A package audit is when carriers or shipping companies, such as FedEx, verify any information about a package that may require adjustments on the shipping charge.
FedEx does package audits; here’s what you need to know about them:
What To Know About FedEx Audits:
During audits, all the information about the package is reviewed to ensure that the customer was billed correctly. Depending on the results of the audit, the invoice may be adjusted. The customer may be asked to pay more to compensate for the adjustment, or some amount may be refunded.
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What Is The Process For FedEx To Audit A Package?
When shipping a package, customers are expected to provide accurate information about the package. This means providing the correct weight and dimensions.
In the shipping industry, the weight and dimensions of a package are two of the main factors that help determine how much it would cost to ship it.
Because of this, FedEx reserves the right to audit any package to check whether the customer has provided accurate information. When an audit is done, the package may be subjected to re-weighing for the carrier to get its correct billable weight.
Here is how the FedEx audit process normally goes:
When a package is picked up by FedEx or dropped off at a store, it may already have a shipping label, meaning that the customer has paid the shipping charges and postage fees in advance.
The package then enters the FedEx system to be processed for shipping. This involves scanning the shipping label, which would, in turn, display all important information about the package, including its weight and dimensions.
If the weight indicated on the shipping label does not seem to match the actual, an audit on the package will be triggered. The audit will involve measuring the package’s actual billable weight and dimensions.
Depending on the audit result, there may be adjustments to the shipping charges paid for by the customer.
The customer may be asked to pay additional fees if the weight is heavier than the indicated weight. FedEx will send a billing statement for the adjustments.
In some cases, the package may be too light for the shipping charges that were paid. If this happens, FedEx may issue a refund to the customer for the amount paid in excess.
You may see an extra charge due to the audit if you check your FedEx billing statement. This charge usually appears as Additional Handling Surcharge.
This is added to the customer’s bill if the package does not conform to FedEx standards or does not match what was indicated on the shipping label.
How Often Does FedEx Audit Packages?
Generally, FedEx expects its customers to provide accurate information about a package when creating a prepaid shipping label. This is why FedEx does not weigh packages upon picking them up.
FedEx does package audits randomly. This is to ensure that the correct shipping charges were applied to packages.
Package audits normally do not happen routinely, but they happen whenever FedEx suspects inconsistencies in the information about a package.
The FedEx website does not explicitly state how often these audits are being done, but you can expect them to do audits randomly as a customer.
This is a way of urging customers to provide accurate information, specifically the weight and dimensions, when generating a prepaid shipping label on the FedEx website so that correct shipping charges would apply.
What Triggers A FedEx Audit Of A Package?
When FedEx picks up a package with a prepaid shipping label, they expect that the package conforms to their standards in terms of weight and dimensions.
Once a package is picked up and brought to the nearest warehouse, its shipping label will be scanned to enter the FedEx system. The scanning device will display all the information about the package, including the weight and dimensions, when the shipping label is scanned.
A FedEx audit can be triggered if the information obtained by scanning the shipping label does not seem to match the actuals.
Right off the bat, a FedEx staff can tell how much a package weighs just by holding it. So if the information shows that the package is supposedly 10 lbs, but it actually feels heavier, then an audit may be triggered.
This would result in FedEx re-weighing and measuring the package to get its correct billable dimensions. A package audit can also result in a delay in delivery.
This is why it’s so important to weigh and measure your package correctly to avoid any delays or issues with your shipping.
Getting the dimensions of your package is easy – you can use a tape measure for this. And if you frequently ship packages, it is good to invest in a postal scale. Otherwise, you can use a kitchen scale to weigh your packages.
What Are The Consequences Of A Failed FedEx Audit?
A failed Fedex package audit means that FedEx has audited a package and found out that it did not conform to their standards or that the exact details do not match what’s indicated on the shipping label.
The primary consequence of a failed FedEx audit is that you would need to pay a fee called Additional Handling Charge or a surcharge.
Here are the common situations that could result in a failed FedEx audit:
- You tried to ship a package with incorrect weight and dimensions.
- You tried to ship a package with missing dimensions that will trigger adjustments on the shipping charges.
- You made a mistake on the recipient address you provided, which may result in the adjustment of shipping fees based on the location.
- The package does not conform to FedEx standards.
A surcharge will apply if the package weighs more than the weight range you paid for when you generated the shipping label. It will also apply if there are missing dimensions.
An Additional Handling Charge if the package does not conform to FedEx standards.
Here are some examples:
- The package measures more than 48 inches along the longest side.
- The package measures more than 30 inches along the second-longest side.
- The package measures more than 105 inches in combined length and girth. The length is two times the height, while the girth is two times the width.
- The package weighs more than 50 lbs. This applies to US Express and Ground Services.
- The package weighs more than 70 lbs. This applies to International Express and Ground Services.
- The package is not fully encased in an outer shipping container.
- The package is encased in an outer shipping container not made of cardboard.
- The package is bound with metal, plastic, or cloth banding.
- The package could become entangled or potentially cause damage to other packages or FedEx equipment.
The Additional Handling Charge generally starts at $14 and can cost as much as $31 per package, which is a pretty hefty amount.
These charges would reflect on your billing statement, and you would need to pay for them. Your package will not be shipped on time if you do not pay for the corrections as soon as they appear on your statement.
If you refuse to pay, your package will be returned.
Ultimately, a failed FedEx audit will cause a delay in your shipping.
Can Shippers Appeal A Failed FedEx Audit?
As a customer, you reserve the right to verify all the charges in your FedEx billing statement, regardless of the amount.
If you have charges on your FedEx billing due to a failed FedEx audit, you can appeal for it by filing a dispute.
Through FedEx Billing Online, you can dispute an invoice. Once you have filed a dispute, FedEx will get back to you in 3 to 5 business days.
Here is how to file a dispute:
- Log in to FedEx Billing Online.
- Go to the ‘Account Summary’ page and select the invoice you want to dispute.
- Go to the ‘Invoice Detail View’ section and click ‘Dispute Invoice.’
- Once you are in the ‘Dispute Entire Invoice’ section, select a reason for the dispute.
- Then click ‘Dispute’ and submit your request.
Take note that any dispute regarding an invoice should be submitted within 30 days from the date the invoice was issued.
In addition, any disputes will only be accepted by FedEx if you include the following details in your request:
- invoice number
- air waybill number
- reasons for the dispute
If any of the information above is missing, then FedEx will not assist you, and you will need to submit your request again.
Once FedEx accepts your request, it will then be reviewed, and you will be contacted regarding the resolution. They could cancel or refund the charge if your request is approved. Do take note that filing a dispute does not automatically guarantee that it will be approved.
While FedEx does its best to ensure that your packages are delivered on time, delays can happen if your package is audited. More so if it fails the audit. FedEx may be forgiving if you fail an audit once, but if it happens a lot, there may be more consequences.
To prevent this, always get the actual weight and dimensions of your package and provide the correct information when generating the shipping label.