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Watch Out for Waivers!

Feb 28, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Why be wary of waivers? Because they can be a carrier’s way of making sure they save money while their customers lose it. Here’s how the trick works, and how your business can beat it.

Unscrupulous carrier waivers have been on our radar for years at 71lbs. It’s an old trick, and we’ve covered in our previous articles how both FedEx and UPS tried pulling it in the past. Sadly, this tactic hasn’t fallen out of fashion.

You may ask why any shipping department would willingly waive their customer rights. These waivers are buried in lengthy contract/service agreements and designed to rob businesses of their right to a refund when carriers don’t perform as promised.

Waivers are aptly named because if a shipper doesn’t understand how carriers apply them, they can wave goodbye to a fair service. Here’s what to be wary of, and why your business should never sign any form of carrier waiver before consulting with the 71lbs team.

How waivers work

There are several ways businesses can fall foul of these. As we just mentioned, waivers hidden in service-agreement small print is one way carriers sneak them in. Another is when a carrier tries to present a waiver as if it’s in your best interest. They may try to tempt shippers with discounted rates or other magic beans provided they waive their right to a late delivery refund.

Upon closer inspection, these “deals” often prove to be anything but. Businesses find they’re being offered discounts in areas which will save them far less money than regular late delivery refunds. Worse, these discounts may be in areas you will never use.

Waivers should never be signed without an experienced shipping professional on your side. No matter how a carrier hides it or dresses it up, waivers should almost never be accepted. It’s the carrier’s way of absolving themselves of blame, lowering their service standard and stealing your right to a refund.

Another carrier tactic is making discounts limited-time offers. They may be good for months, perhaps a year, but then their benefits evaporate. Waivers, however, have a nasty habit of being long-term. Carriers have no qualms about raising service costs year after year while asking customers to require less and less of the service.

This is a one-sided arrangement where only carriers win. Even businesses too savvy to fall for waivers may find themselves losing money month after month while the carrier profits.

Why catching waivers isn’t the end of the work


Carriers don’t contact shippers to confess that they didn’t get a delivery there on time. The constant work of keeping tabs on carrier performance still lies with the shipper — if you don’t catch your carrier dropping the ball, you may never know they did.

Remember: Deliveries late by even one minute entitle businesses to a refund. It only seems like nothing if a carrier delivers 30 minutes or an hour late. Businesses may be happy to say, “At least it got there on the right day,” but it’s their carrier who’s happiest.

The carrier got away with breaking their guaranteed service agreement. The full refund of shipping charges that a business could have claimed stays in the carrier’s pocket. Even the most diligent shipping departments willing to chase their rights face exhaustive refund processes that suck time, productivity and ultimately money from the business.

Greet great savings with 71lbs

Team with us and that last paragraph is no longer your problem. The 71lbs team of shipping advocates does all of this for you, from watching out for waivers to chasing down every possible refund opportunity. We take care of all the hard work and credit whatever money your business is owed directly back into your shipping account. We’re monthly fee-free and only get paid if you do.

Sure, your carrier may offer you a few percent savings here or there in return for signing a waiver, but why waste money? Teaming up with us means you’ll get to keep carriers accountable and potentially save much more than any discount they could offer.

Over 5,000 customers are already saving month after month with 71lbs. They’re reaping the benefits of our shipping insight to become more efficient than ever, and you could too.

At 71lbs, we focus on two things: a) helping customers save money on shipping, and b) helping customers understand their shipping costs. We provide refunds and savings on shipping insurance, freight and imports, among other benefits. Our automated dashboard displays easy-to-understand shipping costs and insights, so you can make better business decisions. Drop by the contact page to get in touch!

Topics: carrier waivers, late deliveries

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