Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Screw FedEx

This is completely off the topic of most of my posts here, but I gotta get this off my chest (and into the public).

I've been in the unfortunate throes of a small bath remodel which has become a monster. After many problems and disappointments, one thing I splurged on was a pair of vintage channel glass light fixtures which I found as new old stock on ebay. They are big and beautiful and in a great color for my (overwhelmingly) green new bath, and there were TWO of them, which was significant. I was so enthusiastic (for once) that I went the Buy It Now route and paid the full asking price, because I wanted to make sure I got the pair.

After about a week and a half, I was delivered a big box of shattered glass. I was heartbroken. I had already been convinced that this project was cursed, and this certainly didn't help. My only comfort was that the shipper had insured the package for the full amount. Because of this, I went ahead and had my contractor move the electrical boxes from their over-the-mirror position to the lower side spots appropriate for the new fixtures. Because I knew this was going to be resolved. It was INSURED after all.

I called FedEx to put my claim in motion. The recipient of the package can't make the claim. It doesn't matter that I'm the one who paid for the broken item. Or that I received it. The only thing they could do for me was allow me to make an appointment for FedEx to come and pick up the box of shattered glass to confirm that it was, indeed, a box of shattered glass. Which they picked up, inspected, confirmed and REDELIVERED to me.

The seller is being uncooperative. He is now not answering the phone. The insurance on the package apparently makes no difference, except that the SELLER can make a claim against it and get my money twice, I guess. FedEx is doing nothing on the claim. As far as they are concerned, it's "closed" since the seller/shipper is not responding to their requests for contact.

Long story short (too late!) I will never voluntarily use FedEx. Not that I did THIS time either, and not that I can say that UPS would behave any differently.

Oh also? Ebay and PayPal have been equally useless. Ebay's dispute policy is apparently to send a finger-shaking email to the seller exhorting him to get in touch with me. PayPal? They give you 45 days to file a dispute, and when you do, they say "make sure you give it enough time!" Not only did I do that, I gave him additional time because, in the early days of this dispute, he claimed to be looking in his stock for another glass shade, which he was going to send as a replacement. (What he did send me was another box of shattered glass -- of the wrong size -- which I received last week. How stupid of me not to jump to the immediate conclusion and call out the dogs IMMEDIATELY.) It has now been 55 days since I paid.

Now it escalates to my credit card company. Two years ago when my wallet was stolen, Chase handled it like professionals. We'll see what they do with this. (I'd have called THEM today, too, but, uh, my wallet is in my other jacket. Seriously. And yes, Jim, I'll have that $6 tomorrow, I promise.)


  1. Anonymous21:52

    Your anger should be directed toward the seller not FedEx. You in fact did not pay for the shipping (transportation) charges, the shipper did. You may have very well paid the shipper but you did not pay FedEx. The shipper is responsible for packaging the product so it will not be damage under normal handling. Your beef should be only with the shipper and since you stated that the shipper is now hard to get hold of I you've now learned a valuable lesson in dealing with reputable companies

  2. Actually, I'm pissed at everyone involved in this transaction. The seller blew it, for sure. Ebay and PayPal haven't exactly covered themselves in glory. And FedEx? Their response to me has been "yeah, too bad." No customer service. No explanation to me what exactly the insurance meant. How does a shipping company "insure" an object, break it and then just shrug at me? And stay in business?

    FedEx is not the only party at fault. However, they are the party that broke the shipment. Twice. And doesn't care to do anything about it. So for that, I repeat: Screw FedEx.

  3. Lovely blogg you have


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