Action 9: Questions to ask before mailing valuables

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE - Thomas Clark fixes organs and sells them online, but one shipment did not go as planned. Clark had even purchased shipper’s insurance.

He turned to Action 9 Investigator Jason Stoogenke for help.

“I don’t make a lot of money, but I have a lot of fun,” Clark said.

He fixes organs and resells them on eBay. Clark said he has never had a problem with shipping or a person refusing an item.

He shipped one of his last organs in great condition. Clark said the box was contoured to fit the instrument itself. By the time it reached the customer, something had pierced the box.

The customer sent the organ back. A lot of the wood is damaged, and Clark said the electrical system is shot.

“I’ve got junk where I had a useable instrument,” he said.

Clark thought he did everything right. He had purchased UPS’s insurance, but UPS said it questioned his packing job when he dropped it off. He would not let UPS repack it for him.

UPS sent Stoogenke the paperwork with Clark’s signature. That’s why the Better Business Bureau says do not assume buying the insurance solves your problems.

“As soon as they say ‘Would you like to buy the insurance on this?’ say ‘What does it cover even if I do the packing on it?’” said Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau.

UPS will not pay for the damage to Clark’s organ, but as a “gesture of goodwill,” the company emailed Stoogenke, saying it will refund the cost of the shipping, $449.

Clark plans to play it differently next time.