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  1. #1
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    Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Where Scotweb likely is charged a King's Ransom by FedEx, for International "Priority" Service, Scotweb may wish to argue for a lower rate.

    I say this, to point out that there can, at times, be nothing "priority" about the speed at which FedEx handles shipments. Witness "Exhibit A"...

    http://www.fedex.com/Tracking?tracknumbers=791618153432

    As this thread may outlive the link, I will summarize here. Scotweb shipped the in-stock items that were part of a big order, on Friday, Feb 24th. (The made-to-order items are still in progress, and will be shipped in a few weeks.) The order arrived in Memphis on Sunday, the 26th. Being a Sunday, I expected no movement of the package that day.

    On Monday, the 27th, I saw the notation that the package was delayed, in need of some paperwork from me to identify me as an individual "importer" (basically, Customs needed my Social Security Number), and they needed some details about 6 yards of tartan fabric that was part of that order, which I could not answer.) I provided my information, and called Scotweb to ask that they provide the information regarding the wool fabric. Stewart, Scotweb's retail manager, was Johnny-on-the-spot, providing FedEx with the needed info. Of note here, was that I had to call FedEx to find the reason for the delay. They did not call either myself, or Scotweb.

    On Tuesday, the 28th, I noticed the package still had not moved. I called to find out what was happening, and was informed that because the shipment included a 6 ounce Sporran Flask, Customs needed to involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as the flask is considered a "beverage container", and as such, they wanted to know that the material the flask was made of, would not potentially contaminate any beverage the flask might be called upon to contain. Customs wanted the address and contact information for the manufacturer of the flask... The Quaich Company (Scotland), Ltd. So, I googled the company, went to their web site, and clicked on the "Contact Us" link. I then read FedEx the address, telephone, and fax numbers for the manufacturer. Again, this was done only because I was monitoring the tracking page. No effort was made by FedEx (or Customs... or the FDA) to contact me to inform me of the delay or what was needed.

    On Wednesday. the 29th... no surprise... the package STILL had not moved. I called FedEx (again), and they left several voice mails for the specific FedEx rep "on the dock", who was supposedly handling my shipment. Again, (and again, no surprise), FedEx had made no attempt to contact me, to advise that my package hadn't moved (or why.) I was the one initiating the dialogue.

    Early Thursday morning (like 2AM early), I happened to wake up to answer nature's call, and curiosity got the better of me. So I checked the tracking page, and STILL no movement of the package. I called FedEx. I stated that as FedEx had lobbied the government to act as their own broker, specifically to speed the movement of packages... that it was my opinion they were failing to perform that task. I also referred them to their own call logs to point out that they had never once been the one to initiate a call to inform me of a delay, to advise and inform that something was needed, or to otherwise tell me why the shipment wasn't moving. I was the one to make all the calls, to them.

    Throughout this, I'd exchanged a few emails and made a few calls to Scotweb, just to keep Stewart, their retail manager, informed of what was going on. Anyway, back to FedEx...

    Low and behold, the tracking page showed that at 3:42am on Friday, March 2nd (about 20 minutes after my 2AM phone call ended... Memphis is Central time, I am Eastern), my package started moving again! 7 hours later, I was signing the delivery pad, and accepting my package from the FedEx driver!

    So... the moral of the story, for retail buyers in the U.S. who buy from overseas... Watch FedEx like a hawk. Keep hounding them. Call when your shipments don't move.

    And for vendors who pay for "Priority" delivery, PLEASE use actual cases such as this, to leverage refunds and lower rates on future shipments. There's a saying... "You get what you pay for." In this case, perhaps we should "Pay only for what we get."

    To close this on a positive note, let me say that I am exquisitely delighted with the products from Scotweb, and with the support I received from Stewart specifically, and with the others at Scotweb with whom I've dealt, through the ordering and subsequent follow-up. For Scotweb's part, I will certainly give them first consideration in any future purchases.

