Fed Up with Fed Ex

Hi again, everyone. A happy and healthy new year to all of my readers out there.

Yes, I know. It’s been a week and a half since my last posting. I had planned to write earlier regarding my plans for 2010, but I’ve been spending a lot of my time on the phone regarding a particular matter – and that’s what I’m writing about now.

You may remember that in November I wrote a story about my attending the Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory. As it happens, I decided to purchase a very nice drawing by an artist that I was unfamiliar with but who I later found out was fairly well known as a printmaker and instructor.

The drawing needed to be rematted to fit one of the frames that I have, so the dealer took it back to Ohio to do the work. It was sent out to me on December 15, 2009. The shipping company was Federal Express. Today is January 10, 2010. I have still not received the package – and therein lies my tale……….

As I said, the package was sent out on December 15. When I got home from work on Thursday, December 17, I saw a note from FedEx stuck to the inside front door of my building indicating that they’d tried to deliver it but that I wasn’t home. The same thing happened on Friday, the 18th.

“Okay,” I thought. “FedEx delivers on Saturday, so I’ll just wait home for the delivery.” I even called up Friday night to tell FedEx that I’d be home waiting for it. Well, guess what? I checked the tracking on the FedEx website, which said that the package had been put on the truck that morning for delivery. Excellent. For the next part of the story, here’s what I wrote in an e-mail to the dealer in Ohio on December 29:

“I kept listening for my intercom bell to ring (and it makes a loud sound). Around 12:45 pm, I checked the website again, and I saw that a Delivery Exception [a failed delivery attempt] was listed at 12:29 pm – even though I never heard my bell ring! I called up FedEx to tell them this, but was told that the driver would not return that day. When I went down later to get my mail, I did not see any FedEx tag on the door – so as far as I can tell, the driver never even attempted to deliver it!!!

“I ended up speaking that week with a FedEx supervisor in Virginia named W___, and she has been trying to resolve the case. I said that I will not go down to pick it up, as I already waited at home and they (FedEx) never even showed up. I said that the package cannot be sent to my office as it’s too large to carry home. I was told that they would not be delivering this past Saturday (the day after Christmas), either.

“Still, even though I shouldn’t have to go to FedEx to wait on line and get it, I thought that maybe I would do so just to finally get it over with, as the FedEx center I’ve always gone to is about a 15 to 20 minute drive from where I live. So, I called up on Saturday (after I had come back from the post office where I had to pick up some packages) and spoke with a woman at FedEx’s Kansas call center. She told me that the FedEx center was closed that day for pick-up as well as delivery.

“However, while I was on that call, I got a message from W___ in Virginia (left on my voice mail) telling me that the center would be open that day! So, I called back W___, left a message, and spoke with her about half an hour later when she called me back. She told me that some centers were open for pick-up, but that the call center operators did not know which.

“Okay, I thought, maybe I will go get it even though it’s a nasty, rainy, windy day and I’ve been out already and I still have to do the laundry. So, I asked W___ to confirm that the package is at the FedEx center on East 108 Street in Brooklyn (that’s the one by me) and she said no, that it’s on Morgan Avenue.

“Morgan Avenue? I told her that I don’t even know where that is in Brooklyn. Then she started to give me directions, and my fears were confirmed when I looked it up on Mapquest – that Morgan Avenue is in Williamsburg, clear on the other side of Brooklyn from where I live and a round trip, probably, of two hours or more.

“Well, I still had to do the laundry, so I said that there’s no way I was going to drive there then. (It turns out the FedEx center near me is for express delivery, but Morgan Avenue is for ground, which is how mine was sent.)

“W___ said she’d call the center and request weekday delivery after 6 pm (which is when I get home from work), but she called back to say that they could not guarantee that. So, as it is now, they are supposed to deliver it again on Saturday. Let’s see. (I will put up a sign on the door downstairs indicating that I’m home and that the driver should not leave without delivering it. Let’s see.)”

Well, readers, I was next told that the package would be delivered on Saturday, January 2. I got up early that day and taped a sign to the inside front door of my building indicating that I was home. Still, I was not happy when I checked the web tracking and saw that it had not been listed as being put on the truck. I called FedEx and spoke with a fellow who called the local center and said that even though it was not tracked as such, the package was indeed put on the truck and would be delivered, probably between 12 noon and 1 pm.

