Well, my frustration with shipping isn’t limited to the United States Post Office (or Royal Mail) this week. I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with FedEx. As a small business user I find it to be affordable, quick and reliable—most of the time anyway.
It is those rare occasions when something bad happens that my loving of FedEx turns to loathing. There is a scene in the movie “The Rainmaker” where an insurance company is accused of automatically denying all claims. I personally believe—and this is just my belief, I have no proof—that FedEx must have a similar policy. I invite FedEx to confirm or deny this policy, and I invite any reader to share their experiences when trying to file a claim with FedEx.
I’ve only had a few bad experiences but when something gets broken when using FedEx I have found the company to require endless letters, return of packaging along with receipts, estimates for repair and so on. All this I expect. What I have found shocking is that after about a week I get a form letter that says something along the lines of, “we’ve reviewed the information sent to us and we must decline your claim.”
This usually requires multiple phone calls and eventually a FedEx representative is “kind enough” to offer a settlement. This happens regardless of the amount of value placed on an item. I had paid the extra fees to place value on a computer of $1,000. When the computer was broken FedEx told me this wasn’t insurance, just what I placed the value as. Why did I pay this I asked? “In case something happened in shipment.”
Well, obviously something happened in shipment or I wouldn’t have opened a claim. But FedEx refused to make good on the damage. Finally after repeated phone calls, faxes to every number I could find and other harassments I finally was able to get FedEx to agree to pay $800, despite the fact that I paid an extra fee to place the value on the computer for $1,000.
This week I’m feeling the FedEx pain again because to add insult to my recent injury during the bike race I wrote about earlier this month, parts were lost from my bike when I shipped it home. I had originally shipped the bike from a local bike shop and they reused a delivery bike box and packed the bike extremely well. I saved the box, stored it properly and kept ALL the packing materials. I even added bubble wrap and taped up everything as well as could be expected.
So imagine my surprise when the box returned to my apartment with a small hole in the side. From this hole my pedals had fallen out, they were removed from the crank arms and placed inside a smaller box, which was taped to the frame. Clearly this shows some sort of abuse on FedEx’s part. Holes that weren’t in the box previously were added.
I filed a claim and received the basic form letter. This one was a little different. I made a mistake, which I caution any reader to avoid making. My brother-in-law also traveled to Michigan for the bike race and he used his corporate FedEx account to ship both his bike and mine. He is fully authorized to do so and he will pay for the fees on this small business account.