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Shipping: Why Being Rejected for a Refund Isn’t the End of the Matter


Have you been told by FedEx that your package label was unreadable and had to be replaced? It sounds plausible enough, but it’s an unreasonable way to deny their customers a refund.

Here at 71lbs, we keep a close eye on how the big parcel carriers treat their customers. Our previous blog discussed just how shabby this treatment can be, when we spotlighted the unscrupulous waiver practices that were duping customers out of refunds they deserved.

This time around we’re tackling another questionable tactic – when a customer is told they can’t get a refund because the package’s barcode label was unreadable and had to be replaced.

The reasons FedEx denies refunds

Would you accept being charged extra if FedEx damaged your package before it reached the customer? Most certainly wouldn’t, nor should they if they were told the label had somehow been compromised. The label is a part of the package, after all, and this makes it part of the carrier’s responsibility.

It’s true that package labels can be very fragile. It’s also true that its safety is not the company’s problem once it entrusts the parcel to FedEx. It’s on them if the label becomes unreadable or needs replaced. Care for the shipping label should be a priority, because FedEx’s reputation depends on timely delivery as much as the seller’s does.

What FedEx tells shippers (and what’s really going on)

FedEx may try to deny a refund for a couple of reasons. Maybe it was because the barcode scanner couldn’t read the code. Maybe the driver’s eyes couldn’t make out the details.

Here’s the problem with that justification: The label was obviously in readable condition when the package was picked up, otherwise FedEx could never have started the shipping process. Whatever damage rendered it unreadable was literally out of the business’s hands.

Why should the shipper shoulder the burden or be denied a refund? They shouldn’t. FedEx is just using a plausible-sounding excuse that many businesses accept at face value, when FedEx may only be doing this to cover a late delivery.

Perhaps the label really was damaged, and the scanner/driver genuinely couldn’t read it. It’s still no good reason to deny a customer a refund. The simple fact is that FedEx failed in their commitment to carefully deliver the package (every part of it) by a certain time.

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How companies can deal with denial of shipping refunds

Businesses denied their rightful refund have two options. You can contact FedEx and remind them of their shipping agreement and that the label was obviously fine when it was picked up. Let them know that you’re entitled to a refund if the package was even 60 seconds late. This is easier said than done; many businesses don’t want the time commitment and stress it takes to chase down customer service.

The second option is partnering with 71lbs and letting us take care of the whole thing. We’ll pursue the matter and file all claims on the company’s behalf, ensuring that FedEx credits 100 percent of the shipping costs directly back into the shipper’s account.

There are $2 billion in unclaimed refunds out there, and every day we’re winning back thousands for our more than 5,000 customers. Get in touch and let’s make sure your business never pays for FedEx mistakes.

At 71lbs, we clarify the shipping process for our clients, making it easier and faster for them to access refunds and optimize their expenses. Our human-operated platform gathers all your shipping information into one easy-to-use custom analytics dashboard. Drop by the contact page to get in touch!

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