Speaker deliver, is white glove service required?

To summarize, because I have an inability to construct pithy content, here’s my argument:
PS Audio should partner with someone like CEVA Logistics or other “white glove” carrier for speaker delivery and stop using FedEx or any other “drop on your porch” carrier. OK, here’s the long version.

There has been various threads about the new PS speakers and how a direct to consumer speaker sale might work. Especially for those of us who must hear before we buy. And then I started thinking about how I stopped looking at TVs before purchase some time ago. I don’t know anyone who buys a TV from a “videophile” store anymore. Of those I know who have purchased TVs over the past few years they got their TVs in 1 of 2 ways: 1) Amazon 2) As part of a full home theater designed and installed solution by a local shop that specializes in such things.

Now, most TVs Amazon sells are dropped on your porch by UPS, FedEx, etc. but the larger and more premium sets they actually have a scheduled white glove service or you can pay extra for “Enhanced Delivery” on almost anything. A few years back I had ordered TVs from Amazon with this service and Ceva Logistics was the carrier that handled the delivery. I had to replace one of the TVs because of a “poor” delivery and I wanted to share my experience.

I ordered a 65" Panasonic Plasma television that included white glove delivery. This set comes in a giant box and its heavy. The delivery crew that arrived really wasn’t qualified to handle such a large set and when they left I noticed the stand wasn’t built properly as well as some other issues I was unhappy with. I contacted Amazon who put me in touch with the regional CEVA team. CEVA took my complaint and worked directly with Amazon to get me a new TV. CEVA arrived, took down and re-boxed my old TV then proceeded to do an excellent job setting up my replacement TV. I was a happy customer.

Looking back on this experience I do not hesitate buying TVs from Amazon. However, when I ordered my BHK 300’s I actually had to file a complaint with FedEx because PS Audio has no recourse with the shipper when something isn’t right. This makes me hesitant to order anything “heavy” from PS Audio. I certainly don’t want tower speakers sitting in my driveway, in the rain, because the delivery driver cannot be bothered to put them under my covered porch and obtain a proper signature.

So, for me, I think I can easily get over the “hear before you buy” hesitation. I did for TVs. I can do this for audio. It’s the logistics of it when something goes wrong that has me hesitating.

The resolution here, or what would make me feel comfortable buying tower speakers from PS, use one of these “white glove” logistics companies. These companies already have teams of people who are trained to come in your home, haul heavy things up/down stairs, and will work directly with the manufacturer to “fix things” for the customer when something goes wrong. Just the ability to schedule delivery within a window provides huge confidence my purchase isn’t going to be destroyed because FedEx decided “delivery” meant kicking it off the back of the truck into my driveway. I shouldn’t need to understand logistics to get an issue “fixed”. I just want to call the place I ordered from and let them handle it. This is what occurred with my TV. It’s what I expect should happen with a tower speaker order. If PS is going to continue using FedEx for these things then I won’t even entertain a home listen. It’s just not worth the risk of me having to fix the logistics when something goes wrong. I don’t even want to put the thing back in the box if I simply don’t like it. Heck, every direct to home mattress company will come get their goods if you don’t like them. Why can’t this happen for speakers?

If you got this far… thanks for reading. I look forward to PS’s new “logistics program” when they launch their new speakers. Without it, at least for me, I’m going to pass.


I think a service like this is necessary. At least make it available for anyone who wants it. For me when making a purchase for something like this (and especially for that amount of money) I want it to be delivered and set up in my home. My recent TV purchase, and hopefully my last, is a 75* Sony. I bought locally and the shop delivered to my home and set it up. I would have felt very uncomfortable having it left at my front door. Someday I will get high end speakers. I intend to do the same thing, do it locally and have the dealer deliver. I’m nervous about purchasing speakers on line but I do have a dealer in a city next to me who sells brands I may be interested in. At least they are still there, but such places are going away rather quickly.

