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'[OT] Paranoid or just a coincidence?'
2010\11\23@060829 by CDB

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I ordered some parts online from Microchip on the 17th of this month. The goods arrived at Mascot airport (Sydney) within two days (NSW is 18 hours ahead of Arizona). It has taken two days to be trucked or flown to Queensland (a 2 hour flight or 1.5 days trucking). It has now been at the Fedex Brisbane airport depot for two days now, marked 'not due for delivery'.

As I type this at 9:00 pm on the 23/11 it is still listed as not due for delivery.

Fedex and Microchip estimate it will travel the 16 miles from the airport to me, by 6:00pm on the 25th.  My suspicion is, that due to the freight being International Economy, they are now deliberately delaying delivery to ensure there is a difference between economy and express.

Or am I just a victim of my own conspiracy theory?

Mind you my order with Marks and Spencer in the UK got to me within 5 days by UK air post, which is quicker than a parcel from Victoria which is only 3.5 hours flight away from me.

Colin
--
cdb,  on 23/11/2010

2010\11\23@071541 by M.L.

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On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 6:08 AM, CDB <spam_OUTcolinTakeThisOuTspambtech-online.co.uk> wrote:

> Fedex and Microchip estimate it will travel the 16 miles from the airport
> to me, by 6:00pm on the 25th.  My suspicion is, that due to the freight
> being International Economy, they are now deliberately delaying delivery to
> ensure there is a difference between economy and express.
>

This has happened to goods that I've ordered before. It'll be at the depot
20 miles away and they won't put it on the truck for 2 days because it's
early.
You could complain to Fedex. It won't do any good for your case, but if
everyone voiced their opinion it might change the behavior.

-- Martin K

2010\11\23@113806 by Bob Blick

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On Tue, 23 Nov 2010 21:08:27 +1000, "CDB" said:
> It has now been at the
> Fedex Brisbane airport depot for two days now, marked 'not due for
> delivery'.

>
> Or am I just a victim of my own conspiracy theory?

United Parcel Service does this to me all the time. When I have
complained, they told me that scheduled delivery days are very important
to their customers and it insures smooth travel of all packages. Yeah,
right :)

Fedex, on the other hand, seems to have a system here where drivers get
to trade routes, so it is very unpredictable. They often try to deliver
packages due on Monday or Tuesday to my closed office on a Saturday.

If I had to choose I would choose the UPS process, which is predictable
although sometimes frustrating.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The professional email service

2010\11\23@120243 by Michael Watterson

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Bob Blick wrote:
>
> If I had to choose I would choose the UPS process, which is predictable
> although sometimes frustrating.
>
> Cheerful regards,
>
> Bob
>
>   Here UPS are worst.  Even send stuff back from Ireland to Germany to "reset" the delivery route.


Perhaps the lack of Post Codes foxes them. But DHL, AnPost, GLS manage

2010\11\23@150713 by John Gardner

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If you need a good rest, try DHL Smartmail.

Not delivering before the "due date" is SOP with UPS (In the States).

Jac

2010\11\24@080541 by RussellMc

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> Not delivering before the "due date" is SOP with UPS (In the States).

Here Fedex have no problem with delivering ahead of due date - and
manage to do so for me reasonably often - even when parcels are sent
economy rate.

Conversely, DHL have had brain fade and think that one day commitment
for local end delivery means ***MUST*** leave in van for one day, even
if the driver has the parcel before 7am on a given morning, regardless
of overall commitment date. I have seldom had more stupid explanations
advanced for why businesses do what they do than by DHL locally. I say
"seldom" as I occasionally have to deal with the local incarnation of
Vodafone. I assume, from the good things that people say elsewhere,
that this must be a special malignant malformation of the mother
organisation, or that they may even have an 8 Wakeling Avenue branch,
set up especially to deal with me. Their local cell site seems to get
in on the act. Getting half decent coverage here requires placing the
cellphone at the focus of a suitably pointed parabolic dish (do NOT
leave dish in sun / Doh!) and "service" here is often supplied from a
cell site about 6 miles away, despite there being many closer ones.


