What Does “Refused by Recipient” Mean in FedEx?

Fedex Parcel

In FedEx, “refused by recipient” stands for refusal of the package by the consignee or receiver for several reasons. Have you ever dispatched an item that was refused or lost in transit, and you ended up paying additional fees?

Such situations are like nightmares. Let us learn what causes delays in FedEx delivery, why customers return packages, and what problem arises at that time.


Foul mood, additional expenses, and sheer waste of time are the outcomes of the FedEx package refusal by the recipient.

What is “refused by recipient”? The customer refuses a package. But why does such a situation arise? It is due to the delays caused by:

  • harsh weather conditions
  • inadequate documentation
  • wrong address specifications
  • lacking performance of the carrier
  • unavailability of the recipient

What if the package reached the recipient yet it was returned? Damaged products, late delivery, and customers not expecting a package are other reasons why a package is “refused by recipient” in FedEx.

If you are new in this business and unable to understand the refusal by the recipient, delve deeper and learn more. From reasons for refusal to how the sender is affected, understand them in this article.

Ways To Refuse a Package

Man Refusing A Parcel

When a consignee refuses to accept a package, the status is “refused by recipient.” How does a recipient refuse a package? You can do it in different ways. Some of them are:

  • Refuse to accept a package by leaving a note to the courier.
  • Call FedEx after the package gets delivered to your door, refuse it, and bring the parcel to the nearest depot.
  • Wait for the courier person to arrive at the specified address, and decline the delivery with a valid reason.
  • If your package delivery requires a signature, refuse to sign or accept the parcel.

Reasons for Refusal by Recipient

Woman Refusing To Receive A Parcel

In recent times, online shopping is not only a trend but also a necessity. The Covid outbreak has led to more and more people turning to shopping online. In this regard, courier services like FedEx play a vital role in the delivery of packages.

Did you know 88% of shoppers are willing to pay for same-day delivery services, and 63% say a guaranteed delivery date is important to them?

Do you think a person wants to wait for a package when they have several options available? Here are some of the reasons that delay a delivery process.

1. Harsh Weather Conditions

Flood Caused By Heavy Rain

Failing delivery commitments lead to declining customer retention, and the weather is one of the reasons behind it. Heavy rainfall or snow can be a huge barrier to your courier partner’s package delivery attempts.

Your delivery is delayed or rescheduled until the next business day. It is a common response from FedEx. In case of failed delivery due to poor weather, none of the parties get eligible for money back from FedEx.

Resetting the delivery date for customers shows your commitment toward them.

2. Inadequate Documentation


The basic documents for domestic deliveries are shipping labels, tracking labels, and commercial invoices. On the other hand, the required documents for international shipping are an origin certificate, shipping label, commercial invoice, export information, trade agreement, and packing list.

If the documents go missing or cannot be verified, the package is held in the distribution facility or by customs. Subsequently, the delivery gets delayed.

3. Wrong Address Specifications

Problematic Woman

Do you know FedEx charges around $13 for correcting a wrong house number or misspelled street name? Yes! A hefty fee gets slapped on you for making such silly mistakes.

However, paying the extra amount doesn’t guarantee on-time delivery. The whole process delays package delivery for an unknown number of days.

4. Unavailability of the Recipient

Unavailable Recipient

There are times when FedEx delivers the package on time, but the recipient is not available to receive it. People often offer to pick up the package from the nearest distribution center or reschedule the delivery time. It’s common.

The problem arises when the delivery is time-sensitive. For example, food or wine delivery needs you to ensure all contents in the package are intact and safe.

On the other hand, a long waiting time due to unavailability can make the customers change their minds about the purchase. They are more likely to return or refuse to accept the order. It may affect your brand loyalty and create a negative delivery experience.

5. Damaged Package

Damaged Package

If the package or the content inside the parcel is damaged, customers refuse to accept it. You can claim a refund when you have valid photo proof.

The recipient can refuse a package stating it’s no longer needed. People often change their minds thinking they can get a better product at a lesser price and refuse or return the package instantly. When it’s damaged, they have better reasons to refuse.

6. Lacking Performance of the Carrier

Confused Seller

What if you never come across any of the above situations, and yet your FedEx shipment gets delayed? Here’s the FedEx policy to claim the entire shipping cost refund as per their money-back guarantee.

All the delivery packages at FedEx are charged a premium and get a full refund when delayed because of poor performance. However, processing it is time-consuming.

The sender is liable to pay for the expenses for all the above situations. Storage fees, taxes, duties to return, and original charges will be shouldered by the sender. FedEx is liable to pay only when the delay in delivery is due to the company’s fault.


There can be any reason for the customer to refuse the package. Once such a thing happens, the sender is informed about the refusal by the recipient. The former then notifies FedEx about what to do with the package and pays for all the additional fees.

Refusal, delays, refunds, and additional fees are part and parcel of every shipping company, sender, and receiver. Yet, choosing one of the trusted like FedEx eases your worries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can FedEx Ship Back to the Sender?

To cancel the delivery and get your package returned, log in to your FedEx account, go to the tracking page, and enter the tracking details. Then, select manage delivery, and finally, return to shipper.

How Much Does FedEx Charge for Returning a Package to the Sender?

The global return label fee is only charged when FedEx receives the return shipment. For a print return label, the cost is US$ 0.50 per shipment. For an email return label, the cost is US$ 1.00. No surcharge is applied when the return label is completely new.

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