You make a very good point and I agree with you. Published shipping damage statistics for FedEx and UPS are quite sobering and definitely make me hesitant to purchase very expensive and heavy speakers unless they’re shipped in battle worthy hard coffin cases. In the absence of white glove delivery service, I’ve long preferred that heavy expensive speakers be shipped LTL freight on a pallet.

Have the speaker boxes vinyl wrapped weather “proofing”
place on a palate and strapped have it shipped via R&L carriers.

My Focal Aria 948s were thus shipped and arrived in pristine
condition …

Wouldnt do it any other way

The boxes my RELs (x4) were delivered in were some kind of HACKED-up. REL’s boxes/packaging are the worst I’ve seen in the audio business.

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Ouch…someone teach’em how to do it…

Yeah, this is the right packaging but without the white glove service the user is left with disposing of all that shipping material. I love hoarding boxes (and I’ve got boxes for all my gear in the garage) but stuff strapped to pallets is where my hoarding stops. If I have to move that kind of gear the moving company will be happily charging me so they can construct a shipping pallet/container for my stuff and I will happily be paying them.

R & L Carriers hauled the palate away…no problem…

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Man… I’m too used to freight when they had to ask “do you have a loading dock?” and then charged you 4x more when you said “no”. I forget how nice residential freight delivery can be these days.

R & L don’t treat their residential deliveries in that manner at all.
They don’t do cheap shots as you described…

Yep, that’s true. I ordered a pair REL SHO/3’s and they arrived with the aluminum feet completely destroyed on one of them. The packaging was completely inadequate given the rigors of shipping these days. They quickly sent replacements but it wouldn’t have been necessary if they packed their subs as well as JL Audio packs theirs.

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That’s the way my Tidal Piano Ceras were packed. The speakers were wrapped in vinyl sheeting to prevent moisture intrusion and scuffing. The wrapped speakers were then encased in rolling wooden cases like pro audio gear is shipped in. The two wood cases were then strapped top a pallet for LTL domestic truck freight. Those two big rolling cases sure take up a lot of room in garage though. :roll_eyes:

The success rate for shipping large speakers and other gear depends a great deal in my experience upon how seriously the manufacturer is about packaging. I don’t need white glove service and am not even clear how well it would work living in a Chicago downtown highrise. Palletized delivery and the like works I’m sure for detached home owners. There are a lot of extra constraints for those like me. An example of a manufacturer who knows how to do it right is Salk Sound, which has been factory direct from day one and lives or dies by getting the product to the customer in one piece. I’m telling you there is simply no substitute for 100% coverage packaging. Good quality, thick, molded to the product 100% coverage closed cell foam works. It is such a simple, proven solution I don’t know why the entire commercial electronics industry hasn’t standardized it. That’s what Salk Sound does and I’ve had two pairs delivered to my high rise in flawless condition by FedEx. The outer carton can take a beating but I could less as long as goodie inside is flawless. It has been … twice.

Talk about serious packaging!
Dynaudio Contour 60i - Unboxing - Wie findet ihr die Optik? - YouTube

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Glad they print Dynaudio on the crate. Wouldn’t want my neighbors thinking I had 2 coffins delivered :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m surprised they don’t box them inside though. I’ve seen plenty of punctured crates and any damage, even minor, to the wood would destroy an exposed finish like that. Otherwise, well done on Dynaudio’s part. Need to add them to my list.


Yup crates are handled with forklifts, and these could do serious damage every now and then. The Contour 60i is on my radar though. :grin:

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Ooooo…careful don’t let em get on your six…
could wind up on your flat…They like to shoot
from behind and nail ya…surprise surprise
we 60Is are here…air to air talk here…

Hope they show up real soon!!

Hi David,
Prospective speakers, not on the way yet :wink:

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Careful now…these 60Is have sniffed your interest out and now have
you on their radar…

They just want to a new cudly home… :grin: :smiley:

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Exactly :smile: