Dear FedEx. I hate you. Legal options?

FedEx has screwed me before, but now they dodge any and all responsibilities by claiming COVID.
BL: semen ordered and shipped yesterday. Made it from Canada to an hour north of me before 8am. Online tracking said it was on the truck for delivery at 11:something, and would be delivered by 4:30 today. At 4:30 online tracking said it would be delivered by end of day. At 6pm, online said it would be delivered by 4:30 tomorrow!! Customer service was useless. One lady told me the delay was due to snow in Alberta. Um, no! It was on a truck less than an hour from my farm nearly 8 hrs ago. Next tier supervisor also useless. Finally Third level supervisor tried to reach drivers and local leadership and couldn’t get anyone to even pick up the phone.

Is there any recourse?
I know some people have successfully gotten reimbursed for not just shipping, but also collection and Repro vet breeding package lost. Is there any chance of that or are they really able to provide such terrible service with no repercussions?

Expecting next order for a different mare on Thursday but I’m not optimistic.

I’m so so so mad…

Not a lawyer, but doubt you have legal options. DH used to work in a field where documents were time sensitive. He used couriers to get such documents from one place to another, often involving air travel and boarder crossings. But this was Pre-Pandemic. Perhaps this is an option for you. FYI he had cool briefcases with handcuffs on them --occasionally he brought one home and the kids loved playing courier with the cases --of course I was terrified they would lose the key and grow up wearing handcuffs. He did say one time that wearing a cuffed briefcase in some countries (he didn’t but the couriers did) was asking for one’s hand to be cut off . . .all this before WWW —not even sure people still transport documents this way --kind of sounds out-of-date like the Pony Express.

No useful information to add, but hopefully someone who has had experience can chime in. I seem to remember a thread or two on it a while ago. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for your experience and I hope you get it sorted out!

(Also as an aside, Foxglove, a couple of years ago I did get to transport very sensitive hard-copy documents internationally with a handcuffed briefcase. Very exciting and dramatic but also highly uncomfortable and impractical haha.)

@weixiao -I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to use an airplane bathroom with one of those briefcases fastened to one’s arm! Awkward!

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Sorry - you are most likely SOL. People who have received additional refunds is only due to the fact it was insured for enough to cover those expenses. It may have been “scanned” into a location but it doesn’t mean it was actually there.

In regards to reimbursement, a lot will depend on how much you have the shipment insured for.

In the future, make sure to ask for a Priority Trace. Explain that this is a time sensitive delivery and heads are going to roll…and you are going to submit a claim if it doesn’t get there when it is supposed to.

@ElementFarm any updates on this? Did FedEx help you at all?

no good update, but update nonetheless.

We still have no idea why the driver, who had the shipment On The Delivery Truck chose to just not deliver it, but after talking to a 3rd level up supervisor, DH was able to drive to the hub the following morning (about an hour away) to pick it up personally. The mare waited, but the vet said the semen quality wasn’t the best at that point. We bred anyway and now are in our two-week wait.

But it gets better.
That day we ordered semen for mare #2.
This one was coming from the US, and surely the law of averages would work out in our favor and this one would be smooth. NOPE
Semen left on time and to Memphis at about 1am. And there it sat. And sat. I called about 10 am. I got transferred several times and just kept being told there was a trace on it and it should come by 4:30 pm. The fantastic stallion owner had also called to put pressure on, and she was told they’d call me and keep me apprised. That never happened. At about 2pm when I called again, because the system said it was still in Memphis, I raised enough of ruckus that I was eventually elevated to someone high up enough that actually seemed to give a hoot. He called Memphis, had them pull the package out of whatever staging area where packages go to to die, and got it on a plane to Charlotte overnight. It got trucked to the hour-away hub early in the morning and I was able to drive down to pick it up a little before noon. The mare had ovulated by that point, but our repro vet was still optimistic.

So BL: Two shipments and NIETHER one managed to get to us via overnight, and might not even have made it the next day without aggressive tracking/calling and ultimately driving to go get it ourselves.

I’m beyond livid for so many reasons.

