Problems with FedEx Ground
The last few days have destroyed my image of FedEx as a good company. There are times when a package is damaged because it has been poorly wrapped, and there are other times when it is obvious that the package was woefully mishandled. When false records are created, the whole thing stinks of covering up unacceptable performance.
I made the conscious decision to use FedEx to ship precious family documents and memorabilia to myself using FedEx instead of any other shipper or taking the packages with me as airline baggage. I thought that with the proper packing and the tracking numbers, the family heirlooms that I was flying from San Francisco to Washington, D. C. to collect would be safe. I trusted FedEx more than United Airlines. Silly me!!
Since I would not have access to a computer printer at my 91 year old deceased uncle’s home, prior to flying from San Francisco to Washington, D. C., I printed out a large number of FedEx shipping labels. Before I realized that I could list myself as both the shipper and the receiver, I printed some labels with my 90 year old aunt’s address in Potomac, Maryland.
On Saturday, February 20, I took 6 boxes to the FedEx office in Rockville, MD. The clerk was alone in the store. I explained that I had printed the labels days previously, but she said that new labels should not be printed and that there was no discount for shipping multiple boxes together. She could not give me a price for my shipment, which consisted of two identical large mirror boxes, 2 book boxes, and 2 small U-haul boxes. All of the boxes were purchased that morning from U-haul. The two mirror boxes each contained 2 paintings by my mother. I split $20 worth of bubble wrap between the two boxes with each picture wrapped round and round with bubble wrap. The clerk asked if each box was fragile and I told her that only the two mirror boxes were, and she put multiple fragile labels on them. The clerk explained that the boxes would not go out until Monday, but that I should receive them on either Friday, February 26 or Monday, March 1. The next day, I returned with one more box to ship and saw the stack of my boxes from the prior day still sitting behind the counter.
On Saturday, February 27, FedEx delivered 6 of the 7 boxes at 2:30 PM. I was surprised that one of the two mirror boxes was missing and wondered why the shipment had become separated. The mirror box that was delivered was in perfect condition. My husband then checked the tracking number and saw that the box was due to be delivered in three days on Tuesday, March 1. It seemed odd, but I had faith.
When the box was not delivered on Tuesday, March 1, I called FedEx. That was the beginning of FedEx’s plunge in my estimation. I called and got Mr. M. of the Bristol Customer Advocate Team. When he said that the package had been damaged and was being shipped back to the sender, I asked to speak with his supervisor. I was terrified the package would be shipped back to Potomac, MD, because I didn’t know which of the boxes had the labels with my aunt’s address as the return address.
When I asked to speak with his supervisor, I was transferred to Ms. L. When I asked her for a written apology for the poor service I had received and the failure to notify me that my package was damaged, she put me on hold for 10 to 20 minutes while she wrote the apology, which turned out to be a small gift basket delivered two days later and an apology note. When she finally got back on, I asked to speak to her supervisor.
Mr. J, Ms. L’s supervisor told me that their office was only from 2:30 to 11:00 EST. I was horrified that I would not be able to get any update until the next afternoon on whether my package was headed back to the East Coast. I pleaded with him to find out, and he said he would call me back if he could. Mr. Johnson agreed that the overdue package should be given priority handling.
Then I got on the computer to check what the tracking info said and saw the latest entry for 9:19 AM that morning (about 9 hours before my call) the entry “damaged, handling per shipper instructions.” This was an outright mistruth as I was the shipper and had not given any instructions regarding the damaged shipment. It stinks of a cover-up. When I tried to call back, I got an office in Central America.
First thing on Wednesday, March 3, I called and asked to speak to a high-ranking person and got Ms. H at the corporate headquarters. She checked and said that the glass on one of the pictures had broken and that the broken glass had to be removed. The package would be delivered sometime that day. Ms. H said all that FedEx would reimburse was the cost of the broken glass and that I had to produce a receipt to get that.
The package finally was delivered at 4:45 PM on Wednesday, March 3. You could see from across the room that the package had been severely mishandled. I had images of the old Samsonite Luggage commercials with the gorillas mishandling suitcases. Given how abused the box was, it was a tribute to the huge pile of bubble wrap that only the glass on one painting broke. I was furious to see that when the glass was removed that the bubble wrap had not been wrapped back around the paintings, but was balled up at the ends. It is a miracle that the paintings done by my mother were not completely destroyed.
The pictures would have been sent back to Maryland, if I had not listed both the shipping and receiving address as my home address. I'm very lucky that the damaged package was not one for which I had used my aunt's address as the shipping address.