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Thread started 09 Jan 2013 (Wednesday) 14:25
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I Ordered a 5D Mark III... But Got Laminate Flooring Instead - Dell.com

 
MOkoFOko
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Jan 17, 2013 18:27 |  #706

SoCalTiger wrote in post #15502020 (external link)
Interesting. So then PayPal just takes the loss if the customer succeeds with the chargeback? I am pretty sure that credit card companies normally side with the customer in chargeback disputes like this where there is delivery confirmation but it was not delivered.

Correct, that is how it happens. There are exceptions, but paypal offers some decent protections against fraud, failed delivery, etc. Honestly, it's the safest method of doing business outside of cash transactions. You just have to be sure to follow all of their stipulations.

Paypal actually fights chargeback disputes, providing information to the credit institution. In the event of a lost package that is shown as delivered, paypal generally takes the loss. They do of course facilitate returns (as it's nearly impossible to fight a credit card company if return tracking is provided), but paypal will generally still protect you if you file a police report in the event of fraud. I'm expecting the day when they require signature confirmation for payments under $250--paypal likely loses quite a bit from fraud.


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Jan 17, 2013 18:28 |  #707

RTPVid wrote in post #15501959 (external link)
You have an odd definition of victimless...

Boy oh boy, you guys just can't read obvious sarcasm. People SAY such theft is a victimless crime--obviously it is not.


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KirkS518
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Jan 17, 2013 20:23 |  #708

I've only read up to post 140 so far, so I won't comment on the true topic, but I really need to comment on the secondary topic - FedEx. If it doesn't interest you how FedEx works, skip this post, and go to the next.

I worked for FedEx as a driver for a long time, so I feel I'm the closest to an 'expert' on this subject.

East Coast pickups (latest time a driver can pick something up for next day delivery) is 7pm. An item can leave your office at 7pm, and be delivered via FedEx's most expensive service by 8am the next morning, anywhere in the US. It's called First Overnight. The driver goes to the main FedEx airport location at 5am to get those packages, and delivers starting around 6am. Used most frequently for early AM real estate closings, court cases, and similar.

These packages (or the second one at least) was shipped using the second most expensive service - Priority Overnight. Guaranteed delivery by 10:30am the following morning. Any other packages for delivery (later) that day to the same recipient can be delivered at this time, but it is not required.

After that comes Standard Overnight - next day by 3pm.

From there, it's multiple day deliver times, all guaranteed by 3pm on the date specified.

For a shipper like Dell, or their contracted warehouse, rates are drastically reduced. There was a mention about the cost of the shipment, and how the poster couldn't believe it would be shipped with this service. You know that $15 Priority Overnight letter? A shipper like Dell probably pays about $6 for it. An 8lb box, sent PO (priority overnight) by Dell probably costs $10-$20. FedEx and UPS have sales departments that cut the published rates for high volume shippers. It fills the planes, and reduces per piece expenses for FedEx/UPS. The bigger the shipping commitment, the deeper the discount. Not to mention Dell has been a FedEx customer since they (Dell) started IIRC.

"Having the driver watch me open it" - Not going to happen. The drivers are micro-managed as to how many stops (deliveries) they make per hour. Everything the driver does is time-stamped to some degree. Not to mention, the 5 short minutes it takes for you to open everything is enough time to make 1-2 deliveries. It kills their performance numbers, which reduces their next raise. Even if the driver was nice enough to wait, he wouldn't have signed anything for the recipient. Against policy, and he'd also get reprimanded for wasting time. Not to mention that this was a delivery to a residence, and not a business that the driver may have a relationship with.

"Refuse the package" - Can only be done before you (recipient) has signed for or accepted the package. If you signed for it, it's yours.

"Inspect it before you accept delivery" - Can't be done. A driver will not let you open the package before you have signed for it, so you can't inspect and then refuse. If you could do that, it would be even easier to pull off scams - "I never accepted delivery, so how could I have put bricks in the box", etc.

Call tags. Once a package has been delivered, it has to be put back into the system somehow. This involves a customer (original shipper usually) requesting the package be picked up. This allows for the heart of all businesses to keep beating - payment for services. If no call tag is issued, the carrier will end up with a box that they aren't guaranteed to receive payment for delivering/returning.

