Monday, 18 January 2010
Federal Express have some very dubious business practises (putting it politely).
Basically, one of our customers returned something to us, from the USA (we are in UK). It duly arrived and Mr FexEx delivery person presented his machine for us to (attempt to) sign, which was done. Never thought about it twice.
However, a couple of weeks later, we got a bill, from FedEx, for over £20. It said something about VAT and duty and an admin charge.
Well, it turns out that FedEx believe that they can issue an invoice to you, for receiving the package, but that they do NOT need to inform you they are going to do this, when you sign for the package. They believe they can invoice you a few days later, when you are totally unsuspecting.
With Royal Mail, and anyone else who has charged us, we are told about a charge BEFORE they hand over the package.
FedEx have basically realised they can make this into a moneyspinner, by keeping quiet about the charge at the time, and then later charging you both the VAT, and an admin charge for it (of £10 - extortionate).
So we have now told our customers we will refuse to accept any unsolicited FedEx packages, and I recommend that you do likewise, unless they explicitly give you some written confirmation that you will NOT be charged an extortionate fee.
One reason that the VAT fee is so large (the product was declared as a value of just over £30, which gives it a £5 vat fee, not the £11 we were charge) is they ADD THE VAT ON THE SHIPPING CHARGE. They have basically made up a figure for this, of £41, saying that is what the customer paid to ship the product back. That is simply ludicrous, because the customer was sending a 75 grams used product and would of course not waste such a huge amount on shipping, just for a £30 refund. (I know - maybe they don't pay the FedEx bill, but even so...)
Its not that I object to paying the VAT on something I buy - but I want to know about it beforehand, because, as in this case, I would just reject the package as an unsolicited package. And I certainly don't see how they can justify charging VAT on the shipping charge.
End result is
Me ---- barge pole ---- FedEx.