/ Rope through mail / courier

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Milesy - on 10 May 2019

I ordered a new rope from the epictv shop, and it arrived from France after nearly a week in transit, and all they’ve done is wrap the rope in a bit of cheap plastic, not even a baw hair of bubble wrap. It arrived and was ripped through both the cheap plastic bag and the manufacturer plastic bag for the rope. 

Would anyone be asking them to send out another one in better packaging? 

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bouldery bits - on 10 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

> I ordered a new rope from the epictv shop, and it arrived from France after nearly a week in transit, and all they’ve done is wrap the rope in a bit of cheap plastic, not even a baw hair of bubble wrap. It arrived and was ripped through both the cheap plastic bag and the manufacturer plastic bag for the rope. 

> Would anyone be asking them to send out another one in better packaging? 

Yup.

It's your life on the line. 

Better still, I'd send it back, spend the extra and buy it from a shop. 

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Milesy - on 11 May 2019
In reply to bouldery bits:

Only online retailers for what I’m looking for sadly. I didn’t expect it to be coming from France though. I paid in pounds and assumed it was a U.K. shop. It said it was banana fingers it was coming from on the courier message. 

Just annoyed that a climbing shop would bung and rope in a plastic wrap and then in a van. 

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alibrightman on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

Yes I would report it to the seller. A rope in damaged packaging could be a damaged rope, in my opinion.  

Cheers

Al

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Ciro - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

You're going to drag it up and down rocks all day, clipping it into metal gear, and then falling on it, with someone holding the fall by jamming the other end in a friction device.

It's say it can probably handle being tossed around a delivery van enough to tear a plastic bag....

Post edited at 01:51
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mcdougal - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Ciro:

> It's say it can probably handle being tossed around a delivery van enough to tear a plastic bag....

Depends what else was on the door of the van, doesn't it? 

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Milesy - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Ciro:

> You're going to drag it up and down rocks all day, clipping it into metal gear, and then falling on it, with someone holding the fall by jamming the other end in a friction device.

> It's say it can probably handle being tossed around a delivery van enough to tear a plastic bag....

That’s my choice and control though. 

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teh_mark on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

I'd mention it to the shop (because otherwise how are they meant to know there've been issues and fix their process accordingly?), but I'd probably also be happy to climb on it as described.

Always worth mentioning these sorts of things even if you ultimately don't have a problem with it; Alpine Trek sent me some new clothing last year and Hermes left the delivery in my garden in torrential rain for six hours until I found it. No real issue beyond the frustration of having to dry everything, but Alpine Trek offered £25 in vouchers anyway.

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Ciro - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

> That’s my choice and control though. 

Well if you send it back as "damaged in transit", even though there's nothing wrong with it, they probably can't resell it, so a perfectly good rope goes to landfill without even being used. Seems rather wasteful.

What kind of rope is it, and where are you based? If you're that concerned maybe I (or someone else on here) can buy it off you at face value and you can order another one?

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Milesy - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Ciro:

Given the policies around gear then surely a climbing shop should know better. 

I wouldn’t buy a rope from anyone else would you? 

 I take good care of my rope, all things said. The one it’s replacing had 10 years use, was not used indoors or for sport climbing, only trad and snow, and had only ever taken a small fall. 

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Neil Williams - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

> Would anyone be asking them to send out another one in better packaging? 

Yes.  If it isn't in a fully sealed bag you don't know it hasn't been dropped in spilled petrol or whatever.

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Frank R. on 11 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Or even worse, some spilled acid or remnants of on the floor of the van or whatever... Something you have no way of checking at all.

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deepsoup - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Yes.  If it isn't in a fully sealed bag you don't know it hasn't been dropped in spilled petrol or whatever.

Well it's your prerogative of course, but it strikes me you're being rather overcautious there.  Couriers' vans don't generally have great puddles of acid or bleach sloshing about in them, and any damage caused by such would almost certainly be detectable on the sheath anyway.

Unless you're completely anosmic you'd smell petrol immediately, and in any case exposure to petrol won't damage a climbing rope at all.

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teh_mark on 11 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

You also have no way of knowing whether the store-bought rope has sat in a puddle of noxious chemicals either.

Genuine question - if a rope that a shop have ordered in is delivered with torn packaging but no other visible damage of any sort,will they bin it?

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L 88Dan - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

I recently bought a new rope from banana fingers. It arrived within 2-3 days from the UK (obviously considering the delivery speed) I must say it was very well packaged and I couldn't have asked for better service or a better deal than the one I got.

A flimsy plastic bag being ripped in transit is not really an indication of a damaged item within the packaging, although I am quite shocked that a company would send such an important item in insufficient packaging. Maybe it wasn't the fault of banana fingers if it has come from France. Either way I hope you get it sorted mate.

