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THE AM BULLETIN BOARD => QSO => Topic started by: SM6OID on July 20, 2020, 07:47:46 AM



Title: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: SM6OID on July 20, 2020, 07:47:46 AM
Hi!

This is not a happy story, be be prepared...

Bought me a BC-456-E / SCR-274-N modulator on eBay not long ago.
All was well, or so I thought.
Shipping went OK until the GSP HUB in KY.
The modulator was deemed as "RESTRICTED ITEM" and can not be delivered nor returned to seller.
It had to be destroyed!
The money was quickly refunded, but I REALLY wanted the modulator.

So, here a long series of meaningless back and forth conversation began with eBay, took quite a few days before they could give me an answer of why this modulator from WW2 is so terribly dangerous I can not even be returned to seller in the US.

The latest answer so far:

"...After looking into this, I found that our shipping partners applied this restriction because this item contains a Vacuum Tube. Because of this we cannot forward your order or return it to your seller as this restriction applies for both forms of transport. In addition, we do not have further details on what our shipping partners, Pitney Bowes, will choose to do with this order now that this order is restricted. But please keep in mind that this restriction is applied for both forwarding and returning this order."

What on earth is the problem with a few vacuum tubes?

I have worked with BIG x-ray vehicle and cargo scanners as well as baggage scanners and been involved in operator training.
So, I think I have a clue of international rules.

Well, this may be worth thinking of if you plan to involve eBay Global Shipping Program, it kind of excludes a lot of stuff?
On the other hand, I have had vacuum tubes or things with VT's inside shipped via GSP before, without any restriction problems.

Needless to say, I'm VERY disappointed, and not happy in anyway.
Now, I have to hope that a another BC-456 modulator shows up, and not being shipped via GSP!


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: AJ1G on July 20, 2020, 12:25:28 PM
Perhaps the issue was not as stated, due to the modulator containing a vacuum tube but that one of them, specifically the VR-150, if I recall correctly, was either marked as radioactive material, or that it contained enough radioactive gas , possibly Krypton, that triggered a radioactive material scan positive.  Many VR tubes I have seen, at least in Mil spec packaging, are in fact labeled as radioactive.  Not sure if all VR-150s are in fact slightly radioactive, most do not contain such markings.

Hereís a link re use of radioactive gasses in VR tubes.  I have seen Mil spec packaged OA2s marked as radioactive.

https://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/electrontubes.htm


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: KI4YAN on July 20, 2020, 04:10:16 PM
Absolutely absurd. This kind of crap makes me want to abandon eBay all together. ALL vacuum tubes with throated tungsten filaments are radioactive.

I live an hour from that hub. I am gonna try to call and find out the real reason for this...I recieved just this morning 4pcs 4-65A tubes through the eBay global shipping program!

Hopefully the other box I am waiting on from Ukraine will make it...it's a pair of NOS in cans 4cx300Y. Now I'm nervous!


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: KI4YAN on July 20, 2020, 07:19:34 PM
So I called the GSP hub here-not the Ebay side, but the Pitney Bowes side at Louisville-SDF

They claim it's illegal to ship vacuum tubes via air freight due to them containing mercury. The man said they can see the mercury inside the glass so they won't ship them, it's illegal. I wasn't able to actually get the man to talk about the modulator, just vacuum tubes in general.

The hub is 1 hour 28 minutes from my house-I used to have to drive to it a few times a week for work. I can't believe someone doesn't know the difference between a tube getter and liquid mercury was able to pass the haz-mat training required for working in shipping. (It really isn't hard, but it is a LOT of information)

I don't know if there is a way to save that BC456E, but I asked the man I spoke with to look into it and find out. I gave him the address listed on QRZ as where you could be contacted, SM6OID. I hope they get it to you.


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: AJ1G on July 21, 2020, 07:42:01 AM
If you canít convince him that heís not seeing mercury in those tube just getter, tell him he can keep the damn tubes and ship the modulator to its destination without them.  None of the tubes in the 456 modulator are hard to come by.

 


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: KD1SH on July 21, 2020, 10:39:21 AM
   This is the sort of thing that happens when people entirely ignorant of facts are empowered to make rules, and others still less informed are empowered to enforce them.
   Not only is the notion of a buyer being unable to obtain what should be a legally obtainable product blatantly absurd, but equally vexing is the notion that Pitney Bowes has the audacity to imply that they effectively have the authority to confiscate and destroy personal property.
   At a bare minimum, Pitney Bowes should be obligated - if they can't do it themselves - to provide the seller with alternative methods of getting his property returned to him, and if they indeed have the gall to destroy it, they damn well better compensate him for it.


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: W1RKW on July 21, 2020, 03:53:22 PM
Interesting.  I wonder how ionization smoke detectors get shipped globally.  A quick search shows many ship worldwide.


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: KI4YAN on July 22, 2020, 01:16:36 PM
Here's the real kicker-why did they open the box in the first place? Customs had to be the one to open it, then some yahoo decided not to ship it.

Just thinking out loud. SM6OID, have they tried to contact you?


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: SM6OID on July 23, 2020, 07:53:21 AM
Hi!

Not a word from Pitney Bowes, yet.
Did send eBay a message on Monday the 20th 15:41 Z, no reply, so I sent a new message a few minutes ago.

In a previous message, I asked them to pull out the tubes and do what ever you want with them, and ship me my modulator.
In the reply, no comments at all regarding my suggestion.

I do understand that some things must be restricted for shipping, but this is just plain stupidity?






Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: KB5MD on July 25, 2020, 06:45:35 PM
Could it be that someone else, maybe a buddy, had a use for the modulator if it could somehow disappear from shipping.


Title: Re: eBay Global Shipping Program vs BC-456-E Modulator
Post by: Opcom on July 26, 2020, 05:32:00 PM
I am sure that thing is worth a coupe grand, as old and complete as it is. The lack of insuring may have some legal bearing on your loss recovery, or may not. Did you declare a value? Did you sign a document that limited its value? Shipping companies like to state that "they are liable only up to $100" but if you have not signed that as an agreement then it may or may not hold. Just another scare tactic for when they destroy or steal high end stuff. Just things to talk with your attorney about if the worst happens. If they steal the tubes under false pretenses -mercury but no mercury- then they need to replace them. Theft is a crime too.

--

Send an e-mail to their legal department politely explaining their employees' errors concerning the irreplaceable and invaluable artifacts, and that the situation is unacceptable whether the errors be ignorance, incompetence, malfeasance, or something criminal such as theft or conversion. State the person who told you what they looked at, state they have lied, and then suggest that your losses will be huge due to that persons' ignorance or malfeasance.
 
State that, unless they correct the situation forthwith, not only will they be hearing from their peers in the legal profession, but that you will have no choice, in good conscience, but to relay all of the detailed facts of the events to the attorney general, whomever's in charge of 'mercury customs', the social media public, and to their clients.

Copy anyone on at the top of the the operations management, PR, and high holy coroporate leadership you can find. Those people don't like to be annoyed by letters from unhappy people. Their assistant don't like it, that is. They hate letters being sent to their clients's legal and marketing departments.

State in the e-mail that you have already followed up this electronic communication via U. S. mail (to the other departments too), but would appreciate a prompt reply as you feel that your property is in danger of destruction or possible theft by their employees. Include your cellphone # under your signature line.

Be sure to send those letters if you say you will.

It should cause so much of an annoyance someone will require it to be looked into very quickly.
AMfone - Dedicated to Amplitude Modulation on the Amateur Radio Bands