But I was told there is no difference in the discount you can get today as you have in years past.
Express sold big and still sells today with those rates. It is obvious they have a price point they expect and are tough to go below it, but that isn't anything new. I feel a lot of implying is there is something new going on to "not sell" Express like they have in the past. I will agree that perhaps they do need to discount even more to mid/low-level volume customers. But that would be even more discounting, not less.
As for Ground, I don't see them being any cheaper the UPS. I've been told by other shippers that sometimes you get a better deal from Fedex and sometimes UPS, but nothing in terms of stating, "Fedex Ground is cheaper then UPS ground", in fact I'd say more people then not can get better UPS Ground rates then Fedex Ground rates when you are talking customers with volume.
Right, what you mentioned about Express and Ground sales can be true, that is a business strategy based on the current business climate. Not an attack on the Express Employee.
About the driver leads, I've been told they are legit in attempts to get business for Express and that it's a pain for all involved, forms, time deadlines to follow up, all for Express. Typically these go nowhere, but most sales calls go nowhere, if they end up being Express, Ground or Freight that would be up to the customer. If you are correct that it is really a ground scheme, the actual Sales Reps doing it for your company are clueless as to the secret plan.