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Ciro - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

> Given the policies around gear then surely a climbing shop should know better. 

Ropes are robust, there is no need to bubble wrap them.

> I wouldn’t buy a rope from anyone else would you? 

Have done so before and would happily do so again, depending on the circumstances. If you're anywhere near Newcastle I'd happily take a rope that's been delivered brand new in a torn bag. As pointed out up thread, any rope you ever bought *could* have been stored incorrectly with solvents prior to sale, and had time to dry out before you got it, but if the rope had been damage by solved in transit you would notice.

Over the years I've climbed on many ropes supplied by partners ranging from people I know well, to people I met at the crag that morning. I have never seen a reason to worry about a rope that passes inspection for wear and year.

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timjones - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

How often do you see random puddles of petrol about the place and are you up to date with which randomly spilled liquids would actually damage a climbing rope?

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climber34neil - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

Not that it makes any difference to your issue but I think epic TV and banana fingers are sister shops which would explain why it came from France , I imagine if an item is shown as in stock then it could come from either location?

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L Old Mountain Git on 11 May 2019
In reply to climber34neil:

Epic TV owns Banana Fingers.

Go to a specialist shop to buy your specialist gear and it's likely top have been looked after and even better you don't really need yet more plastic packaging ;)

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Deadeye - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

> I ordered a new rope from the epictv shop, and it arrived from France after nearly a week in transit, and all they’ve done is wrap the rope in a bit of cheap plastic, not even a baw hair of bubble wrap. It arrived and was ripped through both the cheap plastic bag and the manufacturer plastic bag for the rope. 

> Would anyone be asking them to send out another one in better packaging? 

No. If the role is undamaged I would be completely fine with it. You're being over sensitive.

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fuzzysheep01 on 11 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

I had the exact same experience with ropes from EpicTV earlier in the year. Fortunately the damaged rope was the wrong item anyway, so I sent it back for the correct one 😀

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earlsdonwhu - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

Obviously, the consequences could be horrendous, but whenever this type of  thread comes along, I wonder how many documented cases there actually are of catastrophic rope failure.  I'm not referring back to hemp rope etc!

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Frank R. on 11 May 2019
In reply to earlsdonwhu:

From chemical damage like acids? In the low tens I guess (at least by very meticulous investigations by Schubert from the DAV safety committee, who did investigate any report of rope failure quite thouroughly), but the damage is told to be hard to spot, usually. Of course, the chance of it being damaged in transit (or around the shop) is probably well-nigh negligible - but as in any online forum when giving my mind, I'd rather like to err on the side of caution

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Neil Williams - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Ciro:

> You're going to drag it up and down rocks all day, clipping it into metal gear, and then falling on it, with someone holding the fall by jamming the other end in a friction device.

> It's say it can probably handle being tossed around a delivery van enough to tear a plastic bag....


You don't know what was on the floor of the van or courier depot, or if it was chucked in the road in a puddle of petrol, though.  It's not being chucked around that is the issue, it's potential chemical damage.

Whenever I've bought a rope online it's been in a fully sealed courier bag.

Post edited at 21:33
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Neil Williams - on 11 May 2019
In reply to timjones:

> How often do you see random puddles of petrol about the place and are you up to date with which randomly spilled liquids would actually damage a climbing rope?


It's not about how likely it is - only a likelihood of 0% (or damn near it) is acceptable to me.

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timjones - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's not about how likely it is - only a likelihood of 0% (or damn near it) is acceptable to me.

I struggle to see.how it is physically possible to enjoy climbing with such a risk averse approach.

Does petrol damage climbing ropes?

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Neil Williams - on 12 May 2019
In reply to timjones:

I believe it does, yes.

I am relatively risk averse for a climber (being more in it for the physical challenge than risk), but the key to me is minimising the risks that have arisen unnecessarily through sloppiness, laziness and incompetence[1], leaving only those I can manage myself.

[1] It's not hard nor expensive to pack things properly for transit.

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Ciro - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's not about how likely it is - only a likelihood of 0% (or damn near it) is acceptable to me.

If the rope is dry, clean and smells like a new rope,  I'd say you've got your damn near 0%. Certainly a lot closer to 0% than the chances that the bolt you're relying on wasn't properly glued in, or the rock you put they piece of gear in didn't have a fracture behind that's waiting to break. Climbing has many risks, this isn't one of them.

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Lemony - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

I'm no longer working for an online sales company but when I was we'd absolutely have expected you to refuse/return it as damaged in transit.

