FedEx loses one customer

November 10, 2005


FedEx loses one customer

This week, FedEx lost me as a customer for life. In the big scheme of things, I don’t think it makes any difference to FedEx since my usage of their service is minimal. However, I believe that the reason they have alienated me as a customer are symptomatic of a corporate culture that no longer cares about the customer.

Earlier this week, on Monday, I sent a FedEx Express letter from McLean, Virginia to Fresno, California using my FedEx account in the bill-to field. The letter was delivered and as expected, I saw a charge for ~$21 on my bank account (since I use my debit card for paying the FedEx account). Imagine my shock when immediately after this charge, I saw another charge from FedEx for $3,198.46. That is one expensive letter delivery!!! Of course, I get on the phone with FedEx right away, but wouldn’t you know it, the company that delivers the “world on-time” is completely clueless when it comes to customer service. Their customer service is open only during business hours.

Strike One! A global shipping and logistics company that does not provide 24/7 customer service.

I call Tuesday morning and after several minutes of touch-tone hell, end up speaking to Andrea Mith. I think Andrea was having just as bad a day as I was about to have. She asked me what was wrong. I politely summarized to her that FedEx had taken a large amount of my money without my permission. She sounded completely non-plussed with this accusation and took down the relevant details I gave her. She then asked me to hold and went away for an etnernity. Came back and told me that the problem was taken care of. I pressed her for details, but she continued to be vague and then ended the call.

Strike Two! A global shipping and logistics company that does not care about its customers. Even when alerted to the fact that I had been wronged, there was no apology…none…nada…nothing in the way of even remotely expressing empathy for my situation. In fact, quite the opposite — sounding bored and uncaring about what was for me, a significant problem. Also, poor communications and not taking responsibility for the situation.

I waited till the afternoon and checked my bank account. No credit from FedEx. I am still out $3,198.46, so I call FedEx again.

This time, I am greeted by Anna Cornado. She has no knowledge of my problem. That’s OK…by now I am expecting that FedEx due to its incompetency, has no way for customer service to track customer calls and issues. (Maybe they need to call SugarCRM and start using their CRM software.) I repeat the drill. Anna puts me on hold and goes away for a while. She comes back and tells me that the problem is resolved and I have been given a credit. I advise her that my online bank statement is real-time and I see no credit. I press her for an authorization number (since we all know that all credit card transactions have a transaction/authorization number). She comes up with an internal tracking number. Completely useless to me. Seeing that I really have no choice in the matter, I decide to wait a few more hours.

I call back in the evening and ask to speak to a manager. The friendly customer service rep takes my information and advises me that her manager is busy and I need to hold. I hold for 1 hour and 15 mins. and then hang up. I call back. Ooops…it’s evening and we are no longer answering the phone at FedEx.

So I log into my FedEx account and notice that it has been updated. It claims I shipped an ~800 lb shipment to somewhere in Sepulveda, California. Well, at least I now know what I was billed for. But what’s this…a button labeled “Dispute” for the charge. Of course I click on it. I am taken to a form which has a drop-down list of possible reasons for disputing the charge. Now I discover that not only are FedEx customer service agents incompetent, but so also are its web designers. None of the options in the list apply, so I pick one that’s close enough. It immediately displays a field for comments. So I start typing away. No way…the field size limit for Comments is 21 characters. I stared at my screen for a full minute. What idiot designed this? How are you going to comment on a dispute in 21 characters or less. I resisted my temptation to use four-letter words and put “Not my shipment” into the field and submitted it.

Another frustrating day and I am still out $3198.46.

Wednesday morning I check both my FedEx and bank accounts. The bank account says there’s no credit from FedEx. Not wanting to start the day with the evil customer service people at FedEx, I decide to wait a couple of hours. Later in the day, I check my bank account and, what do you know, there is now a credit from FedEx.

I am overjoyed. I am going to get my money back. (Note, when FedEx charged my card, the money was immediately removed from my account. However, when the credit was posted, the money was yet unavailable in my account.)

Later on Wednesday, I logged back into my FedEx account to see what had happened about my Dispute. The screen mentioned that my balance was now $7,711.45. This situation just went from bad to worse. FedEx had just billed me for another package that I did not ship.

Strike Three! A global shipping and logistics company that is unable to maintain the transactional integrity and accuracy of its records.

FedEx. You are out!

I am angry, very, very angry. Thankfully, the amount is above the limit of my debit card so all I have to deal with is the payment liability. I call customer service and ask to speak to a manager. I am shortly transferred to Rene Gonzalez. I explain the problem, and tell him in no uncertain terms how much I despise FedEx. Without being rude, I demand that the problem be corrected immediately. Rene acknowledges the problem and although he doesn’t understand the cause, assures me that it is corrected. I request that my account me closed and he says it’s done.

I tell him that I am never doing business with FedEx again and if even one of the customer service agents I had spoken to since the problem began had said “Sorry” and expressed some empathy, I would think very differently of FedEx. Rene says, “I am sorry! I was going to apologize but wanted to understand the cause of the problem first.” You have got to be kidding. After I explain the whole situation, you have to look for the cause of the problem before apologizing to me????

This makes me more angry. This is a FedEx customer service manager? I can now see why the attitude is downhill from there when it comes to the customer service agents.

I checked my FedEx account today, fully expecting to be locked out since I requested that it be closed. No such luck. FedEx incompetency is alive and well. The $7,711.45 charge was gone. But last night, I received a paper invoice for the same amount. I’m not sure what to think.

But, one thing’s for sure…I will never use FedEx services again.


Founder NftyDreams; founder Decentology; co-founder DNN Software; educator; Open Source proponent; Microsoft MVP; tech geek; creative thinker; husband; dad. Personal blog: http://www.kalyani.com. Twitter: @techbubble
One Comment
  1. Luciano Cosme

    I am sorry to hear that. My issue was not so bad. I went to a FedEx Office store and shipped documents to Brazil. I paid $199.54 using my debit card. I even saw the pending transaction in my checking account and then I forgot about it. Two months later I get a letter from a company with a collection agency alert saying that I did not pay it. I don't even have a FedEx account. Yes, after hours on the phone I still not knowing why it happened. Luckily I saw the letter, otherwise my credit would be damaged. The worse thing is that when I called FedEx they treat me as I did it on purpose and did not want to pay it. Horrible costumer service and I had to call them 6 times within a hour. Now imagine yourself walking in a FedEx store, ship something and pay with your debit card. Months later if you miss the letter informing you that you have an outstanding balance, you go to a collecting agency. This was just surreal to me. Then I waste more time writing a letter to their costumer relations department. I went to an UPS store to ship it and guess what, the address they have listed in their website is incomplete.

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