I took an item originally purchased from J.C.Whitney (JCW), which was shipped to me via FedEx 3-Day priority for FREE, to be returned to a local Non-FedEx shipper who charged me $1 to drop off the item. They never revealed the price to me and assured me they have done this many times before and JCW would pay the shipping charge.
The next day, much to my complete amazement, I see a $757.85 charge from FedEx for something JCW shipped to me for free (and the item only cost $60, weighed 15 pounds and shipped to me free of charge by JCW). If I had been made aware that it would cost that much to return the item I would just have thrown it away. No other website I have ever dealt with has ever made the customer go through an extra step to see the amount of the transaction - it was always up front and reiterated during the checkout process. But not FedEx; they like to hide the cost from the customer almost as if it were an intentional action (which it is).
I then called FedEx customer support to explain the situation and they kept saying I had the "option" to see the cost. They kept reiterating "I had the option" to see the cost which struck me as odd. At the end of the call, FedEx customer support agreed to reduce the charge to what would have been charged for regular ground freight - something on the order of $250. Still grossly above the item value especially when you consider JCW shipped it to me for free.
I checked my credit card statement this morning (06/07/13) and again, much to my amazement, I now see a FedEx charge of $495.14 IN ADDITION to the original and outrageous charge of $757.85 for a new total of $1252.99.
That's about half of my monthly disability check. I receive a disability for a Military service connected disability and have been unable to work since July 2007.
I don't expect to get something for nothing. FedEx provided a service and I have absolutely no problem paying a "reasonable fee" for their services.
I have contacted JCW and explained the situation to them. They were kind enough to waive the 20% restocking fee plus threw in an additional $35 credit for past purchases but were unable to do more.
Recall that JCW shipped me the item using FedEx Priority 3-day Ground for free.
An ideal resolution would be for FedEx to show goodwill and drop all shipping charges given the stress caused by the whole situation.
As I stated above, I expect to pay for services rendered. Given the part cost me $60, a break even price for me would be a shipping charge of $60. That would mean I neither gain nor lose anything on this transaction. It will just end up with a bad experience and a mistake I will never make again. And a mistake which I will be sure my family, friends and associates will never make either. Word of mouth advertising is free and a powerful medium. FedEx will never know the loss incurred by business gone elsewhere.
The question FedEx has to ask themselves is does it really make a difference to their bottom line to generate some free good will word of mouth advertising by charging $60 for the shipment?
Monetary Loss: $1253.