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FedEx Gorillas broke my telescope

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#1 D.T.

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 10:24 PM

I ordered a custom built Newtonian 8" F/4 from Telescope Service in Germany.  All of the parts I ordered were top of the line and the whole thing cost me about $3500.  They shipped it to me and it took FedEx 6 weeks to deliver it.

 

But that is not the worst of the matter.  Worst was the condition that it arrived in after FedEx finally delivered it.

 

The TS 8" F/4 Newtonian arrived as follows:
1. Did not arrive in Box, arrived in bubble wrap only.
2. There were holes and tears in the bubble wrap, which could have allowed small parts to escape.
3. Loose metal parts were thrown between the bubble wrap and the telescope tube, resulting in scratches on the tube exterior.
4. Loose metal parts were thrown in the tube, without anything to secure the parts and protect the inside of the tube, resulting in scratches inside the tube.
5. Secondary mirror heater was torn off the back of the spider mount assembly.
6. Important screws on the focuser were severely bent (all 3).  It may be difficult to remove the screws now without causing more damage.
7. Cloth endcaps were removed and thrown into the tube, losing any protective value they had.
8. Focuser controller was missing.
9. Both dovetail bars were missing.

10. Padded transport bag was missing

 

It looks to me like it was customs who opened the box and trashed the contents.  I am not asking for any kind of help from this Forum.  But I would like to warn people about shipping with FedEx.

 

Dana

 

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#2 luxo II

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 10:49 PM

That's a deliberate act by someone. I'd be having a discussion with TS about an insurance claim.


Edited by luxo II, 11 August 2022 - 10:49 PM.


#3 Bob4BVM

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 10:54 PM

May be Fedex, i certainly have had lots of stuff destroyed by them in my career, but i'd wonder more about customs, who opened it to inspect.

Did they reuse the orig packing ?

Is that the way the mfgr had it packed to ship all the way to PDX from Germany ??    ? Have you talked to the mfgr ?   

Was there a chain of custody records on the shipment ?

Are you going to file a damages claim ?

 

Last i have to wonder... was there a primary mirror in that tube ???


Edited by Bob4BVM, 11 August 2022 - 10:56 PM.


#4 D_talley

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:07 PM

I can't tell from your photo but was the shipping labels put on the bubble wrap? That would tell you how it was packaged. If it was in a box the labels would be on the box. 



#5 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:16 PM

Dana,

 

I order things large and small all the time from TS. They ALWAYS come in a box, but I note as Dwight mentioned, that some labels are on the bubble wrap. That to me is very strange and I do believe it was opened and handled by local customs / FEDEX before being delivered to you, with someone repacking in bubble wrap and tossing some labels on it. 

 

TS are quite good. Get in touch with them and ask them how the package was sent, then lean on Fedex to find out what they have done. Ultimately, someone (and that someone should not be you), should fork out some money to make it right.

 

Please upload any more photos you may have, and please utilize the maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 permitted (save as quality say 80%), so that we can do a closer inspection. I really feel for you as this scope is a significant investment and I am sure you invested a lot of time to decide on this scope, besides the money, and are feeling all sorts of bad vibes now...


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#6 RichA

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:29 PM

I ordered a custom built Newtonian 8" F/4 from Telescope Service in Germany.  All of the parts I ordered were top of the line and the whole thing cost me about $3500.  They shipped it to me and it took FedEx 6 weeks to deliver it.

 

But that is not the worst of the matter.  Worst was the condition that it arrived in after FedEx finally delivered it.

 

The TS 8" F/4 Newtonian arrived as follows:
1. Did not arrive in Box, arrived in bubble wrap only.
2. There were holes and tears in the bubble wrap, which could have allowed small parts to escape.
3. Loose metal parts were thrown between the bubble wrap and the telescope tube, resulting in scratches on the tube exterior.
4. Loose metal parts were thrown in the tube, without anything to secure the parts and protect the inside of the tube, resulting in scratches inside the tube.
5. Secondary mirror heater was torn off the back of the spider mount assembly.
6. Important screws on the focuser were severely bent (all 3).  It may be difficult to remove the screws now without causing more damage.
7. Cloth endcaps were removed and thrown into the tube, losing any protective value they had.
8. Focuser controller was missing.
9. Both dovetail bars were missing.

10. Padded transport bag was missing

 

It looks to me like it was customs who opened the box and trashed the contents.  I am not asking for any kind of help from this Forum.  But I would like to warn people about shipping with FedEx.

 

Dana

I've seen this kind of thing with customs inspections.  A friend sent a kind of oven (scientific) to someone.  It had a 1/2lb bag of moisture absorber inside it.  They basically broke the door off it (because they were too stupid to know how a latch worked) because they thought it was drugs. They never notify the end person about doing stuff like this.



#7 D.T.

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:34 PM

May be Fedex, i certainly have had lots of stuff destroyed by them in my career, but i'd wonder more about customs, who opened it to inspect.

Did they reuse the orig packing ?

Is that the way the mfgr had it packed to ship all the way to PDX from Germany ??    ? Have you talked to the mfgr ?   

Was there a chain of custody records on the shipment ?

