SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I shipped a package from the San Diego area to the Philippines on December 6, after being assured by the agent for the company that they would have it delivered "within 5 business days." It was a Christmas gift. I was charged $150.00, the international economy rate, for a package that weighed less than 5 pounds, and was smaller than and the box measured about 18x24 inches. It contained a tablet computer. On December 13, the package arrived at Philippine customs. It is still there. I have been told for the last 2 weeks by FedEx that they are waiting for the person in the Cebu, Philippines office who is responsible for my package to "get back to them."
When I pointed out that it was clear the person was not going to get back to them... after about 10 straight days of being told this, and suggested that they telephone that person or his supervisor, I was told, "It wasn't done that way." They said they have sent several emails, and I would just have to wait. On December 18, the recipient, my fiance, called the Fedex office responsible for delivering the package (at the Cebu airport). She was told she could come and pick up the package, provided she paid the person $25.00; because they were "too busy to deliver it."
Now, I have repeatedly instructed Fedex that my account was to be charged any fees, and it is clearly in the notes. The person she spoke with acknowledged this. So, by paying some extortion money on the side... she could have her Christmas present.
I made Fedex aware of this, because in addition to saying they were waiting for their Cebu employee to contact them, they said it was the Philippine government, not them, that was holding it up. They continued to say no one from the Philippines would respond to their emails. I should point out that the Fedex people I was speaking with were with the international division, the problem resolution unit called summerset i-cat, apparently part of some vice-president's unit. Needless to say, I have never been allowed to speak with the vice-president.
On Monday, December 23, they changed their story. They told me the amount customs would charge me, and said it should be delivered on the 24th. It wasn't. I was told the same thing on the 24th... that it would be delivered the 26th. It is the 26th in the Philippines, and nothing has changed. Online tracking states "delay" just like it has for nearly 2 weeks now. Granted, customs can delay a package. But, one would expect that a company like Fedex has professionals employed who know how to deal with customs and get a package cleared, especially for what they charge. Clearly they do... but you have to pay an extortion fee on the side.
It's a 3 hour trip for my fiance to the airport... not to mention $25.00 is a lot of money to the average person in the Philippines. However, that is apparently the only way she will receive the package. Obviously, Fedex pays their employees there a slave wage and they have to extort fees from recipients... otherwise they will never receive their packages.
PARIS -- Expedited shipment from Denmark to my customer in Canada. Arrived in Paris on Saturday; it is Tuesday now and still hasn't moved. Several customer service stated it was [bumped] TWICE and made it clear this happens regularly. A "case file" has been opened, but no one can tell me what is going on with it because, you guessed it. The people handling the case file are also in Paris. No one in the USA seems too concerned about it, at least not on the executive level. How do I explain this to my customer?
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- You ship a package with several quite small electronic devices (mp3/mp4 players). As many countries have weird customs laws you declare the value to be under 100$ (so your recipient would not have to pay customs duties). It takes 50% longer for your package to arrive and as you track it - it goes via very weird route. It finally arrives to the destination, but its weight is significantly lighter. When your recipient opens the package - he sees that the contents of boxes are gone stolen. You have fun with FEDEX trying to at least get your shipping money and insurance amount back. Remember they have thieves working for them and do not care about you!!!