Pros: Low shipping costs, if the unit arrives undamaged.
Cons: Fraudulent charges, rude claims department reps, no callbacks, they just really don't care.
Our Struggle With Federal Express
On December 29th, 2008 we shipped a brand new inverter generator to a customer in Illinois. When we were filling out the paperwork for the shipment, we indicated that the unit had a 'declared value' of $1200, which would cover the cost of the unit plus shipping charges paid by our customer.
FedEx charged us an additional $8 for the 'declared value' coverage. This is important to note. They charge a fee for every $100 of value declared.
During the delivery, the clowns at FedEx dumped our generator out of it's packing container and discarded it. Not satisfied with losing all of the accessories, some needed to actually run the generator, they then proceeded to abuse the now-uncrated and defenseless unit, smashing the control panel, scuffing the paint down to bare metal, smashing both ends and generally using it as an oversized hockey puck.
They then printed out a new delivery ticket, taped it onto the damaged unit, and dropped it off at my
customer's house as-is, without recording the damage on the paperwork, without reporting it to anyone.
My customer was furious. He assumed, at first, that Wasatch Rendezvous had sent him a used and poorly packaged unit. I assured him we don't operate that way, and immediately filed a damage claim on his behalf for the declared value, as it would cost more to repair than it was worth.
On Wednesday, January 14th, I was informed that FedEx had DENIED our claim.
On Friday January 16th I finally made contact with FedEx Claims Administrator John Bradford at 412-631-9145.
He informed me that he had been the one to deny the claim, asking me to produce a repair estimate. I informed him the unit would need a brand new exterior, and that it would cost more to repair it than it was worth. He then informed me that FedEx routinely denies any claim over $1000, and that if I could produce my original import invoice, they would cover me for the cost I had paid. I informed him that the import invoice wouldn't cover my losses, and that I had PAID to have it covered for $1200. He then said, in a truly condescending manner, that FedEx doesn't cover PROFIT (as if 'profit' was a bad word). Profits, he explained, weren't part of my loss.
I beg to differ.
Retailers such as Wasatch Rendezvous put a lot of time, effort and money into finding, negotiating, ordering, shipping, importing, storing and marketing our merchandise. What little profit we do make is our WAGE for the work we put in, and is part of the value of the product.
The generator was already SOLD, the value of which was provided to FedEx. The value was what it sold for.
Add to this the fact that FedEx KNOWINGLY CHARGES ADDITIONAL FEES for the declared value of the products they ship, seemingly without any intention of ever living up to their obligation if they damage the merchandise...
Well... That's the very definition of FRAUD, charging for a service you have no intention of providing.
When I informed Mr. Bradford of these facts, he said he'd have a 'manager' call me to discuss it further. I'm still waiting for that phone call.
Speaking of phone calls, listen to these, and you tell me if FedEx is being honest to customers about their coverages:
(Go to http://wasatch-rendezvous.com/FedEx.html for links to the phone conversations)
I didn't hear any mention of 'original invoice cost' anywhere in there, did you?
So here we sit... We've taken a loss on the generator, as we can't sell it, can't repair it, and we sure as heck aren't going to make our customer take the hit (take a lesson, FedEx).
I'll let you know where it goes from here... It looks to me like it's going to court.
To see photographic evidence of FedEx's superior delivery skills, as well as listen to what should be their new theme song, please click on
I finally received a call from a FedEx Ground executive on January 21st. She was most unhelpful, stating that FedEx had a 'right' to review my privileged business information to determine the original value of the unit they destroyed.
I responded by telling her that the transaction had been completed BEFORE I shipped the unit, that the value of the unit was already established at that point, and that they DID NOT have a right to examine my confidential business files. I provided the valuation of the shipment in the form of the receipt I gave them from my customer, and also in the declared value that I had paid additional fees for.
She pressed for the original invoice, to which I replied that I knew what she was doing, and that was trying to get me to establish a lower value for my loss. I also told her that I had filed a fraud complaint with the Attorney General of Utah, had spoken with legal representation, and that this would end up in court. She said to do what I had to do, and ended the conversation.
Two days later I received an email saying that my case had been determined. Calling FedEx, they connected me with claims, and when I inquired how the case had been determined, I was told that the claim had been approved for the amount the customer had paid, plus my shipping charges.
Today I received the check in the mail. Case closed.
The moral of the story: DON'T LET FEDEX BULLY YOU OR TRICK YOU INTO SIGNING AWAY YOUR RIGHTS.
This was AWFUL customer service, and it never should have taken place.