DHL Doubles Estimated Charge On Shipment

Luke says DHL estimated his shipment would cost $54.51, but turned around and stuck him with a $114.39 credit card charge. DHL says the package he sent was 9 pounds rather than the 1 pound measurement Luke got while using the scale at the DHL facility.

He writes:

I was given a receipt with an estimate of $54.51. I then got an email from my bank saying that a pending transaction for $62.69 was placed on my card for DHL. I figured it was pretty close to the estimate.

On 10/8 I got an email alert saying that a charge of $114.39 was being charged to my card for DHL. Shocked I called immediately. They said that the weight of the package was really 9 lbs and that is why I was charged more. I told them there is no way it was more than 1 lb. I was told they would open a investigation and that I had to allow approx 10 business days for this to be resolved.

It has been way more then 10 business days and after talking with them again today they say there is nothing I can do but wait.

Shippers beware: DHL can change the weight after it accepts your package and take more money whenever they want.

Should I file a chargeback?

If a shipping company has ever charged you more than it said it would, how did you handle the problem?


Edit Your Comment

  1. NightSteel says:

    Not until the package is delivered. File it now and you’ll probably never see your package again.

  2. Tongsy says:

    Tell them you’ll take your package back and just ship it with another carrier

  3. Grasshopper says:

    Did Luke consider dimensional weight? Most services charge by volume for low density packages.

    • chemmy says:

      FYI, calculate the volume by:
      LxWxH (in inches)
      Divide by 166

      This is the dimensional weight in lbs.

    • dwtomek says:

      Probably this.

    • Zowzers says:

      yup, I was going to ask what the dimensions of the box were.

      chances are thats what he got billed for.

    • chaelyc says:

      Still, even the post office measures your damn box & quotes you for the ACTUAL price of shipping the entire package taking all variables into account. It’s not hard when you’ve got the box @ your counter so I’m not sure how DHL managed to mess this one up.

      • ArmyCats says:

        Maybe they dropped the package in water by accident (read: on purpose) to soak up water, adding 8 pounds to the package!

    • wickedpixel says:

      Seems like to get a dimensional weight of more than $100 just the box by itself would have to weigh more than 1lb.

  4. minjche says:

    I’m just glad he didn’t get changed 9 times the original estimate!

  5. Streakist says:

    Didn’t that company go bankrupt over a year ago?

  6. AquaAmber says:

    Seems like a good thing you paid with a credit card.

  7. ravana says:

    No, I thought they just stopped shipping domestic.

  8. Macgyver says:

    I always ship everything (over a certain weight) by USPS flat rate boxes, it comes out cheaper then anything else.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    When did DHL resume deliveries in America? I thought they had gone out of business except for abroad?

    • Michaela says:

      I didn’t notice anything about him living in the US…

      • Mobius says:

        The currency being discussed was US dollars and the weight being discussed was pounds. I think that helps narrow it down.

    • zigzagdance says:

      They don’t deliver to houses, they basically take stuff from the supplier to your usps’s distribution center. I only know this because newegg uses them.

    • Mobius says:

      Did they ever do deliveries in the US? /sarcasm I never, not even once, had a delivery that was being shipped by DHL ever succeed. I always had to drive to their warehouse or whatever and pick up my package myself. I wish they would just go back to Germany completely.

      • Eyeheartpie says:

        As a counterpoint, I never had a problem with DHL. I used them a few times, and once I ordered a Home Theater system from someone that used DHL, and I got the 100 lb box in perfect condition on the first delivery attempt, and the driver even schlepped the 5’6″ tall box up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment, even though I hadn’t gotten the door delivery service (just curbside delivery).

      • webweazel says:

        “I always had to drive to their warehouse or whatever and pick up my package myself.”

        We have had exactly ONE package sent by way of DHL in our lives, and yes, we eventually had to go pick it up from their warehouse. For some reason, they could not find our house, although all the other delivery companies never had one problem finding us.

    • ecwis says:

      They stopped deliveries of domestic packages but still do international deliveries.

    • nbs2 says:

      Somehow, surprisingly, the telecommuting-missus’s company can still use them for domestic shipments. We get packages from corporate via DHL. Both her company and our house are in the US

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Be sure to do a BBB complaint as well as a chargeback complaint.

  11. Skellbasher says:

    The shipping charges when quoted are an estimate. All shippers do this.

    If the package dimensions and/or weight are different than what the customer provided, the adjustments are made to the bill.

    If this package really doesn’t weigh 9 pounds , you’ll be refunded. If it does, you won’t be. DHL isn’t out of line here.

    • Pelonis says:

      Actually, since he weighed it AT a dhl facility, it is not an estimation, it is a firm price. From the moment they weighed it at their scale and gave him the recite, it was their responsibility.

      And if he was shipping from the us and they claim the scale was wrong, the OP should call his local Department Weights & Management. (not sure if that is the correct name) Undervaluing a weight to get a customer and then later charging the customer for a higher weight value is also a scam.

      • MMD says:


        • MrEvil says:

          Ditto, I’m fairly certain that the scales DHL uses in their facilities have to be inspected and tested by the state’s department of W&M (Or Department of Ag) The facility that I used to go to every morning to pick up my service parts had Texas Department of Ag stickers on them.

      • shanoaravendare says:

        Department of Weights and Measures is the way to go.

  12. comatose says:

    I used to work for a shipper and this was pretty much standard. Sorry. It’s not “official” until it goes through their calibrated scale. However, if THEY weighed it themselves vs you, there might be a case there.

