When does ‘insure’ not mean ‘insure’? When shipping via UPS, apparently
Jan 14, 2013
David Wiganowsky paid UPS to deliver a package, then paid extra because of it value. UPS did not deliver the package and would not cover Wiganowsky’s loss.
That’s as well-wrapped as this gets. Pity then, that Wiganowsky got tripped up in the fine print, his own trusting self and a Catch-22 logic.
SOS has been following this complaint for more than a year, but it started on Sept. 23, 2010, when Wiganowsky went to the UPS Store on Pflaum Road to send a loaf of zucchini bread (baked by his wife) to his son in Eden Prairie, Minn. It was the son’s birthday. He included another kind of bread, too: $1,000 cash, in the box, along with his father’s gold pocket watch, a silver bracelet, photographs, and a lucky 1923 silver dollar.
Yes, sending cash by UPS is a little curious, but Wiganowsky said “usually at Christmas or holidays or the boy’s birthday, along with a cake or a loaf of bread I throw a couple hundred dollars in there.”
The package guy asked if he wanted to “insure” the box, and also asked the value. About $2,500, said Wiganowsky. Believing he was buying insurance, he paid an extra $22.50 based on that “declared value,” for a total shipping cost of $33.32.
A few days later, the birthday boy called to ask if his parents had sent the money.
Wiganowsky on Sept. 21, 2010, made a damage loss notification after UPS told him “we have been unable to properly complete delivery of your shipment.” UPS said the package never left Madison.
In January 2011, UPS said he needed to supply original invoices, sales receipts, catalog “or signed statement listing each item and the value.” His lawyer Dennis Sieg responded, saying Wiganowsky was never asked for proof of what was in the box, never told he would need receipts or any other documentation. The bracelet was estimated to be worth $350 to $400; the watch, $700; the silver dollar, $20; and the $1,000 cash. He asked for the $2,500 which he thought was covered.
UPS never responded to Wiganowsky’s lawyers.
On Sept. 4, almost two years after UPS “lost” the package, Wiganowsky went to small claims court in Dane County to file a complaint. UPS didn’t show up, so the judge on Oct. 4 awarded Wiganowsky $2,694.48.