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Free Shipping? Some Retailers Promise But Don’t Deliver.

Free shipping is a nice benefit when you shop online. Free shipping on small items is common, but free shipping on larger items such as reception desks, conference tables, and other office furniture is less common. Modern Office offers free shipping on these large items to addresses within the 48 contiguous states as long as they are served by UPS, FedEx, or regularly scheduled freight carriers.

A few weeks ago I talked with a logistics company representative who wanted to obtain more of our shipping business. I told him that we offer free shipping to our customers and that we often ship orders at a loss due to the high cost of shipping, particularly to residential addresses, distant or remote locations such as Key West, FL or small towns in the deserts or mountains, and crowded urban areas such as Manhattan. Since he has worked with many online office furniture retailers I asked him how other companies offer free shipping to these locations without suffering substantial losses. His answer was, “They just don’t ship there!” He said that if the retailer knows that shipping to a particular address for a particular product will result in a loss they just say the product is not available and reject the order. This allows them to continue advertising low prices with free shipping but not suffer the risk of shipping orders at a loss.

So beware when your order with free shipping is rejected by an online retailer. Ask them for the reason. Check to see if the item is still available. If it’s still available, they may have rejected your order just because of the expense of shipping to you. Let them know that you expect them to ship your order with free shipping as advertised.

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