Twelve noon and one pm? I waited at home from eight in the morning until eight at night and FedEx never showed up! I was really pissed at this point. Still, I decided to try something different. I asked a woman I know in the next building if she would stay home on Wednesday to accept the package for me, and she said she would do so. I gave her information to FedEx on Monday, January 4, asking that the package be delivered to her on Wednesday, the 6th.

On Tuesday, I got an e-mail from the dealer confirming this, but when I checked the FedEx tracking Tuesday evening, it said that the package was being sent back to the dealer in Ohio – because I was unresponsive! Jee, I was only calling FedEx nearly every day and they kept failing to deliver it!!!

Still, someone at FedEx told me that the package might still be delivered to my neighbor the following day. I asked that they call her around 10 am on Wednesday to let her know whether or not she should wait around for it. At 11 am on Wednesday morning, I called my neighbor, who told me that FedEx never called. Needless to say, it was not delivered. (My neighbor finally did get a call after 4 pm telling her that it would not be delivered!)

Then I got a message from the dealer telling me that the package was indeed being sent back, but that they’d return it to New York right away – and on FedEx’s dime, because of all of FedEx’s screw-ups. W___ at FedEx told me to tell the dealer to mark down Saturday delivery, as otherwise they might try to deliver it on Monday instead. This I did, and the dealer wrote back to confirm that they sent it out Thursday, January 7, via two-day express with a Saturday delivery requested. They attached a copy of the air bill, too.

Well, guess what? I checked the online tracking for the new delivery on Thursday evening, and even though it was listed as two-day delivery, the date of delivery was given as January 11 – which is Monday!

So, I called and spoke with a gentleman in W___’s office who told me that packages cannot be delivered on Saturday unless they are sent Overnight Priority! I then looked over the airbill and saw that Two Day Express Package service (which was checked) will deliver Thursday packages on Monday unless Saturday delivery is selected (which also was checked). Still, the man I spoke with told me that it can only be delivered on Saturday if Overnight shipping is selected – regardless of what the airbill might say!

He then tried to call the center to try to change it but he said it was closed and wouldn’t know until the next day. Then, around 10 pm, someone else from FedEx called. She said that two day deliveries can be made on Saturdays if desired (despite what the man had told me), but she wasn’t sure if my package would be delivered on Saturday (yesterday).

So, just in case, I once again got up early on Saturday – the third Saturday out of four that I had waited for this one package to be delivered – and put a note on the front door of the building saying that I was home. Naturally, as you can surmise, ‘twas all for nought. W___ finally called that morning to say that the package was still in transit someplace in New Jersey. Apparently the person checking in the package in Ohio just happened to miss seeing or scanning the box that was checked for Saturday delivery.

So, just how incompetent can a company be? I mean, FedEx is really pushing incompetency to the limits here. First, they say they tried to deliver it on a Saturday but apparently never did. Then they told me that it was on a truck to be delivered another Saturday but it never was – even though they were reminded of it by someone else in the company. Next, the package was sent back to Ohio when it should never have been. Finally, when it was sent back to New York, the fact that Saturday delivery was selected was very conveniently missed.

The only good thing I can say about FedEx in this whole affair is that the company has been consistent!

As it stands now, I was told that they’ll try to deliver it tomorrow after I get home from work – even if they have to hire a private courier to do so if none of their own people are available. We shall see.

(By the way, Dave S – how’s the 67 doing???)

For those who were expecting to read something photographic in nature, all is not lost. Last week, in my role as an Art Editor of Univers d’Artistes, I posted a story about some of my favorite art nude image (pictures included) on that blog. You can see it by clicking here.

In that piece, I happen to mention a certain musical number that was recorded by John Coltrane. You can see him performing that particular piece on YouTube by clicking here.

At the top, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch. You can guess why.
Next time, hopefully, I’ll write about my plans for the upcoming year. Until then, be well and stay tuned.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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2 Responses to Fed Up with Fed Ex

  1. About half way through reading your troubles I had plans to bring up the 67 in a comment. You dashed that bright idea at the very end.It is sitting here nice and warm on my desk, still in the box it had been sent in.My trouble is I have to drive hours to get to a place I can try shipping it again. One of these days.

  2. Thank you so much for your excellent Favorites feature on Univers d'Artistes last week! You are the best!

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