OT: Fedex and the BOFH

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Baldrick, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Baldrick

    Baldrick New Member

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    Sorry for the off topic post, but had to vent, and as some of you purchase online thought I would share my experience with Fedex so you can decide whether to use them for your deliveries if you have a choice.

    I ordered some items for my wife for our anniversary and they were sent via Fedex from somewhere in California. I have since discovered that although the company I purchased the item from is based in CA, the actual item is made in China and is being freighted from there. No problem so far.

    I get home today to find a sticky label on my door advising that as I wasn't home to sign for the article they couldn't leave it for me. Nothing was mentioned at the time I purchased online that I had to sign for it when it was delivered, but no matter. I ring 1-800-FEDEX to go through their unfriendly automated attendant, which probably works well if you have an American accent, but for non-Americans it is a nightmare. I somehow magically get connected to a real human. Conversation goes like this :-
    Me - "I missed a delivery today as I am required to sign for the package. Can the item be sent to my work address instead of my home address as I won't be home to sign for the package and it wasn't mentioned that I needed to sign for the package when I ordered it online and according to the documentation that was left by Fedex, I have to sign for it."

    Them - "Sorry sir, we can't do that".

    me - "But I live two miles from work, on the same street".

    Them - "No can do, we can't change shipping address once it has left the sender. If you can't pick it up or sign for it in person, we will need to send it back to the sender who can resend back to your work address".

    Me - "Can you just leave it at my door?"

    Them - "No this item must be signed for in person".

    Me - "Can I sign a waiver?"

    Them - "No"

    Me - "So you would rather pay to freight the item all the way back to China to them to resend back here, rather than drop it 2 miles down the road from the original delivery location?"

    Them - "Yes".


    End result : Fedex - 1, customer service 0.


    So if you are buying online, try and choose anyone but Fedex or get your items delivered to your workplace.
     
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  2. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    I had a very similar experience with Fed Ex, although a domestic shipment (makes no difference to at least my story). Went through the exact same process and almost verbatim phone conversation, except for a couple things I'll add or clarify:

    They would attempt a redeliver a couple of times before it went back to the shipper (not helpful if each time you couldnt come meet it). They would allow, for a charge, the shipper to contact them and change either the waiver for signature or the ship destination (work addy for example) - you have to contact the shipper and the shipper has to contact Fed Ex and this has to happen in time for the next day's delivery attempt. They could also allow it to go back to the shipper and the shipper could resend, although my understanding was that yes, the shipper was going to recharge you and Fed Ex would not credit you or them.

    I was frustrated with all that, admittedly, and said so, and paid the $10 to have the shipper make shipping arrangement changes. It was Gary Hobbs from GVH Bikes (poor Gary - I miss him) who was very easy and accommodating to get this done. Was Fed Ex I was sort of unhappy with, but all this did was raise my awareness for future Fed Ex shipments to go to work. That or I wont use them at all.

    Hope it worked out on your end.
     
  3. Scotty_Dog

    Scotty_Dog New Member

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    I have also gone through this dreaded ordeal. It wouldn't be so bad if the shipper, not Fedex, told me about the signature requirement at the time of purchase. At least you know that a thief can't redirect your shipment by simply stealing the label off your front door and calling Fedex.

    Fedex is only 5 miles from my home, so my solution is to go to the local Fedex warehouse and pick up the package directly from them. Can you do this?
     
  4. neil0502

    neil0502 New Member

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    I manage the logistics of shipping over two million packages each year -- all of them through FedEx. A couple of things:

    1) The company from which you ordered really screwed you. FedEx didn't. The company has the option to require a signature release or not. They chose to require one. It's in that company's interest to notify you that a signature release is required. They didn't. FedEx was doing what the company paid them to do. FedEx, incidentally, would *much rather not* have to get your signature. It slows them down, and increases the number of times they may have to re-attempt a delivery. This costs them money.

    2) Your comment about using a work address rather than a home address is a win-win-win. In addition to minimizing the 'nobody home' thing, FedEx, UPS, and the post office have a higher rate of on-time deliveries to commercial destinations, *and* they charge less to the shipper. Always a good idea to use the work address.

    3) When you asked them to send it from the station to your work, you asked for something called a re-route. Re-routes are, very likely, also something that the company from whom you purchased has declined. In other words, they want that package going *only* where the paying customer asked them to send it. Reduces risk of theft claims for packages that . . . mysteriously . . . don't show up.

    FedEx is, by and large, a damned fine company. I think the problem was with the company from whom you purchased, the decisions they made regarding how to work with their shipper, and the way in which they communicated--or didn't communicate--these decisions to you.

    I hope it works out for you. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife!
     
  5. Moistfly

    Moistfly New Member

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    I'm going to have to back up Neil on this one, having worked for UPS for awhile and experiencing this sort of thing all the time. In the end you need to ask yourself this, wouldn't you feel a lot worse if some unsavory character had plucked that notice from your door and rerouted to some address of their choosing. As far as you would ever know the package was simply lost and unless it was shipped insured you'd be the one out of luck.
     
  6. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    You got it right Neil. From what I understand, if the company shipping the item dictates that the item must be signed for and that the package can not be rerouted (and a LOT of companies do this in order to avoid problems with people claiming that the package was never delivered) there's absolutely nothing FedEx can do. FedEx is an excellent company in my opinion too.

    This has happened to me before and I drove to the FedEx office where the package was being held and picked it up.
     
  7. Baldrick

    Baldrick New Member

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    Yes, the problem turns out to be with the sender not fedex, so I stand corrected. I managed to get a lift down the "big smoke" with a coworker to the local distribution warehouse, so it all worked out in the end. I got the package in time for our anniversary, so I didn't lose any limbs. Always nice.

    At least I learned to get packages sent to work and not home, so the excercise was not without merit. Thanks to all who replied.
     
  8. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Good! Glad to hear that things worked out for you. Nothing worse than an unhappy spouse on one's anniversary. :rolleyes:
     
  9. TrevorN

    TrevorN New Member

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    If you contact fedex you can setup a pre signed thing where you tell them what to do if it needs signing. Such as leave it next to the garage or in the back yard or what ever. This does require you signing a waiver thingy when you set it up though. We have done this with both fedex and ups so that this issue doesn't happen with us. Still the senders fualt for not making a note of it before hand.
     
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