Russel

2010\11\24@120144 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Nov 24, 2010, at 5:05 AM, RussellMc wrote:

> Here Fedex have no problem with delivering ahead of due date

I had some microchip samples get thrown away because they shipped  fedex with "signature required" and I wasn't (for some time) after  they arrived.  So they sat in the fedex office for a while (2 week  summer vacation?  I forget the exact details), till finally fedex  called microchip to see if they wanted them shipped back...)

Depressingly stupid on all sides (mine too.)

BillW

2010\11\24@214806 by Vitaliy

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CDB wrote:
> Fedex and Microchip estimate it will travel the 16 miles from the airport
> to me, by 6:00pm on the 25th.  My suspicion is, that due to the freight
> being International Economy, they are now deliberately delaying delivery
> to
> ensure there is a difference between economy and express.
>
> Or am I just a victim of my own conspiracy theory?

One reasonable explanation may be that FedEx batches packages up for delivery. It makes little business sense to deliver a package ahead of the promised date, if it means driving half-empty trucks.

Vitaliy

2010\11\24@225549 by John Gardner

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It's interesting that no one's mentioned USPS Priority Mail,
which is often the best deal going - And fast.

I regularly get deliveries from the East Coast (to San Diego)
in 2-3 days. That's days, not "business days".

About a decade ago I was real fed up with UPS, mostly over
tardy/non-deliveries, and decided to give PM a try...

So far so good. I recently shipped a book to the antipodes -
My 1st international experiment - Took about a week, cost $8.
Arrived in pristine condition, according to the recipient.

And, no, I don't work for the USPS, or carry water for the Feds
generally  :)

Jac

2010\11\24@231205 by RussellMc

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> It's interesting that no one's mentioned USPS Priority Mail,
> which is often the best deal going - And fast.


> So far so good. I recently shipped a book to the antipodes -
> My 1st international experiment - Took about a week, cost $8.
> Arrived in pristine condition, according to the recipient.

The recipient wasn't me, but I was an interested observer.
Recipient is a friend who lives in my city (or I in his, depending on
perspective).

I have had similar results for USPS - usually with Global Prority
Express Service. Only notional shortcoming is lack of trackin - but so
far it hasn't mattered. I use this where available for book purchases
from the superb ABE book buying service (http://www.abebooks.com/)  -
probably only 5 or so books over some years.



    Russell

           Russel

2010\11\24@235604 by John Gardner

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Despite Russell agreeing with me, I'm standing my ground :)

Jac

2010\11\25@141524 by Vitaliy

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John Gardner wrote:
> It's interesting that no one's mentioned USPS Priority Mail,
> which is often the best deal going - And fast.
>
> I regularly get deliveries from the East Coast (to San Diego)
> in 2-3 days. That's days, not "business days".
>
> About a decade ago I was real fed up with UPS, mostly over
> tardy/non-deliveries, and decided to give PM a try...
>
> So far so good. I recently shipped a book to the antipodes -
> My 1st international experiment - Took about a week, cost $8.
> Arrived in pristine condition, according to the recipient.
>
> And, no, I don't work for the USPS, or carry water for the Feds
> generally  :)

Perhaps if you're an organization whose billion-dollar losses are covered by taxpayers, you can afford to drive half-empty trucks? :)

We offer USPS to our customers, and in fact it is the only shipping option available to Canadians. We disabled FedEx and UPS for Canada, because of the strange customs regulations which allow the customer to receive the package, refuse to pay the import tax, and stick it to the shipper. For some reason, this never happens with USPS.

Vitaliy

2010\11\25@142614 by John Gardner

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> Perhaps if you're an organization whose billion-dollar losses are covered by
taxpayers, you can afford to drive half-empty trucks? :)

Perhaps :)  Might as well & get some use out of it...

