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The TCA-ED website has this notice, but it appears to somewhat understate the problem discussed here (and is certainly not helpful, which anyone who has ever had to deal with one of these shippers knows full well):

***ATTENTION --- We are now aware that UPS mislabeled several shipping labels during York which has lead to delays in delivery. If anyone is having these problems please contact UPS directly about their problem.

The TCA-ED website has this notice, but it appears to somewhat understate the problem discussed here (and is certainly not helpful, which anyone who has ever had to deal with one of these shippers knows full well):

***ATTENTION --- We are now aware that UPS mislabeled several shipping labels during York which has lead to delays in delivery. If anyone is having these problems please contact UPS directly about their problem.

That's a total crock Allan!  Forever is more than a delay in shipment!  They must know all of the packages disappeared by now!   They would be better off not posting anything than a lame disclaimer like that.

My experience with UPS at York has always been satisfactory. I live 2,700 miles away and usually receive my packages the following Thursday. Anyone who used their services this fall may have experienced the inconvenience of a malfunctioning label printer in the Blue/Silver hall. The on-site UPS personnel had to call the store to complete each transaction. They were setting the boxes aside and would label them at the store. This may explain the mix up of packages.  

That’s the thing. There was no mislabeling. I compared my copy of the shipping label to the labels I have from the previous three York Meets I shipped trains home. Information on the labels was identical to the label from October’s Meet. The label they put on the box is printed at the same time as the copy I receive.

A few days into the box’s travel, the tracking showed “We updated the delivery information for your package.”  Then it arrived at a hub in California with an “alternate tracking number”. Clicking on the alternate number revealed that they were “updating plans to deliver your package “.  Later that day it was marked as delivered to the same hub they were updating plans for delivery. That was the beginning of my investigation and after weaving through the UPS automated service system and finally talked to a human being is when they informed me the box was flagged for a fraud alert.

They couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me why it was flagged or when I would get delivery. The only thing they would say was to contact the store I shipped the package from. After a few hours I tried calling UPS again and got a different operator. I was told the exact same thing. It then took three days calling twice a day and leaving messages before someone answered the phone at the store that handled the shipment from the Fairgrounds. I finally was able to talk to the guy who did the shipping who rambled about a new UPS fraud process and every package from Friday through Saturday afternoon was affected. He assured me I would get my shipment. He even called back later to confirm my tracking number.

One week later he informed me the box was disposed of after an unknown amount of time. No other information. My only choice was to file a claim. But he said to send him info of what was shipped and the cost for payment. I did that and they filed the claim for me. I gave them copies of receipts and links to the trains I bought.

Through this ordeal, although I was broiling inside and wanting to spit venom, I remained calm and professional in my conversations with the store and UPS customer service. I’d like to think handling this in that manner may expedite my resolution.

It sounds like you'll get financial relief, and I'm glad for you.  But this sounds an awful lot like theft and/or fraud involving interstate commerce.  If this affected me personally, I would be on the phone with my nearest FBI office!  I still think we should document the "missing" trains, in case they turn up in the future.

@Traindiesel posted:

...One week later he informed me the box was disposed of after an unknown amount of time. No other information. My only choice was to file a claim. But he said to send him info of what was shipped and the cost for payment. I did that and they filed the claim for me. I gave them copies of receipts and links to the trains I bought....

Thanks for sharing the details.  The claim process is interesting because most of us never get a receipt for what we buy at York, and I can see it being problematic to ask for one - I don't think that most sellers are prepared to do this, and many non-dealers might think that the buyer is a tax agent.  Having receipts and pictures is probably something for us to remember when shipping items.  Did you get receipts from private sellers?

Are you planning to publish a list of items so that people can watch for them?  A notice in the TCA newsletter might also be worthwhile.

@Ted S posted:

It sounds like you'll get financial relief, and I'm glad for you.  But this sounds an awful lot like theft and/or fraud involving interstate commerce.  If this affected me personally, I would be on the phone with my nearest FBI office!  I still think we should document the "missing" trains, in case they turn up in the future.

If the missing items appear on an auction or other site and are shipped to a buyer via the post office, would mail fraud also apply?  If so, the postmaster should be contacted.

Though we think trains are a big deal......this is really a small fraternity. If in total it was a large load of trains missing, would it not be prudent to post a list of all the trains that were "undelivered/missing" so that all of us in the train community, train clubs and those who buy collections can be on the look out?

I suspect that if it was a planned event, it is probably local/ PA or northeast/mid-Atlantic.

Just a thought......or am I being naive?

Peter

@Traindiesel posted:
Through this ordeal, although I was broiling inside and wanting to spit venom, I remained calm and professional in my conversations with the store and UPS customer service. I’d like to think handling this in that manner may expedite my resolution.

You're probably right regarding your demeanor, but I doubt I could have retained my cool after what you've been through!

FWIW, this fiasco sounds just like one that happened to me many years ago, I figured since I hadn't heard about a similar incident that they plugged that hole.  Apparently, I was wrong.

I went out on my porch about 25 years ago and found a large UPS box sitting there.  Now, I knew I hadn't ordered anything that would be coming at that time, so I popped it open.  I found two Toshiba laptops, retail price at the time was over $1500 each.  On tracking it down, someone had gotten my credit card number and ordered these, as well as running up another $800 for overseas shipping bills.  I immediately called American Express and reported the problem.  At that time, I also found out why the laptops came to me.  The thieves placed the order, then called the store and tried to change the shipping address after the fact.  They weren't allowed to, and apparently they either weren't willing to drive up a long driveway to try to retrieve them, or they weren't anywhere near my location.

Of course, in my situation, there was never a question of not getting my money back, it was credited right after the fraud report.

This situation sounds very similar, someone managed to sidetrack the shipment.  I'd bet money that UPS talking about disposing the packages was not exactly correct, when they found out they were missing and the shipment routing was compromised, someone was doing a bit of CYA.

@Ted S posted:

It sounds like you'll get financial relief, and I'm glad for you.  But this sounds an awful lot like theft and/or fraud involving interstate commerce.  If this affected me personally, I would be on the phone with my nearest FBI office!

FBI?     Really?

As @Putnam Division has pointed out this is relatively small peanuts.  What kind of answer do you expect to get when you call the FBI?  "We'll be right over Mr. Hobbyist.  Thanks for making a Federal Case out of it."  Even though it is technically a federal case the OP has little recourse here.

Far less nefarious than the circumstances surrounding his issue here, I bought a 1990 700e (6-18005), offered in a post on this forum, in 'For Sale or Trade', from a fellow forumite about a year ago.  Fedex delivered it to my next-door neighbor instead of me.  The picture the driver took of the box resting next to the door where it was left leaves no doubt.

The seller and I have both pestered Fedex to death on this one, and filled out all the required paperwork, with the receipt.  The seller got my money.  I got no 700E -- and no reimbursement either.   Maybe I should call the FBI?  Is incompetence also a Federal offense?  (Theft by neighbor may be.)

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike


Far less nefarious than the circumstances surrounding his issue here, I bought a 1990 700e (6-18005), offered in a post on this forum, in 'For Sale or Trade', from a fellow forumite about a year ago.  Fedex delivered it to my next-door neighbor instead of me.  The picture the driver took of the box resting next to the door where it was left leaves no doubt.

The seller and I have both pestered Fedex to death on this one, and filled out all the required paperwork, with the receipt.  The seller got my money.  I got no 700E -- and no reimbursement either.   Maybe I should call the FBI?  Is incompetence also a Federal offense?  (Theft by neighbor may be.)

Mike

Sounds like you need better neighbors.  I've gotten things addressed for neighbors before, even neighbors I really disliked, and I just walked it over to their house.  Even got one for the next street over (right house #, wrong cul-de-sac), and took that to them.

