A Sorry Tale of Incompetence

norliss

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Sorry to hear about all this, @George 47 - a total fiasco and completely unacceptable!

Back in the day UPS struck me as one of the more 'proper' couriers and luckily I never had a problem with them. However, I'd noticed they'd never really kept up-to-date with many of the others in terms of tracking, delivery windows etc which gave me the impression there's probably a lack of vision and investment at that company.

I'm certainly not going to use them in the future given what you (and others here) have said in this thread.
 
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Beobloke

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It’s funny. I’ve been using UPS for 10-15 years and they are the only courier company I trust to ship hi-fi equipment. If I’m forced to use others, I always worry!!

Still, I think we can all agree that Parcelfarce are shite…
 

Birdbrain

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It’s funny. I’ve been using UPS for 10-15 years and they are the only courier company I trust to ship hi-fi equipment. If I’m forced to use others, I always worry!!

Still, I think we can all agree that Parcelfarce are shite…
But I have never had any problems with Parcelforce, and can tell stories of really outstanding service. Same with Royal Mail.
All couriers are in a race to the bottom (started by Hermes?) because everyone expects unreasonably cheap deliveries. I noticed that all couriers changed with the 'lockdown'. The best couriers would previously never just dump a parcel on your doorstep. Now all of them do it (as started by Hermes).

Shipping things out of the country for repair is not something that people did in the old days. You didn't send your Conrad Johnson amp to the USA for a repair. Paperwork is bound to lead to problems.
OP's story..... I would have expected UK distributor to have handled shipping and associated paperwork both ways, that way the paperwork would have tied up. It seems that wasn't done, so I'm not surprised there was big confusion with the paperwork.
 
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toprepairman

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If something is really valuable and you don't want to lose it then you only have 3 options, use a local taxi driver, Addison Lee, or deliver it yourself. All expensive options but pretty reliable.
 

MVJ

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For a bit of context Anthony my sons company's have used UPS for a long time (10/12 years) and has only had a handful of bad deliveries.

We are talking tens of thousands all over the world so they are not all that bad.
 
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George 47

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OP's story..... I would have expected UK distributor to have handled shipping and associated paperwork both ways, that way the paperwork would have tied up. It seems that wasn't done, so I'm not surprised there was big confusion with the paperwork.
To be fair SDD did sort out the DAC to Mola Mola. It was the reimporting into the UK that caused the fun and games. SDD was on holiday and Mola Mola undertook the return. SDD also lent me a demo DAC for all this period.

In fact, SDD would normally do the re-importing and not use UPS.
 

Birdbrain

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To be fair SDD did sort out the DAC to Mola Mola. It was the reimporting into the UK that caused the fun and games. SDD was on holiday and Mola Mola undertook the return. SDD also lent me a demo DAC for all this period.

In fact, SDD would normally do the re-importing and not use UPS.
And that is how it all went wrong.
I have been putting off sending something abroad for repair.
When I looked into it, the advice was to use the same courier both ways so that the paperwork all tied together. But easier to let the importer deal with it.
You can see how Customs wanted to charge you VAT. I can't see UPS at fault here, it would have been messy whoever did it.
You could end up with the repairer you are sending to also getting hit with VAT at their end, so a real mess to sort out. I think that there is paperwork to go with a parcel to clear it both ways.
 
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George 47

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It was not so much the mess but the inability of UPS to provide any customer service when it went wrong. You can always judge a company by what they do when things go wrong. It was only by getting a UK agent that things moved along.
 
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MusicMan76

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And here is me thinking Yodel was at the bottom of the scum layer at the bottom of the barrel......
 

Jazid

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And here is me thinking Yodel was at the bottom of the scum layer at the bottom of the barrel......
We wish that was true. But they are all competing for the smelly brown star of service avoidance, not the couriers fault. I kinda blame Amazon with (once upon a time) free delivery yesterday.
.
 

Technomad

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As some of you may know I recently sold off my Denafrips DAC and Gaia and bought a Mola Mola Tambaqui and a Grim MU1 digital front end. All was peace and light.

1688677850046.png

Then I noticed that when I played my bought Mola Mola at 6V output, there was distortion. There was something clearly wrong. It happens.

