OK: I have tried and tried to get this company to respond to me, in any manner at all, but they have spent 4 months doing nothing but screwing up even the most simple of requests. So, for the edification and amusement of others (and the cathartic therapy of me), I present to you: the FedEx Omnishambles.
Sit back, relax: this one is EPIC.
It began, in August this year. An item was posted to me, and it came to my work address. The item incurred a Customs fee. Then it all went to hell.
Here’s my first letter to FedEx, (with some edits for clarity, and to help me retain a small amount of privacy).
Federal Express Europe Inc.
P.O. Box 119
Dumpling in a Hanky
30th October 2012
I am writing to complain about the ridiculous level of incompetent service your invoice/billing department has delivered when dealing with me.
An item was sent in the mail from America, using FedEx, to my work address. This address is:
FedEx then issued an invoice for the cost of customs fees.
The first invoice, number 1, dated 8th August, was sent to Employer FirmName, as it claimed the recipient was illegible. This was clearly untrue, as my name and details (Dumpling in a Hanky) could be seen in the attached paperwork that came with the invoice. This meant that the invoice was sent around the multiple offices of the company until finally being tracked down to me at the end of August, by which point it was overdue for payment. I called to ask for my employers details to be removed as the customer. I was told this was possible, and I awaited an updated invoice.
This did not arrive, so I called again a few weeks later: apparently, for some reason, nothing had been done in the intervening two weeks, and my request for an updated invoice had not been progressed in any way since my call.
Instead, I received an overdue payment demand for the original invoice. I called, and once again asked for my employer to be removed as the customer, and for the original invoice to be cancelled in favour of this updated one.
On the 18th of September, I received a new invoice (number 2), which not only still included my employer as the customer, it had now renamed me from Dumpling in a Hanky to Dumpling FirmName (ie. taking part of my employers name, and substituting it for my surname). I called again and was told that the removal of my employers details from the payment demand was not possible, in direct contradiction of previous information. I asked for confirmation to be sent by email that the previous invoice was now null. I was getting increasingly frustrated, as by this point the issue had dragged on for a month. I spoke to someone called A B on the 18th of September, who told me to email her directly on AB@fedex.com, and she would investigate and get back to me. I emailed A with copies of the invoices, and waited for her promised response.
On the 20th of September, having heard nothing from A B (and indeed, I have heard nothing from her to date), I called yet again, and spoke to somebody called Suzie. I asked again for emailed confirmation of the closure of the original invoice, and for my name to be corrected on the new invoice. I was told they were “looking into” the current invoice, and she had requested that I be emailed about the issues, as I was clearly anxious to sort them. I could not pay the invoice, as it had the wrong name, and as far as I knew, had been cancelled while a new, accurate invoice was being raised.
On the 26th of September I received an invoice in the mail, still addressed wrongly to Dumpling FirmName, confirming that the first invoice was now null.
I called on the 2ndof October, asking where the new invoice with my correct name on it was, and once again asked for this to be emailed to me when it was ready, and gave my email address again. I was told this would happen when it was ready.
I called on the 11thof October, and spoke to someone called Rashid, to ask where the invoice was. He told me it was “in progress”, and I would be emailed when it was ready.
Today, 30th of October, I have received an overdue notice, for yet another invoice number 3. This is a brand new invoice which was apparently issued on 2ndof October, yet I have received neither the paper version, nor the repeatedly-requested email version. The payment due date is 3rd of October, which implies that it was expected that this invoice was to be sent by email rather than mail.
To tell me I am overdue paying an invoice that I have not received, despite spending THREE MONTHS trying to get an accurate version issued to me, is adding insult to injury. It also appears that each time when I called in October, I was given the wrong information once again, as the overdue notice claims the invoice was sent on the 2nd of October, yet I was told when I called on the 2ndand the 11th that it was still in progress.
On calling yet again today, I requested an emailed copy of confirmation that the second invoice, number 2 was now void, and the best that Kendal, the person I spoke to on the phone, could offer was a screenshot from the system, which hasn’t worked on my mail system. My request for an email copy of the new invoice, number 3, meant she did indeed send me a copy of an invoice. The original invoice, which was cancelled in September. I have replied to Kendal, and await, yet again, an email copy of this new, phantom invoice. Based on previous experience, I do not have any belief that this will arrive.
So, I am left, yet again, without an accurate invoice which I can make a payment on. Surely this is the most basic function of an invoicing department: to issue accurate invoices? I have now had to call over a dozen times, and wasted hours of my time over the course of three months, trying to sort out this very simple issue.
Therefore, please can somebody send:
Confirmation that invoice 2 is now closed/null.
A copy of invoice 3.
I do not believe these are complex requests, but I cannot and will not pay until I have an actual copy of this newest invoice, which is addressed to me.
So…that was sent on the 30th of October. Kendal never did email me the invoice I asked for.
