Shooting yourself in the foot…

It is utterly amazing how a company will spend millions promoting its services or products and then do or allow some deceptive activity that invalidates their reputation.

FEDEX did something yesterday that would make me hesitate before ever using them to ship something important…their tracking report contained falsified data.

I have been waiting for a critical shipment of parts for a commissioned project. I have been tracking the shipment on the internet and it was scheduled for delivery yesterday, December 14. It wasn’t delivered and no FEDEX truck ever came down our quiet street.

Today, the FEDEX truck went by without stopping and I got on the computer to find that the tracking report said that the package had been left at the front door on December 14th. After checking with the neighbors, I called the parts manufacturer and cancelled my order because I had to buy the parts locally.

Hours later, a FEDEX truck rolled up with my shipment. I asked the driver why the tracking report showed that delivery had already occurred. He said, without a moment’s pause, "They do that to fix things up so they look right."

Whether the company lied or he lied, I will never believe a FEDEX
tracking report again unless FEDEX clears the matter up for me.

I
emailed the parts manufacturer and told them they should reconsider
their choice of shipping company. I would be highly unlikely to ever
consider using FEDEX over UPS unless I hear that the matter was dealt
with properly.

There are a lot of elements that go into a successful business and
there is a hierarchy of importances that must be observed if the
company is to survive. It is amazing that anyone gets it right, but
many do so and they are to be commended.

Here are some companies that get the financial bits right, but their
customer or employee interface is so badly designed that it will
eventually result in their downfall.

McWane and Electronic Arts offer extreme examples of financial performance at the expense of employee lives and sanity.  Verio is one of the clueless ISPs with a domain renewal policy that almost guarantees customer dissatisfaction.

FEDEX has been taking business from UPS by offering lower rates.
Their action on this one shipment caused this customer to stick with
UPS from now on. If they do this often, their demise is assured. If
they address it correctly, it can actually end up in their favor.

Micro-business owners are usually more responsive to customer
concerns, but even they can fall into the trap of altering the truth
when it comes to promising deliveries or owning up to mistakes.

Deception is poison to a business relationship or any relationship.
It is an attempt to hide wrongdoing. Handle the wrongdoing and clean up
the communication lines and life and business will do much better.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Promise only what you can deliver,
and deliver what you promise. It actually makes life much simpler, for
you and for your customers.

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