Someone mentioned that all the packages are weighed. No, they aren't. Here's how it works. Your driver picks up the package. It says 8 lbs. To the driver, it feels like 10 lbs. (and yes, you get really good at weight estimation). He has 2 choices, do a weight change on his tracker (the scanner he carries), which will correct your weight, and also ding you $10 as a penalty, or just take it at 8 lbs. 99% of the time, if the weight indicated is within reason, he'll just take it at the weight you put down. If it's grossly overweight, he'll probably do the scan.
From there, it goes into his truck until he gets back to his local station, where 'package handlers' (part-time employees that load and unload trucks) unload the package onto a basic conveyor belt, which brings it to the can that gets loaded on the tractor trailer (aka CTV) that will bring it to the airport. When it arrives at the first airport, the entire can is weighed. Average weight (IIRC) was about 4-5000 lbs. That can in it's entirety goes onto the plane, bound for Memphis, Oakland, Ca., or a smaller regional hub (closer ones are via truck). From there, the cans are unloaded onto a huge conveyor system that scans each package to determine it's final destination. Only. Fromm there, it goes back into a can, back onto a plane, into a CTV, onto the conveyor at the local station, pulled off the conveyor by the driver, and placed into his truck until he gets to the delivery address. It does not get weighed at any point. FedEx depends on their drivers to ensure reasonable weight values are what are being billed. So, under normal circumstances, there are two times a package has the chance of getting reassessed for it's weight - by the pick up driver, and the delivery driver. Yes, there are scales at every single FedEx facility, but they aren't being used for every package.

A side note about weight - you know those FedEx letters? Max weight is 1 lb. for them. We had a company stuffing them with anywhere between 3 and 10 lbs of documents (title company). One morning during the route sort of the Letters, I noticed that they all said 1 lb. I let it slide that day. The next day, and for about 20 days thereafter (however many days it was until they got their next bill), I reweighed every single package of theirs. I ended up adjust weights on about 600 packages (if they were less than 3 lbs I still let it slide). The station manager got call from Memphis, wanting to know why they had a customer with over $5000 in weight penalties. When all was said and done, I got a Bravo Zulu (FedEx's way of saying 'well done'), and $500 gift card from one of those corporate gift catalogs. The shipper went out and bought a scale.

If any of you want to see some amazing stuff, go to Memphis, and take a tour of the FedEx facility. Go in the middle of the night, that's when everything is happening there. It'll blow you away.

Now back to our program already in progress.


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MOkoFOko
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Jan 17, 2013 20:48 |  #709

KirkS518 wrote in post #15502577 (external link)

If any of you want to see some amazing stuff, go to Memphis, and take a tour of the FedEx facility. Go in the middle of the night, that's when everything is happening there. It'll blow you away.


Now back to our program already in progress.

Can we really just take onsite tours of a fedex facility in the dead of the night?

Regarding the rest, all looks accurate from what I've gathered--the only thing I wasn't aware of was the frequency with which they weigh packages. Every Fedex/UPS location I've frequented has weighed packages upon acceptance. Now I know this is not the case in the event of a pickup by a driver. I also wasn't sure if packages were reweighed at various stops while in transit. Guess not.

One thing you didn't comment on--to have a witness--would be to ask the driver to have the package held at the nearest facility for pickup, where you would be able to open the package in the presence of whoever is on duty. I actually did that in one instance. And it should work even if a signature is required.

Regarding the "call tag" process that Fedex is so well-known for: I don't see why it's necessary. UPS and USPS don't do it. A refused delivery goes back to the shipper, and the shipper ends up getting charged for BOTH legs of the shipping process. Call tag is essentially just a return label authorized either by Fedex (in the event it is delivered without a signature), or by the shipper (acknowledged and paid)--I've also been told that after 30-45 days after delivery without a signature, they require a call tag authorized by the shipper. It seems silly to me, really. It just makes the tracking process more difficult in the rare event that I need to refuse a package and dispute that charge--using a single tracking# (as USPS/UPS do) makes the process so much cleaner.


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Jan 17, 2013 20:54 |  #710

I can vouch pretty much for the airplane stuff you mentioned Kirk. I used to work at O'hare in Chicago for one of the bigger carriers there and on slow days I would drive my vehicle over to the Fed Ex tarmac and watch them load those planes. It's quite an impressive process with the container loaders raising and lowering at the loading doors on both sides of the planes. The MD-11's were quite popular back in 2000 - 2005. I don't know what they use now at O'hare. They would have 7 - 10 planes loading at once and this was starting at around 9:00 PM (I worked the 2nd shift) ad they would go all through the night. Quite an impressive operation. UPS also did this as well.


