WARNING: Do not use to dry pets! (Microwave) – Dang, you mean I have to use a towel?
WARNING: Do not hold rotating end! (Chainsaw) – But I was just trying to put more pressure on it.
WARNING: Do not iron clothes while wearing! (Clothes Iron) – But now I can’t see where the wrinkles are!
Sometimes I feel like the warning labels on many products are ridiculous or even stupid. However, the manufacturers are aware that if they do not clearly make you aware of the hazards, they can be held liable for an injury that really was not their (or their products) “fault”. They put the warning labels on to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits. Understanding this position, in regards to freight companies, helps me navigate through the loop holes they may throw my way. (Believe it or not, some people knowingly try to file claims that are not legit. Shocking, right?) Because these ‘upstanding citizens’ try take advantage of the claim process, regulations were put in place to protect the freight companies. Unfortunately, sometimes the pendulum swings too far and they end up declining everything based on a ‘technicality’. My goal when filing a claim is always to prove that my freight claim is legitimate and to remove any doubt on whether I should be reimbursed. Here are a few more things I do to ensure my claim gets paid.
Marking damages at the time of delivery. I have learned “Subject to Inspection” just doesn’t cut it. Many freight companies don’t believe the damage was caused by them unless some indication of the damage is noted at the time of delivery. The key is to clearly indicate the state of your shipment when you sign for it. This does not mean you have to open every box and inspect each item at the time of delivery. But if a box is crushed or torn, or the shipment is in rough shape in any way, mark your delivery receipt accordingly. You can inspect for damages later and follow up with the carrier if you do discover something is damaged. “Box crushed”, “carton torn”, “wet”, “punctured”, etc. are all going to be honored at the time your claim is being processed. Feel free to add “subject to inspection” after whatever kind of damage you have already indicated, but do not only mark “subject to inspection”.
File your claim in time. If your shipment moved 13 years ago and you are finally getting around to filing your claim, don’t be upset if it gets declined. Obviously, no one would expect payment after that kind of time but you do need to be aware that there is a time frame. You have 60 days from receipt of your shipment to give written Notice of Intent to Claim. You then must file the actual claim within 9 months of the shipment. I find the sooner I submit my claim, the easier it seems for the freight company to investigate it and my chances of approval for payment goes up.
My third and final post on this coming soon!