Monday, September 21, 2009

Fed Ex(cuses)

IT is nearly to the day forty years since I moved into my present location. I know I have been here longer than nine digit zip codes, and actually I moved in a scant half dozen years after the five digit ones so improved our mail delivery.

Because some mailboxes on the street periodically explode during the night, I use a post office box for my mail, dumping 80% of it in the wastebasket at the Post Office. On those rare occasions when I need a delivery to the home, I spell the street and tell them specifically that [surprise] number 36 is between number 34 and 38 and directly across the street from number 35.

Often, this is enough. But not always. Ironically, Fed Ex managed to find my front door six days ago, during the one hour of the day when I was absent (having been told delivery would be the preceding day), and upon my return and an unnecessarily cumbersome series of push button calls to the local center, in due course (three hours later than promised) the package arrived.

An old part needs to be returned, so a pickup will need to be scheduled. HOWEVER, I was also expecting a second package, [unknown whether UPS or Fedex], and so I called the mailer of same who gave me a Fedex tracking number and informed me that the package was some 15 miles distant and sitting there (who knows for how long) due to an "incorrect address".


Supervisors at FedEx are now called the "Escalation Team". I do not know why. What they did was ask me my name and address (spelled with the specifics of the location identified as usual) and place me on hold for nearly a half hour. At the end of that time, we had NO idea when the package would be delivered or if (gasp!) the same driver might pick up the return. The only saving grace was he was able to squelch the non-stop recorded admonitions about how much better off I would be using their website.

I told him that if he did nothing else in his career, he should try to have them change their coding from "incorrect address" which is a lie, insulting to the customer and makes them look stupid and lazy (which is likely true to some degree) to "unable to locate furnished address". And I am afraid that the irony of being told it is an incorrect address less than a week after another driver from the same company found it twice was lost on him.


BethanyC said...

Irony is so often lost.

I don't think it is too extreme to say, "I HATE MODERN CUSTOMER SERV... er RUNAROUND."

Lou said...


We've had 4 digit postcodes here in NZ a while but no-one except businesses ever used them. A couple of years ago the system was revised and we were all allocated a new code and now we're supposed to use them. It's taking some time to catch on :-)

Dorrie said...

we have 5 digit codes in Germany and they seem to work fine. Before it was only 4, yet when the wall fell, some cities had identical codes (east Germany versus west Germany). It was quite confusing at the beginning, but works ok now though they did some real stupid stuff with it (like different codes for one side of a street to the other or different codes for post boxes).

Fin said...

It would be hard to top this scenario, but the following morning, with no package in sight, I called their 800 number and this time was told that the tracking number which had worked all day yesterday was not a valid number.

Another "expiditer" promised to call me back within an hour and a half. She never did.

Late that day, a truck drove across the front lawn and delivered the package, which weighs all of 2 lbs.

BenB said...

Because some mailboxes on the street periodically explode during the night


Elle said...

Good to finally read you! I wondered why I never saw you post anything on the other site. Duh!

Have a happy evening :)