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Jan 17, 2013 21:59 |  #711

Kirk I mentioned weight and I am talking in house package weights not shipment weight with fed ex or ups. When items are in house weight is monitored upon arrival and upon the packaging process to make sure someone didn't slip in a brick into something and pass it off as original contents. Companies couldnt afford to keep having customers try to pass scams onto them in terms of monetary loss and in terms of sending out bricks or wood or paper as ps3's, cameras, DVD players to unsuspecting honest buyers. My company works closely with amazon for example and they were getting flooded with people buying stuff pulling out the contents and returning the items as " unopened" filled with junk. Think about The loss these places were taking on the bottom line with this bullcrap. We developed one very intelligent monitoring software that cut this down by a vast percentage, not only weight, but density, and customer analytics monitor this stuff with some intense processing power. You have to do this because everyone and their mother wants something for free and will go to all ends to do so . Of course this doesn't happen for tshirts, toothpaste, and your everyday inexpensive item but best believe with thousand upon thousand dollar electronic equipment it is monitored and monitored and double monitored. You won't stay in business long shipping boxes with plywood in leu of electronics no matter who you are.




  
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Jan 17, 2013 22:27 |  #712

MOkoFOko wrote in post #15502668 (external link)
Can we really just take onsite tours of a fedex facility in the dead of the night?

Regarding the rest, all looks accurate from what I've gathered--the only thing I wasn't aware of was the frequency with which they weigh packages. Every Fedex/UPS location I've frequented has weighed packages upon acceptance. Now I know this is not the case in the event of a pickup by a driver. I also wasn't sure if packages were reweighed at various stops while in transit. Guess not.

One thing you didn't comment on--to have a witness--would be to ask the driver to have the package held at the nearest facility for pickup, where you would be able to open the package in the presence of whoever is on duty. I actually did that in one instance. And it should work even if a signature is required.

Regarding the "call tag" process that Fedex is so well-known for: I don't see why it's necessary. UPS and USPS don't do it. A refused delivery goes back to the shipper, and the shipper ends up getting charged for BOTH legs of the shipping process. Call tag is essentially just a return label authorized either by Fedex (in the event it is delivered without a signature), or by the shipper (acknowledged and paid)--I've also been told that after 30-45 days after delivery without a signature, they require a call tag authorized by the shipper. It seems silly to me, really. It just makes the tracking process more difficult in the rare event that I need to refuse a package and dispute that charge--using a single tracking# (as USPS/UPS do) makes the process so much cleaner.

Finally read this whole thread, and I guess for a while there, FedEx was third, and 'wood' was second...

I'm not 100% sure you can do tours during peak operating times. The only times I was there in Memphis was when I was 'jump-seating' (free flights for employees anywhere they fly, like what Tom Hanks was doing in Castaway), which put me there during peak operating hours. I think I remember seeing a tour group, but it may have been a private tour for a large shipper. I know you can get a tour during the day (or you used to be able to before 9/1). I also think I recall someone mentioning to me that they did a middle of the night tour at FedEx.

Yeah, the counters weigh everything, but not the drivers.

The idea to change to a HAL (Hold At Location) would definitely allow for a witness, but even then you would have to accept delivery of the package. Also, some shippers (see Helen's reference to their shipping policies) will not allow for a redirect of the package, which includes converting to a HAL.

I really can't speak for the USPS or UPS systems, but in FedEx, that tracking number is key. Once it's delivered, if it goes back into the system, it will probably be delivered to the same address, so a new tracking number needs to be assigned to it. Drivers don't have the ability to generate a tracking number linked to a specific account. They can generate one if they receive payment (cash, credit card, or FedEx Acct #), but I don't think they do the 'Bill Recipient' option anymore. I'm sure there is a better explanation as to why they don't do call tags like the others.

As for FedEx operations in general, it truly is an amazing thing. Everything is calculated down to the second, and it really like a complex symphony when it all is happening. I know that UPS/FedEx/USPS drivers/carriers get a lot of crap when a video shows one of them throwing a monitor over a fence or the like, but when you think of the overall picture of how many MILLIONS of packages are successfully delivered EVERY day without a hitch, I think they all do an excellent job. As with any company, there are bad eggs, but the magnitude of what takes place to get you your package at any of the 3 is simply astounding.

All I know is... I get a retirement check from them in less then 20 years from now! :)


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Jan 17, 2013 22:28 |  #713

ten2376 - Got it. :-)


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Jan 17, 2013 22:42 |  #714

KirkS518 wrote in post #15503080 (external link)
Finally read this whole thread, and I guess for a while there, FedEx was third, and 'wood' was second...

I'm not 100% sure you can do tours during peak operating times. The only times I was there in Memphis was when I was 'jump-seating' (free flights for employees anywhere they fly, like what Tom Hanks was doing in Castaway), which put me there during peak operating hours. I think I remember seeing a tour group, but it may have been a private tour for a large shipper. I know you can get a tour during the day (or you used to be able to before 9/1). I also think I recall someone mentioning to me that they did a middle of the night tour at FedEx.