Jac

2010\11\25@161621 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2010-11-25 at 12:14 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:

> We offer USPS to our customers, and in fact it is the only shipping option
> available to Canadians.
Good, USPS/CanadaPost is by far my preferred option when getting
something from the states (I've actually cancelled an order a couple of
times when I found the vendor only offered UPS, Fedex I'm OK with).

> We disabled FedEx and UPS for Canada, because of the
> strange customs regulations which allow the customer to receive the package,
> refuse to pay the import tax, and stick it to the shipper. For some reason,
> this never happens with USPS.

This doesn't make sense. While I'm sure UPS/Fedex is free to send you a
bill, I don't see any reason for you to pay it.

Companies will often send a bill out to the other party when the correct
party refuses to pay, in the hope that the first party actually pays for
something they never had to. I wonder if this is a similar case.

Doesn't matter though, USPS is the only choice in my mind.

TTYL

2010\11\25@214610 by Gaston Gagnon

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On 2010-11-25 14:14, Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

"Refuse to pay import tax" or refuse to pay horrendous brokerage fees charged by UPS and the like?
Example: For a $100 good made in USA shipped via UPS to Province Quebec Canada, the customer will be charged $0 duty but $33 brokerage fees.

Gaston

2010\11\26@003058 by Bob Axtell

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On 11/24/2010 8:55 PM, John Gardner wrote:
> It's interesting that no one's mentioned USPS Priority Mail,
> which is often the best deal going - And fast.
>
> I regularly get deliveries from the East Coast (to San Diego)
> in 2-3 days. That's days, not "business days".
>
> About a decade ago I was real fed up with UPS, mostly over
> tardy/non-deliveries, and decided to give PM a try...
>
> So far so good. I recently shipped a book to the antipodes -
> My 1st international experiment - Took about a week, cost $8.
> Arrived in pristine condition, according to the recipient.
>
> And, no, I don't work for the USPS, or carry water for the Feds
> generally  :)
>
> Jack
I agree. here in Tucson, the US Mail's Priority mail service is wonderful. On the
other hand, when I lived in Atlanta, that was not the case at all.

--Bob

2010\11\26@082841 by Olin Lathrop

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John Gardner wrote:
>> Perhaps if you're an organization whose billion-dollar losses are
>> covered by
>> taxpayers, you can afford to drive half-empty trucks? :)
>
> Perhaps :)  Might as well & get some use out of it...

Yeah, look at it this way:  You're already paying for part of the service
whether you use it or not.

All the politics about how the post office or should be run aside, I like
priority mail a lot too.  It's how we ship our stuff within the US.  Selling
physical stuff is a sideline for us, so we keep the price low and minimize
our process at this end.  We don't offer a shiping choice to customers.  If
we offered a alternative ship method, someone would select it, and then we'd
have to handle different sets of packages differently.  Not worth it for the
relatively low margins we charge.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\11\26@095301 by Chris Smolinski

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I use the post office exclusively for shipments. Priority and first class within the USA, and EMS outside. Yes, the tracking is abysmal by UPS/Fedex standards, but it is somewhat better than it used to be. For foreign shipments, they're much less than UPS/Fedex. Within the US, Priority seems to be a little more expensive, but I'm not convinced getting a UPS account would be worth it (for me anyway). And I refuse to deal with Fedex.
FWIW,The USPS losses are not covered by the taxpayer. The post office has to break even, in the end. My gut feeling is that Saturday delivery will eventually go away. The mail volume simply isn't there anymore. But their real cost problem are the bloated salaries and staffing levels. And for various political reasons, that isn't likely to go away.
On Nov 26, 2010, at 8:29 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\11\26@113349 by Carl Denk

