Our primary Claims Policy is to try to not create any claims! The whole "raison d'etre" for Western Logistics in 1990 was to remove hassle from the transportation of office furniture. Every member of our staff knows unequivocally that it is our safe handling and product safety record which sets us apart from the competition, and assures our future success. In spite of the fact that we transport, stage, and store product at an estimated value of $600,000,000 per annum at current levels — all sensitive and high-value business furniture and electronics — we are proud of the fact that our Cargo Claims costs are roughly the same as our postage costs.
But nobody's perfect, and it's how we deal with occasional mishaps that also defines us. The FAQ's below will help elaborate on what happens when…
Frequently Asked Questions About Claims:
Q: What is your policy on claims?
A: Our policy is to avoid the need for customers to enter claims. If we damage or lose something, we’re sorry, and we'll say so. In fact, we’ll call you to tell you there’s a claim in the making, and apologize for the inconvenience. Our employees know we have a “no blame” policy to encourage drivers or warehousemen to come forward with “accidents or incidents” so we can deal with them quickly before more complexity develops. It is better to solve a problem at origin immediately, than to move it 3000 miles away before "discovering" it and having to find a solution. Over time, this policy has proved itself beyond doubt to be beneficial to both the customer and Western Logistics.
Q: What happens when we need to make a claim?
A: Unlike most other carriers we know, we will make a quick determination of the facts, and will respond quickly and fairly to your enquiry. Because we have so few claims to deal with, this function is almost always reviewed and decided by one of the owners, because damage avoidance is considered of such fundamental importance to Western Logistics’ reputation. When something goes wrong, the energy goes not into blame, but into learning how to avoid a repetition of the problem.
Q What about concealed damage discovered after delivery?
A This issue is always contentious. We consider that when we deliver a shipment in ostensibly good condition, and receive a clear delivery receipt, that we have completed our contract on that shipment. Because we have the policies described above and seek to hide nothing, and because we serve an industry -- office furniture -- which is characterized by high ethical standards, we are receptive to any inputs on post-delivery problems.
Q: What does that mean in terms of settlement of concealed damage claims?
A: On concealed damage claims reported after delivery, especially long after delivery, we feel that there is a joint responsibility. We know from much experience that “things happen” in factories, and in dealer warehouses, and on job sites. We do not accept the notion that "it's always the carrier’s fault.” Therefore, our policy on concealed damage is to accept 1/3 of the cost as a carrier, without argument, in the spirit of goodwill. If something can be corrected by return to the factory, we are receptive to free return freight for that purpose, as well, sometimes a better solution than claims processing.