Getting a Charge out of FedEx
Date Added: July 31, 2002
The immediacy and broad reach of e-mail make it an ideal tool for would-be consumer advocates. Unfortunately, one-sided accusations like this one often leave readers scratching their heads, wondering what to believe and what to doubt.
Ladies & gentlemen:
With all the revelations about corporate greed and wrongdoing, you would think a large corporation like Federal Express would be minding their P's & Q's, but I am sorry to report that is not the case.
I have documented and filed a formal complaint against Fedex with the Oregon State Attorney General's Office, alleging consumer and bank fraud to wit: That Federal Express Corporation routinely accepts credit and debit cards for payment, issues a receipt for the amount to be charged the consumer, and then arbitrarily and capriciously charges the credit or debit card more than the amount listed on the charge receipt.
For example, on April 18, 2002 I sent a shipment via Fedex by dropping a package off at the Fedex counter near the Medford, OR airport. The debit card receipt shows that my account would be charged $15.40. On my bank statement, Fedex charged my account $22.98. or $7.58 more than I authorized. I have now documented three such fraudulent transactions recently, and I have others going back two years.
Upon examination of my charge receipt, Fedex placed the following weasel words: "Subject to additional charges in Terms & Conditions of Fedex Service Guide" Funny thing is, I've never seen a Fedex Service Guide, and I've never been offered one. I'll bet you have never been offered one either. That's not going to fly.
So on 7/18/02, I dropped off another package for shipment at the Medford Fedex counter, and placed the charge on my debit card, as usual. The receipt shows I will be charged $15.63. Even though the counter person weighed the package, I asked her to weigh it again. My shipping receipt shows 1 package at 1.0 lb, and the charge at $15.63, but the credit card charge with those weasel-words on it shows a weight of .50 lb. Hmmm....
So I asked the counter lady about this, and she plainly stated that if the package is found to weigh more by Fedex than it is checked in at, my debit card charge would be adjusted without my authorization. I pointed out that if I paid by check or cash Fedex could do nothing about it, and to my utter amazement, all three counter persons agreed!!!! Can you believe this???
So what we have here is a Federal Express Corporation license to steal, and I am about to rescind it. There is no way for the consumer to know how much their package actually weighed after it is dropped off, so Fedex can say it weighed whatever they want, and I should point out here that at no time has Fedex ever charged my account LESS than the amount noted on my receipt.
The lesson here is that if you ship by Fedex, pay by cash or check. Do not use a credit or debit card, and do not maintain a Fedex account that utilizes a debit or credit card. Fedex cannot be trusted, and I know they didn't just pick on Carl Worden. This is clearly a corporate policy that affects everyone.
Carl F. Worden
Carl Worden is the Liaison & Intelligence Officer for the Southern Oregon Militia. Worden's "Ladies & Gentlemen" column is featured by a variety of anti-government and "New World Order" web sites and publications.
Neither Mr. Worden nor Federal Express responded to my inquiries, but Jan Margosian, of the Oregon State Department of Justice, confirmed Mr. Worden's complaint was filed, though she cautions consumers against taking it at face value.
"I can confirm that on June 25, Mr. Carl Worden filed a complaint with our office against Federal Express. His allegations are being looked at. We do not discuss [particulars of] individual complaints if they are open and being worked.
"As far as forwarding to others Carl Worden's allegations against Federal Express, I would remind all consumers that Worden's allegations are just that....allegations. We have no idea if any or all of the complaint is valid. We will be looking at it for possible violations of our Unlawful Trade Practices Act."
On the Internet, instances of bad customer service are often insinuated to be deliberate and sanctioned by the company. Recent chains about Europcar and ABC Television are examples of how Armchair Activism often calls soldiers to arms without presenting all the facts or examining the other side of the issue. A half-truth is often worse than a flat-out lie. Break this Chain!