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The post office helped the USA greatly in the earlier years with RFD (Rural free delivery) where the rural people, and the USA still has lots of them got regular mail service at no premium costs. I don't mind subsidizing the mail service somewhat for the service they provide. Our local post offices run very lean, the carriers (all motorized for our semi-rural area) work hard to get their routes covered in all weather and are very good both in following the rules and helping the customers. I normally receive shipments  from anywhere in the country within 2 days at UPS or Fedex ground rates, which will take 4 or 5 days California (Jameco), Texas (Mouser), or Minnesota (Digikey) to Ohio, plus Saturday delivery is nice, which is only offered by Fedex residential. They also help to keep other costs down. What's interesting is these packages get transported by the major carriers who, I'm assuming bid on the work. It used to be DHL, but since the no longer operate out of Wilmington, Ohio, that has changed.

Yes, tracking could be improved, but for the costs, tolerable. The main function of USPS tracking is proof of delivery, to protect the investment.

I don't dispute that there are costs up front that could be reduced.

On 11/26/2010 9:52 AM, Chris Smolinski wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>> --

2010\11\26@120609 by Vitaliy

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Carl Denk wrote:
> The post office helped the USA greatly in the earlier years with RFD
> (Rural free delivery) where the rural people, and the USA still has lots
> of them got regular mail service at no premium costs. I don't mind
> subsidizing the mail service somewhat for the service they provide.

Many wealthy people live in the country. Why is it fair for poor people in the cities to subsidize their lifestyle?

If I choose to live in the middle of nowhere, that is my business -- but I shouldn't wine about having to pay $5 extra to get my Sunday newspaper.

Internet is making the whole thing moot.


> Our
> local post offices run very lean, the carriers (all motorized for our
> semi-rural area) work hard to get their routes covered in all weather
> and are very good both in following the rules and helping the customers.

My experience has been very different. Long lines, rude personnel, very thick bureaucracy. There is one lady who is a ray of sunshine, but the rest seemed fully aware that their job security is not related to their performance.


> [snip] They also
> help to keep other costs down.

I take it to mean that you think that they drive down the prices of FedEx and UPS options? Perhaps, although I doubt it. Even if it is the case, they are not competing fairly as the price you pay at the counter is subsidized.

Vitaliy

2010\11\26@120947 by Vitaliy

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>> We disabled FedEx and UPS for Canada, because of the
>> strange customs regulations which allow the customer to receive the
>> package,
>> refuse to pay the import tax, and stick it to the shipper. For some
>> reason,
>> this never happens with USPS.
>
> This doesn't make sense. While I'm sure UPS/Fedex is free to send you a
> bill, I don't see any reason for you to pay it.

If I refused to pay my electric bill, I expect that fairly soon I would find myself in a cold, dark place.

Gaston is right, of course: it is the brokerage fees.

Vitaliy

2010\11\26@122505 by Carl Denk

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On 11/26/2010 12:05 PM, Vitaliy wrote:
> Carl Denk wrote:
>    
>> The post office helped the USA greatly in the earlier years with RFD
>> (Rural free delivery) where the rural people, and the USA still has lots
>> of them got regular mail service at no premium costs. I don't mind
>> subsidizing the mail service somewhat for the service they provide.
>>      
> Many wealthy people live in the country. Why is it fair for poor people in
> the cities to subsidize their lifestyle?
I don't know where you get your info, but there are some of all income levels in both the cities and rural areas. Travel the back roads, and see the small percentage of fancy houses. And the majority of the people who have modest homes, gardens. On the other side, what about those in some major cities where real estate prices are out of proportion, what would be a nice $200,000 house, is priced at double or triple that, and a short distance away in the slums, hardly anyone is not on welfare

2010\11\26@122936 by RussellMc

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I note that this thread is skating dangerously along the edge of
"forbidden" territory. I find it interesting and even useful BUT such
things can rapidly turn to "pure religion" and loud yelling in a few
swift exchanges. It would be good if that didn't happen, and if
everyone with strong opinions on the relative merits of the subject
managed to continue to moderate their expressions of them somewhat. I
am not suggesting that I have any personal interest in "breaking up
the party"  - just that such parties all too often manage to break
themselves up if due care is not taken.


