Fed Ex Has No Love
Some of you may recall the Symposium Beer we brewed for the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) several years ago. The event was held in the bay area back in mid-2009. All the ingredients for the beer were donated by different companies and we brewed and bottled the beer.
Anheuser Busch donated a pallet of 22 oz. bottles and shipped them, via Fed Ex shipping, to us in Alpine from St. Louis. We signed a bill of lading and went about our business. We received a shipping bill a couple of weeks later for around $3,500 for the pallet of bottles. A normal shipping charge at the time would have usually been around $300.
I was extremely concerned and called only to be told I wasn’t the shipper so I couldn’t do anything. So, I called AB and spoke with the appropriate person and thought I had things settled. I sent and received several emails from various people from AB, Fed Ex and other involved parties. After several months of inactivity, we started getting collections phone calls and letters. Collection calls continued for about a year, then we were hit on our credit rating, very disturbing.
The very first contact with Fed Ex and several occasions thereafter, the entire project was explained to the people from Fed Ex about how every company involved had donated their wares or services for the AHA. They declined every opportunity to turn this into something positive for anyone. We almost closed our doors as a result.
Their latest involves shipping beer from Alpine to a Vermont Brewery. We shipped a couple of 5 gallon kegs back to Hill Farmstead Brewery for their employee party with a future exchange down the road.
The kegs made it all the way to New Hampshire where they were x-rayed and held up as “illegal alcohol.” Both Alpine Beer and Hill Farmstead have legal rights to ship between the two companies but Fed Ex requires special paperwork.
I shipped the kegs from a Post Annex so no paperwork is available there. We, both Shaun Hill and I were willing and able to provide any necessary license information they required but no one person would hear our case. We pleaded, we begged, explained how it was not illegal for the two entities to ship beer to each other, with no results. Many supervisors were consulted.
So, the beer was shipped 99% of the destination and will be shipped all the way back. The exact same thing happened to Lost Abbey.
Please reconsider using any of the Fed Ex empire of businesses.