Shipping Exceptions and Problems
We guarantee safe arrival of your order.
Guaranteed safe arrival means we are responsible for delivery of the undamaged order to the ship-to address. You are responsible for providing the correct address of a delivery location that is accessible, safe and secure; then collecting the order from the carrier and promptly notifying us of any discrepancies. For international orders shipped outside the US, you are also responsible for paying import fees upon delivery. Please note the special conditions for orders shipped to APO/FPO/DPO mailboxes, orders with specified date delivery, orders requesting non-guaranteed shipping, and orders shipped to package forwarding services.
Once you become aware of an exception or problem with your shipment, your first step is to find the description below and then Contact Us as appropriate for the circumstances. Rest assured that we handle each case individually and try to tailor a resolution to your specific needs.
Fraud Advisory: Criminals send emails or SMS texts impersonating package carriers and direct you to call a phone number or visit a website link which then asks for information to deliver a package you are coincidentally expecting. Look very closely at the contents of the message. If the message contains no specific information about your delivery (i.e. mismatched carrier name or tracking number, no shipper name, no addressee name, etc) , you should be suspicious as you could become the victim of a scam.
Tracking "Voided" Status -- No worries, this happens when we made a change to a package after the shipping label was printed but before the package was picked up by the carrier. Often, this is the result of a very last minute customer request. As appropriate, we will reship using a new label and new tracking number.
No Tracking, "Pending", "Label Created", "Pre-Shipment" Status or Wrong Tracking History -- All the carriers "recycle" their tracking numbers and a current tracking history may not be immediately available once you receive your tracking number. The most common reason is simply the package is awaiting pickup scan by the carrier; most tracking will start updating by 9 PM Eastern Time. Tracking takes a business day to begin updating when the package was processed very late in the day after our daily carrier pickup. If the tracking has not updated when you think it should, please contact us and we will investigate immediately.
USPS Tracking "Package Acceptance Pending" Status -- Don't worry, this means your package is on it's way to you. When your order is picked up from Dive Gear Express by the US Post Office truck the tracking status changes to "Accepted" or "Shipment Received", but with a confusing remark "Package Acceptance Pending". At the Post Office receiving facility itself the individual packages are supposed to be scanned by hand as they are moved from the USPS truck into the facility, and the tracking status will change to "In-Transit". Sometimes the facility acceptance hand scan step is not performed by postal workers, often in order to minimize transit delays because of a peak work load at the facility. In this circumstance, your Dive Gear Express order is in transit for on-time delivery by USPS but may remain in the "Package Acceptance Pending" status until it is actually delivered.
No Tracking During Transit -- Some low cost services we use if you selected "Super Saver" shipping do not offer in-transit tracking and checking the tracking will indicate the status as simply picked up or received until the package status changes to delivered. If the package has not been delivered when you think it should, please contact us and we will investigate immediately.
Delay -- Delays in transit are usually caused by either sortation errors, equipment failures, capacity overloads, or inclement weather. Delays in transit for international packages can also be caused by limited air cargo capacity or Customs backlogs. These delays are usually brief, well beyond our control, and unfortunately there is no better source of information about the delay than might visible in the online tracking. Normally the best strategy is just to wait one or two days for the package to get back on course to the final destination. If the delay appears it is going to be unacceptably long, then our options are to reship the order via a different carrier service level or to issue a refund. In those cases, when the redundant or unpaid order eventually shows up then you are responsible for returning the package to us at our expense.
Lost, Stuck, or Mis-routed in Transit -- When tracking suggests a package is lost, stuck, or mis-routed our initial recommendation is normally "be patient". If the package tracking does not update in a day or two, contact us and we will open an investigation with the carrier when appropriate. For packages shipped via UPS and DHL an investigation can be opened immediately and a reply typically takes one or two days. For packages shipped via USPS, we are not allowed to open an investigation for two weeks after the ship date, and USPS can take up to another three weeks to reply. If the delay appears it is going to be unacceptably long, then our options are to reship the order via a different carrier service level or to issue a refund. In those cases, when the redundant or unpaid order eventually shows up then you are responsible for returning the package to us at our expense.
Shipment on Hold or Held in Customs -- International package transit will pause for a variety of reasons:
- When there is no Customs official or no transport available for an intermediate leg of the journey; typically caused by an administrative backlog, travel restriction, security incident, health quarantine, or other emergency logistics shutdown. Normally the best strategy is just to wait for the package to continue on toward the final destination, but if the hold continues then contact us and we will open a status inquiry with the carrier.
- When additional documentation is requested by local Customs agents or there is an unforeseen import restriction on the package contents - typically batteries, lubricant or adhesive. Please contact us and we will assist in resolving documentation or import issues.
- When the carrier has failed to contact the addressee in order to collect outstanding import fees or to get advice on finding/accessing the delivery address. Use the appropriate USPS Informed Delivery®, UPS My Choice®, or DHL On Demand™ website to make payment or manage delivery.
Package is Pending Release from a Government Agency or Uncontrollable Clearance Delay -- Typically the package is awaiting clearance by local government Customs agent. Most often this transit status occurs when the carrier expects a significant delay due to a bureaucratic backlog at the government office responsible for clearance. Normally the best strategy is just to wait for the package to continue on toward the final destination, but if the hold continues then contact us and we will open a status inquiry with the carrier.
Insufficient or Wrong Address -- Please contact us immediately if you discover the shipping address entered on your order is incomplete or incorrect. In the case of UPS and DHL packages in transit, we may be able to issue an intercept to request an address change or return-to-sender. In the case of US Postal Service (USPS) and third party contract carriers, they provide no method for requesting return or redirection of a package in transit. If the ship-to address entered on the order is incorrect the package may return to us automatically when the address doesn’t exist or the package is refused. If the package does return-to-sender or the addressing error was our mistake, then our options are to reship the order to a different address or to issue a refund.
Unable to Deliver to Post Office Box via UPS and DHL -- Packages addressed to most official postal service Post Office Box addresses, including APO/FPO/DPO addresses, can only be delivered via US Postal Service (USPS) although there are rare exceptions. If your package was addressed to a P.O. Box but shipped via a third party carrier such as United Parcel Service (UPS) or DHL who are unable to deliver, the package will reach the destination city and then automatically return to us. Our options are to reship the order via USPS, reship to a different address or to issue a refund.
Available for Pickup -- When an address is undeliverable on a regular carrier service route (a permanently closed business, gated community or resort, access blocked due to construction or danger, or an APO/FPO/DPO addressee), tracking may indicate the package is being held for collection by the addressee at a nearby carrier station or depot. You will have to go to the carrier station and claim the package by calling for it with the tracking number and addressee name. For security, depending on carrier local rules, the individual picking up the package may also have to provide appropriate documentation. In any case, you must act immediately to collect the package or it may automatically return to us.
Partial Delivery of Multi-Package Order -- Orders that contain large heavy items, such as scuba tanks or absorbent kegs, must be dispatched as multiple packages so they may remain within carrier weight and dimension limits. High value orders may need to be split into multiple shipments so they may remain within carrier value limits. Sometimes the carrier does not transit all the packages together, and thus your entire order may not arrive at the same time. Review our original shipping notification email(s) that contained the individual tracking numbers for your multi-package order and use the carrier website to track each package individually. That information should indicate when the remaining packages will deliver. If all the packages track as having delivered, but you did not receive all the packages, then follow our recommendations below for "Delivery Not Found" as appropriate.
