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Fedex Follies Part 2

Nobody wants to lose a guitar or have it damaged in shipping. It happens and there isn’t much you can do about it unless you have an insurance policy that covers guitars in transit.

So, if you read the first installment of Fedex Follies, you know that Fedex somehow misplaced a 50″ box. Or maybe there was an airline strike that only affected large boxes or USA bound shipments or some other not too credible excuse. It was missing and unscanned for just about a month. It arrived a month and a day after it was shipped so all’s well that ends well, right? Not quite.

It is never easy to get a refund of any kind from Fedex. And, to be fair, it is hard to get a refund from any service company. Fedex does have a guarantee but they don’t make it easy to use it. If you call and say my package was late, they will immediately start making excuses-weather being the most common. Then, they will tell you that no refunds are processed until the invoice has been sent. Then, if it’s more than 14 days after the invoice has been sent, they will disallow the claim. Dem’s da rules according to Fedex’s “Terms and Conditions”. We’ll get to those terms later.

The guitar, a 60 ES-355 finally arrived on April 22nd which was a Friday. I went through the guitar over the weekend and put in for the refund online on Monday April 25th. My claim was denied because Fedex says the invoice was more than 14 days old. Wait a second. I just got the guitar on Friday, so how can the invoice be 14 days old. Well, as it happens, they processed the invoice on April 12th a full ten days before the guitar was delivered. I get and pay the invoices online so it wasn’t sitting in a pile of invoices on my desk. I was not happy. I called Fedex.

Them: “We’re sorry about the delay but we can’t issue a refund if the invoice is more than 14 days old”. Me: “But the package was just delivered a few days ago. How can the invoice predate the package by ten days?” Them: “We can’t issue a refund if the invoice is more than 14 days old”. Me: “Connect me with your supervisor”. Then they cut me off. I called back and asked for what they call the “customer advocate” who is supposed to be on your side. She started the same script and I stopped her. Me: “Would you look carefully at the dates?” Them: “Oh. I see the package was delivered on the 22nd”. End of conversation. They approved the refund. It took about a dozen phone calls to try to find the guitar and to get my refund. Time on hold was probably at least 90 minutes. I should send them a bill.

Terms and Conditions. Who reads the terms and conditions? Every time you buy something online a box pops up and you immediately scroll to the bottom and check the box that says “agree”. Nobody actually reads the text. But in the case of Fedex and vintage guitars, it’s going to cost you. When you enter the value of the guitar into the shipping form, you expect that you are buying insurance for that value. $25,000 guitar coming from EU? They’ll charge you $306 for “insurance”. But the terms and conditions state clearly that the limit for guitars more than 20 years old is $2000. If you pay the $306 and the guitar arrives safely, you think nothing of it. You paid for insurance and you didn’t need it. Always the best outcome. But what if they lose the guitar or break it? Fedex has a decent track record with guitars that I’ve shipped. They have lost one and broken four in twenty years. At the time of the first broken guitar, I hadn’t read the terms and conditions. When I put in the claim for half the value of a broken 64 SG, they told me they would cover up to $2000 but only the repair-not the diminished value. Them: Read the terms and conditions. So, they will take your money for so called insurance with no limit. But try to collect and the limit is $2000 no matter how much “insurance” you bought. I have asked Fedex to add a pop up box telling you about the limit if you enter more than $2000. They haven’t done so. Don’t give them your money for nothing.

This 64 SG didn’t look like this when it left the building. Thanks Fedex. They offered $340 for the repair.

2 Responses to “Fedex Follies Part 2”

  1. RAB says:

    Charlie, a sad commentary on customer “service!” And the photo of the severely damaged SG was heart wrenching…I could almost hear the horrendous crunching of the vintage Honduras Mahogany! RAB

  2. Eric says:

    Bummer. Charging more for a service that is never delivered is fraud in my book (but IANAL).

    They do the same with signature required … since Covid they never wait for signatures. Free money for them.

    Silver lining on the SG is that the neck pocket is (was?) solid.

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