Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fun with FedEx

So my mom ordered me a bunch of gifts for my birthday. Being good with dates, etc., she ordered them well in advance -- a couple weeks before my birthday. Of course, they didn't all arrive in time.

Two packages, from the Smithsonian Institute, I have yet to receive (my birthday was over a week ago now). This in spite of the fact that she paid for expedited shipping. They finally shipped a day or two after my birthday, and for the past few days I've been finding door tags telling me FedEx was here with my packages, but couldn't deliver them because I wasn't here to sign for them. (Incidentally, I don't get why it doesn't occur to them to start an after-hours delivery service, since so many people work during the day and either live alone or have no one at home to take the packages for them).

I don't mind going to pick up my packages -- except that these are being held at a FedEx all the way down in Marina Del Rey. With traffic, it could take me like an hour to get there, and they close at 8. Bottom line is, I have better things to do around 6-7 o'clock than drive down to Marina Del Rey to pick up a package, and then drive back (like... er... blog...).

So I called FedEx to ask if they could store the packages at a facility closer to me. One person said I just needed to call back in the morning and request it. So I did, only to find out that for some reason, I'm supposed to have the shipper contact them and tell them to move it to a different facility.


After about a half an hour of trying to get the FedEx employee to explain to me *just how* this makes sense, I finally gave up and called my mom to ask her to call the Smithsonian Institute. She did, and they assured her they would contact FedEx and request a more reasonable location. Tonight I called FedEx again and they had no record of any such request.


To top things off, if I don't pick up these packages within the next 2-5 days (they couldn't be any more specific than that), they go back to Smithsonian to sit in the warehouse while Smithsonian fails to get its shit together. I can't go tomorrow night because I have dinner plans that have already been rescheduled twice, and I can't break them. I can't go Friday night or this weekend because I'm driving to Bakersfield to visit my elderly grandmother, who for all I know could die any day now, so it's probably a good idea not to change my plans just to go pick up a package.

FedEx, you are not earning yourself a fan in me. For that matter, neither are you, Smithsonian.


At July 27, 2006 at 6:58 AM, Blogger NWsixer said...

Can they not deliver it to your office?

I just had the cement headed DHL boys switch from delivering to my flat to work.

I am now looking at the shiny black nano the box contained.

Remind them just who the hell you are!

At July 27, 2006 at 8:26 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Ooooo nano! Fun!

They say they can't do *anything*, any instructions have to come direct from the shipper (and of course, for some unexplained reason, they "can't" or won't contact the shipper). Supposedly this has something to do with the shipper choosing the "direct signature" option, which means someone at my address has to sign for it.

BUT it *really* doesn't make any sense about not moving it to the FedEx near my apartment. I mean, I really doubt Smithsonian said "I want it to go through this facility, then this one, and make sure you take this highway to get to Los Angeles"! Argh.

At July 27, 2006 at 12:09 PM, Blogger DarthImmortal said...

It’s funny how customer service has gone to shit in the past decade. It used to be “the customer is always right” now it’s “shut the hell up and don’t bother me again!” Maybe this is due to the fact that the companies have trimmed payrolls to the breaking point. People now do several different jobs and customer service is just one of them. So there is no time anymore to devote to the personal attention that some customers need.

BTW: A very happy Birthday to you!!

I send you a package by UPS ground but they subcontracted DHL which is now Airboune (or vise versa) but Fed Ex lost it because there were too many labels on the outside. It was really cool too!!

At July 28, 2006 at 10:51 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Hmmm, if they're trimming payrolls I can't figure out why everything is so damn expensive...

In their defense, I think customer service would be a shitty job. But it's incredibly annoying how they all seem to work from a script -- it's rare you find someone who will actually go the extra mile for you. The "extra mile" being actually thinking for two seconds about your individual situation and realizing some way that you actually *are* able to do something remotely helpful

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Now I'm bummed I won't get your present!! ;)

At July 30, 2006 at 3:31 PM, Blogger odderie said...

An after hours service is BRILLIANT. I think we have a case of your side job that makes you MILLIONS. :)

At July 31, 2006 at 12:08 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Odderie, I'm certain it's the wave of the future. They've already got Saturday deliver. After-hours is the next step.

Oh and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!!! :) Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

At August 5, 2006 at 9:56 PM, Blogger Roonie said...

What is it?

At August 7, 2006 at 3:04 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...


Fortunately they managed to actually take it to the right place and I picked up my gifts last week.

I got an adorable Italian watch with a red band (looks like some kind of reptile skin, which I'm trying to ignore so I don't feel like a hypocrite given my abject hatred for fur) and a set of martini glasses. Sadly, one of them broke :( but Smithsonian agreed to replace it at no additional cost (good thing, too, because I would've fought them!). I think my adorable mom was more relieved about me getting the package than I was ;)


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