    As for FedEx, on the other hand... I have a few other choice thoughts. And they all begin with biting my tongue.
    Last edited by unixken; 3rd March 12 at 04:52 AM.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  2. #2
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Hell, we waited longer than that for aircraft parts when I was in Iraq.

    We can't expect shipping firms to immediately make calls about every international package that crosses their docks. In cases like FedEx and UPS that would take tens of thousands of man-hours per week, if not per day. Most folks just allow for the extra time, which is mostly taken up with the same types of things you mentioned.

    Domestic deliveries often take just as long as your shipment. I ordered a textbook from a warehouse in Chicago in August, and it was sent the same day via USPS. I had the tracking number within four hours of placing my order. It finally arrived sixteen days (twelve working days) later. I could have picked it up and returned home four times at a moderate pace in that time. Seven days for international shipment is actually pretty good considering it takes three days to get a bill payment to an office 25 miles from my house.

    With all the BS international shipping companies have to deal with, you should be happy you got it within twice the time you did. I've waited much longer than that, to get something shipped INCONUS.
    The grass is greener on the other side of the fence...and it's usually greenest right above the septic tank.
    Allen

  3. #3
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Widbey, I believe you are missing the point. FedEx advertises this as "3-Day Priority". They also charge a fortune for that service.

    This "priority" package sat idle on the dock for two days. There is nothing "priority" about that. Let me put it this way... when they charged for expedited delivery, they entered into a contract to provide a level of service. If they did not, or could not provide that level of service for which they charged, and were paid, then a refund on that shipment, or a lower rate on future shipments, is appropriate. You seem not to agree with that.

    If FedEx is understaffed, knows they can't deliver, and yet charges for expedited service anyway, that's fraud. Unexpected things do happen. We all know that. If they usually can deliver in 3-Days, but some extraordinary or unusual circumstance prevented the shipment from moving this time, it was their responsibility to keep the customer informed. That they didn't, is poor customer service. You seem not to agree with that.

    That you are more tolerant of either of these points, is fine. Some of us are pressured to live up to contracted levels of service, in our own lives. Asking, expecting, or requiring others to do the same, is not unusual.

    Scotweb should be pressuring FedEx for a refund/discount, as FedEx did not deliver the level of service for which they contracted, and for which they charged.

    Additionally, if the recipient isn't watching the tracking page, their package could unnecessarily sit on the dock even longer. You seem not to agree with that, as well.

    To apply a touch of rhetoric, I ask, expect, and require that I get what I pay for. That you apparently don't is fine, too.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  4. #4
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Wow. I have noticed in the past when I have had to ship a package FROM the US to an international destination (usually Canada) by FedEx either 2nd Day or Overnight, the result was always a delay by at least one day, if not several days.

    Once, when I called FedEx to complain about it, I was told by the customer service person that the reason for this had to do with customs. It's been a few years since that conversation, so you'll have to forgive me for not recalling the details. But whatever the specific reason was, it was something that could be avoided when shipping by one of their more economic means, resulting often times in the slower shipping method actually reaching the customer in less time!

    Needless to say, I never used FedEx's express services to ship internationally after that.

    On the other hand, I do receive a lot of packages shipped from Scotland to the US via UPS's priority 2-3 day delivery service. It costs more than Royal Mail, and of course (like FedEx) UPS acts as its own broker and so I am guaranteed to pay certain fees. But those packages always arrive at my door 2 to 3 day later, as promised. (Usually 2 days). And on those rare occasions (twice over the past year) where a customs officer has some question about the package, a UPS representative calls me, generally before 10am the day they receive the package, to get the information. And it has never taken more than one phone call to sort out the details, and has never resulted in a delay of delivery.

    This is only based on my personal experience, but so far I have been very pleased with UPS's services in this regard. I'm sorry FedEx has not treated you the same.

