My new lens arrived broken due to this very issue and I was so disappointed that I took photos. The lens is a Panasonic 45-175mm zoom and has a broken internal element that I believe was directly caused by the shipping carton being too small. There was no packing materials between the lens box and the top or bottom of the shipping box.
I put the lens box back inside the carton with my invoice visible. This photo was taken 15 minutes after I opened the lens.
And here is a shot of the damaged lens. Note there is no external damage and the cracked lens is an internal element.
I am very disappointed that this was most likely caused by inadequate packaging and I did not have a lens above 42mm available for my outing last weekend with my granddaughter.
The order was placed on 3 Aug and I still don't have a replacement even though I requested a RMA immediately after discovering the damage. I just sold a few lenses and used PayPal to pay for the lens, but the customer service rep would not accept a credit card to accelerate a replacement unless I authorized a refund and repurchased the lens at the normal price ($100 above the sale price I originally paid).
I am in no hurry for the lens now, but this entire experience really has ticked me off and will influence future decisions. I just got off the phone with another customer service rep who explained in detail that it takes several days to receive, inspect, and process a returned item before a replacement can be sent. He didn't seem to understand why I felt that no effort was being made to look out for my interests.
I am unsure if this is really the proper venue to air this ongoing failure, but the existing topic is so relevant that I decided to vent.