Man proves iPad went missing from shipment

June 28, 2012 10:21:59 PM PDT
Cargo theft from ships, trucks and warehouses costs a staggering $30 billion each year. One missing iPad is a drop in the bucket, but for one consumer, it was a big deal. He had a hard time getting anyone to listen until he found a great way to prove his case.

When Apple fans clamored for the new iPad, Scott Truong was right there with them.

"Every time there's new gadgets get released, I usually get them for my friend in Hong Kong," he said.

Truong said his friend makes computer accessories over in Hong Kong, so he sends him the latest iPad from the U.S. before they go on sale over there.

"It doesn't get released in Asia for months later so he usually needs them before that," Truong said.

Truong bought two iPads in March and shipped them by FedEx from San Francisco to Hong Kong. He was surprised when his friend called to ask if there were two separate shipments.

"I said, 'No, two iPads in one shipment,' and he said, 'Well there's only one in here,'" Truong said.

Only one iPad was in the box. One was missing. Truong could come to only one conclusion.

"Somebody must have gone in there and opened it up and took one out," he said.

The package labels revealed the valuable contents. The air bill said there were two iPads inside. The commercial invoice says the same thing. But how could Truong prove only one iPad was in the box when it arrived? Luckily, he found a great clue.

"How much it weighed when it went out, and how much it weighed when it came in to Hong Kong," he said.

The commercial invoice shows the box weighed six pounds when it was packed in San Francisco. However, the FedEx tracking record shows it weighed just three pounds once it got to Hong Kong. FedEx in Hong Kong investigated, but found nothing wrong. Truong contacted FedEx in the United States. It found no mishandling either.

"I asked them to explain then to me why one form says six pounds and the others say three," he said. "They didn't have an answer for me."

So, Truong contacted 7 On Your Side. We contacted FedEx and it did look at the evidence. It wasn't long before Truong received the good news.

"Less than a week later, they called me back up again and said, 'Hey, we're going to cut you a check for the missing iPad,'" he said.

FedEx did just that -- reimbursing Truong $798 for the lost iPad.

The company told 7 On Your Side, "FedEx takes these matters seriously. We know our customers trust us to handle their important shipments with care. This incident is disappointing and does not reflect on the millions of shipments we deliver on time and damage-free every day. We regret that we've been unable to locate Mr. Truong's shipment, but worked with him to resolve his claim based on the information he provided to us."

The lesson is to keep all your shipping documents and tracking numbers. Truong says he wishes he hadn't written right on the box that there were two iPads inside. However, in the end that helped him get his money back and if you ship overseas, you need to tell customs exactly what's inside the package.


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