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Offwidth - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

You need not worry much about petrol but piss is an issue.

https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/1635/things-to-keep-away-from-climbing-ropes

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Hooo - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

For most gear I'd just accept it, but not​ a rope. The risk with a rope is invisible chemical damage, particularly acid. It's been chucked into several vehicles, along with loads of other packages that have been handled roughly. What if one of those other packages was a car battery and it spilled a little? You have no idea what that rope has been exposed to. 

I accept that it's a tiny risk, but you also need to send a message to the supplier that ropes need to be packaged properly for safety reasons. If they get returns they might start packing them properly. I always make a point of informing suppliers of problems with delivery. If no one tells them, how are they supposed to fix it?

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teh_mark on 12 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Things to worry about:

  • Whether the cam you've just placed is good and will hold you falling off the crux, and whether the rock it's placed in is good rock.
  • Whether you'll hit the ground if the last runner fails.
  • Whether you'll hit anything else even if the gear is good.
  • Whether that fridge-sized loose block will go anywhere when you pull on it.

Things we shouldn't worry about but probably do in the back of our minds:

  • Whether its sensible to dangle oneself 300m above the valley floor from a 6mm fabric sling.

Things not to worry about:

  • Whether your rope was damaged in transit by soaking in a huge, steaming puddle of sulphuric acid.

Do you honestly think a shop will bin a rope if it arrives in torn packaing? I doubt it, and sincerely hope not. Just because it arrives in the post in undamaged plastic doesn't mean its been shipped with the same care from source, nor does it mean the pristine-looking rope that you buy in-store didn't arrive in damaged packaging. And yet, how many people have died from rope failure caused by damage in transit from the manufacturer?

0 is my guess.

Post edited at 10:34
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Lemony - on 12 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> Do you honestly think a shop will bin a rope if it arrives in torn packaing?

if the packaging were knackered to the point that they were exposed to whatever was in the back of the van I’m pretty confident we’d have rejected them. In fact I think we had that exact situation and did just that.

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Lord_ash2000 - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Milesy:

There is a 99.99% chance the rope is fine. However it is your life on the line (literally). But If you don't want it I'll have it. 😉

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Hooo - on 12 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> And yet, how many people have died from rope failure caused by damage in transit from the manufacturer?

​​​​​​I've definitely heard of someone dying as the result of a rope being contaminated by battery acid while in a vehicle. It wasn't in transit from the manufacturer, but why should that be different? The rope in transit has been "looked after" by someone who knows nothing​ and cares less about the items they are transporting. I'd want my rope to be protected against this sort of treatment.

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ianstevens - on 12 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> Things to worry about:

> Whether the cam you've just placed is good and will hold you falling off the crux, and whether the rock it's placed in is good rock.

> Whether you'll hit the ground if the last runner fails.

> Whether you'll hit anything else even if the gear is good.

> Whether that fridge-sized loose block will go anywhere when you pull on it.

> Things we shouldn't worry about but probably do in the back of our minds:

> Whether its sensible to dangle oneself 300m above the valley floor from a 6mm fabric sling.

> Things not to worry about:

> Whether your rope was damaged in transit by soaking in a huge, steaming puddle of sulphuric acid.

To add to this list: things couriers will refuse to ship:

Acids, in small or huge piles, steaming or non-steaming. Do you people really think couriers pour acid over the floors of their vans and warehouses???

Batteries, especially those containing acid.

Any and all liquids, including petrol. I would expect all delivery lorries and vans are diesel anyway, and that employees of couriers put fuel in the fuel tank rather than open the back doors and spray it about. Just a suspicion on the last point mind.

Post edited at 23:27
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L Old Mountain Git on 13 May 2019
In reply to Hooo:

> ​​​​​​I've definitely heard of someone dying as the result of a rope being contaminated by battery acid while in a vehicle. 

Just out of interest, what was the story?

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Hooo - on 13 May 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

I bought a car battery recently, and believe it or not it was delivered​ by a courier. How else would they get it to me? They might forbid your average punter from shipping hazardous items, but they'll still ship them from reputable companies. And of course your average punter doesn't always read, let alone abide by the rules, and some of them will happily send hazardous items without telling the courier.

I've used couriers a lot in the past, and I've come to the conclusion that in every courier company, at every level, they do not give a f*ck what happens to your precious package, and they will systematically lie in answer to any question. So no, I would never trust them to ship an unwrapped rope.

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Hooo - on 13 May 2019
In reply to Old Mountain Git:

I don't have a link, sorry, but IIRC a rope broke on an abseil. On inspection the core had rotted away, and it turns out that the owner had stored it next to the batteries in his vehicle. The conclusion was that exposure to acid vapour and / or spillage had weakened the rope.

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