FedEx invoice payment – Or why FedEx is the Grinch

The Situation

My girlfriend is for nearly 6 month in Canada at the moment. I’ll visit her for this years Christmas but I thought it would be a good idea to order a present and have it send to her to avoid complications with the luggage. I found something that I thought would make her happy and ordered it, unfortunately at an US Store who shipped the package with FedEx.

The package itself arrived and everything seemed to be fine but unfortunately after over a week my girlfriend received an invoice from FedEx over CAD 16.10, a fee that a wasn’t aware of because I already had payed shipping and handling. Well as a warning: several US shops tend to point out this fact in a small FAQ or paragraph in their shipping rules but they don’t point it out directly to you. Yes I know it was my fault that I fell into this “trap” and of course I said I’ll pay the invoice because obviously my girlfriend shouldn’t have to pay for her own present. Addiotioanlly I didn’t want it to be her burden because she already had to spend more time on her job in Canada that I didn’t want to get her involved more then necessary. Sadly the Invoice had no information on it how it could be payed and this is where all the trouble started.

Trying to help FedEx understand

I first checked the FedEx US and FedEx CA websites for an answer and just found out that a FedEx customer account seemed to be necessary to pay by credit card. A simple bank transfer, like it is common here and Germany and also possible with FedEx DE and FedEx UK, seemed to be impossible. So I first contacted FedEx US, which I have to admit was my mistake because the invoice was from FedEx CA but I thought “US Shop, US FedEx, try it there first”. They answered in a reasonable amount of time and pointed me friendly to their colleagues at FedEx CA.

Then I contacted FedEx CA, pointed out my “case of misery” and that I wanted to pay the invoice from Germany with a German credit card or via bank transfer. They said I could simply contact FedEx DE for a solution, again the answer came in a reasonable amount of time and was friendly.

Now to the German customer service. When I started to explain my case I was immediately interrupted and got the feeling that the member of the service staff I was talking to was just following a simple protocol which of course wouldn’t match my kind of special case. It took me several tries to get to explain myself to him which he commented with “Oh…well…let me have a look if this is possible”. He also laughed a bit about the small amount of money of the invoice, well we both laughed a bit about that. But in the end he told me it would be no problem to pay by credit card, but a special German FedEx department was needed to contact me for the payment.(?) Because someone from this department wasn’t available anymore at the tme I had called, we scheduled a recall and I insisted an o specific date because due to my work I have to travel a lot lately and I wanted to make sure they could reach me. Of course they didn’t call at the specific date, they called a day earlier where I wasn’t home.

Back home I saw the missed call and tried to call them back but no one picked up the phone. So I contacted the FedEx DE Hotline again, explained my case again and the supporter was kind of confused why his colleague talked about a special department that needed to call me for the payment. At this point I felt that this could be over by now and he would just say “tell me your credit card data and it is done”. But this was not the case. At some point he said “Yes we have a billing department and they will contact you for the payment”…I kinda felt the beginning of a loop here…”but first you will need to fill out a form that I’ll send you by mail”. “A form what for?” i asked “Well you need to state that you’ll take over all the payments of this invoice” ge replied. Didn’t I already tell him and all the other FedEx service staff members that I wanted to pay? A well it’s Germany and of course we need a form first. And the form was needed to delay the process of sending my girlfriend reminders with additional processing frees. *sigh*

Well I filled out the short form, send it by mail to the German billing department and again explained the case in the mail, why I was writing them and when and how they could reach me.

After nearly a week and nearly 3 weeks total I got a request from the department that they needed my FedEx Customer number and my company name?

Do you need to open a business first before you can pay a FedEx invoice now?

Conclusion

Really FedEx? I explained the case to at least 5 people till now (USA customer service , Canada customer service, 2 x German customer service and FedEx Billing Germany) and you still didn’t get it?

Let’s just sum this up: I had to research on the Internet for some time becasue no payment info was given on the invoice, I wrote some mails and made some calls which took me at least 2 hours total if not more and at least 5 FedEx employees were involved which makes it maybe 3h total workinjg time for all of us. I don’t know what you pay your service staff members but I’m pretty sure we’ve reached a level now where the CAD 16.10 are by far not enough to pay us all. At this point I really kinda want to send you an invoice for compensation. I’d say that CAD 50 is fair but because Christmas is gettng near I’ll just say CAD 16.10 and we can call it even. Deal?

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m totally aware of the fact that it might not be the easiest problem with an invoice that FedEx ever had and I really don’t want to ‘hate’ the service staff here. But to make it this situation from and not so easy one to one being kinda absurd and making it quite obviously that some people involved didn’t even try to understand the whole thing and just followed a ‘protocol’ is really not my bad here and just making things worse. I was trying to help and especially trying to pay but I couldn’t.

At this point FedEx somehow reminded me of the Grinch, doing everything to ruin Christmas. And of courseif I don’t pay in a amount of time that FedEx thinks is reasonable for waiting on a payment, they’ll send a reminder with an additional processing fee which kinda adds up to all the strange logic here. “You want to pay? Well we don’t tell you how and if yo don’t we make it more expensive for you. Fair enough?”. Sorry FedEx I don’t think so. I really tried for weeks now, maybe not hard enough. But if your service staff even doesn’t know what to do, how am I supposed to?

Solution

Sorry nothing to report here. And if no solution is to be found tomorrow evening I’ll try to pay directly in Canada, because I’m going there for a Christmas vacation. It was planned as a nice holiday but thanks to FedEx we#ll now again have to spend some time to find out how and where to pay the invoice. I already found out it can be paid at special FedEx stores by Credit Card. Well guess what, these stores are not to be found everywhere in the city and we’ll have to get there by open traffic. I wonder if they’ll pay us our tickets?

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