Fedex, didn't it used to mean Federal Express?

I just wanted to share this story with all of the Audiogon circle...

Based on an episode I am currently experiencing, it seems the grumblings of Fedex are well founded. What was once the paragon of how to get something from here to there, is now a shadow of that reputation.

My comments are related to Fedex Ground, which has been described to me as an entirely different operation than Fedex Overnight. I only hope so.

I picked up a pair of loudspeakers in a recent auction here on Audiogon. No complaints, the handling of the auction, paying, and shipper doing his thing were fine.

Fedex took it from there. Monitoring the progress using my tracking numbers and the Fedex website, all seemed fine. Until Friday. They arrived at a corporate destination 10 minutes from my home. At 5:43 Friday morning. Theoretically, they could have been delivered to me that same day. But, no problem, I understand.

Would it be Monday, or even Saturday(not sure if they even deliver on Saturday)? Monday is fine.


So, I check back Tuesday morning, and what do I find? They left this location, and were sent back to a place more than two hours from me. Huh??? Do they have ANY idea what they are doing? It's utterly amazing to me. I mean, I used to work at the Post Office part time, and thought this kind of thing only happened there. That the "professionals" at UPS, let alone the "experts" at Fedex never blundered along these lines. Well, I guess as time goes by, instead of the giant rising up to meet the young guns, the new kids on the block are lowering their standards to meet the ponderous.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Still waiting to hear the sweet sounds of my new purchase,
Fedex Ground is a separate operation. They are slowly integrating. Fedex have been buying out commercial shippers around the US trying to build a national network to take on UPS ground. In my area they bought out national shipper RPS.

Since they agreed to keep most of the personnel of the old companys, I guess it will be evolution, not revolution, as far as retraining, etc. RPS did things differently, and there is probably resistance to change and growing pains. I wonder if RPS was Teamsters? Fedex is non-union.

I have been please with Fedex Ground in this area (Baltimore/Washington DC). There is an industrial park a mile behind my office which has truck depots and direct drop-offs/pickup for Fedex, UPS, as well as the regional sorting center for the Post Office where big packages can be handled, so I have lots of choices near by.

Fedex doesn't sort at every location. Even Fedex Overnight. It used to be (and may still be so) that if you wanted to send a letter across town in Manhattan, it would be picked up, flown to Memphis, sorted, then sent back to the Manhattan destination by next morning. Maybe your package was moved to a resort facility. Fedex Ground is less efficient and stuff sits in one place for a long time, probably because the shipper isn't paying for faster delivery and Fedex wants to save the higher labor costs it would need to incur to be prompt. What's our alternative?
All of these shippers including the post office have hubs (regional sorting facilities). The local trucking hubs behind my office all hold packages. Out going ground packages go to a larger center between Washington/Baltimore before going national by rail, or 18 wheeler. The air packages go to Dulles Airport. Fedex and the Post Office are sharing airplanes to some locations to keep the planes full and keep costs down.
I bought a pair of mint mono blocks here. FedEx ground pierced the double HD corrugated boxes and smashed the 3/4" thick aluminum faceplate and sheared the cover screws. should cover it...FedEx claims no insurance was purchased. Seller had to fax claims dept proof. FedEx pick up unit for inspection. Driver gave no receipt, I had to go out to the truck and ask the driver for a receipt, he gives me a sticker. They do not inspect the unit in Toronto, Canada. They send it back to California. Who only know what further damage they have added to the unit? It arrives at the seller’s location. FedEx has done no inspection yet. FedEx goes to seller to pick up unit for inspection. Inspection damage report states it is packed with peanuts. The seller did not use peanuts. When it originally arrived in Toronto, there were no peanuts. When it arrived at seller’s location, no peanuts. When it was picked up, no peanuts. Why did a FedEx employee add peanuts? Or why was this false statement put on the damage report? The person handling the claim rejected the claim based on PEANUTS. The boxes were PIEARCED through, even if it was lined with sheet metal or wood, it would not have been able to stop the force that was exerted on the ¾” faceplate. So now there has to be an investigation. A superior is in charge now. Maybe the incompetence shown thus far was the result of the minimum wage employees. Great, now some management personnel are involved. With what result? FedEx LOOSES the amp. They do not know where it is and cannot find it. Seller gets a call from Virginia. FedEx shipped the unit to the original store that had sold the amp. Duh! Seller telephones FedEx to inform the claims dept management person that he found the amp. I called and asked the dealer in Virginia if there was any peanuts or evidence of peanuts in the box and there was NONE. Only original packaging. It has now been sitting in Virginia for a few days now. FedEx has made no attempt to communicate, inspect or pick up the amp. Limo This is where we are now. Probably will get even more interesting (frustrating) by this afternoon.
So that you'll know that all is not lost: I sent a set of speakers to my brother-in-law via FedEx Ground. I shipped on Thursday morning and they arrived on Saturday afternoon. We were all shocked, me especially since I'd told my BIL not to expect the speakers until Tuesday. We must have hit the truck schedule just right at each depot.
I have met approx 10 people in my life who had previously worked at UPS or Fedex as the people who load packages into planes or trucks off the conveyor belt. Not one of them ever want that job again, or were at all pleased to work there in that capacity. Think about it, they hate that job, they don't care what the item is, whether it states "Fragile" this side UP. They are trying to load the plane/truck as fast as possible in rain, snow, and have to overload the plane/truck to the hilt to get the most packages in vessel. They load your gear in these Igloos which are then precariously stacked in every direction. Just yesterday, I let the UPS driver pick up 2 monoblock amps weighing in at 84 lbs each, in triple walled boxes 27x25x14. I felt like I was in Vegas, gambling that they make it their destination in one piece. That pretty much is what it is, a Crapshoot.
Dnlyko, yours is a horror story. I too had to fight tooth and nail with the FedEx Ground claims dept to get them to pay the insurance I bought, and was CLEARLY marked and shown on the original shipping invoice, when the speakers i shipped from VA to TX were lost/stolen on buyer's doorstep. Despite having a good copy of my shipping form, the claims dept said they didn't see where i paid for insurance. I read down the invoice with them (IT IS THEIR INVOICE!!) until we got to the "insurance" line, and sure enough, the claims rep now saw that I had bought insurance for $4500. The claim was paid pretty quickly after that, but until I called and went over the invoice line by line w/that moron, they were just sitting on it. God forbid the speakers had been damaged rather than plain out lost. I doubt FedEx would ever have found a reason to pay out the claim. If you don't use original packaging, even if you had the item professionally packaged, they claim no liability. If you do use original packaging, but it is not very good or secure, they claim no liability. For instance, I used the original packaging (fairly lightweight styrofoam molds) to ship a pair of B&W Matrix 805s that arrived with the tweeters busted off the tops of the speakers. Ooops! Luckily, FedEx inspected the items at the buyer's residence, accepted liability, and paid the claim. I have no idea why FedEx required your buyer to ship the damaged amps yet again to some other facility where the inspection was still not done. I guess multiple detailed photographs and signed statements from delivery people should be gathered by anyone receiving damaged goods, before shipping the item off for "inspection," with the risk of false descriptions and representations by claims people at the other locations.
Yeh, Sarah. I had a UPS shipment never arrive at its destination, so they quickly paid the claim for the full amount. Since it appeared like internal theft, because it never even got to California from Maryland, they had no defense.
Fed Ex Ground used to be RPS, and when Fed EX bought them out they did keep most of the RPS employees. Fed Ex operates much differently than RPS did and getting these employees to learn the Fed Ex way has been frustrating at the least. There will always be horror stories from every carrier, that is no consolation to the person that it happens to, but there are millions of pkgs moving through these hubs every day and when you consider that, it is amazing that most pkgs do get to there destination on time and undamaged. If you have not guessed by now, I am a Fed Ex employee (Not Ground). I hate to hear about these "horror" stories because it reflects negatively on the company that I work for. There will always be bad employees on every job, be the majority of us take pride in our work and we are doing our best to serve you.
Yes it used to - BUT NO LONGER! Out here in the far west -
Portland,OR - FedEx has taken over the RPS service for
ground service. The service - if you want to call it that -
is just miserable and the delivery people are rude, arrogant
If you are going to ship at all with FedEx - avoid the
ground serice at all costs and use one or two day air.
i would NEVER use fedex ground. it is simply an accident waiting to happen. the usps is much better (if weight limits allow). really. i use fedex economy (3 days) in the usa, dhl to europe. for heavy (usa) items, i prefer air frieght resellers. -cfb
My most recent experience with Fedex Ground was very good. Amp shipped from Ohio, Feb 28, tracking claims delivery scheduled Mar 2. Mar 2 is a Saturday; I figure their program doesn't recognize the Feb has only 28 days. On Sat, Mar 2, 2 days after pickup on Ohio, amp arrives on my doorstep in CT. So far, nothing I've shipped or received by Fedex Ground or UPS has been damaged; but packing was all pretty good. I guess I've been lucky.
Here are the latest and greatest events in the saga of Fedex Ground delivering my speakers...

