On Sun the 21st of Nov. 2004, I ordered a hoodie from a website called Neighborhoodies.com. They allow their clothing to be customised fully, including such things as pictures, fonts, logos etc. According to the confirmation e-mail received from Neighborhoodies, it was “1 x Zipperless () = $66.99”, with a separate tally for the shipping: “FedEx Shipping: $26.95”, coming to a total of: “$93.94”. I had paid for shipping through the website and it should be noted that I did not choose FedEx as my delivery service but the website dealt with them.
According to the same e-mail, I would have to wait approximately “2 to 3 weeks” for my goods.
Tues the 7th of December 2004, at 08:09:00, my order arrived. My father signed for the package and received it without complications or warning of credit owed.
But on the 17th of January 2005, an invoice notice dated 3rd January arrived, stating that I owed €73.80, for duty and tax. At the time I was adamant that this was a mistake, such a large amount of money after I had already paid a shipping charge. So, that evening I wrote an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org querying the charges and how they were presented to me.
But in the e-mail, I made a mistake transcribing the invoice number. Within twenty-four hours I had received a reply asking me to check and send the correct one. I did so and then waited impatiently for a response, which did not appear until the 4th of Feb, two weeks later. They were apologetic for their delayed reply but after being so quick to retort at first, I was not appeased.
In the e-mail, they explained each charge in detail, including a quick breakdown. It became clear that my problem was not with the charges, as they were lawful, but with how the charges were presented to me.
I responded immediately, on the same day, clarifying my own problems with the ordeal including:
Why I was taxed on the money paid for shipping?
Why did they not collect at the door and instead send an invoice over one month after I had my product?
But before I received an e-mail reply, an overdue invoice notice came in the mail, dated the 7th of February 2005. This notice spurred me to take more immediate action as corresponding by e-mail was proving fruitless and too slow.
So, on the 9th of February 2005 at 17:30:00, I rang the number given and was told the "Total amount cleared, nothing owed".
But on the 3rd of March 2005, almost an entire month after the phone call that finalised the situation, I received a reply to my last e-mail, again detailing each charge and explaining whom to contact if I still had a problem.
Almost two full months had passed since I first made an enquiry into these charges, but FedEx customer service had sent only four e-mails. I did not get the impression, despite the language of the e-mails, that they were serious in helping me rectify the problem to my satisfaction. It also became obvious that FedEx seemed to lack internal communication among departments. I replied to their last e-mail informing them what they should already know, my account was clear. Although I have not received an explanation for why this was from anyone within FedEx.