Really sorry to hear that. Sadly, you’re paying an additional, emotional fee here on top of having damaged merchandise that you paid full price for! I often have this conversation with clients who are looking to save a little here or there. And while it’s not what I recommend, it’s certainly for the client to decide. That said, my staff is trained to know what to look for in the way of damage, or even what can be considered “acceptable damage.” When there is a problem, we know what to do. That’s part of the service we provide, and yes, there is a cost to that. The question for you is, is it more or is it less than the price you’re paying now?
When you –the client- take on that responsibility yourself, it comes with certain risks and limitations (and even prevents) the designer’s ability to resolve the issue. Once you sign the delivery slip, the Bill of Lading, you own that item and have indicated to the manufacturer that you received it in “perfect” condition, releasing everyone concerned from further responsibility.
In future, when there are problems, contact your designer immediately for direction. If you cannot reach her, be sure to write what the damage is on the Bill along with “not accepted,” make a copy if one is not provided and then hand the original back to the delivery person without the expectation that they will remove the item in that moment (pick up may need to be scheduled separately, also now up to you). Further, please remember that it is not the delivery person’s fault. Their job is ONLY to bring items in, and take them out.