Another USPS problem:

I once had USPS hold my mail for a week while I was away on vacation. I scheduled it to be picked up in person by me upon my return. Instead, they "delivered" a package to my house while I was away and it disappeared. However, upon calling the post Office they not only admitted that the delivery person made a mistake (he delivered it to the wrong house) but they mistakenly delivered it instead of holding it as requested by my hold-mail directive.

Result: nothing. USPS told me I should have purchased insurance for it, and despite two different errors on their end they refused any sort of reimbursement. Thankfully, I had paid with a credit card and they refunded my money.

FBI?     Really?

As @Putnam Division has pointed out this is relatively small peanuts.  What kind of answer do you expect to get when you call the FBI?  "We'll be right over Mr. Hobbyist.  Thanks for making a Federal Case out of it."  Even though it is technically a federal case the OP has little recourse here.

Far less nefarious than the circumstances surrounding his issue here, I bought a 1990 700e (6-18005), offered in a post on this forum, in 'For Sale or Trade', from a fellow forumite about a year ago.  Fedex delivered it to my next-door neighbor instead of me.  The picture the driver took of the box resting next to the door where it was left leaves no doubt.

The seller and I have both pestered Fedex to death on this one, and filled out all the required paperwork, with the receipt.  The seller got my money.  I got no 700E -- and no reimbursement either.   Maybe I should call the FBI?  Is incompetence also a Federal offense?  (Theft by neighbor may be.)

Mike

You must treat your neighbor like you do some of your fellow forum members. 😄

Seriously though, did you not go talk to your neighbor? It sounds like you have a picture of it clearly on their porch?

Maybe it's time to play some mailbox baseball or some other shenanigans. If my neighbor did that they would surely regret it.

I have to agree with you that the FBI thing would be a waste of time.

Brad

Last edited by B rad

UPS is "regulated" by the federal Surface Transportaion Board (successor to the old ICC); the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and the Postal Regulatory Commission.

However, if I were inclined to file a formal complaint about this issue, I would duplicate file it with the local BBB; the PA state AG's consumer protection office; the FTC; and the US Postal Service.   

I would add in the body of the complaint that, based upon the odd circumstances and bizarre explanation from UPS surrounding the loss, it may be a situation where some type of fraud and/or criminal activity is involved and you would like them to investigate.

The seller and I have both pestered Fedex to death on this one, and filled out all the required paperwork, with the receipt.  The seller got my money.  I got no 700E -- and no reimbursement either.   Maybe I should call the FBI?  Is incompetence also a Federal offense?  (Theft by neighbor may be.)

Gee, someone mailed a rather expensive locomotive to my old house almost a year after I moved out.  The new owners called me and even offered to drive it over.  I went and fetched it, I didn't think they should go to any more trouble.  You clearly need better neighbors.

FBI?     Really?

As @Putnam Division has pointed out this is relatively small peanuts.  What kind of answer do you expect to get when you call the FBI?  "We'll be right over Mr. Hobbyist.  Thanks for making a Federal Case out of it."  Even though it is technically a federal case the OP has little recourse here.

Far less nefarious than the circumstances surrounding his issue here, I bought a 1990 700e (6-18005), offered in a post on this forum, in 'For Sale or Trade', from a fellow forumite about a year ago.  Fedex delivered it to my next-door neighbor instead of me.  The picture the driver took of the box resting next to the door where it was left leaves no doubt.

The seller and I have both pestered Fedex to death on this one, and filled out all the required paperwork, with the receipt.  The seller got my money.  I got no 700E -- and no reimbursement either.   Maybe I should call the FBI?  Is incompetence also a Federal offense?  (Theft by neighbor may be.)

Shame on you for this post.

This is obviously NOT the same thing as an incorrectly delivered package. It's sounds like it's affecting many people that shipped their items from York, and potentially a lot more money than one 700e reissue.

Given the suspicious circumstances, the number of people affected, the commission of a crime across state lines, and the involvement of a common carrier, which are regulated by the federal government, the FBI is most certainly who I would call.

