BEWARE ZILLER ELECTRIC!!

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I recently purchased a 16KW aluminum generator from Ziller Electric. I came home from work to meet the shipper and inspected the package... cardboard, pallet, etc all looked fine. We carefully placed the pallet in my garage and I returned to work. About a week later I decided to do an inventory in order to make plans for installation. After lifting the cardboard cover and inspecting the internals, I walk to the rear and find that the rear panel is pushed in exactly where the flex conduit is stored during shipment. Something obviously pushed on the rear of the unit and dented the panel and two of the air louvers.
I called Ziller twice and left voicemail both times. After not receiving a return call, I called a third time and, upon speaking with their manager, was immediately told that "I had signed for it". I asked for a replacement or someone to come replace the panel and was basically told to take it up with the shipper. I started to get upset at this point and the manager actually started laughing at me on the phone. Nice customer service.
I honestly wouldn't expect anyone to completely unpack a 500 lb generator while the shipper is sitting in the driveway but that's Ziller's stance. I'm in the process of taking this up with both my credit card company and Generac so we'll see what happens.
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Nate wrote:

You do realize that Usenet complaints such as yours often come across as whining, don't you? You didn't mention whether the damage was functional (didn't sound like it) or purely cosmetic. If it's purely cosmetic, and it's the rear panel, are you actually financially injured or are you upset that someone laughed at you?
As far as the shipping, if you sign for something you are essentially saying that you've accepted it. It is not your responsibility to worry about the shipper's time schedule. Here's how it works: delivery, inspect package, open package, inspect contents, sign delivery receipt. If you feel that you unjustly delayed the driver, then throw the driver some beer money.
If there is a delivery and I can't fully inspect it before signing, I write "Uninspected package, conditionally accepted, all rights reserved", and I don't sign on the line where they want you to sign as there's usually boilerplate acceptance terms there. I'll cross them out and hand the receipt back to the driver. Once you've crossed the thing out and signed it, it's not really his problem any more - it's the company's problem. he can't write up a anew receipt, so what's he going to do. Be polite at all times, it's unlikely that it's the driver's fault unless you saw them drop the package at your place. If he starts raising a bit of a ruckus about the non standard signature, throw him some beer money.
And stop whining on Usenet. It's unseemly.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Perhaps you should consider not being an arrogant ass on Usenet when someone is trying to prevent an unfortunate incident from happening to someone else. FYI, I've never seen a freight company hang around while an entire shipment is unpacked, uncrated, and inspected.
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Too bad you didn't work harder at preventing that unfortunate incident from happening to you.

I'm guessing that's probably because you make a habit of signing for deliveries before you inspect them, just as you did in the case you describe. I *have* seen them hang around, because my habit is to inspect first, and sign only after doing so *and* noting any problems I find. They don't really have much choice, you know: they cannot in any way compel me to sign the papers before I'm ready to do so, and they're not supposed to leave without a signature. So what are they going to do?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Nate wrote:

Sorry I can't join you in your self pity fest, Gnat. It's not my fault you signed without inspecting the shipment, and it most likely isn't Ziller's fault as the damage probably happened during shipping. So, ultimately, where does the fault lie? With you. Try not signing next time until you're satisfied. They'll wait around.
Damage during shipping is the responsibility of the shipper. Believe it or not, they actually carry _insurance_ for it! How come you didn't whine...err, sorry....try to prevent an unfortunate incident with the shipper from happening to someone else?
R
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Same basic think happened to me I bought a 12500w unit from Loews, a Generac, and Generac promptly fixed what was not Loews problem, my muffler was smashed in. But Loews offered a replacement, I declined since Generac was taking care of it.
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Nate wrote:

Lighten up. Maybe you didn't read the whole thing, eh? Seems not.
J
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Nate posted for all of us...

--
Tekkie Don\'t bother to thank me, I do this as a public service.

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I have, they tend to "hang around" until you sign for what ever they are shipping. You might have one upset driver but if you explain to him you are just trying to protect yourself he'll usually understand.
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I think it's fair to make them wait around if the shipment looks like it's been obviously damaged from the outside. I don't think they are reasonably obligated to hang around while you check the contents if the outer package appears okay.
That's why the "concealed damage" clause exists. Concealed damage, even if discovered while the shipper is standing there, will usually require an inspector to determine whether the damage is due to poor packing, or severe handling. Waiting 3 weeks to open the shipment, however, is nothing short of stupid.
CWM
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must have been damaged while in your custody because shipper has a signed delivery receipt saying it was ok when left with you. maybe your insurance will cover it happening on your property.

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On 20 Nov 2006 11:24:40 -0800, Nate wrote:

ignore it for a week and then find something wrong. After all this time has passed you call Ziller and want a replacement? I think you are asking too much.
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Perhaps. The OP should check the actual policies with his shipper and the carrier.
In many cases, the signature at delivery serves only as confirmation that the package was delivered and appears intact.
Many shippers specfically provide a grace period (often two days) during which time you need to open the packaging, inspect the contents and report any problems.
In my (limited) experience this is *very* common, even normal. However, not many suppliers give a full week for this task. As I recall, one generally has two days.
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|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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Malcolm Hoar wrote:

Appreciate the constructive input. I actually did a quick inspection that night but didn't get around behind the generator. I also assumed that anything strong enough to damage the generator would have damaged the cardboard. I never took into consideration the cardboard could be pushed, appear to be undamaged, but the soft aluminum housing would be damaged. I definitely could have avoided this by completely unpacking but I still would not expect to be treated the way I was by Ziller.
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Why are you not taking it up with the carrier? They are the ones responsible and they have insurance to cover damaged goods. While the Ziller guy may have been bad mannered, he is correct. It is your responsibility to contact the carrier and make a claim. Some companies will go the extra mile to help you, but they have no obligation to do so.
That said, you should have opened the crate the same or next day. Waiting a week does make it more difficult to get you point across. How can you prove it was not banged in your garage?
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wrote:

As a trucker, maybe I can add some info to this.
If this was delivered by motor freight carrier (not UPS, etc), then the freight carrier's only liability is to deliver an intact package, that is, the outer package/wrapping/crate is undamaged. If there is no damage to the outer package then they have no liability. Internal damage is between the shipper and the consignee (the customer).
I almost never do LTL (less than truckload, what the drivers that drop crates off at your back door do) but I've been to class on the procedures. I do not have to wait around for the consignee to inspect the internals of the shipment. In fact, I'm told not to. If the consignee refuses to sign for the shipment, I simply write on the bill of lading "signature refused" and send the same message on the Qualcomm (the satellite system most trucks have nowadays).
Though the industry has been partially deregulated, many regulations remain. According to my company, the above relationship is one of the regulated areas so it will be the same with any motor freight carrier. Package services like UPS and Fedex fall under different rules.

Precisely. Even if he opened the crate on the spot, as long as the outside isn't damaged, it's not the carrier's problem.
I suspect that the root of this is that Nate got on the phone and was an officious prick and the guy at Ziller told him to FO. His whiny all-caps subject line says loads. Speaking as a businessman, we try not to ever have to tell a customer to FO but sometimes we run into someone who is so unreasonable that it's better to cut bait and take the loss.
John
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John De Armond
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Neon John wrote:

Thanks for the perspective from the other side of the lift gate, John. It sounds as if each particular trucking company has some latitude in how they handle delivery. In my experience I've never had a trucker refuse to wait and split without getting a signature. I assumed that they couldn't do that. Then again, I've never refused to sign unless I found. You make it sound cut and dried about determining who is responsible for the damage based on the exterior of the package. Maybe it is, but I've had times where it was unclear whether the package got damaged and then the contents, and other times the contents were packed poorly and damaged the packaging. That must be a frustrating experience - attempting to deliver a damaged shipment that you _know_ is going to be refused. I always considered the signature a bit of a formality anyway, because no identification is required and the signatures are frequently scrawled, so I guess that would take some of the starch out of the formality.
Maybe I never had a guy leave without a signature because I respect the time pressure the driver (or anyone working for a living) is under, so I hustle to make it a quick but thorough inspection. If I have to pop open a crate, I won't let the driver's schedule push me to accept something that I shouldn't. It's my money on the line and I have far more to lose than a few minutes of the driver's time. If I feel it took me longer to inspect than it should have I'll drop some cash on the driver - and I've never gotten anything other than a thank you.
R
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wrote:

You're most welcome.

A driver can leave without a signature. Unless there are other means of delivery verification such as UPS's barcode readers, it can become a "he said, she said" situation. We try not to do that if at all possible. Speaking only for myself, of course, I go out of my way to satisfy customers. That's where repeat business comes from, after all. OTOH, there is always that one customer who cannot be pleased and who can spoil a whole week.
A major factor on the patience level of the driver is his quota and his pay method. Many (most? Not terribly familiar with that side) "City" drivers are paid hourly or on salary. Over-the-road drivers like myself are paid by the mile. We don't get paid while sitting still. Fortunately we OTR drivers rarely have to do "CITY" work. The only time I've had to do it was when the company just flat didn't have any freight were I was and offered me a day of city work. It's an ill-fit because OTR trailers don't have lift gates, hand carts and the like.

A few years ago I bought a hotrod electric scooter from a company who shall remain un-named cuz they eventually made things right. It came packaged in a sturdy plywood crate - but was held down inside the crate with friggin' lawn chair webbing! Of course the webbing broke forthwith and the scooter bounced around, spoiling the paint, breaking the throttle pot and a few other minor items.
The LTL company who delivered the thing said (correctly) "Crate is intact, not our problem." I don't know if the shipper had insurance or if they ate the loss. In any event, I emailed photos of the damage and they replaced the damaged parts and refunded me enough money to get the thing painted.
John
--
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
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File a concealed damage claim with the shipping company. You are correct, no shipper has time to stand there while you open and inspect every shipment. Concealed damage claims are a normal thing. That said, If you did not buy extra insurance, the shipper may have very limited liability in the matter.
Vaughn

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Nate wrote:

You're barking up the wrong tree here. It's the shipper you should file the claim against and you _certainly_ should have looked long before a week went by. Unfortunately, by not noting on the ticket the inspection was external crate condition only, you _may_ have some difficulty in making the claim for hidden damages, but that's still what you must do. And, again, by having waited for over a week by now, you certainly haven't made your chances of getting satisfaction any better.
Whatever, it _isn't_ Ziller's responsibility although it is nice when a vendor does go the extra mile to file the freight damage claim for you as many will. I don't know who Ziller is, but I'm guessing it may have been a case of you found the cheapest internet source you could find and now are surprised they aren't the most helpful in service. There's usually a reason for a vendor who is cheaper than some alternatives being that way...
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