Why Monopolies Are Bad for Customer Service

FedEx is a monopoly on priority overnight and international shipments. To me they used to be the go-to if you wanted the impossible done. But that is not the case anymore. I’ve had two experiences with them that have made me want to never use them again. Unfortunately, there is no other option for priority overnight shipments that deliver on Saturday. Now, I say this, but obviously I’ve paid for priority overnight shipments and have not received them on time.

When I lived in Bernal Heights in San Francisco my FedEx driver was amazing. He would always use the phone number given to him with my address to call and say he was nearing my house. Or if I was not there, he would call to see if I could meet him at my house or down the street. That is good customer service.

My husband and I have ordered important hormone drugs priority overnight, but we did not receive a tracking number from the company we ordered from. So we were a little blind as to when the shipment would come even though we knew it would be today. So, we waited at home all morning knowing the shipments usually have time intervals depending upon what you’ve paid for. We assumed “priority overnight” would be the early shipment. But here’s the deal, we don’t have their information, but they have ours. Doesn’t it make sense that they give us a heads up as opposed to just leaving it up to fate!? So, of course, we decide to make a quick run to Starbucks which is literally a two minute walk from my house. I did not see a FedEx truck on my block and I knew we’d only be gone for fifteen minutes at most. Obviously we missed the delivery. I immediately called FedEx to either send the truck back to my house or so that I could meet the truck wherever it was in my neighborhood. The customer service person would not contact the driver and advised that I pick up the shipment.

After this experience I want to meet my driver and tell him what I think of him!

Another experience I’ve had happened when I ordered a custom ring for my husband from an artist in Michigan. I accidentally gave my Toronto address but fortunately caught the mistake before the ring had even left Michigan. FedEx claimed that they could not intercept the ring in its designated delivery path. The artist was in contact with them willing to amend the paperwork over the phone or in person. (they had literally just dropped off the ring) Because there was an address confusion and the ring was supposed to make it to California, the ring did not even have immigration paperwork to get it over the border from Michigan to Canada. That is where things got really weird! A FedEx employee faked paperwork so that the ring could pass through the border to be delivered in Toronto where no one was home. I found the ring sitting on my front porch when I returned over a week later!

I think FedEx is going down hill but unfortunately they have a Monopoly. We are trapped and this is why monopolies are bad. People will continue to use them despite their bad customer service and they will continue to provide bad customer service because people will continue to use them.

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