Charlotte business owner gets surprise $1.3K bill after shipping a package using discounted label

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A small business owner in Charlotte faced a shocking delivery nightmare last month.

Lucy McDermott, owner of Stash Charlotte, says she was charged more than $1,300 to ship a package that should have cost her less than $50.

“I own a thread, fabric and sewing machine store in Charlotte,” McDermott said.

He often sends inventory, but what happened this time was unexpected.

“I took a trunk show from a fabric company that had a couple of blankets, some shirts, nothing heavy, nothing, nothing big,” she said. “I think there were two or three other stores before I sold it, and I sent it to another store.”

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He thought he did everything right before dropping off his box at the local UPS Store to ship it on its way to Gastonia.

“I measured it, weighed it, sent it on its way and thought it was all good,” he said. “A week later I got an email saying, hey, your shipment was overweight and bulky, so we charged you an extra $1,321.00. I thought, well, that’s a mistake. is it right?

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This is where McDermott says things get complicated.

“I contacted UPS first, but they wouldn’t talk to me because I went through a second carrier called Pirate Ship for the mail,” he said.

He bought the shipping label through that company Pirate Ship at a cheap price.

“So I contacted Pirate Ship, argued, provided all documents, images, description of contents, etc.,” he said. “And a week later I got an email saying your dispute was rejected and you can’t appeal it.”

She tried to talk to someone at the company but kept getting automated responses online.

The company does not have a phone number on its website.

“At this point, as you can imagine, I’m absolutely gutted,” he said. “And that’s when I contacted you. I also contacted my credit card company, and coincidentally, that’s when I heard from Pirate Ship again, and they told me that UPS had graciously declined the charge, but you had to pay in the future. be more careful because they don’t do it anymore.”

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He says he never found out exactly what happened, so WBTV’s Carolyn Hicks reached out to Pirate Ship for answers.

The spokesperson sent a statement that read in part:

“Somehow, the machines saw the packet exceed the carrier’s threshold, at which point very expensive penalties would apply.”

We’ve also reached out to UPS for comment. A WBTV spokesperson said:

“Satisfying the needs of our customers is UPS’s first priority. UPS worked with the customer to resolve this issue and we are pleased to report that the issue has been resolved.”

Paul Bartholomew, vice president of the Better Business Bureau for South Piedmont and Western Carolina, says that’s a lesson we all need to learn before the holiday season.

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“Unfortunately, these types of stories are not uncommon, and not just with shipping companies, but really with any discount, discount retailers can naturally cut corners and you don’t get the same experience and quality,” he said.

To avoid such a situation, he recommends researching the company, including shipping, return and refund policies.

“You have to decide if you want to take a gamble you know, pay full price and take it to your cashier and recommend them run your brands or take a discount and just hope for the best” said McDermott. “I did it and it didn’t go well.”

If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you have been overcharged for a transfer, BBB recommends contacting your bank and disputing the charges with the transfer company. Additionally, if you believe you are a victim of fraud, you should contact the Attorney General’s Office.

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