Maryland Man Loses Fishing Reels Shipping Personal Belongings to Florida

A Maryland man shipped his clothing and fishing reels to Florida for the winter, but when he picked them up, the reels were gone.

When Paul McAllister and his wife planned to spend the winter months in Florida, the Silver Spring man decided to ship some of the things they wanted to take.

“Knowing we had a lot of stuff to take, we decided to ship some stuff in advance,” McAllister said.

He picked up a couple of boxes from a UPS drop-off location and packed them with clothing.

“In the middle of one of the boxes, I decided, Well, let me throw my fishing reels in there,” McAllister said.

He sealed the boxes and took them to the UPS store, where an employee asked what was inside them.

“He said, ‘Do you have any electronics?,” McAllister said. “I said, ‘No, but in one of them I have some fishing reels.’”

Four fishing reels, including an heirloom. He bought insurance and paid more than $200 in shipping costs.

When the McAllisters picked up the boxes in Naples, one appeared to be damaged.

“I looked at it, and the corner of the box was all re-taped,” McAllister said.

The reels were gone, he said.

“But everything else was just as it was as I had packed it,” McAllister said.

He wrote a letter and filed a claim with UPS, but UPS denied it.

“UPS said that I used the wrong type of container,” McAllister said. “They said, ‘Now, if you let us pack, it would have been a different story.’”

McAllister said when he took the boxes in for shipping, the store did not tell him he was using the wrong box.

“On the same day I was ready to go to court, I called channel four,” he said.

UPS told NBC4 Responds it denied McAllister’s claim due to improper packaging. The boxes were single-walled and didn't support the 48 pounds he packed.

As a "gesture of goodwill," UPS refunded $154 to replace the reels, though the heirloom reel is irreplaceable. But McAllister said it wasn’t about the refund but the fact that the reels were removed from the box he secured himself. He and his wife donated the refund to charity.

UPS said it regrets McAllister had a poor experience and his boxes never should have shipped.

It's a reminder to have a conversation about the weight and packaging ahead of time.

Full response from from UPS:

Unfortunately, Mr. McAllister’s claim was denied due to improper packaging. As you know, all packages need to be packaged according to UPS guidelines in order for a claim to be approved. In this instance, it appears the boxes used were single wall boxes not rated to support the 48lb package weight. Ideally, this would have been discussed with the customer at the time of the transaction. It’s unclear what conversation occurred at The UPS Store when this shipment occurred back in December 2015.

We regret that Mr. McAllister’s fishing reels were damaged and he had a poor experience. As a gesture of goodwill, we can gladly offer a payment of $154.73 for the replacement of the reels.

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