SAN FRANCISCO, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Today shipping giant UPS (NYSE:
UPS) was hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit claiming the shipping
giant routinely uses an inaccurate measurement system that causes thousands
of franchise store owners to be back-charged for higher shipping rates.
According to the complaint filed by the law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol
Shapiro, franchise owners measure packages in the store, charge the
customer and ship the package to UPS where the company re-measures the
package using what the suit claims is inaccurate techniques and
back-charges the franchisee for the difference.
In the complaint, franchisees argue that since the re-measurement
process occurs at UPS facilities, they have no ability to argue the revised
measurements, nor do they have the ability to reassess the customer for the
According to attorneys representing the proposed class, the problem is
widespread costing the 4,000 franchise owners millions of dollars in back
Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, says
that his clients are most upset with their inability to dispute additional
"The packages are reassessed in an external location where owners can't
see the process or results," he said. "This reminds me of the old trick of
the butcher placing his thumb on the scale. Back then though at least you
could see the scale."
The accuracy of the laser technology UPS uses to measure packages has
long been suspect, the compliant notes, citing complaints by trade
associations that represent franchise owners.
The laser measuring system used at UPS has not been approved by any
state Weights and Measures Departments, the complaint notes, and any
calibration or adjustments are completely under the control of UPS.
"Our investigation has show that this may be a very widespread problem
at UPS, not just with franchises, but also with the shipper's largest
corporate customers who compute charges in-house before shipping to UPS,"
Berman added. "Adding a few bucks to each package can quickly add up to
The suit was filed in San Francisco in U.S. District Court on behalf of
named plaintiff Persepolis Enterprise. If certified as a class action, the
suit would represent the named plaintiff on behalf of all franchises
worldwide that operate under the UPS Store, Mail Box Etc. and companies
that are account-holders with UPS.
The complaint states several counts against UPS including breach of
contract, fraud and unjust enrichment. Within those claims UPS violated the
contractual agreement between the company and individual franchises stating
that UPS had no right to charge for alleged mismeasurements. UPS also
failed to use accurate, properly calibrated and tested machines as promised
in its obligations to franchise owners.
The suit is seeking damages for all UPS Stores nationwide as well as
six digit account holders, primarily corporate accounts. A small sampling
of the plaintiff's additional charges range from $3.52 - $31.43 per package
and that is only a very small number of the thousands of charges it has
"UPS has an obligation to its franchise owners to deal fairly and in
good faith," said Berman.
According to the compliant UPS is one of the most recognized brands in
the world and has become the largest package delivery company. The
company's focus is enabling commerce worldwide and has grown into a $42.6
billion business since its founding in 1907.
To view the complaint visit http://www.hbsslaw.com.
About Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
The law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro is based in Seattle with
offices in Chicago, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Since the firm's founding in 1993, it has developed a nationally recognized
practice in class-action and complex litigation. Among recent successes,
HBSS has negotiated a pending $300 million settlement as lead counsel in
the DRAM memory antitrust litigation; a $340 million recovery on behalf of
Enron employees which is awaiting distribution; a $150 million settlement
involving charges of illegally inflated charges for the drug Lupron, and
served as co-counsel on the Visa/Mastercard litigation which resulted in a
$3 billion settlement, the largest anti-trust settlement to date. HBSS also
served as counsel in a $850 million settlement in the Washington Public
Power Supply litigation and represented Washington and 12 other states in
lawsuits against the tobacco industry that resulted in the largest
settlement in the history of litigation. For a complete listing of HBSS
cases, visit http://www.hbsslaw.com.
SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro