imagine that the skull would crack and the hide would tear before the horns would break off. Either the deer was close to shedding when he was killed, or I am call BS. How well do you trust the customer? Even if the crate was opened and someone wacked on the bases with a hatchet, surely there would be blown stiches and the skull plate would come loose before the antler would break off. And most likely the ear bases would be broken off too.
When I did this mount, I bondo-ed the antlers to the maniquin filling and building up the entire skull cap area with bondo. The bases were reinforced that way. I had carried the mount around by the antlers after mounting it and did not notice any weekness, cracks or any such problems with the antlers. The skull cap was large as well providing a solid base. I supose it is possible that the antlers could have been weak at the bases, but it still would have taken some awfuly rough treatment for them to have both broken off like that. I still think that it was vandalism.
With a pheasant mount with fence post and snow.I received it and it was busted all to pieces and UPS did pay for it.I bought this thing cheap from a guy and when it arrived it had bright orange stickers all over the box and marked fragile.Of course,I took pictures after it was opened so there was no denying it.I agree,never mark on the box as it only attracts people to do damage.
Do not,I repeat,do not put FRAGILE stickers on the boxes and do not and I again repeat do not put TAXIDERMY in any way on the outside of box,it works most times..Earl
I have shipped literally hundreds of bobcat mounts through UPS and marked ever single one of them FRAGILE...in several locations on the box...I also write taxidermy on the shipping list...Not one has been damged....zero....not too mention I have shipped several other critters also....zero problems...I use heavy duty U-haul boxes---never had a problem...I`d say that`s a pretty dang good record. I`m for UPS all the way...USPS isn`t worth you`re time or especially money...
...I have shipped well over 2,000 boar heads and other taxidermy items via UPS pver the last 15 years and NEVER had any problmes with busted mounts or vandalized boxes.
UPS has contacted me twice to question me about the shipment. They inspected the crate and the damaged head. They said that they could not find where I had screwed the back of the mount to the crate and that it looked like I had glued the antlers onto the head and that the glue did not hold. I assured them that the antlers were not glued to the head and that I did infact have six screws holding the back of the form to the crate. It sounds like they are going to deny my claim and try to blame it on me. I've got a few surprises for them though. I have high quality (7.1 megapixel) photos of the antlers and the bases before mounting. I also have photos of the rack on the maniquen before mounting to show how that was done. I also have photos of the finished mount. Then I have photos of the mount secured inside the crate before I screwed downt he lid. I also had at least a dozen people that saw that mount before I shipped it out including a few people that saw it in the crate. If they give me trouble on this one, I'm fully prepared to take legal action and I will win. Otherwise, my customer has told me that he would be satisfied with the $1000 insurance payout plus a refund of the shipping cost. If I sue them, it will be for much more than the insurance payout.