Are you going to file a damages claim ?

 

Last i have to wonder... was there a primary mirror in that tube ???

The primary mirror was not in the tube, it was shipped in a separate box with the mirror cell.  And it was packaged with meticulous care.  Really careful packing, impressive, there must have been a minimum of 3 inches of padding between the mirror and cell and the inside of the box (a very sturdy looking box).  I just received the shipment a few hours ago, so I will need to wait for TS response before they can tell me about the original packaging, but my best guess is that the tube and other parts were packed just as meticulous as the box with the mirror when it left TS.  Which leads to an interesting thought.  If they were really looking for drugs, would they remove the secondary mirror heater (which was glued)? Somebody could hide, at most, a couple of grams of white power behind that.  Yet they left the other box unopened and it was over a foot cube in size?  They may have reused the bubble wrap from the original packaging, but they must have lost or destroyed the box.  The labels on the bubble wrap were all of FedEx origin (no label from TS).



#8 jlinsobe

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:39 PM

Check the tape and whether it matches a smooth pattern.  Fedex should have mentioned “received/delivered /damaged” , they have those labels.

No way in heck should a rookie send a fragile scope in bubble wrap.  How about the shipping dept or dispatching station?

Item must contain a custom declaration.  How come Too many controls were skipped?.

Not even an AliExpress shops.

 

Shame on Fedex for delivering that without an explanation. 

Custom usually inserts a generic government letter with a preprinted signature.

 

 

Off-topic, yesterday I received a $35.00  2” Eyepiece.by  Angeleyes, well wrapped, in a box, wrapped in some new style of pillow bubble wrap..(sturdy)  , inside a bag.

From China !  No issues.

TS ,just bubblewrap? , not even a $45.00 spacer extension!


Edited by jlinsobe, 11 August 2022 - 11:44 PM.


#9 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:44 PM

Interesting article on the subject.



#10 nicknacknock

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 11:47 PM

Sigh, and here's the official page...

 

Check with TS (I am sure they quadruple packed everything) first, and then chase up FEDEX. Ask both if package was insured. If Fedex doesn't cover this, then its off to CPB to file a claim, without that meaning you will be reimbursed as you are filing for a claim with the organization that probably damaged the package and there is no appeal process to an independent party if they decide that they won't reimburse you.


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#11 bobzeq25

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:31 AM

Did you sign for this?  When I saw no box I would have refused delivery.


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#12 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:33 AM

In perspective --- At least they didn't inspect your house!    Tom


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#13 RichA

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:47 AM

I can't tell from your photo but was the shipping labels put on the bubble wrap? That would tell you how it was packaged. If it was in a box the labels would be on the box. 

No telescope seller would ever ship a scope that way.  The only thing I had shipped naked was a car exhaust system.



#14 Neanderthal

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 07:42 AM

Even most of my motorcycle tires arrive in a big box, no way it would be reasonable to ship a scope just bubble-wrapped. That's just crazy! Sad thing is - if you've paid for it via credit card, sounds like it's already past one billing cycle. Typically, you only have one billing cycle to contest a charge, hopefully that will not be the case for for you. Don't waste any time filing your claim.



#15 airbleeder

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 08:04 AM

   Obviously someone screwed it up but who is anybody's guess. I would contact Telescope Service, Fedex, Customs, whoever it takes to for reimbursement and wouldn't shut up until somebody pays up. 


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#16 D.T.

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 10:31 AM

Did you sign for this?  When I saw no box I would have refused delivery.

I had the package delivered to my UPS store.  At the first delivery attempt, the store owner refused delivery because the package only had the address of the UPS store without any indication of who this was for or any box number.  I contacted FedEx and they agreed to try to deliver again the next day and make sure the entire label was on the package.  I talked to the UPS store owner, and told her that package was mine.  I did not have any idea, at that point, that the shipment was not in a box.  The next day the package was delivered and I picked it up at the UPS store.  It was only when I took the package home and opened it that I learned the true extent of the damage.  The signature given upon delivery was that of the UPS store owner.



#17 weis14

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:02 PM

Customs can be a pain.  When I ordered my TTS-160 from Denmark, the Danish customs department opened all of the boxes.  In one box, they failed to return an 8kg counterweight even though they put the case, packaging and invoice back in the (very damaged) box.  I notified TTS and they sent me a replacement weight free of charge while they took the matter up with FedEx or whomever.  



#18 astrokeith

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:11 PM

I used to take scopes with me to TSP (across the 'pond')

 

Twice had trouble cause by the TSA/customs people.

 

Once they opened the Pelican case but put everything back wrong, so a casting fractured.

Second time, they tried to put it back, failed and so sent it down the carousel with the lid open.

 

My airline was BA who said it was common practice for anything 'techie' to be scrutinised and damage was 'common'.



#19 GoFish

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 12:20 PM

I’ve been hoping to someday get a nice Newtonian tube from TS. This experience gives me pause.  I suggest you emphasize with TS the impact something like this has on their business if US sales are important to them.


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#20 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:04 PM

No telescope seller would ever ship a scope that way.  The only thing I had shipped naked was a car exhaust system.

