FedEx SYSTEM AT IT AGAIN


FedEx SHIPS ONE, TRIES TO CHARGE FOR TEN

A Missed Consumerist Opportunity

Yesterday FedEx billed me $451 for overnight shipping. It was astonishingly high for a 10-pound box. Had the contents been precious stones or a live puppy sent from NJ to Vladivostok for Saturday delivery, it would have been a bargain. But it was for just one box of gift-wrapped toys headed for Holly Springs, NC.

How did FedEx pump the cost up to $451? Answer: Fed Ex said its system “read the airbill as 10 boxes.” On FedEx Airbills, the Total Packages and Total Weight lines are beside each other. Maybe I entered 10 on the Packages line and 1 on the Total Weight line. OK, why didn’t the pick-up driver report 9 packages as missing? Eventually FedEx admitted just one package was delivered and reduced the charge accordingly.

I beg forgiveness of consumerists everywhere. Our Code of Conduct requires we battle corporations on their own terms. I came at this like an amateur. The ever-shaky FedEx tracking system tried to collect for 10 packages. Instead of claiming overcharge, I should have reported 9 missing packages. They could never be found because they never existed—apart from the system’s imagination. FedEx would have owed me for 9 packages, each automatically insured for $100 each. Thus I might have collected $449 after deduction of the $451 by letting FedEx subtract one imaginary number from another. Honesty is the worst policy.

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