Pros: Cheaper than the USPS in most cases, great customer service.
Cons: Not all drop off sites or service centers have great hours.
Let's face it, email is nice but you cant exactly cram things through your internet connection. When it comes time to box up items to ship off to other parts of the United States most people head to the United States Post Office thinking that there isnt an alternative. Well, depending on what you are shipping and how important the delivery date is FedEx Ground service might be a great option for you. When considering the options in regards to mailing packages within the United States, there are three major things to take into consideration:
1.) Price. How much will it cost to mail out the package?
2.) Delivery. How long will it take for the package to arrive?
3.) Tracking. How accurate is the package tracking system?
With that being said, Ive found that Federal Express Ground is the best option for packages that arent considered completely time sensitive but that need to get to their destination in a reasonable time frame. I recently mailed about fifteen packages, all of the using various ground services and was more than pleased at the way Federal Express treated me and my packages. The ones that were sent out UPS were supposed to be delivered on Tuesday and didnt arrive until Wednesday and the ones mailed via the United States Postal Service were between one and three days later than expected. To most people this doesnt mean much but to me, if you say it is going to be there on a certain date then it better be there.
With the onsite tracking capabilities you can know exactly where your package is. Unlike UPS and the USPS [which update nightly], Federal Express offers you accurate and frequently updated reports on where you package is, any comments that were made about the handling of the package, when it was delivered and the ability to email the scan activity to someone. I really like the fact that Federal Express offers you up to date information and consider this to be one of the best delivery services to use when you need to know where a package is and when it will be delivered. There is no additional fee for the tracking of packages, the USPS charges .40 cents per package for the ability to track it.
Federal Express Ground service might not be the fastest horse out of the gate and it might not cross the finish line ahead of the pack but pound for pound and dollar for dollar it is the most cost effective way to get your packages from point A to point B without having to wait an eternity. In my personal opinion the price for FedEx Ground service is the best when you take into consideration the amount of time it takes to get the package delivered. Out of all my recent shipments the Fed Ex Ground service offered me better service, the ability to track my packages and a timely delivery over UPS and the USPS.
Here is an example:
3 pound package [12x9x6] mailed from San Diego, CA  to New Rochelle, NY 
UPS Ground Service: $8.81 [no delivery time available]
Federal Express Ground: $6.62 [5 day delivery time]
United States Postal Service: $6.32 [8 day delivery time]
For .30 cents more you can have your package delivered three days earlier than the USPS as well as the ability to track it once it has been entered into the system. These prices were taken from the websites of the three delivery services effective March 30, 2003. Please check the sites before you mail out a package to double check the rates and fees associated with your individual shipping orders. Please note, some rural addresses may take an extra day to get delivered. If you have any questions about what constitutes a rural delivery please call the toll free customer service number at  463-3339 or ask at any service desk.
Money Back Guarantee
Just like the USPS Express Mail options of yore, Federal Express offers you the ability to receive a refund if your package isnt delivered by the end of the day on the date it was scheduled to be delivered. So far I havent had to take advantage of this but I have been told that getting a refund takes about five minutes, involves a minimal amount of paperwork and is handled promptly. Please read all the of fine print in regards to this money back guarantee at the website or if you have Adobe Acrobat reader at this URL - http://www.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/groundtariff200m.pdf?link=4 [Item X, page 13]. Its nice to know that they offer a guarantee on their service and Ill have to update this review if the need arises for me to file for a refund if a package is delivered late.
No company is perfect. There are always going to be people that answer the phone with an attitude and act like they are doing you a favor by offering assistance. Ive come across a few of these customer service representatives when calling the toll free number but for the most part a large majority of them have bent over backwards to answer question, help with tracking or general shipping inquiries. The desk help is always cheery and try to get you in and out the door in the least amount of time but they never leave you feeling rushed. If you need any shipping supplies [express mailers, boxes, declaration forms etc] they are usually available in the lobby of the main mailing and processing centers however you can always ask for them at the desk.
Things To Know
Some third party customer service desks have a cut off time meaning you have to get there before they process the shipments for the day. Places like Office Depot that have Federal Express shipping usually have a 4:00 pm pick up so if you get there after that time your package wont leave until the next day. You can check the Federal Express website for a listing of authorized package handlers in your area as well as when they stop taking packages, types of shipping they will accept and weekend hours.
Places like Mailboxes Etc. and Pack N Mail offer you the convenience of Federal Express shipping from Ground to Next Day Air but will charge you a small fee. During the holidays this is a great option since you wont have to wait in lines to get your packages mailed out but be careful because those additional fees do add up. Most of the Federal Express drop off or full service centers are well manned so even during the busy times or day or parts of the year, the wait is usually minimal and noting like what you will encounter at the USPS.
The Bottom Line
Not everyone is going to have a great opinion of the Federal Express Ground service. So far I havent had any problems using it and it has saved me some money along the way. The online site allows you the ability to check the prices for your packages so you can figure out which carrier will give you the best price as well as the quickest delivery. Im glad that I have switched to Federal Express Ground for most of my shipping needs and I highly recommend them to anyone that is looking to save some money on packages, wants the ability to track packages and doesnt want to wait in lines at the post office.
As always, thanks for the visit!
^V^ Freak ^V^
© 2003 Freak369