[lg policy] Canada: FedEx urged to change invoice language policy:

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Aug 27 17:56:55 UTC 2015

FedEx urged to change invoice language policy August 26th, 2015

This is the latest in a series of articles looking at stores and companies
and their language policies in areas with majority and
significant anglophone populations, as documented by Hampstead’s
Harold Staviss and Côte St. Luc’s Ruth Kovac.

Federal Express founder and CEO Fred Smith has been sent Staviss’s request
urging that the company change its policy of sending Quebec FedEx
non-account holders French-only invoices.
Staviss recently heard from two local anglophone residents who received
French-only invoices from the courier and shipping service. One individual
said he was told that it is “company policy” to send out French-only
invoices to Quebec recipients.
The second individual told Staviss that he requested an invoice in English,
and was instead twice again sent French-only invoices. Staviss sent on
these concerns to the company. A Federal Express customer service
representative replied to Staviss that FedEx account holders can select
their preferred language “and will hence receive their invoice and
correspondences in their language of choice.
“The default language for non-account holders is English in which such
invoices are generated in one language, other than the province of Quebec
where it is in French. Section 57 of the Charter of the French language
provides: Application forms for employment, order forms, invoices, receipts
and quittances shall be drawn up in French.”
The rep added that by offering account holders a choice of preferred
language, “we are complying with our obligations while
giving anglophones in Quebec a reasonable opportunity to obtain their
FedEx documents in English at minimal trouble and no incremental costs.”
Staviss replied that as the company knows, invoices do not only have to be
in French, “and given the sophistication of your computer systems I am
very surprised that FedEx is not able to generate an invoice for
non-account holders, in both official languages of Canada.”
The representative replied that an invoice can be generated in both
languages for non-account holders, if the individual sends the company the
invoice number involved. Staviss suggested sending a bilingual version of
invoices in general until the company’s computer system is adjusted, but
the rep said this would “not be an option at this time.”
Staviss urged the company to consider his suggestions.
“I am quite certain that FedEx’s goal is to show equal respect to all their
customers, whether francophones, anglophones or allophones. Please note
that my comments have nothing to do with language — they have to do solely
with respect. The rep, who copied her response to The Suburban, said that
Staviss’s comments “have been properly routed to the relevant department
and personnel to further use to help improve our services.”
Later, a U.S. FedEx customer service rep told Staviss that a non-FedEx
account holder in Quebec can be sent an English invoice, but only as an
exception. “For any future invoices you want in English, an account will
have to be established with English as the language of choice,” The U.S.
rep added. Staviss replied that he had received several complaints from
people who found the policy to be disrespectful.
Staviss and Kovac’s e-mail address, bonjourhi2u at gmail.com — is “for anyone
who is interested in getting involved to encourage merchants, retailers and
the like to post English signage or more English signage in their

*FedEx urged to, change invoice, language, policy, *


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