Canon Loan Evaluation Return Stolen/Missing during FedEx Shipment!!


Itchy shutter finger...
CR Pro
I am not sure if I am posting this in the correct forum, but I wanted to share my story in the event others (hopefully not) find themselves in a similar situation.

I currently own a 5D IV along with a few L lenses which I have been extremely happy with. With the release of the EOS RP, I was curious about the Canon full frame mirrorless series considering a pro-level body would be coming at some point. I ended up getting a Loan Evaluation of the EOS R through the CPS Program.

The EOS R arrived with an EF adapter (as requested), a battery, a charger and a bag. I used it for a few days. It was fun but not for me.

I used the same box it came in and returned it to Canon (to Virginia from NYC) via FedEx Ground. I used my FedEx account. I weighed the package at home (about 7 pounds) and printed out the Fedex Label, adding a "Declared Value" for the amount of the contents (for an extra fee of course). I took it to the FedEx drop off location counter and asked for a receipt. (Smart decision ever!!!) She counter-person weighed the package (6.8 pounds) and printed me a drop-off receipt listing the tracking number and the weight.

Two days later, I received an item return confirmation from Canon CPS, noting that the charger, EF adapter and bag were returned but that the EOS R and the battery (which was inside the EOS R) were not!! Initially I thought there was some kind of mistake and contacted Canon who checked the package again and were unable to find the camera and battery.

Puzzled by this I decided to look at the tracking information and package details. I soon noticed that my originally shipped 6.8 pound package was delivered weighing 5.1 pounds!! Packages don't magically lose weight during shipment. And of course the difference in weight was similar to the weight of the EOS R body and battery. It was clear to me that the body and battery were removed from the package while in FedEx's possession, resealed and sent on its way.

I filed a claim with FedEx adding scans of the original drop off receipt noting 6.8 pounds and a printout of the delivery records noting 5.1 pounds. I figured with that hard evidence, this would be a routine open and shit case...I mean how can they justify the weight difference...a difference that was noted by their own facilities using their own scales. FedEx Claims called me back about 10 days later saying that they needed me to have the original package available for them to inspect for tampering! I explained to them that this wasn't a damaged package claim and that the missing weight account for the weight of the items missing. I explained that a package doesn't just lose weight on its own!! When I asked her for an explanation she could not give me one to justify the weight difference. She concluded that if the original packaging isn't available for them to inspect, there is NOTHING they can do for me and they have to deny the claim.

Canon discarded the packaging soon after it arrived. They explained that if the box does not appear to be damaged, they discard the box, so it was not available for FedEx's inspection.

At this point, I figured the best way to handle this was go straight to the top. I figured if I can alert a higher-up about a potential (and likely) thieving employee, that may cause some concern. I used the Elliott Advocacy website and was able to get names and emails of FedEx executives.

I emailed my original claim narrative to them noting that it was denied despite the clear evidence that items (weight) was removed from the package while in FedEx's possession. The next day I received an email from someone from Executive Management saying that my claim was forwarded to him for escalation and that my claims will be honored!!! A check for the amount of the missing items and the freight charge was mailed to me a few days later. The check cleared immediately.

BTW if you are wondering how Canon responded to this...well they sort of didn't. They were nice and understood the situation but in the end they needed either their equipment returned or compensation for it. After I explained to them what happened, they sent me an invoice for the missing items and gave me 30 days to pay it, otherwise the invoice would go to their legal department for collections. Initially I was a bit disappointed that Canon was unable to contact FEdEx themselves as I figured that FedEx would more likely listen or act on a claim from CANON as opposed to little old me but...I do understand that it is the sender's responsibility in almost all cases (Ebay, etc...) to make sure the item reaches the recipient and it it usually the seller/sender who initiates any claim against the shipper. That is generally not the buyer/recipient's responsibility.

So, all is well after a stressful ordeal. Lots of lessors learned. I was glad that I got the official weight from a FedEx counter, otherwise FedEx could have claimed that my weight (using my scale at home) was not correct. I also was glad I added the "Declared Value". Declared Value, as most of you know, if not insurance exactly, it is the maximum liability FedEx is responsible for IF they are found to be at fault. But, if there is NO Declared Value, the maximum default FedEx is liable for, regardless of fault, is $100. Regardless of the claim amount, it seems to be quite the task to prove FedEx is at fault. You really have to have your paperwork ready and be prepared for a fight. Take it as high as you can, despite denials on lower levels. Lastly, be sure to keep the packaging if possible. I have read that this is common during damaged item claims, but apparently missing items as well.

I hope no one ever has to go through this, but if you do, I hope some of the tips above will help.

Stay shooting my friends.

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The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
Hi Jemlnlx!

Thanks for sharing your story with us.
I am glad that it ended up positive for you - despite all the hassle you had.
I will remember that next time when I send something valuable.
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Sep 13, 2016
Pittsburgh, PA
Always keep your original records for any shipment of any item that is valuable. Packages are often lost, destroyed, delivered to an incorrect address, etc. Without the customer's original documents, shipping companies have all of the leverage and a building housing their law department to contest weak claims.