Dear FedEx: I Live Here

March 8th, 2012

FedEx has had some issues in my area. There for awhile, they kept returning packages as undeliverable, saying the address was bad. It wasn’t. Just because their GPS can’t find it or their driver doesn’t know it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. A map, a real map, would have done it. I had this kind of conversation with them once.

Me: So you’re returning my package to the sender.

FedEx: Yes sir, the address was wrong.

Me: No, it wasn’t.

[ we confirm we’re talking about the same address. ]

FedEx: Our driver says it doesn’t exist.

Me: I’ve lived here for [x] years. I do know my address.

FedEx: Maybe it’s just new.

Me: Someone has lived at this spot since the 1890s.

FedEx: Hmm. I don’t know then.

Me: How about I give you directions?

FedEx: Well, OK, I guess I could send directions. But they probably won’t see them for three days.

Me: Where will my package be by then?

FedEx: Hard to say.

Me: Do you people have cell phones maybe?

FedEx: No.

Me: Well, OK then…

Lately we have been noticing that the driver throws the package from the truck without stopping. We find them all over the yard. Unless it’s big, in which case he puts it on the porch, puts a completely useless sticker on the door saying “We delivered your package to… right here!”, and doesn’t ring the doorbell. And panics due to the muddy road.

The FedEx driver once told Terah, “I almost got stuck on that muddy road! What’s the good one?”

Terah: Well, which one did you take?

[ he describes ]

Terah: [ serious ] That IS the good road.

FedEx: [ turning pale ] Oh my. I don’t know if I can make it back to the highway.

Terah: Well, I suppose I could get the boys in the car and drive you into town…

FedEx: [ embarrassed and more pale ] Uhm… that’s OK… uhm… I think…

A *month* later, we got another FedEx package. The driver called me at work, saying, “I just don’t know how I’m going to get down those roads. Can I deliver the package to you here?” (10 miles away). I said yes, and managed to suppress a significant snicker at his obvious relief.

FedEx drivers seem to come and go. The UPS driver, on the other hand, knows the names of our boys, our cat, and puts anything small behind the storm door so it won’t blow away if we’re not home. And he gets a great big laugh when I tell him that the FedEx drivers are afraid of our roads. “Haha, he thinks THAT’S mud? Obviously he never drives in Butler County.”

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  1. Anonymous

    I’ve had the same problems with both UPS and FedEx. As far as I can tell, they figure that if they make it look like “best effort”, they can get through a larger volume in less time, and look more productive.

    This seems like the same mindset that causes technical support people to repeatedly close tickets that they haven’t actually fixed, because it makes their stats look better.

    Be careful what you measure; you just might get it.


  2. Stavros

    Same issue here; And I don’t even live in the countryside, but in a small town with no local agents present.
    One particular courier kept updating their system with a “delivery delayed” message because they didn’t know where to find me and the shipping label didn’t have a phone number on it to contact me. In one case, the package got sent back, and in another I manage to salvage it in the last minute from the “to return” pile.

    Since then, I specifically ask for my number to be put on the label and incidents like this don’t happen, but they still manage to take their time: A UPS package from the West Coast (US) arrived at Athens, Greece in less than 36 hours and when that particular courier that shall remain nameless got hold of the package for local delivery, they kept it for 4 days before managing to send it 350 miles over the Aegean to be delivered to me.


  3. Dan

    FedEx’s drivers are independent contractors, not actual employees of FedEx. That may explain a bit.


    Mike Reply:

    Partially true — Ground & Home drivers are independent contractors.

    Air drivers aren’t


  4. Diggory

    Lol, good read!

    I’ve occaisonally seen parcels just left in the lean-on at my parents home in the UK, but not so often. That’s down a track with no sign on the end of the drive, but funnily enough quite easy to find via GPS.


  5. John Goerzen

    Even having my number on the label doesn’t seem to help here.

    I’ve seen FedEx sit on a package for a few days before. Probably not as many as 4. Ouch.


  6. Joey Hess

    My most recent package was delivered while I was away, and I later learned that the FedEx driver got 2/3 of the way up my (mile long) driveway and paniced where it gets a little muddy. My compact car manages this mud just fine, but perhaps I do know just the right speed to do it at. :) He backed out and was noticed by a neighbor who hopped in and guided him the rest of the way up into the woods to my cabin.


  7. Chris James

    We’ve experienced the exact same problems with Fedex at my apartment. UPS and USPS delivers fine, even small fedex packages have been delivered fine until we ordered a fireplace heater that weighed 50lbs and our apt is about 75ft off the parking lot (but with a sidewalk). Suddenly the driver says the address doesn’t exist.
    First time happened on a Friday so we chalked it up to the driver was probably tired an wanted to get home for the weekend.

    We call the 800# and give directions, explaining the situation. The say it’ll be back on truck for delivery Monday. Monday comes, it says online “out for delivery” and they deliver until 8pm. At 8 it changes to “address doesn’t exist”.
    We call and they read back the directions we gave, but says driver says address doesn’t exist. We speak to numerous other ppl and are connected to the office in NJ where it came from that day. He says theres lots of temp help for xmas and the drivers are inexperienced. Well here we are Tuesday and they said by 3pm, its 2:47 and no package…
    Our UPS driver is usually the same 2 people, and always knock. If I have my choice, I’ll never use fedex because obviously the drivers do not care and apparently there are no repercussions for non delivery.

    UPDATE: CAlled at 3pm and they actually called the driver and gave them my number to call if any problems. The driver said less than a half hour away. 25 mins later, i heard two women talking outside my door, then as they walked away I opened the door and they turned around and asked if I needed any help carrying it into the house. I said no and was glad my address actually existed. They just walked away and said nothing more.


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