We pay $350/yr. to a national association, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) for access to discounted FedEx shipping rates. Continued questions about our shipping rates after a year finally got this response from FedEx:
"Per our discussion this afternoon Ive checked your account status and it is not currently linked to the OIA FedEx Advantage Program. You indicated your local AE advised that it was delinked in Jan 2010, but should not have been as your OIA membership dues have remained current. My apologies that you were delinked in accurately.
Im submitting a request today to re-link your account to OIA to ensure you begin receiving the OIA discounts. It will take a few days to process.
When your local account executive follows back up with you on tomorrow please advise that the re-link request is in process; and ask them to initiate an invoice adjustment request for the time period in which you were not receiving the benefits of the FedEx Advantage Program due to the delink that should not have occurred. Thank you for being FedEx customer."
The overcharges were at LEAST $2,400 over a 33 month period. The refund respose was:
" I managed to get you a refund of $464.02 and a credit of $17.74. This is from February 2012 until September 27, 2012. I consulted with the Customer Solutions Agent who worked on this credit request and was informed that they can only process invoice adjustments received within 180 days after the date of the shipment. She also informed me that she is not able to process anything going back as far back as 2010 as they do not have those records in their system. I have copied Camille on this email as well just to let her know how far back we were able to go with credits and refunds."
I requested a Credit Memo (not a refund) for $2,000. Our respons to the above:
"In reference to our telephone conversation today, I am VERY disappointed that FedEx has declined to fix this serious contract pricing error on their part.
Below, you have provided information indicating a refund of $464 for the 6.5 month period of 2/1/12-8/13/12. This does not include the busy 4th qtr holiday shipping period. Simply taking the 6.5 months, without allowing for holiday increases, the average refund is $71.38/month. For the 33 months where FedEx failed to provide the contracted discounts, the total overcharge is $2,355.69. You have indicated that we will be receiving $481.76 in credit and refunds. This leaves a MINIMUM of $1,873.93 in overcharges from the contracted rate. Personally, I believe it would be more taking holiday 4th qtr. shipping into account.
The refusal to provide my requested $2,000 additional courtesy discount leaves me with no option but to file suit in NJ for the above calculated minimum of $1,873.93 in overcharges, plus costs. This suit will be filed in 10 days, unless the issue is resolved to my satisfaction before that time.
I urge you to have your manager reconsider."
Small claims suit filed in October 2012. FedEx Legal office's responded by phone to us with a settlement offer. Our response:
"As we discussed last week, I have requested a postponement in this matter. As soon as I am notified of the new trial date, I will notify you. Thank you for your settlement offer of $1,250. Unfortunately, this amount is not acceptable.
As I am sure you're aware, quoting Fedex's "180 day" refund responsibility is an adhesion clause that judges usually find objectionable. The dropping of our discounted rate link was entirely the fault of FedEx. We were not notified of this action by FedEx at any time, until I started questioning our rates. We pay $350/year in OIA membership dues in order to access those rates.
Additionally, the annual 3% additional discount for over $14,000 in annual billing was not included in my estimates. We paid over $56,000 in FedEx invoices during the 27 months preceding the unrefunded period.
Our request of a Credit Memo for $2,000 in addition to the $400 refund is entirely reasonable, and already less than the discount we are due.
We have been an RPS/Federal Express customer for 20 years, with over 95% of our small package shipping routing through FedEx. I realize that $20,000 per year is not a large amount to FedEx, but that is the only leverage we have. We have opened a UPS account this month, and they have matched the OIA rates, without requiring us to pay any membership dues, so this will cut our shipping costs at least $350 annually. We have already begun shipping with them.
The bottom line here is, if you want to keep our business, you will make this right."
Case still pending.