Gee, someone mailed a rather expensive locomotive to my old house almost a year after I moved out.  The new owners called me and even offered to drive it over.  I went and fetched it, I didn't think they should go to any more trouble.  You clearly need better neighbors.

Based on the tone of MHM's comments (both here and in other threads), having better neighbors might start with being a better neighbor.

Last edited by BlueComet400
@rplst8 posted:


Given the suspicious circumstances, the number of people affected, the commission of a crime across state lines, and the involvement of a common carrier, which are regulated by the federal government, the FBI is most certainly who I would call.

Exactly how many were affected?  Do we know this number?

If everyone, or most everyone, lost their stuff the when it was shipped out of York then by all means please get the FBI involved.

But, because a crime was apparently committed in both, whether federal or not, the end result for the OP here is very little different from my situation.

That's why I made light of it.

Thank you for the clarification.

Mike

Depending on which trains were "thrown away," how many, etc., a container load could easily be worth $50,000-$100,000 or more.  I think that's enough for felony theft.  And an investigation may uncover other instances of wrongdoing.

If the goods were transported by (or the information was shared for nefarious purposes by) UPS employees and not the US Post Office, then I don't think the Postal Inspector would have jurisdiction.

My personal experience with an identity theft incident is that local police aren't willing or able to get involved with crimes that begin or end outside of their  limited geographic jurisdiction.  If the shipment allegedly went from Pennsylvania to California (i.e., across state lines), then as I understand the responsibilities of US law enforcement agencies, it would be the purview of the FBI.

I know that several years ago, based on a tip from a private citizen, the FBI investigated and prosecuted wrongdoing associated with the McDonalds Monopoly promotional game.  So sometimes they DO get involved in what seems like "small stuff."  If you are an aggrieved party in this case and pay taxes, then you have a right to request an audience with an investigator, and share the details of what you were told.  And if any of the trains DO eventually surface, then I would DEFINITELY pursue a criminal investigation.

I guess part of me feels that if we just let this go, it'll happen again.  My $.02.

I believe the York UPS store operated correctly at the start. As I mentioned the shipping label was identical to the labels from previous York Meet shipments.

Things got weird when the box reached California (Los Angeles area) when shipping delivery time was changed and the box received an ‘alternate tracking number’.  Then ::oof::: went the box.

The store’s inability and/or incompetence along with UPS customer disservice to tell me what happened to my shipment seems system wide.

I’ve already made the decision that at future York Meets, if I can’t bring it on the flight home I won’t buy it or I’ll order from the hobby shop. Maybe bring a couple extra suitcases.

On a final note they are reimbursing me for what I insured the package for plus the cost of shipping. A little less than what the total cost was but I guess I’m lucky to get that.

This doesn’t affect my attendance at future York Meets but UPS is dead to me.

@Traindiesel posted:

I believe the York UPS store operated correctly at the start. As I mentioned the shipping label was identical to the labels from previous York Meet shipments.

Things got weird when the box reached California (Los Angeles area) when shipping delivery time was changed and the box received an ‘alternate tracking number’.  Then ::oof::: went the box.

The store’s inability and/or incompetence along with UPS customer disservice to tell me what happened to my shipment seems system wide.

I’ve already made the decision that at future York Meets, if I can’t bring it on the flight home I won’t buy it or I’ll order from the hobby shop. Maybe bring a couple extra suitcases.

On a final note they are reimbursing me for what I insured the package for plus the cost of shipping. A little less than what the total cost was but I guess I’m lucky to get that.

This doesn’t affect my attendance at future York Meets but UPS is dead to me.

I think you're taking this very well. Many folks spend years looking for special finds at shows and you just had a shipper ruin the search.

Thanks for portraying your patience and calm as an example for all.

Last edited by H1000

I was not impacted by this but have been watching the thread with great interest. I'm not sure though there will be any new info unless someone decides to put the energy into digging in further. Like others, it doesn't feel to me like the real story is being shared by the UPS Store or UPS Corporate.

