Death of a brand: Federal Express

There was a time when Federal Express was the gold standard for delivery of essential papers and packages, but those days have been replaced by hourly employees who don’t give a damn and by a customer service center in India whom I often can’t understand.

I sell many things online, and when I pay a premium to ship to FedEx, I expect a premium level of service. Recently I shipped a piece of audio equipment to someone in Seattle that arrived in pieces. I filed a claim with the FedEx customer service representative online. I was surprised when FedEx sent me an email saying “the case was closed” because I had not submitted the documentation. Keep in mind I was never informed of ANY required documentation.

Then there are the notifications that I’m getting a package that never shows up. This happens more often, so I ask that shippers not use FedEx. FedEx isn’t delivering in a challenging economy, which has Wall Street worried.

Because of the pandemic, FedEx took some of its aircraft out of service and scaled back Sunday delivery. On top of that, it intends to close almost 100 retail locations and, like many companies right now, it plans to press pause on hiring until the economic uncertainty around the world clears up. They also laid off people and replaced them with hourly workers with little training.

By cutting costs so profoundly, the CEO is killing the FedEx brand. I’m reading horror stories about problems with FedEx shipping from everywhere. One person sent their daughter a present for their first anniversary that showed up late and in a crushed box.

Too many brands make the mistake of laying off people who won’t affect their brand, but they’re wrong. Twitter is a shell of itself after over 5,000 layoffs, and trying to get a customer service person on the phone who speaks perfect English is impossible.

In the meantime, Apple’s customer service people answer the phone quickly and are willing to walk you through any issues.

The CEO of FedEx needs to be replaced immediately. Under his failed leadership, FedEx stock has taken a bearing, and employee morale has disappeared. From a marketer’s standpoint, the brand is taking a huge betting on which it will never recover, which is unforgivable.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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