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Thinking of taking FedEx to small claims court - any advice?

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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 10, 2009
76 posts
7 upvotes

Thinking of taking FedEx to small claims court - any advice?

I'll try to make this short. I shipped my phone to HTC for a warranty repair. They shipped it back, however I never received the package. So for the last two months I've been arguing with HTC and FedEx to file a claim. Basically, since HTC shipped it, they had to file a claim. They refused to though, since FedEx said they delivered the package. Problem is, it's clear that FedEx didn't deliver the package. The package had the wrong signature (and I can show my license as proof and that of anyone in the household). In addition, my tracking info said my package was delivered to front desk/receptionist. I live in a house. So I argued with HTC and FedEx for two months until I was able to file my own. They sent me the forms and everything. However, shortly after this I received a phone call from FedEx. They said they changed their minds and they aren't going to do anything. They basically said 'we got a signature, so we don't care (even if it isn't yours). If you don't like it, sue us.'

So, I want to take them to court. They phone itself was $700, which is quite a bit for me since I am a student. The package itself was insured for $500. I've read up on the small claims court and it looks like it'll cost me about $100 to file a claim. Do I have a chance of winning? Or am I wasting my time? And does anyone have any advice?
27 replies
Deal Addict
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Jan 31, 2010
1723 posts
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Barrie
I can't comment on your chance of winning, but I do know that if you win you can get your costs back.

Good luck, I hope you do win something back, that really sucks :(
[OP]
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Apr 10, 2009
76 posts
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chickibum wrote: I can't comment on your chance of winning, but I do know that if you win you can get your costs back.

Good luck, I hope you do win something back, that really sucks :(

Do you know how long these things usually take?
Member
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Jun 2, 2008
487 posts
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I am not a lawyer, however I suggest you process a claim against them. This will cost FedEx way more in lawyer fee's etc to fight than it would for them to just settle for the amount you are asking for. Plus, depending on where you live they will have to send their lawyer to your town since thats where the claim is being processed. Sometimes the threat of a lawsuit is enough for a company that big to just back down.

HOWEVER, they may be hard assed and take you to task on your suit. Based on your evidence I would say you have a good case against them, however who knows what sort of high power lawyers they have on retainer to fight it. If it were me, I would file the claim but you might be best advised to speak to a lawyer about your case ahead of time.

EDIT: Didn't realize you were not in Ontario. I only have experience in Ontario...sorry
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Jan 31, 2010
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panzival wrote: Do you know how long these things usually take?

I'm not sure about Edmonton, in Ontario things can take a little while. However I think within 90 days (IIRC) of filing a claim parties are required to attend mediation to see if they can resolve the issue before going to court (again this is in Ontario).
Deal Guru
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Mar 8, 2002
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GTA
chickibum wrote: I can't comment on your chance of winning, but I do know that if you win you can get your costs back.

Good luck, I hope you do win something back, that really sucks :(

And if he loses, does he have to pay thousands for their lawyers?
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Jan 31, 2010
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Hugh Jass wrote: And if he loses, does he have to pay thousands for their lawyers?

Costs doesn't include legal representation, its for things like the cost to file the claim
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 10, 2009
76 posts
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chickibum wrote: Costs doesn't include legal representation, its for things like the cost to file the claim

So worst case scenario, I pay for the cost to file? I've read up on the Alberta website and that's what I'm getting from it.
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panzival wrote: So worst case scenario, I pay for the cost to file? I've read up on the Alberta website and that's what I'm getting from it.

Thats what I'm thinking, but i'm not 100%. You should give the court a call on Monday, they are usually pretty helpful and should be able to tell you how it works better than anyone here. But yeah, thats how it seems.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
20729 posts
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Waterloo, ON
panzival wrote: So, I want to take them to court. They phone itself was $700, which is quite a bit for me since I am a student. The package itself was insured for $500. I've read up on the small claims court and it looks like it'll cost me about $100 to file a claim. Do I have a chance of winning? Or am I wasting my time? And does anyone have any advice?
Google is your friend. Note that this includes videos, flowcharts, FAQs, forms, etc. — basically all the information you'll need.

As for your chances of success, from what you wrote in the OP I'd say it's pretty good. You might want to read FedEx's terms and conditions so as to be aware of what limitations and weasel clauses they have. You may also want to explore if it's possible to include HTC in your suit since they're the ones who entrusted your phone to FedEx. But in any case it seems that you have a good case.
veni, vidi, Visa
Member
Nov 30, 2009
459 posts
143 upvotes
If you lose, you pay everything it cost them to defend themselves. If you win they pay your costs.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 10, 2009
76 posts
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Another question for anyone, but would I have trouble suing them because of the fact that I'm receiving the package? I know that for a month and a half FedEx basically ignored me and refused to deal with me since it was HTC that sent the package. And HTC refuses to do anything as well.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
20729 posts
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Waterloo, ON
panzival wrote: Another question for anyone, but would I have trouble suing them because of the fact that I'm receiving the package?
That's why I suggested "You may also want to explore if it's possible to include HTC in your suit since they're the ones who entrusted your phone to FedEx." Usually in civil suits you can name more than one party. You may want to read up on the AB SCC site to see if this is possible in this case.

In effect your position is that you entrusted the phone to HTC. They're responsible for returning it to you. You didn't get it so it's up to HTC and FedEx to compensate you. How they decide to split the cost is a matter between them, not you.

You mentioned you're a student. Is there a legal aid department at a local university that can advise you about whether to name HTC only, FedEx only, or both?
veni, vidi, Visa
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Oct 26, 2008
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BC
chickibum wrote: Costs doesn't include legal representation, its for things like the cost to file the claim
panzival wrote: So worst case scenario, I pay for the cost to file? I've read up on the Alberta website and that's what I'm getting from it.

I would think most provinces do it the same way - it is up to the Judge to award costs and she chooses what she thinks is an appropriate level from some set categories.

So worst case is definitely more than cost to file - it could be quite a bit more than that (if you end up losing the case).

Sometimes costs are shared or effectively cancelled out.

I agree that you have a good case, and should file, but don't underestimate the potential costs to you in time and money.
(Same for FedEx, but they have trained people to do that, and the money to risk.)
Banned
Sep 22, 2008
8322 posts
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I would strongly suggest you have all records, proof and what ever evidence you have ready for your court hearing.
This will be a good advantage for you.
No proof no money.

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