What's most laughable is that I received an audio rack via Fedex ground one month ago(with no problems, believe it or not). I guess they forgot a lot in a month.

The speakers were resent to the location 10 minutes from my home(Norristown, PA). Unfortunately, the crew couldn't figure out where I live. So, they left a message on my home voice mail to call them with address confirmation. The person spoke my correct address information, but just wanted to "check". In calling the number the person left, there was never any answer upon repeated attempts.

Fortunately, my caller ID displayed a number for RPS from the call. This number I was able to actually parlay into reaching someone. I gave them my address(I didn't raise the issue of the package containing the address). You want to talk about dense, it was, "Eight, that's 'Eeeeeeiiiiigggghhhhhttttt'."

The next question was directions to my home! Huh?!? Aren't these people in the delivery business? Well, I complied without a word of reservation, but it took a good 5 minutes from that point on. The person wasn't even familiar with the major highway that their facility lay right off. I did ask, "How do you get to work?". Response, "I don't know the roads, but I know which places to turn, etc." Wow is all I can say.

My only real question was, "When should I look forward to receiving my package?" The answer was they would "attempt" delivery tomorrow. Time will tell.
Oh man, Joe. I don't know what to say except for you have my sympathy. Maybe you should consider "hold for pick-up".
Swampwalker, you are oh so right.

Had I realized that this was going on, I would have just picked up the speakers myself on Saturday. In the past, I once picked up a Fedex Overnight letter myself, as it was a scholarship offer I needed to respond to, and class was to start in something like the next two days.

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts,
I have a cd player shipped from Arizona to Canada with FedEx ground. I'm supposed to receive it by tuesday of next week. Will let you know on how it went.
Well, the story can now be brought to a conclusion.

After one more call to me by Fedex(I know...), and me returning it, I was able to speak to an intelligent human being. I again submitted directions, and was told she would make sure they were included with my speakers.

The speakers were delivered the same day, and my thanks go out to this woman, who seemed to be a needle in the haystack there. My hope is that this is "my" shipping horror story.

Oh, and the speakers? Very, very good!

Finally my cd player arrived from Arizona to Canada without problem and on time with Fedex Ground. I shipped it previously to Arizona with UPS Expedited and also had no problem. Just make sure you pack it very well. As for shipping charges, found them equivalent after brokerage fees have been covered.