Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 14 2019 23:31:48

Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?

By: Ina Steiner

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A company called 71lbs leveled a serious charge against FedEx, accusing the shipping carrier of using unscrupulous tactics. In a blog post on Tuesday, Ellen Riley wrote:

"It's upsetting and disappointing to see a Fortune 100 corporation use unscrupulous tactics to preclude their own customers from collecting on their own policy! The money-back-guarantee policy, which is displayed below is offered under the FedEx Service Guide for express, ground, and international shipments."

71lbs offers services to shippers: it automatically monitors their FedEx and UPS accounts for late deliveries and service failures, and it automatically files claims on shippers' behalf. "If your overnight, ground (yes, works on ground too!), or international shipments are delivered late -even by 60 seconds- you are entitled to a full refund. The claims process is typically manual, cumbersome, and inefficient. 71lbs audits and claims these refunds for you," it explains on its website.

But Riley claims FedEx is tricking shippers into agreeing to waive their rights to refunds. "This would be OK if the customer knowingly agreed to waiving this right. The problem is that the carrier is slipping these waivers into the customer's FedEx account, without any knowledge whatsoever from the customer," she wrote.

"The customers are inadvertently agreeing to this when signing new agreements, asking if there have been changes to their agreement and told that their agreement is the same or even better pricing at times."

In addition, the practice is spreading to UPS, she claimed.

She offered advice for shippers who find themselves having already inadvertently agreed to waivers or being pressured to do so - check out the blog post, and we'll send FedEx and UPS a link to this post to see what they have to say. (So be sure to check back.)

See updates below for responses from FedEx and UPS.

Are you aware of service guarantees from shipping carriers, and have you been impacted by the practices described by 71lbs?

Update 5/15/19: A UPS spokesperson provided us with the following statement: "Safely delivering on our service commitments is UPS's highest priority. We don't make comments about other companies' business strategies or claims."

Update #2, 5/15/19: A FedEx spokesperson provided us with the following statement: "FedEx honors its Money Back Guarantee as outlined under the terms and conditions in the FedEx Service Guide. Claims to the contrary are simply false."

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?   Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 00:08:00 2019

Wow -  I guess these companies have been dealing with Ebay a little bit to long as they are now adopting Ebays way of doing business.  Actually from what i have been reading online and in various articles this is just how Corporate America operates now.  Lying, Cheating and Stealing from their customers is all fair game as long as the company makes more money and the Stock Prices continue to climb.

At some point this is going to come back to roost with all of them as those that use their services are going to finally revolt and there will be a litany of Class Action Lawsuits being filed by Lawyers who are all to happy to stand up against their counterparts in Corporate America as it will pay them hundreds of millions to do so.

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by: Freeeeeeeee This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 02:45:51 2019

It already has come home to roost.  I read Amazon's refund party is coming to an end because handing out free product is costing them a fortune.  I expect the dissatisfaction will trickle down through the e-commerce eco system to the humble seller who will duly say I told you so.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 08:45:18 2019

Is it any different the the eBay/USPS revenue assurance program that eBay created a few months back?

Here Fed Ex and UPS try to swindle you out of refunds for over charging, in the case of USPS & eBay - they tell you 2 weeks after your item was delivered that "hey your item was underweighed and you owe us money - but dont worry - we will gladly look into it and get back to you)(months later - then if they get back to you at all - they claim the makers dont know how to weigh things and so they and ONLY they must be right all the time - too bad!) IE its another scam - since eBay makes money off higher USPS charges.

Big companies try and cheat smaller sellers/people since those people dont have the clout to stand up to them.

With these people - its do what you have to, to get ahead - pay no mind to the rules and regulations that were specifically written to screw you.

Perminate Link for Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?   Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 09:59:24 2019

WHAT??? Those blood sucking vampires - the Corporate American mob is cheating  sometimes (yet again) unsuspecting honest hard working peasants - you know the ones that hold America up? Aren't you tired by now? It's all so old.  Here's a suggestion - get all your money out of Wall Street. Close that 401K. Sell those stock and bonds.  Let's see what those CEO's do next.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed May 15 11:36:48 2019

America is no longer a country, it's a business. A crooked one at that. Pharma, insurance, cable, housing, telecommunications, shipping, health, universities, web companies like ebay,  Federal, State, Local, School govt. and on down the list. All greed - all the time. Giant hands saying GIMME GIMME. Screwing the average American at every turn.

De-regulation was the nail in our coffin over a decade ago and it's only going to get worse.

Perminate Link for Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?   Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 12:21:53 2019

That is ridiculous, shame on Fed ex and UPS.

Price gouging and now this.

But that's the thing, you can't willy nilly give away all your money like they do or amazon etc and expect to be able to keep going forever, eventually, you will run out of money.

Just for the heck of it, shame on Amazon for its nonstop refunds whether product is back or not. What a stupid precedence to create





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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Wed May 15 20:58:46 2019

See updates (above) for responses from FedEx and UPS.

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 06:42:56 2019

the vocabulary of these huge corporate company CEOS is very limited. LIE , STEAL , DECEIVE , AND SCREW THE PEOPLE THAT MADE US BIG AND RICH.

just rich snakes with many tounge's spitting out the lies.  

Perminate Link for Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?   Are Sellers Getting Screwed Out of Shipping Refunds?

by: Junkminer This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 08:56:55 2019

Still no shipping calculator for Fedex. If you care about shipping costs I would think that would be a priority. I've been requesting it for years.  A majority of the items I sell are oversized and cost $50-150 to ship to California (a major hub of buyers).  With retail prices of $300-$500 I can't quietly add that shipping cost into the retail price. Also the difference distance makes in the cost to ship is massive when you're shipping something that large. Free shipping may be a good marketing move for jewelry and cellphones but when your product is large and when you have a great variety of shape and size like in the antique and collectible field I just don't see it working for the sellers.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu May 16 12:12:59 2019

@Junkminer

"Still no shipping calculator for Fedex"

eBay shipping shows a calculator for me, both on the old shipping page and the new one!

On the new page, Click on the Fedex button, then click on the USPS button to remove USPS. . .or vice versa

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 12:15:08 2019

Hmmmmmmm........this is a tough question.....but I think I'll go with yes.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 18 15:50:55 2019

Speaking using of FedEx through eBay, does anyone know if a seller can collect insurance refunds from FedEx for lost or damaged shipments?

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by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 21 01:23:41 2019

>>FedEx through eBay, does anyone know if a seller can collect insurance refunds from FedEx for lost or damaged shipments?

we've done it a couple times. I think we signed up for a fedex account (but still used the one on ebay). Then filed a claim and got a check



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