  • Everyone always apologizes, but no on actually seems sorry. I don’t want to be placated. I want to know what you’re going to do to fix this.
  • There’s no ability to put case notes in their system, so EVERYTIME I get transferred to a new person, I have to start All Over Again with the whole story. This means every call, with 3-7 different representatives, takes hours.
  • The representatives are outsourced to India(?). While I understand why, it’s frustrating trying to speak to a rep that is nearly impossible to understand.
  • Stop blaming the weather. It’s obviously step #2 on their checklist on how to handle irate customers. But telling me that weather in Memphis is the reason my package is delayed, has zero credibility when I’ve been checking the weather in Memphis all night/day, and it’s been 50s, clear/sunny, with no significant wind.
  • Don’t tell me, or others, that you’ll call with updates. You won’t. Not ever. Again, lip service with zero follow-through.
  • On the second one, the one guy actually was able to get the shipment moving in the right direction. Why does he need to call the center? Why can’t they just do the freakin job?

I get that COVID yada yada. But there needs to be some accountability here! I’m paying for overnight deliver. I need overnight delivery. If you’re going to offer overnight deliver, make the heck sure it arrives overnight!

I’m just breeding the two this year. But if one/both didn’t take, I’m either requesting UPS next time or putting DH on a plane and sending him as a courier. It might cost less than playing this game a few more times.
I wish all of you better luck!

I gave up on FedEx. Last two shipments have been airline counter service. I was able to pickup within 30 minutes of plane landing.

Fedex is overloading their drivers. They are sending 300 packages on a truck knowing they can only deliver 200 that day (not actual numbers, just an example). This is directly from FedEx.

What is the (ballpark) cost difference between shipping FedEx and doing counter-to-counter? I’ll be breeding my mare - hopefully - on her foal heat and am getting nervous about all the FedEx issues. The last half dozen or so packages I’ve received that they have delivered have gotten hung up in Memphis for over a week each. None of those were urgent/perishable, thankfully.

Hi, my bills have been around $120 for air shipping.

Edited to add: expect to pay stallion owner an additional fee to deliver to airport. Depending on proximity, this might be small $, or major.

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Maybe breeders should contact Amazon to see if they’d be interested in handling semen. They’ve managed to do a pretty good job despite Covid. All you breeders pay for Prime and voila! You get it shipped free!

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Thanks, @paintedpony! That’s not such a big difference - certainly cheaper than missing an entire cycle! I think I will talk to the SO I’m working with to see if counter-to-counter or UPS are options.

Normally around $100 more for a shipment. The price of the courier to the airport is normally the additional fee. You may also have the extra fee of a courier from the airport to your vet.

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Not all Stallion Owners can simply forego FedEx and UPS and do counter-to-counter on the next shipment. In order to do counter-to-counter, the Stallion Owner must jump through some hoops in order to become a “known shipper.” Depending on where you live, it can be expensive and time consuming. We started the process ourselves (I’m in Canada) and it was such a PITA I finally abandoned my application half way through. Not only did I need to become a known shipper, our farm and facility needed to be inspected and cleared.

For those thinking it will be easier to just switch over from FedEx to UPS, I have been hearing the same horror stories this spring from those that use UPS for their Equitainers.

We have always had great success with FedEx…but we haven’t started shipping to the U.S. quite yet. I’m definitely getting a bit nervous after all of the horror stories I have been hearing about this spring! All I can say from past experience, you need to be diligent. I get up in the middle of the night and check where our Equitainers are for each shipment. If there is even the slightest inclination that it has been sitting for too long, I immediately get on the phone to FedEx, demand a Priority Trace be started and I keep arguing my way up the corporate ladder until I am able to speak with someone high up who understands and cares about our Equitainers.

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Thanks, @Daventry. I, too, am not sure there are a lot of great shipping options in the age of COVID. :frowning: If I know my shipment will get hung up in Memphis, then I’m “only” a four hour drive away…but I know that just picking up from there isn’t an option.

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Has anyone tried UPS? I’m going to need a semen shipment shortly and I’m dreading dealing with Fedex.

They are having the same issues from what I have heard. CTC or on site is becoming the best options at this time.