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Got an angry email from the customer this evening asking what happened, since paid extra for shipping and everything.
Called FedEx to see what was up and was basically told "we were too busy, it'll get there tomorrow instead." Well, it's a big money signature required product, and nobody will be there to sign for it! I believe the customer is on a plane as I write this and have been unable to contact them since their email. Rest of the story is my problem to work out with the customer and not relevent to others, so I don't need to go into the details.
I'm writing this for two reasons:
1. Fair warning to others...FedEX at least for me was at beyond capacity and failed to meet delivery deadlines for an overnight shipment. Maybe I can save someone else some pain and credibility loss.
2. Have other people experienced this? What is my recourse to FedEx? I will NOT be happy with just the refund of the $50 overnight charge. I have already credited my customer for the entire shipping amount and will probably offer more in an effort to make ammends once I understand how inconvienced the customer has been.
How have others dealt with situations like this?
You will be lucky to get that. They often have some excuse that was in the contract. You really have to stir up #&@! to get refunds. No matter how important the sale is to you, they hear it all day long. There is a very small percentage of packages that do not make it to the destination every single day, and they hear about them.
I have done lots of business with all the major courier companies, trucking, rail, sea and air freight. Sometimes things go wrong, it is out of your hands when it leaves your dock. Explain that to your customer, provide the tracking info so he can verify where the screw up happened. That is all you can do, be honest with the customer and his anger will be transfered to fedex.
Once had some rush products fail delivery when the UPS truck caught fire a few miles from the destination.
Something can always go wrong, so plan for it.
As an old geezer I'm amazed how well next day delivery works...almost always.
FedEx is changing its notice requirements for requesting a money-back guarantee refund or credit if we miss our delivery time. The following changes are effective for invoices dated April 1, 2001, and later:
All of the limitations applicable to the service failure money-back guarantee noted above are also applicable to the FedEx Same Day service failure money-back guarantee. NOTE: THE QUOTED DELIVERY COMMITMENT TIME MAY CHANGE FOR MANY REASONS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: flight delays or cancellations due to air traffic control, weather, or mechanical problems. If the delivery commitment is changed, the Money-Back Guarantee will only be applicable to the latest delivery commitment. You agree that our records regarding quoted delivery times will constitute conclusive proof of any such quotes.
Service Failure - At our option, we will either refund or credit your transportation charges upon request if we deliver your shipment 60 seconds or more after our published delivery commitment. We will attempt to notify you twice by phone if there is any change in the time of the delivery commitment. If requested by you, we will also attempt to notify the recipient twice of any change in the quoted delivery time. If we are unable to reach you or the recipient after two attempts, we assume no liability for our inability to notify.
In order to qualify for a refund or credit due to service failure, the following limitations apply:
For invoiced shipments and for shipments by shippers using our customer automation, we must receive your notification (in writing or by telephone) of a service failure within 15 calendar days from the original invoice date. You must furnish with your payment the invoice numbers to which your payment applies. If an invoice is not paid in full, the reason for each unpaid charge must be noted along with its airbill or package tracking number.
For shipments that we don't invoice because paid by cash, check, money order, or credit card, you must notify us, in writing or by telephone, of a service failure within 15calendar days from the date of shipment. We will send your refund to the billing address on your account.
The package or shipment must not have been tendered for transportation during the three (3) calendar days before Christmas if tendered for transportation by FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight or FedEx 1Day Freight services. The package or shipment must not have been tendered for transportation during the fourteen (14) calendar days before Christmas if tendered for transportation by any other FedEx domestic service. Money-Back Guarantees for service failures are suspended for shipments tendered to use on these services during these periods.
Ho ho ho to you and your customers :)
[edited by: engine at 10:02 am (utc) on Jan. 14, 2005]
[edit reason] formatting [/edit]
Once had some rush products fail delivery when the UPS truck caught fire a few miles from the destination.
Was it by Kansas City? I had that happen with a computer that was in route to me on UPS a couple years ago.
Anyway, I wouldn't even try to get compensation for the lost sale (if that happens). I would try for the original shipping cost. Also, if you have to have it redirected and it is time sensative I would not redirect. Instead ship a new one from your location and wait for the old one to come back. I have never had a package redirected successfully.
Result being that two bad feedbacks have been left on Amazon - drops me out of their seller agreement soooooo I get charged to complete refunds of the orders that have not arrived.
Which means that I not only have to refund £450 but Amazon charge me £80 for the pleasure oh yeah and they wont now release my £2500 for a further 2 weeks just to ensure everything else goes ok.
Excuse me while I scream my head off....
The recipient is no longer contactable as far as I can tell, and even if the package comes back to me I'll be out of town and unable to handle it.
I've already spent hours dealing with this, and it's nowhere near over.
