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FedEx vs UPS vs USPS

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4:28 pm on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There's a thread about three years old on this topic, and I wanted to A) reply to some of those comments, and
B) offer some more recent observations of my own.

Many of the posters in that thread mentioned that FedEx Home drivers were paid by the delivery. This would explain why I've had FedEx Home delivering to wrong addresses and/or leaving several thousands of dollars' worth of parcels in plain view on a public street, rather than finding someone home and making sure the package got to the intended recipient.

Contacts with Federal Express in attempts to resolve that issue resulted in replies which stated basically "What issue?"

Whereas contacts with UPS result in the customer service folks moving heaven and hell in an attempt to locate the problem and correct it ASAP.

The postal Service is similar, although a bit more sluggish than UPS. Packages that go astray generally get located and delivery corrected if possible (with some notable exceptions - with the Postal Service, it seems to make a difference which destination post office the package goes through.)

Further thoughts?


10:32 pm on Sep 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

USPS is the only way to go for shipments up north.

As a Canadian who sometimes shops online, I would agree with that from the customer's perspective. Packages are handled much more securely by our local post office than they are by the courier services. I've abandoned more than one shopping cart because shipping options did not include the postal service.


2:00 am on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yeah, many people in Canada or other countries would not buy if you didn't do USPS. Most people are onto the broker fee thing and don't want to pay. Besides, why would anybody want to pay hundreds when they can pay $40 or something. But I've had businesses insist on using FedEx, even though I try to tell them that they can have it just one day later for a fraction of the price. But some companies just like wasting money.

I'm curious how people handle the 'under value' thing. I use to entertain it, but stopped a few years back. We include a receipt in the box and all they have to do is look at that, then look at the customs form. It's my understanding that if the two don't match, they can fine the customer who tries to collect it? At least that's what I've heard. Of course it would be different in every country. It would also make sense to me that they would attempt to keep a database of companies who are undervaluing their shipments. I have no idea if they actually do, but seems like that would be smart. So I pretty much keep it honest.


4:08 am on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@fabulousyarn Yeah, I ignored it too until I did some math. It was $13,000 in a 6 month period. Worth tracking, I would say.

I'm curious how people handle the 'under value' thing

I won't break the law for a customer. When they ask I work up a nice indignant rage about my values and loyalty and customer service yadayadayada and I haven't lost a sale yet


4:44 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm curious how people handle the 'under value' thing.

Do you mean a request from the customer to undervalue the shipment on the customs form, or to mark it as a "gift"?

I tell the customer that he (the customer) is the official importer-of-record for this shipment, and it would be in his best interest if we followed the laws of his country.

I don't really get concerned about possibly breaking a law in some other country, but I'd think the customer (who lives there) would care.


11:23 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Yeah, for when customers ask you to fudge. I have it happen fairly often. They act like I'm an a** for not doing it, but they still take the order. I don't recall anybody canceling for that. I do think it can possibly come back to get you, because I had one recently get hung up and they asked the guy for a copy of the invoice besides the papers that came with it. I think they must have got ticked because they thought we were trying to jerk them around, and they sent it back. Or so they claim. I haven't gotten it yet. So I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that. The amount I wrote on the form was correct, but there was something about it that they didn't like or something. I guess they just thought it should be more money claimed.


7:17 pm on Sep 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Semi related... Someone who received something from us in the UK told me that ParcelForce (who delivers USPS packages there) charged them a small "handling fee" on top of the customs fee. This is news to me. I didn't think any of the mail stuff included that.


2:09 pm on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

ParcelForce (who delivers USPS packages there) charged them a small "handling fee" on top of the customs fee

I'm in the US, and ship quite a bit via USPS/ Parcelforce. My understanding is that there are three fees:

- UK VAT (17.5%, imposed by HM Customs)
- Import Duty (typically a couple of percent depending on the item, imposed by HM Customs)
- Customs Clearance Fee (8, charged by Parcelforce for opening-and-resealing the package for Customs inspection, and for pre-paying the HM Customs fees).

These fees are added up, and a postcard is mailed to the recipient with the total due. They can log-in at Parcelforce's website, and pay the fee with a credit card. Once the fees are paid, the package is dropped off.


8:19 pm on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

OK... I knew about the customs ones, but didn't know about the PF one. I think some of my stuff is non taxable though.

So they open everything though, huh? That's kind of disturbing. The way we pack stuff would not be easy to repack properly.
This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38

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