UPS bungle over life-saving oxygen equipment highlights need for plain language in consumer contracts.
May 17, 2021
Go Public interviewed Scott Stanley for comment on a Calgary woman’s experience with UPS when she tried to ship a piece of life-saving equipment to family members in Mexico. Unfortunately, the device never made it. Instead, it got caught up in import permit red tape, and when it was returned to Canada, it arrived damaged.
In an effort to help family members who had contracted COVID-19, Eva Oczkus had sourced an oxygen concentrator in Canada and sought to ship it using UPS. However, she relied on information regarding customs permits provided by UPS service agents. She did not realize that the terms and conditions in the 18-page UPS Canada contract conflicted with what she had been told. As Scott noted, “The problem in cases like this, and in this particular case, is that written agreements (often) expressly exclude any verbal communications. So really, you’re [only] left with a written contract.”
Further, when relevant terms and conditions (like exclusions or disclaimers of liability and responsibility) are buried in a written contract that consists of multiple pages of legalese, it makes it very confusing for consumers. This is why Scott is among those urging governments to require companies to put critical information upfront, in easily readable print,and in plain language instead of legalese.
Read the full Go Public Story : UPS shipping bungle keeps oxygen device from family sick with COVID-19