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Old 01-24-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default 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?

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Old 01-24-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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sounds like a CYA. Since FedEx is a private company, the only thing they could do would be to turn it over to the ATF. I think the ATF would snore at it and hit the circular file cabinet. That's a lot of BS that would have to happen.

Now, the one thing I could see happen is if your package ruined another package and you didn't ship it properly. I could potentially see FedEx coming to you to replace or pay for the damages done. For example, if one of my insured packages arrived soaked in beer with a hundred thousand dollars worth of data on it, I'd be a screaming maniac, since all my work is very time dependant. When we're late, someone gets a discount or at worst we get sanctioned by the court. If you shipped something improperly I'd be willing to bet that FedEx would wash their hands of the problem and provide your information and help pass the blame if there was litigation.

This is all worst case stuff, but I could see it happen.

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Old 01-24-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Now, the one thing I could see happen is if your package ruined another package and you didn't ship it properly. I could potentially see FedEx coming to you to replace or pay for the damages done. For example, if one of my insured packages arrived soaked in beer with a hundred thousand dollars worth of data on it, I'd be a screaming maniac, since all my work is very time dependant. When we're late, someone gets a discount or at worst we get sanctioned by the court. If you shipped something improperly I'd be willing to bet that FedEx would wash their hands of the problem and provide your information and help pass the blame if there was litigation.
Except you could send a bottle full of water and the result would be the same.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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true that.. but i still wonder if a glass bottle of water broke in a package that you shipped if they couldn't try to come back and get you to be responsible for damaging another package... i bet there's something in the fine print somewhere to that effect.

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #5
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Unless they actually opened the wine bottle how do they know what was inside? Were the bottles opened? I have shipped home made olive oil in wine bottles with a standard wine cork put in. I would not worry about the letter. Seems they have no proof.

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:58 AM   #6
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true that.. but i still wonder if a glass bottle of water broke in a package that you shipped if they couldn't try to come back and get you to be responsible for damaging another package... i bet there's something in the fine print somewhere to that effect.
If your package is packed properly according to fedex requirements you will not be liable for damage to other packages and your package should be covered as well up to the insured value.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:04 AM   #7
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unrelated note, the "new" pyrex is NOT the same as the old stuff...

the old stuff was freakin indestructible. i forgot the whole deal, something about the company was sold and they changed the material

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:32 AM   #8
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@Motobrewer- Consumer Reports did Pyrex recently. They said something about how Pyrex changed from Borosilicate glass in the 1980s sometime, at least in the US.

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:49 AM   #9
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@Motobrewer- Consumer Reports did Pyrex recently. They said something about how Pyrex changed from Borosilicate glass in the 1980s sometime, at least in the US.
Pyrex changed from borosilicate to tempered soda-lime glass in the 40s. Tempered soda-lime glass is stronger and less prone to breakage from dropping and other mechanical sources than borosilicate is. There's been no change in the formulation of Pyrex since then AFAIK, though Corning sold off the Pyrex name in 1998--it's still the tempered soda-lime formulation, which is stronger than borosilicate and much, much stronger than untempered lime glass.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:08 AM   #10
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I'd heard that the change was more recent, borosilicate is what is used in science labs for a reason. Tempered soda-lime glass is much more susceptible to thermal shock.

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