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."