A couple of years ago I called on an international e-commerce company I had done business with throughout my years at FedEx. The company was growing and I re-engaged with Francisco, their main Operations lead in their team. We caught up on old times and quickly got into business discussions. They had switched their business to UPS and were very happy with them.
“Francisco, our thousands of customers are very happy with 71lbs and the refunds we provide to them,” I started. “What refunds are you talking about, Jose? UPS doesn’t have any refunds! I know, we have been shipping with them for years now…” Francisco replied.
I was caught in a situation of explaining to a prospective customer that UPS does indeed have refunds for late delivery shipments, incorrect invoice charges, and lost/damaged claims.
The key was how to tell Francisco, without making him feel like UPS had not been forthright with them for years.
"Francisco, the UPS Guaranteed Service Refund Policy, GSR for short, has been around for years. Let me send you a link to the UPS website where UPS describes this policy." which is what I sent Francisco and displayed below.
Francisco is not alone. Over 70% of the prospective companies we talk to are not aware of the UPS GSR policy. FedEx calls their policy Money-Back-Guarantee or MBG for short, and displayed below.
Needless to say, Francisco was surprised to learn about this policy after so many years of doing business with UPS. He was glad to learn about it now, and was willing to put a process in place to get his company’s due refunds back into their bottom line. After countless months (11 to be exact!) of sharing the UPS policy with Francisco’s team in the US and his international headquarters, we were able to get the green light to go. The first week we gave Francisco and his team over $14,000 in refunds! Below is the Weekly Refund email we sent Francisco, with masked details for obvious reasons.
Francisco calls me when he receives this email and asks me “Jose, I think I got a phishing or spam email or something. It says we got $14,000 in refunds. Something is not right, right?” “The email is 100% accurate. You can see your UPS.com account number, with your detailed tracking numbers of the refunds.” I explained. “WOW, I had no idea we were leaving this much money on the table, Why didn’t we start doing this before?” Francisco questioned. I really wanted to say “that’s what we’ve been trying to ask you to do for 11 months!!” But instead I told him that companies have their own processes and procedures, and their own pace to make decisions. In our case, we are very fortunate that our credibility in the market allows new companies to immediately sign up and get started with their refunds, as we have other companies that take a bit longer to feel comfortable.
So what’s the latest with Francisco? We have given his company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in refunds, and continue to be happy with our service. To the absolute definition of gratitude, Francisco and his team have referred us several new customers, which we are so delighted to serve. Persistence pays off.