Fedex: A study in poor customer service

December 11, 2009

I bought a bike from someone I met online who is enthusiastic about the same
kind of bikes that I am. I negotiated it all online. Sent him a check. He
took the bike to a bike shop he trusts to have them box it up and ship it to
me.

The bike is a kogswell 2005 P58. They don’t make them anymore and there
weren’t a lot of them when they were made. I wanted this one so I bought it.
The bikes when they were new looked like this:

http://www.kogswell.com/p.html

The bike shop packed it up like any other bike they would ship and sent it off
to me using fedex. The box arrived here and there was a problem. There was
a fair bit of damage to the box.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2514/4167845881_1d238325e0_b.jpg

And most of all the seat tube lug was bent fairly horribly. The box was dropped
(on the wrong side) and then slid or dragged for a good distance. That’s pretty
much the only thing that could make that kind of damage from what I can tell.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2726/4167843761_5075a6b405_b.jpg
and
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2564/4168606752_4b2c42d852_b.jpg

This is what it SHOULD look like:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/23/34509120_bc65826f8a_b.jpg

I called fedex told them what happened and asked what I should do. They said
I should file a damaged merchandise claim and they emailed me the form I
should use to do that. I took detailed pictures and I filled out the form.
I sent all of this information in via email as suggested on the form. I did
all of this the night of december 7th/morning of december 8th. The form
suggested I would hear back with 24/48 hours. So, I waited.

And waited a bit more.

I decided to call them and find out the status of things. I called and was told
that I would hear from someone shortly. This was december 9th.

December 10th 8:30am. A fedex person comes to my door to pick up “2 packages”.
I have no idea what he’s talking about so I don’t give him anything and call
fedex for more information. The proceed to tell me that he was there to pickup
the package that was damaged to bring them to fedex for inspection and then
to return them to the shipper (the bike shop).

At this point no one has emailed, no one has called, no one has told me
ANYTHING.

Fedex wanting to take the bike and packaging and inspect it seems reasonable
enough but sending it back to the bike shop makes no sense. The bike shop can’t
do anything about it. They don’t have another one to send me, they don’t even
have my money. They are just the folks who took it apart and put it in a box.

Moreover, fedex wanting to ship it back two states away in a damaged box is just
going to FURTHER damage a product I can’t get ANOTHER ONE of. I asked what I
should do to not have it shipped back they then told me that the bike is
not mine and that I could do nothing about it. They said the bike belongs to
the bike shop. Now, I took issue with this. The bike belongs to me. My check has
been cashed, I have possession of it. I’m pretty confident it is mine. So, I
asked again what I should do to have this problem addressed without the bike
going back to the bike shop. I was told there was nothing I could do. I said
I really don’t believe that and asked to speak to a supervisor. I spoke to
someone else who told me that the bike shop could fax a waiver that gave fedex
the right to interact with me, the recipient. I said great. I called the bike
shop and asked them to call fedex about this package and fax in the waiver.

The bike shop did this, happily. I waited some more. I call later in that day to
find out the status of things. I was told that the fax has not come in and that
there is nothing they can do. I call the bike shop back to confirm. They say it
was received and confirm it. I call back to fedex. I ask to speak to someone
about the customer service problem. I’m told they will have to call me back.
I never receive a phone call back.

Later the same afternoon the fedex guy comes back by the house to pick up the
bike, again. No change there whatsoever. I tell him my tale of woe. He explains
that the drivers and the claims department are separate groups and don’t
overlap. He also told me to stay on the claims department. He said they have
to do all sorts of things to make claims do anything, too.

A working day goes by. I call back to fedex who now tells me they have received
the fax. However, the bike shop didn’t sign the fax so they can’t act on it.
I call the bike shop back and ask them to sign and refax the waiver. They do so.

Worthy of note. I’ve not been contacted a single time by anyone from fedex.
I’ve not been notified by email or by phone. I have to start all communications
with them. I’m sure they have added me to their ‘angry person’ file b/c I am
quite angry.

Also worthy of note. The guy who sold me the bike and the bike shop who sent it
to me have all been helpful and cool. They’ve responded promptly and with
consideration to these problems.

It’s now December 11th. I don’t expect to see any additional movement on this
until next week.

3 Responses to “Fedex: A study in poor customer service”

  1. d.l Says:

    Hey, i saw your post at planet f, and i found it interesting cause i have quite the same issue as you do. But that was a year back, and it end up unclear. I keep it that way cause they “procedural” excuses made me thought that it was useless.

    Hopefully this won’t happen to you. How is it?

  2. Cary Ratner Says:

    I just found out that Fedex outsources “Revenue Recovery” and customer service. The reason that they don’t care is it isn’t their company.

    I just went on credit hold for $10 on an 18 day invoice. They all suck.

  3. angry fedex recipient Says:

    I have had nothing but aweful service from fedex ground. This last time they sent my package back to shipper the day after their last delivery attempt. Fedex policy indicates they will hold package for pickup for seven days after last attempted delivery. I have decided to boycott fedex. I can request another carrier when I buy online. It may cost more, but I am spared the headache.


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