Delivery to Commercial Forwarding Address -- If the order ship-to domestic address is a package forwarding service or a commercial mail receiving agency such as a private mailbox service, then special circumstances may apply to delivery. If carrier tracking indicates the package has been delivered yet the tracking from your forwarder/CMRA does not indicate receipt, immediately contact your service to ask them to search for your package. The carriers carefully document the secure acceptance of packages at forwarder/CMRA addresses and when their records indicate acceptance then the carrier will deny subsequent claims for non-delivery. If your service does not find your package, then we advise you to open a claim with your forwarder/CMRA against their service guarantee for what we can only assume to be their subsequent mishandling.
Delivery Attempted or Refused -- If the address is not accessible or the addressee is not available, the driver may not leave an unattended package (especially for international packages with uncollected import fees) or someone may have refused responsibility for accepting the package. On-line tracking may indicate the date of the next delivery attempt or a nearby depot location where the addressee may collect the package. In any case, you must act immediately to collect the package or it may return to us, especially if the delivery was refused. Using your tracking number you may be able to manage delivery of your package with the appropriate USPS Informed Delivery®, UPS My Choice®, or DHL On Demand™ website to request a hold for pickup, re-delivery or release without signature.
Delivery Not Found -- When tracking indicates a package has delivered to a residential address yet you have not seen it, in most cases the package was collected by a family member, left with a nearby third-party, or was deposited somewhere unforeseen. We ask you please search for a few minutes and if you don't find the package or a notice then please contact us as soon as possible. Please do NOT open a loss claim with the carrier unless instructed to do so by us, instead we will open an investigation with the carrier who will then contact the driver. If your package is not found then our options are to reship the order to a different address or to issue a refund. In those cases, if the redundant or unpaid order eventually shows up then you are responsible for returning the package to us at our expense.
Additional Charges -- Dive Gear Express has already pre-paid all shipping fees. While you do not have to pay any shipping fees, international package recipients should always expect to pay both import duty and tax appropriate for your location. Refusal to pay legitimate government mandated duty and/or tax can ultimately prove to be very expensive. If the package is returned to us, any refund amount will be reduced by both the outbound and inbound actual shipping costs from the order. If we are unable to retrieve the package, or the return shipping costs exceed the value of the contents, then the abandoned package will be impounded by customs of the import country resulting in a total loss and no refund.
Damaged, Defective, Incorrect or Missing Items -- Please notify us, as soon as possible, of any discrepancies in your order; please do NOT open a damage claim with the carrier unless instructed to do so by us. If the external packaging shows obvious evidence of damage please take photographs as appropriate to assist with our insurance claim. We will immediately reship damaged, defective, incorrect and missing items or issue a refund. Depending on the value of the items and our need to inspect for quality control, you may be responsible for returning items at our expense.
We apologize for any problems with your delivery, and will do whatever possible to make a quick resolution.
We Can't Always Take Blame for the Problem, But Do Take Responsibility for the Solution
Over the years we have shipped a great many packages to both domestic and international destinations from our facility in Florida using USPS, UPS and DHL services. While we do everything within our power to assure a smooth delivery, in our long experience a few of those packages will have some kind of shipping problem. Statistically, problems with all three couriers are about the same although we have developed preferences for some specific combinations of courier and destination.
Transit delays are well outside our ability to predict or control, so we suggest you allow for the possibility of a transit delay when placing your order. Thankfully most problems are just brief delays due to equipment failures, capacity overloads, or inclement weather. Handling damage is rare but seems to occur more often with heavy items such as tanks and delicate items such as oxygen sensors. Occasionally a package encounters a bureaucratic SNAFU even though we follow best practices to describe the nature, value, and contents of our shipments. While we might be blamed for shipping problems, the fact is that internal issues with bureaucracies and couriers are all well outside our control.
However, we do take responsibility for helping find a solution to transit problems because Dive Gear Express guarantees safe arrival of your order. Although rare, we know a problem can be frustrating when it happens to you and we will work with you to resolve transit and delivery issues as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Express is part of our name and, while we can't overcome the physics of time and distance, we will try to get you back in the water as soon as possible. If you have a time critical issue, please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate your deadline.