Delivery specialist FedEx has been accused of "systematically" overcharging its business and government clients for nearly a decade, and an internal company message may be the smoking gun to prove it. The email from a FedEx sales executive was unsealed this week as part of a lawsuit against the company claiming that they overcharged for millions of packages over "many years." According to Bloomberg, the email seems to make the whole case pretty cut and dried.
"I have brought this to attention of many people over the past five or six years, including more than one managing director, and no action has been taken to address it,” Alan Elam wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 2, 2011. “My belief is that we are choosing not to fix this issue because it is worth so much money to FedEx,” Elam said in a separate e-mail that day.
The lawsuit alleges that business and government customers were charged more expensive residential delivery rates, even when shipping packages to addresses that were obviously not private homes. (They even charged residential rates for some deliveries to their own corporate headquarters!) The overcharges reached as much as $3 per package, which may not seem like a lot until you multiply it by the hundreds of millions of deliveries the company makes each year. They reportedly delivered 19 million packages just yesterday.
The email in question makes it pretty clear that it was not a harmless mistake, either, as no effort was apparently made to correct the problem. The executive, Elam, even predicted that "This is a huge class-action lawsuit waiting to happen." Now if they win, the plaintiffs could get triple the amount of the overcharges as damages.
Photo by Brian Rosner via Flickr
- Company Legal & Law Matters