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Old June 8th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #1
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FEDEX Sucks! Beware if you have DAMAGE!

Hey I just thought I'd vent this to you guys... Really there's only a couple choices for shipping anyway, but I've used FedEx and UPS for years with no real problems. In ALL that time I've never had a damage claim... Here's the story:

I had a gig in FL and had to overnight a 50 pound package of lighting equipment... naturally I stuffed the box really well to protect everything... when it arrived in FL the box looked pretty bashed... rounded corners, etc.

Fortunately everything worked for the shoot... seeing how "weathered" the package was I REALLY packed everything good and tight for the return home...

Well when it arrived home the package was left at my NEIGHBOR'S house... which FedEx has NEVER done before. NEVER... They always required a signature and this time I specified signature ONLY 'cause of how the package arrived in FL.

2 lights broken, 1 stand damaged, 1 stand broken, 1 fixture broken... I even said in a letter accompanying the receipts that I could/would still use the one damaged stand and I'd take a 1/3 of it's value! Everything else is trash. Hmm.

All this happened on 5/04/04 and I filed all the papers and receipts for the damage and still nothing. They said they mailed me a confirmation 2.5 weeks ago and I never got it... They also denied receiving my receipts! When I called to check on it I got transferred and then the new person gave me a toll number to call and at that number there is no answer...

Now I know why B&H went from using FedEx exclusively to using UPS exclusively!

"When it absolutely, positively HAS to be there overnight... in ANY condition... FedEx."
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:04 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about UPS either. When I purchased my XL1s and GL1, the XL1 was "out of stock". After driving for an hour to get the cams, I decided to let them ship the XL1, with the stipulation that it NOT be dropped off without a signature, and to hold off till Monday, as I had somewhere else to be the day it would have arrived.

Of course, I was rather hot when I pull into my driveway, and find the XL1 just sitting on my doorstep. Of course, if it had turned up missing, I couldn't prove anything.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #3
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That's too bad about FedEx, they've always had an exellent reputation.

Regarding UPS, I've shipped thousands of dollars worth of music equipment with UPS and they have worked pretty well. When they have managed to really mess up a few $3,000 synthesizers!!, they have been very timely with the insurance payment.

A friend who works for UPS in the San Francisco Bay Area said that some UPS transit locations are worse than others. The closer to metropolitan areas, the more overworked the workers are and the more likely that big, heavy, and expensive boxes are going to be damaged. During Christmas 2000 he said there was so much pressure to get the packages moved as quickly as possible, he'd see trucks back up to a loading dock and spill half it's cargo when it hit the dock.

I've had Roland keyboards punctured through with what looks like a forklift. And these keyboards are like tanks, they're built of steel and packed in industrial strength cardboard because of the weight. Kinda scary when I think of having a small little camcorder shipped.

Thank god for insurance.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #4
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I've got horror stories from both shippers. All in all, I've come out ahead with UPS... then FedEx and NEVER the US Postal service.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 02:05 PM   #5
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it's basically a toss up. A few months back we had a thread about UPS going and how bad one members experience was. I actually prefer the USPS for some services.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #6
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The fact is, both FedEx and UPS are capable of being both devils and angels. They both ship so many darn products and they are such large companies, that your experience greatly depends on exactly where your product was going, who carried it, and how your representative is when you're dealing with a bad situation.

There are no 'they are always bad' or 'they are always good' scenarios with these guys. Heck, even the US Mail is capable of really good service now and then (though I'd say it's a lot easier to write them off due to how often they goof up).

I used to work at an organization that shipped dozens of packages daily, and between that and smaller personal experiences, it's pretty safe to say that there are no absolutes with either FedEx or UPS. They've both been my best friend and my worst enemy at different times.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 02:23 PM   #7
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Another problem with FedEx: all they need to do is claim "fog" on the report explaining why your package didn't get shipped overnight, and you have no recourse for reimbursement, as any weather-related delay nullifies their delivery guarantee.

This happened to me on an urgent project that required me to send film I'd worked on to a post house in Los Angeles. It didn't get there until two days later. Luckily, the producers had another day scheduled in the online suite at the post house, but if they hadn't, it would have set the project into a tizzy and resulted in thousands of dollars of unaffordable budget overruns.