Brian showed tremendous patience, which is tough for many when they would be in the same situation. Customer service reps often get the brunt of the customers frustration, though they really had nothing to do with the root cause of the problem, and the nicer you are to them, the more likely you would get the best outcome they are able to provide. 

I guess you could always box things up and take then to UPS, USPS or FedEx yourself , or forgo the shipping and carry-on yourself. There are millions of packages shipped every day by these carriers and you don't hear about the 99.9%+ that have no issue and just the small % that go awry. It stinks for those impacted, but I believe this is a very small fraction.

I'd still like to get the real story but I doubt any more will surface.

@Traindiesel posted:

I believe the York UPS store operated correctly at the start. As I mentioned the shipping label was identical to the labels from previous York Meet shipments.

Things got weird when the box reached California (Los Angeles area) when shipping delivery time was changed and the box received an ‘alternate tracking number’.  Then ::oof::: went the box.

The store’s inability and/or incompetence along with UPS customer disservice to tell me what happened to my shipment seems system wide.

I’ve already made the decision that at future York Meets, if I can’t bring it on the flight home I won’t buy it or I’ll order from the hobby shop. >>>>Maybe bring a couple extra suitcases.<<<<

Seriously, Brian? You plan to let baggage handlers “place” your trains in, and “remove” them from an airline luggage compartment? Might wanna rethink that, no?

On a final note they are reimbursing me for what I insured the package for plus the cost of shipping. A little less than what the total cost was but I guess I’m lucky to get that.

This doesn’t affect my attendance at future York Meets but UPS is dead to me.

@Ted S posted:

I guess part of me feels that if we just let this go, it'll happen again.  My $.02.

I think that's where this thread is headed...unfortunately.

Earlier I questioned what steps could be recommended to thwart future repeats...FI, having a purchase receipt with all essential information.

But, from a couple responses, it would seem that 'receipts' are the anathema of a York meet.  All sorts of reasons why they're neither asked for nor provided.  Apparently, it's the 'wink-wink' of York transactions.

I guess caveat emptor reigns supreme...even when considering an established shipper like UPS.

Re employing an on-site shipper selected by EDTCA to forward purchases?...TEHO, but not by this guy.

Finis.

@Traindiesel posted:

This doesn’t affect my attendance at future York Meets but UPS is dead to me.

I don't blame you at all. I would feel the same way.

GRJ: "My offer still stands, I'll drop them off at the shipper of your choice after York. " I make the same offer. If someone wants something shipped and I am at York I would be happy to drop it off wherever you want on my way home.

@dkdkrd posted:

But, from a couple responses, it would seem that 'receipts' are the anathema of a York meet.  All sorts of reasons why they're neither asked for nor provided.  Apparently, it's the 'wink-wink' of York transactions.



I don't see York being any different from any other train shows I have attended and I don't think there is a dislike for receipts. I just think that most sellers feel there isn't a need for a receipt. I almost never have had to return an item bought from York or a regular train show but then again I almost never buy high end expensive locomotives/items at train shows. Things are always changing and maybe there will come a time where buyers will ask for receipts.

@Steve T posted:

...may have experienced the inconvenience of a malfunctioning label printer in the Blue/Silver hall. .... They were setting the boxes aside and would label them at the store....

I think the idea of an "inside job" is kind of far fetched but this kind of caught my eye.  Telling consumers a reason why they aren't labeling their box could line up with a plan to swindle it into their own vehicle.  If they weren't really talking to UPS on the phone, they could basically just run the cards on their own "credit card machine", and everything all of a sudden disappears.

Once again I think the whole idea is pretty far fetched but you never know!  Perhaps the fairgrounds has surveillance video?

Then again, if traindiesel got a refund, then it was a part of UPS business.  Or maybe they know about the whole scam! It can really make you brainstorm here.

