||01-24-2011 11:27 PM
Speaking of the HBT BJCP competition, I got a warning letter from FedEx
I was thinking about entering a couple beers into the 2011 HBT BJCP competition this spring. Shipping? No big deal, I'll just use FedEx since they don't have explicit rules about shipping alcohol like the US Postal Service does. The thought of defying USPS rules and having a postal inspector at my door didn't sound like a good idea.
On a totally unrelated matter, I happened to ship my sister's gift from Christmas (some black towels, a couple of pyrex bowls, and two bottles of home-made port) with FedEx. The towels helped cushion the port well, which were in standard green wine bottles with shrink wrapped corks. I watched the status of the package as it was en route to Oregon. Nothing special happened from pickup date, over the weekend when it was still at the FedEx station, or when it was on a truck heading towards Oregon. I didn't check the status of the package on the day it was supposed to be delivered. Instead, I find the package sitting on my front step four days later with an exception label on the box and a tear on the corner. The exception indicates that there was damage in shipping and it has been recorded. I open the box and find that while the port and towels are intact, along with all the packing material for the bowls, the bowls themselves are completely absent along with any broken glass or evidence of breakage. It appears that the box was opened by FedEx staff and completely cleaned out of broken pyrex. The bottles were intact and didn't appear to have been disturbed.
A couple weeks later, I received a letter from FedEx's legal department titled Warning- Improper Alcohol Shipment(s) and it roughly states that I attempted to ship alcohol with their service without several requirements (adult signature, labeled as alcohol, alcohol code, "improper state pairing and alcohol to residence").
I found a thread on Beeradvocate that talks about this letter, and most folks there say that it is just a CYA letter for FedEx, but it doesn't actually mean anything.
With that being said, I'm now unlikely to enter into the HBT BJCP competition, for fear of losing beer, the money it costs to ship, and all that time and hassle from FedEx. Have any of you guys/girls on here ever got this letter, or worse?