An important tip from a courier horror story

The thumbnail version:

  • Courier companies can lose your valuable stuff
  • Be prepared for such an eventuality

The full version:

It doesn’t always end like this!

Bad experiences often have something to teach us, though it might be difficult to see it at the time, particularly if you’re so mad that you’re fit to be tied. But later, in retrospect, there are usually a few tips worth keeping in mind.

I have just such a situation to tell you about and an important tip that came out of it.

Three weeks ago I shipped an original botanical art painting that had been selected for a prestigious travelling exhibition starting in New York. It was then to travel to other main centers in the US until 2023.

The big international express courier company “lost” the package.

Well, we’re not even sure that “lost” is right because the story changed five times over three weeks of inquiries. It started with “we have the package but the contents have been removed,” then moved to “the package is missing,” then back to “we have the package but the painting is missing,” then back again to “the package is missing,” then finally, “we have the package, it’s badly damaged and the contents are missing. File a claim.”

Here’s the important tip . . . if you ship anything of value, take images of the item, the step-by-step packing process, and the package ready for handing to the courier. These images will prove invaluable when the courier company asks for a description of what they’re looking for. And then when they can’t find the package, the images are helpful  for negotiating with their claims department for compensation.

Fortunately I did this. It didn’t help in the search for the “lost” package but it’s sure helping in the discussions about compensation.