It also happened to my dad on a proposal submission to a government agency worth several million dollars. (My dad was able to get the president of FedEx to apologize to the chief of the government agency, but the agency stood firm on the deadline and refused to accept the bid.) Nowadays he buys an airline seat to D.C. for such packages and uses a courier service, or sends an employee to personally deliver the package. It's only slightly more expensive and is vastly more reliable, especially with such a high cost of the risked non-delivery.

So even FedEx's time guarantee isn't worth a lick.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #8
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My choice of wording for the title of this post was strictly to produce emotional response...

I don't think any shipper is truly infallible... but MAN has FedEx dropped the ball on this particular case!

I'm normally a big fan of both FedEx and UPS... and I actually WORKED for UPS years and years ago... So I know their Earth City Hub inside and out... there is BIG pressure in that place. The shifts are all about 4 hours 'cause it's like a freakin' aerobic workout! Yeah, around Christmas you've got about a 1 in 100 chance your package will be litterally KICKED out of a truck! They have an open strategy of pinning employees against each other to increase productivity... As an example, if you're a sorter then your supervisor may notice you getting backed up and say, "Hey that unloader is really making you look bad! Speed it up!"... all the while the unload supervisor is telling the unloaders, "Hey that sorter isn't having any trouble with YOUR pace at all! Speed it up!" Pretty soon there 'aint one employee in that whole place (outside of supervisors) that gives a flying f*ck about your camcorder shipment...

Anyway, no answer at that number for FedEx claims ALL DAY and they deny ever receiving what I mailed nearly TWO WEEKS ago... How many hoops do I have to jump through for a lousy $200 out of a shipment that was insured for $900!!!
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:52 PM   #9
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As many as they can legally put in your path.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 07:59 AM   #10
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Isnt that what Rodriguez says in Rebel without a crew?
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Old June 9th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #11
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My Favorite is when they KNOCK on your door and by the time you get to the door they have ran to the truck and are pulling away.

What if you were'nt home?

When I first ordered my DVX100 they literally put it on the doorstep; thank god my wife came home to snatch it up.

When I ordered my Sennhesier package; same thing. Just left it there.

Drivers make around $20.00 an hour. For Driving and pick up and delivery. Not to mention the insane OT worked during the holidays. $20.00 a hour?
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Old June 9th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #12
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After my experience with both Fedex and UPS trying to get a pair of used 21" CRT monitors undamaged I'm disgusted with both of them. I probably received around twelve monitors total (two at a time) from three different places. I never got a pair where at least one wasn't cracked or damaged in some manner. In all the cases they took them back, but it was a huge hassel and to this day I don't have my monitors.

Just last week or so I received a 19" Sony broadcast monitor shipped by Fedex that I bought off of Ebay. I noticed a small crack in the back of the case; when I plugged it in the monitor would turn on, show a yellow screen with a purple squiggly line, and then turn off and start cycling on and off. The seller had said it was in very good working condition, and I have no reason to doubt him. He had Fedex come and pick it up.

Thankfully another company was selling the exact same monitor on Ebay, and they were located here in the city where I live so we could go pick it up. Still, there's no excuse for the way they have to treat these packages to be able to damage the contents. Some of the monitors I received were packaged very well, yet still damaged. On one box we got one side looked like it was shredded.

Christopher
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Old June 10th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #13
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"My Favorite is when they KNOCK on your door and by the time you get to the door they have ran to the truck and are pulling away."

The FedEx delivery I got today was kind enough to ring my phone on his cell while he knocked on my door, just in case. The conversation went like this.

- "Package for Robert Schmidt."
- "Thanks." [as I sign the signature gizmo]
- "What's your last name?"
- "Schmidt."

?
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Old June 11th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #14
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A friend of mine had a dolly and a jib shipped to my house via Fed Ex, and when I got home one day, I just found these super large packages sitting on my front porch...free for anyone to take.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 08:23 PM   #15
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In many cases the conditions that are being described is the result of the shipper, not FedEx. If the shipper doesn't specify a signature is required and the insurance amount si below a certain level, the package will be left without a signature. This is the same for FedEx and UPS. Since no new information is being disclosed by the original poster and this topic is just a whipping boy for complaints, it's closed.
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