I've already signed up for DHL this morning. I've been considering it for a while, and this was the kick in the butt I needed. Even if the service isn't any better I'll have the gratification of knowing I took my business elsewhere.
For USPS once I added Signature confirmation they never lost another package.
"FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. said they were hit by ice and snowstorms at their respective Midwest hubs in Indianapolis and Louisville on Wednesday late at night, the most crucial time of day for moving packages across the country. The two companies and the U.S. Postal Service have been scrambling to come up with alternative routes so packages can still arrive at their destinations by Christmas. But they said many would probably not make it."
1) As another poster mentioned above, do not offer guarantees - especially when Dec 25 is very close.
2) Suggest to customer quicker shipping option. For example, if a customer orders a product on the 22nd, advise Overnight service in case there is a likely delay.
Notice he/she said "decades of experience."
This country is a contintent and more, when you consider Alaska, Hawaii and the Territories. I would say, given that contintent size and its varied geography and weather, I have gotten pretty darn good service out of all these carriers 90% of the time, but the world ain't perfect.
We ought to know that from our own business experience, and we owe it to our customers to reinforce that and not encourage unrealistic expectations.
-They pick it up everyday
-$3.85 up to one lbs. (my widgets weigh 1 pound)
-1 day delivery on the east coast, 2days for midwest, 3days for the west coast.
-Never more than 3 days, even over holiday.
-Never lost my packages, not even once.
-Using Endicia I can make cool packing labels.
I don't give my customers options, I said order by the 22nd for christmas delivery, everyone made it. I guess there are good and bad things about it, but it has worked fine for me.
In fact, consider yourself very lucky with the cr*p service you get there. With Amtrak they often don't find the parcels even after months but they never pay the claims. They always find some excuse to not pay. You won't believe how expert they are at this. The last claim was rejected because their local depot only scanned 19 out of the 20 parcels we sent. Our argument that the driver very clearly signed for 20 parcels - and documentary proof of that - cut no ice. "We only scanned 19 back at the depot so we won't accept any claim for your 20th parcel".
Now we've got this notification from them:
In an effort to discourage excessive speculative insurance claims we will be introducing an administrative charge of £10 per claim which will be applied where at least three claims are submitted in relation to consignments carried in a particular month and where at least 50% of these claims are rejected.
i.e. the more genuine claims we don't pay the more we can charge you in admin fees
The missive also says:
With effect from Jan 05 we will apply a 2.5% surcharge to all invoices. Where payment is made in accordance with agreed terms and conditions this charge may be deducted from your payment.
Even though we've never paid one invoice late. Complete w*nkers! But they won't have our business anymore.
Wrong, way wrong, not even close to the truth.
There is only one country in the world that is nearly a whole continent and that is Australia. In fact, the US is not even close to half of the continent, Canada is far bigger than the US. Also, don't forget Mexico, which is also a relatively a large country and part of North America.
Just a little nit-picking, because I am a stickler when it come to geography.
We use USPS Priority Mail as well. Our goods are almost always under 5 pounds, making Priority Mail the best bang for the buck. Orders arrive at their destination quicker than ground services, our shipping costs are lower, and the Postal Service pays for our shipping supplies.
We ship Air Letter-Post overseas and to Canada. Again, very few problems, and those that do get "lost" are no doubt confiscated or shop-lifted by Customs. (We ship adult widgets.)
I will say too that I've noticed UPS packages arrive in terrible shape. For the most part, the USPS packages arrive okay, especially if there's a "fragile" or "perishable" sticker on the box.
About four months ago, though, we started having more and more Priority Mail packages simply disappear. In addition, we had several customers per week desiring to track the packages; Delivery Confirmation isn't a true in-transit tracking system, so we couldn't provide that.
Based on some trials of delicate packages with DHL, we switched over completely (except for international) to DHL about 2 months ago. After about 1,000 packages: 1 report of damage, 0 packages gone missing.
Their billing can sometimes be wacky, and their phone service is spotty. I'm told by my DHL rep that this is largely due to the acquisition of Airborne Express by DHL, as they struggle to combine the operations. I'm not convinced that explains all of the hiccups, but at least they seem to be handling the package aspect fairly well.
The term in all cases is meant to be descriptive, allegorical, rather than literal. But you betcha, Australia is probably a match, and more, in every sense of the description. :)
- Offer him a shipping refund
- If the customer is not going to be home on delivery date. Send the customer the tracking number and have him contact FEDEX to hold deliver until he returns.
In my business, when someone asks for overnight shipment. I try to lower their expectations by stating that, I will get the package shipped in time but I can not guarantee that the shipper will get it to you on time.
The prices for FPO (military) in Germany are the equivilent to if I shipped to New York or Los Angeles when using the USPS.
And, no worries about the customs or port of entry issues either. Because, afterall, the Fed is the one that is delivering the parcel.