Well folks, I'm happy to announce that the seemingly endless saga of "The Disappearing 29-foot Trailer" has come to a close. It has been just under 6 weeks since I packed my life up in a UPS Freight truck and sent it on its way to Austin, only to be told that my shipment had been "misrouted". A week and a half (and 2-3 phone calls a day) into the confusion, the truck was located in Columbus, OH and, five days after that, pulled into my driveway. Most of you have already witnessed the horror I discovered when I stepped on the truck, but if not, see my previous blog. In a nutshell, it looked as though the trailer had done a few somersaults with my stuff inside.
In a state of shock, I salvaged what I could and prepared myself for battle with the claims department. I pulled out the big guns for this one and asked my friend Stacey (who is an expert consumer rights advocate) to help me draft a letter and find executive email addresses - thanks Stacey! I tweeted, I blogged, I facebooked my photos and did whatever I could to get the attention of UPS. Something must have worked because not too long after all of that, I was contacted by the UPS Freight Claims Director who promised to personally look into my case and keep me informed. Based on my experience over the past 3 weeks, however, I was skeptical. I figured that was what he told everyone and that I'd never hear from him again.
Proving me wrong, and true to his word, the Claims Director (we'll call him "John") got back to me and explained that my shipment somehow did not get logged when it left CA. That's why it was sent to Ohio where it was unloaded (which was not supposed to happen either) and, instead of someone owning up to it, they threw it back on the trailer and shipped it off to Texas. John assured me that the mistakes had been recognized and the people involved had been written up. He also said that UPS was going to offer a good faith settlement to replace what was damaged and waive the shipping fees - very generous since their contractual liability was only $100!
All in all, while the experience was not one I'd like to repeat, I think it ended on a positive note. I believe that everything happens for a reason - I haven't quite figured out the lesson in this one yet - but I do feel that the outcome was fair. I got an explanation, an apology and a reimbursement check. Now it's time to put this behind me and settle into my new place. Who knows, maybe those pesky road pirates simply thought I needed to beef up my camping skills!