And no shipper would accept a package like this, unless the item was something like clothing.

 

I suspect your villain is Customs, and they are virtually unaccountable. Your tax dollars at work. It is going to take a great deal of time and effort on your part for any restitution.

 

Odd about the box. It should have been easy enough for them to open, and then repack (even if incorrectly). Throwing the item back in the original box would have been the path of least resistance.  Perhaps the box was exposed to rain or water while awaiting inspection?

 

After they finish with a search CBP probably requires the shipper to take the remnants. They certainly don’t want the clutter on their hands. 


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#21 Chad7531

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:10 PM

I’ve been hoping to someday get a nice Newtonian tube from TS. This experience gives me pause. I suggest you emphasize with TS the impact something like this has on their business if US sales are important to them.


What are they going to do, pay off customs officers? That’s a risk you take ordering from overseas. I wouldn’t be hesitant until TS doesn’t make it right. They’re a large company and I have no doubt they will.

Edited by Chad7531, 12 August 2022 - 01:11 PM.


#22 Chad7531

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:17 PM

I suspect your villain is Customs, and they are virtually unaccountable. Your tax dollars at work. It is going to take a great deal of time and effort on your part for any restitution.

It was 99% probably customs. Any delivery company will attempt to repair the package so stuff doesn’t fall out and deliver with a notice that it was damaged. They don’t know if the contents are damaged, they won’t even look at them. They will send it to you and let you determine if it’s damaged or not, then you will have to file a shipping claim. The shipping company won’t make that call. This claim will have to be filed by the shipper. TS will send you a replacement and may not require you to send this one back since they will get reimbursed for it by fedex. I was a mailman for a while, I know a thing or two about shipping.

Edited by Chad7531, 12 August 2022 - 01:18 PM.


#23 GoFish

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:29 PM

What are they going to do, pay off customs officers? That’s a risk you take ordering from overseas. I wouldn’t be hesitant until TS doesn’t make it right. They’re a large company and I have no doubt they will.

I’m not suggesting TS did anything wrong. Just that it is a circumstance that could really hurt their US sales and it’s probably worth pursuing in whatever manner is available to them.

 

I am suggesting, too, that it is a risk I may not be willing to take. Whether or not they make it right isn’t the whole picture, at least for me. I could afford the possible financial loss, but I really try and avoid PITA situations like this will certainly be for the OP.



#24 Chad7531

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 01:33 PM

I’m not suggesting TS did anything wrong. Just that it is a circumstance that could really hurt their US sales and it’s probably worth pursuing in whatever manner is available to them.

I am suggesting, too, that it is a risk I may not be willing to take. Whether or not they make it right isn’t the whole picture, at least for me. I could afford the possible financial loss, but I really try and avoid PITA situations like this will certainly be for the OP.

Right, exactly. That’s really all this is going to be in the long run. A huge pita. A replacement scope is coming and he’ll probably get to keep the mirror and parts from this one too. Well maybe not the mirror, since that was a separate package. I would expect he keeps the rest though.

I would actually refuse to send it back without a prepaid shipping label. Chances are they aren’t going to want to pay for their damaged stuff back since they will get paid for it by fedex.

Amazon may not be the best place for Astronomy gear but I bought a Dob there once. The base had a crack in it but was totally usable. I got a full refund and kept everything and felt like a total winner. It turned out to be a blessing because I was able to use that money for an upgrade and sell the damaged scope for a small loss (if you consider free a loss). Then came an eyepiece buying bonanza since I saved some money. Maybe your higher power has a plan for you too.

Edited by Chad7531, 12 August 2022 - 03:09 PM.

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#25 D.T.

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 05:38 PM

Right, exactly. That’s really all this is going to be in the long run. A huge pita. A replacement scope is coming and he’ll probably get to keep the mirror and parts from this one too. Well maybe not the mirror, since that was a separate package. I would expect he keeps the rest though.

I would actually refuse to send it back without a prepaid shipping label. Chances are they aren’t going to want to pay for their damaged stuff back since they will get paid for it by fedex.

Amazon may not be the best place for Astronomy gear but I bought a Dob there once. The base had a crack in it but was totally usable. I got a full refund and kept everything and felt like a total winner. It turned out to be a blessing because I was able to use that money for an upgrade and sell the damaged scope for a small loss (if you consider free a loss). Then came an eyepiece buying bonanza since I saved some money. Maybe your higher power has a plan for you too.

"Maybe your higher power has a plan for you too."  No, my wife doesn't know what to do!

 

Unfortunately, I didn't think to get insurance on this.  The salesperson at TS didn't think to suggest it to me.  Don't know if that will prevent me from receiving compensation.

 

Unfortunately, I don't expect to have an 8" F4 up and running before the rainy season starts around here.  Not having the scope available to me until after the end of local telescope season is more important to me than the loss of the money.

 

Sending this back to TS does not seem to be a good option to me.  The tube has a few scratches on it, but appears to be fully functional.  The primary mirror and mirror cell came in a separate box and are fine.  If TS will replace the lost or damaged parts, and I can get somebody from my local astronomy club to help me repair it, that may be a better solution.

 

 




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