Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fedex are great thieves

I am forced to use Fedex in my business. They are great thieves.

Fedex charges for picking their nose or getting dirt on their shoes!

Go on their website to get a quote for a shipment. You get a quote, then ship the item. Later you get a bill with a myriad different surcharges which they should have included in the quote:

fuel surcharge: Fedex: $1.90
Residential delivery: $4.
Rural delivery area surcharge: $4.60.
Oh, you wanted someone to sign for this? $6

I can only wish that I could pad my bills like this and get away with it.


DD said...

Send the package via standard or second day delivery and have it sent to the person's workplace. Printing your air bill at will save you another 10%. Signature is included at commercial delivery locations. I'm a FedEx courier.

Norbert Wu said...

Thanks, Fedex courier. Here is my rebuttal to your comments:

1. Send the package via standard or second day delivery and have it sent to the person's workplace: What if my or my recipient's workplace is home? Fedex is hosing all of us who work from home-based businesses.

2. Printing your air bill at will save you another 10%: Well, not really. I already use to print my labels. My concern is that when go onto, create a shipping label, then get a quote for that exact shipment -- I often am charged $2 or $3 more per package for fuel charges and other surcharges. Why? The address is correct. Shouldn't be honest and give me a quote that is correct in such an instance?

2. Signature is included at commercial delivery locations:
my residence is in a business-zoned area; we have had this issue adjudicated by Fedex so we are marked business rather than residential. Yet I am still being charged $6 if someone sends me a package on my account and asks me to sign for it.

4. I'm a FedEx courier: (man, how do you guys find time to deliver packages AND leave comments on blogs so quickly? I wonder if you are instead a Fedex public relations shill?

DD said...

First, I am a part time Express courier who looks out for customer's best interests. I agree that the pricing has some "gotcha" traps. All I can do is help you navigate the minefield. There is not a perfect answer and here are additional suggestions that may or may not work for you:

1) Amex small business credit card offers an additional 5% discount

2) Use FedEx Ground as they charge less than half of what Express charges. The delivery time ranges from overnight in 300 mile radius to 5- 6 days for 3000 miles.

3) You can save residential delivery charges by having the package delivered and held at a Kinkos or FedEx location and picking it up.

4) Paying cash at a FedEx location will guarantee no additional charges.

5) Go to the local FedEx station and ask to be declared a business address.

A FedEx public relations shill

Anonymous said...

I am a Fedex Courier as well and have a few comments. Ship to a FedEx station and have them Hold it (you will save a lot of money). Drive and pick it up. Ship to a FedEx Kinko's or Business location near by. You will save a lot of money. Drive and pick it up. Gas at 3.25 a gallon adds up over time, although if you plan your trips you can save money. Take your packages to a FedEx Kinko's to be shipped or FedEx drop off box. Saves you money. It also allows us to be more efficient and saves us money. Residential deliveries are costly, going back a second or third time because no one is home costs us money. Why should I care, because it makes me wish you would have done the first two options. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean as I run into the same issues with UPS and FedEx as far as additional charges. However, I know when I get a rate quote on, as long as I've put in that it's a residential address, I do get a correct quote. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a signature surcharge that was more than a couple of dollars. Are you sure you're getting charged $6 for it?
Anyway, best of luck to you.

Norbert Wu said...

Dear dd and anonymous:

I appreciate your comments. But come on, you guys have to be paid by Fedex to spend your time responding to blogs. I am not anonymous, and I ask that you two identify yourselves by name also. Thanks for the suggestions regardless.

Martin Richards said...

You post a blog so that people will read it and when they do, you attack them? dd already said he/she works for fedex. I happen to like fedex vs. UPS, DHL, etc. so when you attack them, you are by proxy attacking me and my choice of carrier(and anyone else that likes fedex).I posted anonymously because it's irrelevant what my name is. But if it matters, I'm Martin Richards.
I just thought it unusual that someone would accuse them of being thieves. After reading your complaint, I just thought I'd empathize with your frustration and share a thought or two.
I guess I should have kept my mouth shut, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I just got a bill from FedEx, here is the breakdown:

Transportation Charge - 12.10
Performance Pricing - (1.21)
Fuel Surcharge - 1.25
Declared Value - 3.00
Delivery Area-Resi - 2.30
Residential - 1.95

Total Charge USD $19.39

Here's my beef: wassup w/ TWO residential delivery surcharges?! And gas has gone down, so why the fuel surcharge?! Those charges are $5.50 ALONE, almost half of the price of the shipment! And of course, rates are going up next year, ridiculous.

Eric said...

Here's the fact of life: Fedex charges surcharges; so does UPS.

Fedex Fuel Surcharges:

UPS Fuel Surcharges:

In general Fedex customers might want to start here to sort all this out:

Fedex 2008 Service Guide:

For Fedex...

A delivery area surcharge (either commercial or residential) applies to certain ZIP CODES. Delivery addresses in these zip codes are charged $1.50 for commercial and $2.30 for residential. Certain Alaska zip codes may carry at $15.00 surcharge.

A residential surcharge applies to destinations that are deemed to be a residence and is separate and in addition to other surcharges, including the delivery area surcharge. The Fedex website seems to work pretty well in identifying most residential addresses, but I've still found a small percentage of discrepancy here. Once I was personally told by a Fedex representative that if the driver could see a house from the delivery address, they might mark it as "residential". So although selecting the appropriate service up front may save some time and frustration, you may unfortunately still have to watch and dispute inaccurate charges until a more concrete qualification method is implemented.

I DO NOT WORK FOR FEDEX OR ANY OTHER CARRIER. Just a good old small business owner trying to make a buck.

And for other SBOs looking for information - not to debate the owner of this blog - here is my perspective that might be beneficial to someone out there, uncompensated and free of charge...

I have shipped with all of the major carriers - USPS, UPS, DHL, and for the past 2 years probably 95% with Fedex.

Although not perfect, for my business Fedex just works better, from online services, to very good real-time tracking tools, to consistent on-time delivery, to a Kinkos within 5 minutes in all directions (DFW metroplex). And I've found that Fedex Ground with performance pricing rivals the others for price, including USPS, in most cases.

But as a price conscious consumer, I still use other services under certain circumstances, e.g. - select USPS services (always with tracking capabilities) for most light weight residential, AK/HI/PR, and international shipments.

In general I see it like this. When all is said and done, choose the service that works best for your needs the majority of the time. Factor in a certain percentage of error - both in your favor and theirs - as it's not a perfect world with any service. If you charge customers for shipping, set your price points to average out over the year to where you are making just enough money to cover all your expenses (labor, materials, base shipping, and SURCHARGES and ERRORS), without inhibiting sales. If you cannot or do not charge customers for S&H but are selling enough of your product to absorb the cost and make a profit, consider yourself fortunate to be in business and making money. If the occasional surcharge or errant billing is the difference between your net profit/loss, perhaps you might want to reconsider your business model, margins, or simply choose another freight carrier or distribution model (e.g. - USPS media mail or parcel post for non-time sensitive, low risk shipments). I've personally chosen to spend more of my time finding new revenue opportunities and less of it looking stressing over small billing discrepancies across the business.

And yes, Fedex is going up on their base rates and surcharges in 2009, as is UPS. Expect other carriers to do the same, especially with DHL cutting domestic delivery services. The big question... will they re-baseline their fuel surcharges? I wouldn't hold my breath.

Best of luck in '09 and beyond.

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