If you utilize FedEx Ship to prepare packages, there are changes due later this month. Paul Ranson writes:
"I recently got a call from FedEx informing me that FedEx Ship for the Mac will be discontinued as of 11/30/01. The alternative is to create an account at fedex.com and ship using the Internet. The good news is that the Web site will accept up to 1000 FedEx Ship address book entries. You simply export them via the address book export feature in FedEx ship and upload the resulting text file to the appropriate page on the FedEx Web site.
The bad news takes
After creating an account I was unable to log in. Entering a correct account ID and password and clicking login returned me to the original login page with a blank account ID and password, no error message, just back where I started. Internet Explorer 5 is apparently the only browser that will work, and that's what I was using. A call to tech support (800) 257 0109 sent me to the back door.
I was told to go to the home page (fedex.com/us) and ignore the extremely prominent ">>Login to My FedEx!" button on the left side, and instead use the orange "Ship" tab in the row of tabs to the right of the FedEx logo. This takes one to the FedEx Ship Manager page (different from the My FedEx page) with another member login panel. This one works! This is a known Mac issue according to tech support, and is being fixed.
More bad news: the Web generated printed label. The old FedEx ship labels were cleaner by far, and fit neatly on the FedEx supplied crack and peel labels. After some experimenting I was able to print a Web label by feeding it in upside down and praying the bar codes didn't overprint the label edge.
And yet more bad news: FedEx Ship software would schedule a pickup as part of the ship process and remember the pickup ID number. The Web alternative requires a separate phone call to schedule a pickup, and does not allow for a business closing time. The (pretty nifty) voice recognition pick up phone call ended with the declaration 'Your pickup will be made before 11:59 PM today!.'
Clearly Macintosh users are not the main focus of FedEx software developers."
Update: A reader adds: "This is a complete discontinuation for all desktop versions including Windows. I had the same problems with the online stuff, but eventually got it to work."
Update: Bill Schwartz writes: "You can schedule a courier and specify package location, latest pickup time, etc. directly from the FedEx Web site. There's a button to do so at the bottom of the page from which you print the labels. I do it all the time. It works. I can also confirm the login problems."
Update: Paul Ranson adds: "Although I was also given notice that the non-Mac versions would be discontinued, I've gotten mixed signals overall from FedEx. I was also told a new Windows product called FedEx Ship Manager QuickShip is available directly from account managers and there may or may not be a Mac version at some point."
Update: Gary Robinson writes: "I had the same problems others have reported with the Fedex Web site under IE 5, but it works under Netscape."