Why FedEx Really Sucks

Recently, I purchased a Model 1910A1 Azimuth Telescope Instrument from a gentleman in Florida. An Azimuth Telescope is a percision instrument used by the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps as part of the range finding and targeting of ships. This particular instrument was built in 1944 by the Herschede Hall Clock Company. It was one of several that were declared surplus from NAS Jacksonville, FL. I have no idea how the Navy was using them. I paid $840.00 for the complete instrument. This were one of those rare items that turn up from time to time in government warehouses.

These items were shipped from Florida by FedEx.


The telescope was encased in a leather box and arrived without any damage.

The instrument base was encased in a wooden military transit box and arrived with the lid broken, and the bottom punched out. This is one of those custom boxes, that has a cradle inside the box to secure the item being transported. The box weighs about 30 pounds, has metal reinforced corners, heavy carrying handles, and two heavy duty versions of the kind of latches found on old steamer trunks. The corners are connected by dovetail joinery. This was a substantially built military-type box.

The instrument base was cracked and one of the indicator light bulbs was broken. The transit box was packed in a double layered cardboard box. This would seemingly be sufficient as the transit box weighs 30 pounds, has steel reinforced corners, and is made of heavy wood.


The transit case was badly damaged by FedEx.

FedEx has apparently establish policies relating to damaged goods that almost makes it impossible for the person who receives the damaged merchandise to collect from them for damages.

1. FedEx liability is with the shipper only. The person who received the damaged goods has no standing with FedEx.

2. Any claim for damaged goods has to be originated by the shipper, not the person who has actually received the damaged goods.

3. It’s FedEx’s policy is to automatically send damaged merchandise back to the shipper. In my case, the shipper did initiate a claim with FedEx but didn’t understand that in doing so, he was apparently authorizing FedEx to return the item to him.

The shippers claim resulted in a guy showing up at my house unannounced in a FedEx van full of Christmas packages. There were even packages piled up on the passenger seat of the FedEx van. He had with him some sort of order to pick up the damaged box and send it back to the shipper.

I had no intention of sending this damaged box back to Florida with the same company that damaged it in the first place. In addition, since the box was in pieces, even if I agreed to send it back, it would take a considerable effort in time and expense to find a suitable way to repackage the damaged box so these idiots wouldn’t do further damage to the instrument base. Then, did I send back just to box, or also send the instrument base. The entire set, box and base weigh about 60 pounds.

After the FedEx contractor saw the extent of damage to the box, he said that it might be better if I took the box into the Santa Rosa, California FedEx terminal and spoke with the Terminal Manager. I was given a card with the Terminal Manager’s name and phone number.

I drove into Santa Rosa to see the Terminal Manager.

I spent the better part of four hours there. The Terminal Manager inspected the damaged box, called the shipper, filled out a paper form, and then typed the same information into a computer terminal. As I understood it, he had to force the computer system to accepting the claim by making it look to the computer system as the box was returned to the shipper.

He was clearly annoyed that I was there, but seemed to be helpful.

About a month later, I received a letter from the shipper notifying me that FedEx has declined the claim because they were unable to inspect the damaged merchandise and didn’t have the original packing materials.

Of course, I was never informed about a single FedEx policy or rule about damaged goods either when I called them on the phone or by the Terminal Manager.

So, it’s true that all I kept of the shipping box was the label and tracking number. I did tell the Terminal Manager that there was no visible damage to the outside of the shipping box. It was only when I opened the box that the contents fell apart.

So, after getting the rejection letter, I called and spoke to Monica Andrews at FedEx. She said that she had declined the claim because she didn’t have the Terminal Manager’s report. Now that she had the report, she would review it and in her sole discretion, would decide if the claim would be honored.

Since she was sounding very rude, I asked is there was an appeal process if she declined the claim, she really didn’t respond. I then asked her why they would have a procedure to automatically send damaged goods back to the sender. She said every case was different.

I told her how this was a one of a kind instrument that couldn’t be easily repaired. It was then that she said that the shipper should have known that FedEx has a policy to only pay $100 if they demolish an unreplaceable antique. Otherwise, they would pay for the repair.

It was at that point that I thanked Monica and said told her that it was obvious that FedEx wasn’t about to take responsibility for damaging my optical equipment and hung up.

I’m sure all of this was being recorded in insure quality service.

Here are some other unhappy FedEx customers:







6 Responses to “Why FedEx Really Sucks”

  1. Trey Says:

    I have one of these with the original tripod stand.


  2. sophieo Says:

    we ordered a guitar from a guy in fla. from ebay. The guitar and box had a gash through and through. We called ups and they said go online and file claim and send pics. We did. They kept asking to pick up my item to inspect the damage. Wasnt about to send it back to them and never see it again. Months go by. No word. We call. They say, “call fla. ups store where the shipper shipped from . We call, they say, oh we can only pay claim to the shipper, not you. AND we need to pick up guitar from you . They will sell it for scrap they say. SOOOOOOOO they make “scrap money” , my seller gets paid from me once , then from ups again. They say it’s between the seller and me if he chooses not to forward the check to us. Freaking unbelievable. I said , never freaking mind. cancel the claim. I now have a damaged guitar. They will not deal with the receiver, only the shipper. So the GD shipper gets paid TWICE! and UPS makes their money back selling the damages item for scrap.

  3. Lee S Jacobs Says:


    I read about your troubles with Fedex. Sorry!!!
    If it helps we have just gotten another Herscede Hall clock co m1910a1 azimuth instrument here. Original two handled crate and the instrument is in very good condition, clearly marked with the company name and 1944. If you are interested please contact me. We are experts in packing as an auction company that ships frequently without one return-ever!!

    Lee S Jacobs
    The Gap Auction
    Kinzers, Pa

    Lee S Jacobs

  4. Duval Computing Services Says:

    nice how much did they cost originally?

  5. Syble Munguia Says:

    I love your writing along with the web site on the whole! Is awesome to learn exactly where I am able to have that. Make sure to carry on the nice work. We all require far more such web owners like you web also much less spammers. Wonderful man!

  6. Fedex Refunds Says:

    Customers experience with Fedex seems pathetic..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: