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ants and shipping, whose responsible?(long)

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Posted by Andrea on May 16, 2002 at 11:53:38:

Recently I arranged to have 10 baby beardies shipped to me through a breeder that guarantees live and healthy arrival of all his animals, and asks to be notified of any problems within the first 24 hours. The breeder ships nationwide and uses FEd Ex overnight delivery. I sent the breeder money trhrough my papy pal account after reviewing his policy and website and was sent a connfirmation number by him a few hours later.
The next day, I had to attend a seminar from 9am to 10am. When i got home there was a note on my door that said the fed ex driver had come by at 945am and that he'd be returning later that day. I was not worried, b/c I have missed deliveries before and the driver has always come back a couple hours later. However, at noon, I decided to call the fed ex 1-800 number and confirm that they would really be coming back with the lizards. The woman on the phone said she would radio the driver and that if he marked on the door tag that he would be back that day, he surely would. She also said she'd call me back and let me know what happened. By 4pm I was getting worried so I called and spoke to another woman who agreed to call the truck when I let her know what the situation was. She also said she'd call me back, but not to worry, the package was in good hands. She never called back. Then at 520 I finally called the 1-800 number again to why no one had called and the third woman on the phone said there was a note to call me, but still no one did. She then told me the lizards were back at the shipping terminal and that I would have to wait until tomorrow to get them or go pick them up. At this I was furious because the driver had left a note saying he'd be back, never showed, and despite 2 previous calls, no one had contacted me. not to mention I waited home all day, missed work and missed some important meetings. And all the lady ont he phone said was "sorry, nothing is guaranteed" and hung up.
I then went down to the shipping terminal to get the package. The woman there took my info and came back a few minutes later with my box and casually slammed it down on the counter. I noticed red ants on the box and opened it immediately only to find my baby beardies covered in them. The woman hesitantly allowed me to wash them off in the fed ex bathroom sink and then came in and told me they were not responsible for the damage, b/c there was no cold pack in the box? I explained to her the lizards were desert animals and that they like the 89 degree weather we had that day and that the box was also insulated with styro. She seemed more concerend with going home now that it was closing and simply said they were not responsible, implying the cold pack would've stopped the ant s I guess? Within a few hours of getting them home 4 were dead and the rest pretty beat up. I immediately informed the seller and have asked him what to do. The fed ex people have not responded to the complaint i filed online and the woman in the building had also told me it was the shippers fault. So should I expect the shipper to take care of the problem due to his guarantee mentioned above, or should I blame fed ex for lack of contact, and the ant thing? If it was not lizards in the box and a cake or something would they be responsible for the ants? I dont usually deal with fed ex, and use ups, so i really would appreciate any advice.

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