The carriers don’t make it easy to detect issues and apply for refunds, and that’s no coincidence. Let Refund Retriever handle this for you, and if we don’t get you any money back, you won’t owe us a thing!

First of all, you have a time limit to claim a service guarantee failure:

  • FedEx: within 15 calendar days of the invoice date.
  • UPS: within 15 calendar days from the schedule delivery date.

Q: Don’t the carriers offer software to help make sure shipments are on time?

No. In fact, look at the License Agreement for UPS Worldship Software. This part sticks out, particularly. It states:

… you must accept the fact that the software will not provide the information needed to determine a late shipment.

Next, this is from the Terms & Conditions in the registration for UPS OnLine Tools:

(6) You agree that the Information is insufficient for purposes of determining whether adjustments or guaranteed service refunds are due. Accordingly, You agree that shipping data in addition to the Information will be required to obtain a guaranteed service refund, any other adjustment or refund against UPS service fees or for reconciliation of invoices for UPS services. For further information on the procedure for service refunds please consult the Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipment.

Q: Can I get refunds at any time?

No. As mentioned above, there’s just about 2 weeks to get refunds on late packages, and other issues have other time-frames. Many times, if you’ve already paid for the shipments, it’s much more difficult to get refunds. To help you out, see this tip about when is best to pay the carrier invoices.

As you know the carriers do deliver a majority of the packages on-time. In order to even begin you must have access to an organized list of packages and tracking numbers that are within the time limits.

All carriers have made the extremely simple task of comparing the Actual Delivery Date and Time against the Estimated Delivery Date and Time (EDT), mind-numbingly complex.

In reality, you must have a minimum of three date/time pairs per tracking number. An EDT is valid only if the actual shipping date is the same date the package was shipped. Hint: the “ship date” on your bill is a “could be ship date” and only indicates the “billing info” date. In practice, sometimes you will not find either of these dates!

  1. Online tracking is only place to go to obtain an actual ship date. Being optimistic, we will use the “billing info” date and go to online tracking as the last step. Now having the three date/time pairs, we monitored the shipment until delivery or EDT has expired.
  2. If a possible late delivery is detected, we go to online tracking information in the next step.
  3. If we find the actual ship date is not the same ship date we used for calculating the EDT, we must get a new EDT. To gather the required information to calculate a new EDT, by hand and depending on the carrier, can now take a lot of time.
  4. Having a valid EDT and if we still have a late delivery, the next step is to review the activities in transit for exceptions that do void the service guarantee.
  5. In addition to given tracking information all carriers can have additional information, not listed within the online tracking activities, which will also void the service guarantee (e.g. FedEx thunder storms), we continue to the next step.
  6. We can dispute the charge to obtain a refund.
  7. That action produces one of four outcomes: accept, denied, or pending
  8. If the dispute is accepted, you are done.
  9. If denied, the response could be a valid reason (ie. weather) or be completely vague like not eligible for service guarantee with no reason why.
  10. If the denial is questionable or wrong (UPS does claim on-time delivery stating delivery as the same day it was shipped) a phone call argument with a friendly customer service representative is required.
  11. If it is pending, we must monitor the outcome of the dispute for denial or acceptance.

Remember there is a time limit, so don’t get busy or forget. You just might miss a bonanza refund opportunity like the “late train” delay with umpteen packages on it.