FedEx ordered to pay woman $740 after horse semen delivery delay

Being a part of the modern world, we all know the issues that come with ordering online. Luckily, in recent years websites like Amazon have grown to such a monumental size you can buy pretty much anything on there, without the worry of getting scammed or ripped off in any way.

I'm glad that I can order something and get it the next day, but when you start looking for cheaper or more obscure things on eBay and other similar websites, you can end up having a much worse experience. Plenty of times I have thought I had a great deal online only to have a product delivered that is completely different to what I expected, and sometimes it just hasn't arrived at all.

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Now that we've gotten used to next-day delivery too, we have become increasingly impatient with these things. I get frustrated with deliveries that are two or three days late, despite the fact that even 10 years ago I wouldn't have been able to get it this way at all.

The kind of products I'm talking about are DVDs, books and so on, but that's not the only kind of thing people are buying online. Opening up the doors to fast service delivery means that there are a plethora of things people are looking to buy. For instance: horse semen.

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Chelsea McKendrick, a woman based in Nova Scotia, ordered an overnight shipment of horse semen for her mare. It was urgent as she wanted to get the horse pregnant, so timing was everything. Back in May last year, when she ordered it from a farm in British Columbia, she entrusted it to FedEx, assuming they would follow through on its "priority overnight" service.

Alas, the package arrived a day later, and so the frozen product was too late for it to be used. The supplier told McKendrick that this happened with two other shipments on the same date, so decided not to use the service again. Strangely enough, all of this ended up going to court.

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At the small claims hearing earlier this month they reached a final decision, and McKendrick was awarded $740 for her late semen. An operations manager for FedEx tried to argue that they haven't been keeping the overnight promise since 2015, but the adjudicator wasn't having any of it. He said that the change was buried in a large block of terms and conditions in a tiny font on the website, which none of us really read:

"I do not think that the supplier of a service can negate an express representation contained in the very name of the service it offers by burying a caveat to that representation somewhere on its website."

The company commits to two-day delivery for items sent coast-to-coast, but they didn't exactly tell everyone that they're service had changed. Two days isn't too long to wait, but sometimes you just need that shipment of horse semen the next day. We've all been there.