Here’s the text of the email I then had to send on the 14th of November, to which I attached a copy of the above complaint. I got the email address during yet another one of my calls to their call centre.
Please find attached an outline of my complaint about your customer service. This was sent by me on the 30th of October. To date, I have still not received either a response, or any of the items I have requested to be sent to me.
I have, however, received today yet another overdue payment demand for the invoice I have never been sent. So, once again, I have had to contact your pointless call centre – the first time, to request once again that a copy of this phantom invoice be emailed to me, which did not happen.
And a second time, ten minutes later, to yet again request that the invoice be emailed to be. Thankfully, this copy actually arrived, but as you can see, is only a single page, which clearly instructs me to read the payment ” instructions overleaf carefully”. Impossible, when there is no overleaf to the invoice.
This, on top of the fact that these invoices are now addressed to Employer Co, which is situated in PSL – this is total gibberish, and only vaguely resembles the actual address of Employer FirmName, in Big Burgh.
I cannot believe that I have had to waste FOUR MONTHS trying to get the simple item of an invoice, correctly addressed, to be sent to me. So I repeat (again) my requests:
Confirmation that invoice 2 is now closed/null.
A (full, with payment instructions) copy of invoice 3.
Guess what I got in response to that? Nothing. Nada. Not even an automated acknowledgement of my email.
What did I get instead?
ANOTHER overdue payment demand the next day, yay! And if I don’t pay in 7 days (11 of which had elapsed before it was sent to me), the bill is being passed to a debt collection agency. How splendid.
So, in utter exasperation, I have scrabbled around and found information on how to pay them, and posted it off, Recorded Delivery accompanied by a printout of my first letter, the email I sent, and a third complaint letter:
Federal Express Europe Inc.
P.O. Box 119
Dumpling in a Hanky
16 November 2012
I am writing, yet again, to complain about the level of service your company provides. As you can see from the attached documentation, I have been trying to get some very simple issues resolved, for over FOUR MONTHS now. I have called dozens of times. I have sent the attached letter outlining the issues and my attempts to get them resolved, weeks ago. I have emailed the firstname.lastname@example.org address with this information, as I was told to during yet another of my recent phone calls to the company. Not one of these approaches has met with any type of response.
Instead, I am getting repeated demands in the mail to pay an invoice that I was firstly, never sent to me, despite me calling repeatedly to ask for it, and then when I have finally managed to get somebody competent to actually email it to me, there was no information about how I was actually meant to pay it. These demands are now being posted, in duplicate, date marked 10 to 11 days before their arrival. Where have they been sitting in the intervening time? I can only assume that these were, again, items that were meant to have been emailed to me, but have somehow instead ended up being posted. This means letters with demands to pay within 7 days or the account will be passed to a debt collection agency are arriving 3 to 4 days after your own deadline. Quite a work of genius, I think you can agree, to post demands with deadlines that arrive, not only days after that deadline, but in multiple copies!
I have also never been sent the confirmation that I have repeatedly asked for via multiple methods – the confirmation that invoice number 2 was no longer active.
So, let me, once again, make one last, probably futile attempt at getting your company to do a simple thing –
Send me confirmation that invoice number 2 is no longer active.
I would also like a proper, full copy of invoice number 3. I realise this may seem like something outrageous to you, but to me, being able to keep full and accurate records of my expenditure is somewhat of an essential activity.
I have attached a cheque for the invoiced amount, despite you having in no way at any point helped to enable me to pay it. I managed to find this payment information by going through the initial documentation. You know – the stuff I received back in August, when your staff apparently forgot how to read, and kicked this whole fiasco off by sending payment demands to my firm without putting my name on the form, despite it being clearly visible on the customs form, which was included with the payment demand.
I assume that by my sending money to you, you will regard this matter as closed. I can assure you that I do not. I will be expecting a full explanation, in writing, to the address above, of why you have failed to deliver even the most basic of your business functions, and why I have been forced to waste so many hours of my time to repeatedly request that you send the correct invoice, to the correct person, with the correct name, and that you actually issue that invoice, rather than send demands for one which was never sent.
I want to know why I have been ignored by: A B (as she gave me her own details and promised to deal with the matter); your own management (as my letter of 30th October remains unanswered), and the administrator of the ukmaster@FedEx.com email account (as my email with attached letter sent at 9.24am on 14th November, as at 3pm on 16th November, is neither acknowledged nor replied to).
Communication with your company has been an exercise in extreme frustration, with nobody taking any responsibility for anything, or communicating with me about the simplest of things. Therefore, as stated above, I would like an explanation about what the failures were that caused this catastrophically wasteful time-sink.
So, that was sent off today. Shall we take bets on whether they ever, ever get in touch with me? Anyway, needless to say, even if they do get back to me with any sort of explanation, it’s really never going to be good enough to explain how they can get performing the most basic duties of their company so terribly, terribly wrong, is it?
And I would certainly never recommend using this company, if you can possibly avoid it!