           Russel

2010\11\27@073436 by Vis Naicker

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>My 1st international experiment - Took about a week, cost $8.

I wish I could get Digikey or Mouser to ship as cheaply. For a hobbyist the
international shipping rates are way too expensive and on top of that
couriers try to squeeze out more for brokerage fees. While the postal
services charge 1/10 of that when a package is airmailed through them.

I have had two giveaways fowarded from Circuit cellar to me - I saw the
postage and it was very palatable. Of course that was without packing and
package charges. It would be nice if Digikey/Mouser had options like this, 2
weeks wait is fine with me.


>> refuse to pay the import tax, and stick it to the shipper.
>>
>"Refuse to pay import tax" or refuse to pay horrendous brokerage fees
>charged by UPS and the like?
>Example: For a $100 good made in USA shipped via UPS to Province Quebec
>Canada, the customer will be charged $0 duty but $33 brokerage fees.

I have done that recently, although I told them not to contact the sender
but to bin my package.  The item from TI came duty paid, but DHL told me it
would cost upwards of $70 to assign a clearing agent as they (DHL) did not
have an account with DHL global fowarding ... Previous items cost around $15
COD on duty - so I told them they were trying to stiff me, and the guy also
said he did not understand why they were charging 300g as freight. The
supervisor said that they would request the sender to pay if I accept the
item and I said I would rather swallow the cost and have the package binned..

Other Kit from TI was shipped via Fedex and there was no additional billing
COD or on my credit card.

2010\11\27@163913 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Vitaliy wrote:

> Carl Denk wrote:
>> The post office helped the USA greatly in the earlier years with RFD
>> (Rural free delivery) where the rural people, and the USA still has
>> lots of them got regular mail service at no premium costs. I don't
>> mind subsidizing the mail service somewhat for the service they
>> provide.
>
> Many wealthy people live in the country. Why is it fair for poor
> people in the cities to subsidize their lifestyle?

Whether fair or not, this is what happens with all carriers that don't
charge per delivery mile in the last hop. AFAIK you subsidize remote
rural destinations with all common carriers, including Fedex and UPS --
that's nothing specific to USPS. If you don't want that, you need to
deliver yourself :)

Gerhar

2010\11\29@105527 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2010-11-26 at 10:08 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> >> We disabled FedEx and UPS for Canada, because of the
> >> strange customs regulations which allow the customer to receive the
> >> package,
> >> refuse to pay the import tax, and stick it to the shipper. For some
> >> reason,
> >> this never happens with USPS.
> >
> > This doesn't make sense. While I'm sure UPS/Fedex is free to send you a
> > bill, I don't see any reason for you to pay it.
>
> If I refused to pay my electric bill, I expect that fairly soon I would find
> myself in a cold, dark place.

That is completely different. That is a situation where YOU have
requested a service, and are billed for it.

This is a situation where you have PAID for a service, the other end
decided not to pay their share, and the service provider decides to send
you the bill hoping you'll pay for it, although they know you have no
obligation too.

Again, this is common, I've been in these sorts of situations a few
times, it doesn't hurt for the company to make the request, so they do
it in order to not have to swallow the loss themselves.

TTYL

2010\11\29@131804 by Vitaliy

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Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

You don't think that FedEx will eventually say "pay your bills, or we won't ship your packages"?

I would prefer not to play chicken with FedEx to find out the answer.

Vitaliy

2010\11\29@132803 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2010-11-29 at 11:17 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> > Again, this is common, I've been in these sorts of situations a few
> > times, it doesn't hurt for the company to make the request, so they do
> > it in order to not have to swallow the loss themselves.
>
> You don't think that FedEx will eventually say "pay your bills, or we won't
> ship your packages"?
>
> I would prefer not to play chicken with FedEx to find out the answer.