  5. #5
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Quote Originally Posted by M. A. C. Newsome View Post
    Once, when I called FedEx to complain about it, I was told by the customer service person that the reason for this had to do with customs.
    I too, was told the delay was due to Customs. I was told that FedEx can't "tell" Customs to release the package. I told FedEx that I wasn't asking them to "tell" Customs anything. Rather, I was suggesting FedEx tap Customs on the shoulder, point to my package and ask "What about that one, over there?" (In other words, give them a reminder that the package was just sitting there.)
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  6. #6
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    As a "newby" of about two years who has finally and most enthusiastically embraced his Highland roots, I've received quite a number of packages from Scotland over the past two years. I have been most satisfied with my experiences with the Royal Post. Given a choice, Royal Post would be my preferred method of shipping. I recall a thread a while back in which Scotweb was contemplating offering its customers a choice of shipping. I don't know what happened to that idea, but that seemed like a possible solution.
    Mark Stephenson
    Region 5 Commissioner (OH, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA, KY), Clan MacTavish USA
    Cincinnati, OH
    [I]Be alert - the world needs more lerts[/I]

  7. #7
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Stephenson View Post
    As a "newby" of about two years who has finally and most enthusiastically embraced his Highland roots, I've received quite a number of packages from Scotland over the past two years. I have been most satisfied with my experiences with the Royal Post. Given a choice, Royal Post would be my preferred method of shipping. I recall a thread a while back in which Scotweb was contemplating offering its customers a choice of shipping. I don't know what happened to that idea, but that seemed like a possible solution.
    It's also been noted a few times, that Royal Post has a weigh limit of about 7 pounds. My package was over 20 pounds. Too heavy for the mail. When the kilt, hostess skirt, straight skirt, sash, tam, shoes, and other items that complete my order are ready, that next package will likely be just as heavy. The mail wont be an option. (Nor would I want to split the order into several smaller, mailable, untrackable packages just to mail them. We're talking over a thousand dollars in merchandise. I want it trackable.)
    Last edited by unixken; 3rd March 12 at 05:57 AM.
    KEN CORMACK
    Clan Buchanan
    U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

  8. #8
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Within the past year I have made 2 purchases from Scotweb and perhaps 5 others from overseas, a couple from the UK, the rest from other countries. One shipment from Scotweb arrived in about 5 days and the other took a couple of weeks, but that was over the Christmas holidays. The others all arrived within about a week. Shipping was done by "regular" mail and if customs was involved, I did not know about it. True, I did not have any "tracking." As I recall, one purchase from Scotweb would have involved at additional $40 for "priority shipping." For some reason, their free shipping was more appealing (Scottish DNA?)

    There have been previous post on this same priority mail "customs" problem.

  9. #9
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    They're not very good brokers if they can't provide brokerage and clearance of parcels on their own. I will again restate my dislike of these parcel services.

    USPS / Royal Mail / Canadian Post for me please. (where ever possible- certain situations may FORCE the use of one of these services like unixken mentioned, but I'll use them only under duress)

    ith:
    Last edited by artificer; 3rd March 12 at 06:07 AM.
    artificer Pronunciation: \är-ˈti-fə-sər, ˈär-tə-fə-sər\ : noun : 14th century :a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman
    Artificer Custom Sporrans
    *Home of the Original Kenneth MacLeay Sporran Project & Functional Brass Cantles*

  10. #10
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    Re: Scotweb may wish to seek discount from FedEx

    Yet another reason to buy "in country" whenever possible and if not currently possible, encourage in country manufactures to start producing the goods. E.g., I'm sure Pendleton Mills is perfectly capable of making any woolen cloth anyone else does/can. [Several years ago I bought a good amount of Frasier Hunting Weathered from them at a great price]. We already know of some really talented people right here that produce sporrans, bonnets, kilt jackets (even if by "conversion"), etc. I'm pretty sure flasks too. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not "anti-international trade" but the only way things are going to change as far as these kinds of problems are concerned is if "the market speaks" -- which seems to be the only thing people listen to anymore.
    ________________________
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