Perhaps, some sellers, at least in the Orange Hall will be willing to ship items after the show themselves for a small fee.  Folks with a store could charge a small convenience fee to ship it from their store like a normal internet sale.  Perhaps even some sellers in member halls, if they have a good reputation and all.  Nothing to track in the end except that you mailed something.

@dkdkrd posted:

I think that's where this thread is headed...unfortunately.

Earlier I questioned what steps could be recommended to thwart future repeats...FI, having a purchase receipt with all essential information.

But, from a couple responses, it would seem that 'receipts' are the anathema of a York meet.  All sorts of reasons why they're neither asked for nor provided.  Apparently, it's the 'wink-wink' of York transactions.

I guess caveat emptor reigns supreme...even when considering an established shipper like UPS.

Re employing an on-site shipper selected by EDTCA to forward purchases?...TEHO, but not by this guy.

Finis.

Well members, which in York's case is a members first meet, would probably never give a receipt as there is no reason to.  If I do purchase a high ticket item from the vendors I ask for a receipt for warranty purposes.  I guess it all depends what halls you spent your money.

@MartyE posted:

Well members, which in York's case is a members first meet, would probably never give a receipt as there is no reason to.  If I do purchase a high ticket item from the vendors I ask for a receipt for warranty purposes.  I guess it all depends what halls you spent your money.

I always get the persons TCA member ID. Then if needed, you could always ask for a receipt after the fact at least.

We all have areas of expertise on here.  Generally, based on a career we spent many years deeply involved in.  It stinks this happened, is happening, your recourse is strictly the shipper and their insurance system in reality.  You may break even, you may even lose some, but it's the best you'll get.  We can all hope this doesn't happen next time and UPS will learn from the issue.   To those calling for the FBI, Postal Inspectors and Feds in general. Now you are in my area, and it's not happening.  Every case of fraud or mail theft or any of the circumstances these guys work is generally in the multi-millions of dollars.   The US prosecutors office would never accept a case against UPS or (if individuals were found to be involved) for the value of a few dozen lost shipments of trains.  Prosecutions are based on totality of the circumstances and loss amounts.   Maybe we have 30/40,000 dollars of lost trains?   What if it's 100,000 dollars?  Not even remotely in the area of a prosecution.   If there cannot be a prosecution at the end, there will be no federal investigation.  Forget the one-off story you heard from your great uncle, or your neighbor or what you saw on TV.  It just does not work that way in general.   Be glad too, there aren't enough feds and prosecutors at that level to even handle the 40 million dollar scams against the elderly cases the fraud agents work!  Anyway, not making a stir, just sharing that the fed angle isn't practical or realistic.   Work it out with UPS.  I really hope ya'll get your trains!

Unfortunately all of the major carriers are lacking when it comes to claims. UPS and USPS have a $1000 limit on insurance, Fedex caps it at $5,000.

@Traindiesel posted:

I believe the York UPS store operated correctly at the start. As I mentioned the shipping label was identical to the labels from previous York Meet shipments.

Things got weird when the box reached California (Los Angeles area) when shipping delivery time was changed and the box received an ‘alternate tracking number’.  Then ::oof::: went the box.

The store’s inability and/or incompetence along with UPS customer disservice to tell me what happened to my shipment seems system wide.

I’ve already made the decision that at future York Meets, if I can’t bring it on the flight home I won’t buy it or I’ll order from the hobby shop. Maybe bring a couple extra suitcases.

On a final note they are reimbursing me for what I insured the package for plus the cost of shipping. A little less than what the total cost was but I guess I’m lucky to get that.

This doesn’t affect my attendance at future York Meets but UPS is dead to me.

Before you go to York, go to Goodwill and buy some nicer used suitcases. Load them with bubblewrap and bring them with you. If you buy something, pack  it up and pay the extra to bring it back on the flight. If you do not find anything you can donate the suitcases to someone at York. Shipping with the big three is a crap shoot. Fedex, UPS, and USPS will fight you to no end if you make a claim. USPS and UPS have a $1000 limit on insurance, Fedex is $5000, and as you have found out, good luck if you have to file a claim.

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