I contacted the UK Distributor, Sound Design Distribution (SDD), who lent me their review DAC and we arranged for my DAC to be returned to the Netherlands where the Mola Mola was manufactured. I was grateful for the loan and off the Tambaqui went to its maker, Hypex Electronics.

The guys at Mola Mola were away at Munich 2023 but once they got back, they found a problem and replaced one of the boards. They contacted me and told me it would be sent back to me and within 2 days it was back in the UK using UPS.

UPS, big mistake.

And then the fun and games started. I got a notification of delivery of my parcel for the following morning, between 09:00 and 13:00. I waited, nothing. And then another notification of delivery. I waited, nothing. Following this, there were 6 more notifications of delivery and nothing appeared.

The UPS computer system was useless. It told me my parcel was in the East Midlands. Then it told me it was in the port of London. It was actually in Reading.

Couldn’t get worse??? You bet.

UPS contact me and said the parcel would not be delivered until I pay £287.67 VAT. SDD then contacted UPS and said the item was a return to base warranty repair, there was no charge and the VAT on the item had been paid on purchase. I received a request from UPS to complete a form to avoid paying the VAT. I could not complete it as it was in Dutch. Mola Mola completed the form and the subsequent forms with assistance from SDD.

I was then asked whether the item was my personal property and if I had paid nothing. I answered yes.

Nothing happens.

Another e-mail arrives stating the parcel could not be delivered until the VAT was paid. We contacted UPS, no response. Another UPS e-mail arrives saying it will be returned to the sender and storage charges will be added before return delivery to Mola Mola. Our UPS contact who had asked for all the forms to be completed does not respond to any e-mails despite getting reminders from us daily. We told her that another part of UPS is going to return the parcel to the Netherlands. Nothing.

It is now 5 weeks since the parcel arrived in the UK and I was getting more and more frustrated. I tried to phone UPS customer services and after being transferred to various departments, someone answers who sounds as though she knows what she is doing. She asks questions (mainly repeats of previous questions). She then asks for proof that no money was paid for the repair. Mola Mola sends them an invoice for £0 for the repair.

I then get notification from UPS that the item will be delivered the following day. It must be signed for. Despite that, the UPS tracking system says no delivery date had been set. I phone UPS and they say it will be delivered and remind me; I will need to sign for the parcel. The following morning my computer tells me the delivery is complete. No knock on the door or a ring of the doorbell. I looked for the parcel and found it in my recycling box.

The DAC now works without any distortion, even with the 6V output. The demo DAC will be picked up and returned to the UK distributor on Monday and informs me that he has ‘sacked’ UPS and is now using DHL.

So when people ask for a recommendation for a company to trust to deliver audio components then I can say for CERTAIN it is NOT UPS. Their customer service is appalling and they have two parts of the company who have no idea what each is doing. DHL are a breath of fresh air in comparison.

You have been warned. I am off to listen to some more audio using my repaired DAC.
Glad you finally got it back. I’be just bought a Tambaqui, and both Mola Mola and the UK distributor have been hugely helpful
 
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George 47

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Glad you finally got it back. I’be just bought a Tambaqui, and both Mola Mola and the UK distributor have been hugely helpful
Agreed. SDD has been great and lent me a demo model whilst the Tamabaqui was on its sojourn. It returns today. The Tambaqui is back to fine form.
 

marko

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What a total fiasco George! When I think of couriers, I think of nothing but Trouble. Notice the capital ‘T’!
After years and years of refusing to courier any hifi, I was recently persuaded, against my better judgement, to send a amp to Northern Ireland. I paid for next day delivery before 1.00pm.
I naively thought it would travel by air.
I’ll spare you the ins and outs of my attempts to find out what was going on or where it was/had been.
It arrived 3 days later. Turns out it had been on a boat. So much for ‘Next day before 1.00 delivery’. Same old!
 
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StingRay

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The only reliable thing is that they will let you down.
If you are going to quote me, don't take it out of context, as it does not make sense.

Actually Evri, have improved, in my recent experience. Only one delivery has been delayed and it came the next day. Hope I never have to use Yodel again, they are also the most inconvenient, have to drive 10 miles to the nearest dropoff point. Then they lose it.

Used DPD 3 times recently. No problems, always on time, they give you a 1 hour time slot. No damage. They even delivered on a Saturday, even though I only selected a weekday delivery.
 

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