    • Difdi says:

      If the scale they provide, in their own store, for customers to weigh packages to determine required postage is that badly calibrated, I suggest filing a complaint with the state’s Weights & Measures department (or whatever the OP’s state calls it).

  13. zantafio says:

    wait, DHL is still in business??

    • AngryK9 says:

      They never went out of business. They simply stopped domestic operations. They only do import and export shipping now.

  14. buckeyegoose says:

    Was it going via an air service, was it a large item. Alot of times a package can weigh 1 lb, but be billed for its dimential weight if its biger than a DHL provided box.

  15. Hotscot says:

    How do they investigate….through an independent third party?

  16. coren says:

    And what would they do if you paid cash, send it back and keep your money? If they can’t get accurate costs at their facility, what are they doing shipping in the first place?

  17. Aaronjk says:

    Too funny. USPS measures and weighs the package in front of me. Then they tell me the COST not the estimate. I then hand them CASH and my package is delivered!

    • MMD says:

      At which point you have no reliable tracking information and no real recourse if something happens to the package. So it’s a tradeoff…

      • veritybrown says:

        Delivery confirmation.

        • ecwis says:

          Delivery Confirmation is not reliable tracking information. They only scan the packages when they feel like it. I sent a package to an FPO in Japan and they didn’t even scan it at my local post office.

          • RandomHookup says:

            That’s true. Delivery confirmation is just that…it may get scanned at intermediate points, but it’s really only required to be scanned when delivered. I have shipped lots as eBay/Amazon seller and it does confuse buyers when there is no status update for a long time.

  18. diagoro says:

    DHL is the sketchiest shipping company of them all. Not only where many of the packages in questionable condition, but it seems like most of the workers were current/former gang bangers. Lots of tats and related attitudes. I handled some large items at the time, so perhaps it was a specific department…..

    • MMD says:

      For some reason I’ll never understand, DHL was the only way a former employer of mine would ship packages. Oh, the joy of taking the phone calls of all of the customers who were angry over botched and late deliveries…

  19. Griking says:

    How the hell did a nine pound package weigh at 1 pound at the ship center and how did the OP not notice? They carried it in didn’t they? It clearly didn’t weigh one pound.

    • psm321 says:

      Read the article again. The package was around 1 pound, and DHL also measured it as such. They changed it later

      • Griking says:

        So was the package really one pound or nine pounds? The way I read it the first time was that he brought in a nine pound package and due to some weighing error it went through as being only one pound. If it really was a one pound package and DSL later screwed up and said that it was nine pounds then I see the problem.

        • psm321 says:

          “They said that the weight of the package was really 9 lbs and that is why I was charged more. I told them there is no way it was more than 1 lb.”

          That’s where I got my interpretation from, though I admit it’s not crystal clear

  20. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Shipping is a total racket. I needed to ship 30 lbs to Thailand. The cheapest was the post office at well over $300. Next was Fedex. Then UPS at well over $600. DHL wanted well over $700. Apparently shipping rates are negotiated only once a year and don’t accurately reflect current fuel or labor prices.

  21. Lukecadet says:

    I was the OP on this. A little more detail:
    1. This was sent from Chicago to Mexico. I believe it is correct that DHL no longer delivers domestically.
    2. I used there JR box to ship this package: 9.5 x 7.25 x 5.0 measured in inches.
    3. When I ordered the merchandise I sent to mexico here in the US. It came in a USPS envelope and had a weight of 9 ozs. The only added weight would be the jr box.
    4. The package was delivered and after it was picked up was when the charge for the larger weight went through.
    5. I did find a dimensional weight calculator on the DHL website. For the JR box it calculates out to 3 lbs. Still less than 9 lbs. At no time did the woman at the DHL facility provide any information on this shipment being larger in dimensional weight to me. She specifically told me it weighed 1 lb.

    I am really disappointed in DHL. It is now 15 business days since they started the investigation and they still have no answer to what happened or resolution to this issue.

    • Bladerunner says:

      Chargeback then. You’re saying their assessment of the weight was fraudulent. If you can back that up (you haven’t said really what was in the box), then it is fraudulent, and that’s what chargebacks are for.

    • 51yoFunFabFloridaFemale says:

      Perhaps importation fees were added in Mexico: that happens in some countries. Ask DHL for a detailed billing statement — a breakdown of all the costs.

  22. dontripmeoff says:

    I used to purchase meat through a discount supplier a few states away. They used to use DHL. Here is one reason why to avoid them:

    My order was shipped via DHL using NEXT DAY delivery. I checked the DHL tracking site and it said shipped the morning after I made my order, indicating a delivering the next day as it should given what it is called. This happened to be when my mother-in-law was visiting, hence my timing the order so someone would be home to answer the door and put the meat in the freezer.

    I got home from work, no delivery! I checked the DHL website, it indicated there was a delivery attempt at 2PM. Mother-in-law was home all day with my son, even had the door open because it was a warm day (~80 degrees). DHL said no one answered, and they couldn’t leave the package. This was our third order using them, they always just left it at the door. DHL did end up delivery on the second day with a box full of spoiled meat – some Next Day Delivery!

    I compained to the company I ordered from, who did credit me for the spoiled and shipping fees. DHL claimed it was my fault for not being home, but it turned out the driver was running late on his route and decided to claim he attempted several deliveries, including mine.

    The good news is that the company I ordered from no longer uses DHL.

  23. BoredOOMM says:

    Hello? DHL abandoned the US and relies on the Post Office for most deliveries now!