Vitaliy, you're just not getting it.

I'm not talking about LEGITIMATE bills, I'm talking about bills
companies send that you have NO obligation to pay, in the hope that you
pay it without realizing you had no obligation to pay.

We here at work once received a bill. Doesn't sound too unusual, and
most companies would quickly look at it and since it was from a supplier
we regularly use, would just pay it.

What that company DIDN'T know is my group in this very large company is
very small and we are VERY careful with every single bill we get.

We looked at it and it was clear that something was wrong. I can't get
into the details but suffice it to say the motives were clear: the
company that was SUPPOSED to pay this bill didn't, and since we were on
the other end they sent us the bill, hoping we'd just pay it.

We didn't. Most companies probably do.

TTYL

2010\11\29@133606 by Vitaliy

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>> > Again, this is common, I've been in these sorts of situations a few
>> > times, it doesn't hurt for the company to make the request, so they do
>> > it in order to not have to swallow the loss themselves.
>>
>> You don't think that FedEx will eventually say "pay your bills, or we
>> won't
>> ship your packages"?
>>
>> I would prefer not to play chicken with FedEx to find out the answer.
>
> Vitaliy, you're just not getting it.

>
> I'm not talking about LEGITIMATE bills, I'm talking about bills
> companies send that you have NO obligation to pay, in the hope that you
> pay it without realizing you had no obligation to pay.

I get it, Herbert. I'm just not sure that FedEx differentiates between the different types of bills. To the person on the other line, a bill is a bill, and if they see an unpaid balance on the account, it is conceivable that eventually they will refuse to accept packages for shipment.

Vitaliy

2010\11\29@135625 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2010-11-29 at 11:35 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

So, you're saying that to "keep in the good graces" of a company you'll
just blindly pay whatever invoice they send you?

Frankly I can't fathom that being any sort of business oriented
viewpoint.

If a company bills incorrectly wouldn't it be a better idea to call them
on it and have it corrected?

Of course you can run a business any way you'd like, I personally won't
be paying bills that I don't have to, it just doesn't make any sense to
me.

As for FedEx, they aren't the only game in town, and were they sending
me bills and cutting off services for bills I didn't owe I think I'd
switch to one of their competitors.
For the record, I've never seen FedEx do anything of the sort (in fact
I've only had good experienced with FedEx), and they are my second
choice when sending a parcel (my first choice being the post office).

TTYL

TTYL

2010\11\29@141034 by Vitaliy

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Herbert Graf wrote:
>> I get it, Herbert. I'm just not sure that FedEx differentiates between
>> the
>> different types of bills. To the person on the other line, a bill is a
>> bill,
>> and if they see an unpaid balance on the account, it is conceivable that
>> eventually they will refuse to accept packages for shipment.
>
> So, you're saying that to "keep in the good graces" of a company you'll
> just blindly pay whatever invoice they send you?
>
> Frankly I can't fathom that being any sort of business oriented
> viewpoint.
>
> If a company bills incorrectly wouldn't it be a better idea to call them
> on it and have it corrected?
>
> Of course you can run a business any way you'd like, I personally won't
> be paying bills that I don't have to, it just doesn't make any sense to
> me.

Of course we complained to FedEx on numerous occasions. We couldn't get anywhere, and after losing a few hundred dollars in customs fees, figured that it is best to disable FedEx as a shippping option for orders going to Canada.


> As for FedEx, they aren't the only game in town, and were they sending
> me bills and cutting off services for bills I didn't owe I think I'd
> switch to one of their competitors.

We do a lot of shipping through FedEx, and we had the same problem with UPS.. I disagree that dropping one or both would have been a good business decision.


> For the record, I've never seen FedEx do anything of the sort (in fact
> I've only had good experienced with FedEx), and they are my second
> choice when sending a parcel (my first choice being the post office).

Do you send parcels from US to Canada? What is the typical weight/invoice value?

Vitaliy

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