Yeah, the counters weigh everything, but not the drivers.

The idea to change to a HAL (Hold At Location) would definitely allow for a witness, but even then you would have to accept delivery of the package. Also, some shippers (see Helen's reference to their shipping policies) will not allow for a redirect of the package, which includes converting to a HAL.

I really can't speak for the USPS or UPS systems, but in FedEx, that tracking number is key. Once it's delivered, if it goes back into the system, it will probably be delivered to the same address, so a new tracking number needs to be assigned to it. Drivers don't have the ability to generate a tracking number linked to a specific account. They can generate one if they receive payment (cash, credit card, or FedEx Acct #), but I don't think they do the 'Bill Recipient' option anymore. I'm sure there is a better explanation as to why they don't do call tags like the others.

As for FedEx operations in general, it truly is an amazing thing. Everything is calculated down to the second, and it really like a complex symphony when it all is happening. I know that UPS/FedEx/USPS drivers/carriers get a lot of crap when a video shows one of them throwing a monitor over a fence or the like, but when you think of the overall picture of how many MILLIONS of packages are successfully delivered EVERY day without a hitch, I think they all do an excellent job. As with any company, there are bad eggs, but the magnitude of what takes place to get you your package at any of the 3 is simply astounding.

All I know is... I get a retirement check from them in less then 20 years from now! :)

That's too bad--touring a facility in the dead of the night would be fun, from a photographic perspective. That's not something the typical person gets shots of. Maybe Fedex took notice of the fact that the only people up in the dead of the night are stoners and drunks, and decided it wasn't worth the effort :)

I can certainly see them refusing to hold a package that doesn't require a signature--why should they take the extra step when they're allowed to drop it and be done with it?--I have successfully put in requests to have packages held for pickup instead of going through with the initial delivery attempt. In the event of a signature though, they don't have much choice--either they proceed with 3 consecutive days of failed deliveries (at which point it ends up at the nearest hold location anyhow), or they just follow through on the request to hold. They're not allowed to mark it as a "refused delivery" just because I tell them I'd rather sign for the package in a physical store, right?

I see where you're going at with the returned package simply ending back at the "ship to" address--but I also don't see why it has to be like that. USPS and UPS are able to successfully reroute back without the need for a new label--seen it done, as I've been on the receiving end :) Not fun eating so many shipping charges, but I'd rather have something back than have it lost in transit.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:00 as a reply to  @ MOkoFOko's post |  #715

Man this thread has gotten boring.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:02 |  #716

rrblint wrote in post #15503206 (external link)
Man this thread has gotten boring.

Yeah, i just unsubscribed, as it's become a FedEx tutorial.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:05 |  #717

1Tanker wrote in post #15503214 (external link)
Yeah, i just unsubscribed, as it's become a FedEx tutorial.

Yup. It was like a kid was having fun then the parents walked in.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:10 as a reply to  @ ten2376's post |  #718

Hardly surprised by the Dell customer service treatment.

I thought I had never bought from Dell, but then I remembered.

Serveral years ago I was tasked with buying an Alienware laptop for my dad, this was when Alienware was already owned by Dell. A few hours after purchasing it, my Nextel rings, and I answered. It was a guy from Dell, I asked him to call me in 15 minutes because I was in an area with poor reception (and I was also sitting on my porcelain throne with my pants around my ankles), he said "Sir, you don't understand, this is a very important call from Dell Computer", and I tried to explain to him that I could barely hear him and was busy, he kept insisting that it was "A very important call from Dell Computer", and essentially told me that if I didn't take the call, the order was going to be cancelled (this was to verify addresses and such, since the computer was being shipped to a different address). Since this purchase wasn't for me, and I figured it was in my best interest to just answer the damn questions (after asking Raj to repeat the questions like 5 times each because I couldn't hear) instead of explaining to my dad why they cancelled the order, but had that been a computer for me, I would have told him to either call me in 15 minutes or cancel it. Honestly, I don't feel that a company that I'm buying a $3000 dollar computer from should be telling me to take a call at their convenience or else they are canceling the order.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with Dell. I do have 2 Dell notebooks but that's because my school only buys from them, and I got those computers for like $40 a piece at a surplus sale, but I'm not a fan of their customer service.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:26 |  #719

1Tanker wrote in post #15503214 (external link)
Yeah, i just unsubscribed, as it's become a FedEx tutorial.

Well boo hoo. That's what you get for running out of woody puns.


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Jan 17, 2013 23:27 |  #720

RHChan84 wrote in post #15503219 (external link)
Yup. It was like a kid was having fun then the parents walked in.

Go to the 2am thread then.


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