THE SECRET POWER OF REFUSING A SHIPMENT

Let’s recall a classic horror story. A delivery truck rolls into your business’ parking lot. You’ve been waiting to get these products out on worksites, so you and a couple of employees meet the truck at your receiving area. As the driver offloads your items, some things look terrible. Boxes are busted, torn open, or clearly re-taped. Poles are bent, screens are cracked, and you’re realizing the timelines on completed worksites just got longer. The echoes of unhappy customers ring in your ears.

This nightmare is a huge threat to efficiency. It slows you down and tangles you up in customer service no-mans-land. Save yourself the time and energy spent sifting through broken materials. Do not sign for the shipment. Do not allow the driver to continue offloading your materials. Take pictures of the affected items. Then, refuse the shipment.  

Refusal is a universal term in the mail carrier industry. It means what it implies. You, the consignee, have refused to take the package. The details of refusal vary with each shipping carrier, but the delivery driver has to take that shipment off your hands and return it to a distribution center for assessment. Some mail carriers will allow you to report a partial refusal, others require you to refuse the entire shipment. Policy varies, so ask the driver if you’re able to refuse the affected items only or if you should return the entire shipment.

90% of the time, you have to be present during delivery to refuse a shipment. Some consignees choose to sign for each shipment they receive, allowing them a brief review before deciding to accept their items. Signing the small, digital box tells the mail carrier “this is fine, I accept.” Referring back to the horror story, we heavily caution against signing for your items before you’ve had a chance to look at the boxes. While the driver will not wait around for you to open the boxes and inspect items, don’t sign for your delivery if the boxes are clearly in poor condition. Consignees of items that are fragile or should be handled in a specific way should refuse boxes with heavy damage outright. 

Once the shipment, partial or whole, is refused, the delivery driver takes the shipment to the distribution warehouse and reports it. The mail carrier then has to contact us and notify that you refused the products. We step in to help!

Whether you refuse the item or not, a shipping claim will have to be filed. If you accepted the shipment but later saw that there were damages, call us! Keep in mind that the timeline to a credit or a replacement is significantly shortened if you refuse a damaged or incomplete shipment. A shorter timeframe on getting your new headache fixed means less time spent catching up to projects that need to be done.

If you ever experience a problem during the shipping process after purchasing one of our items, please call us right away.

Victoria Randall

Logistics Administrator at ISP Supplies, LLC