FedEx Turns Shipment Of DVDs Into Can Of Old House Paint

John at Needcoffee.com writes that he’s come to expect the occasional “damaged in transit” theft of items from packages he ships or receives, at least through the U.S Postal Service. With private carriers, however, he notes that he’s always had better luck. But last week he opened a box of DVDs shipped to him via FedEx to discover a rusty can of $5 house paint.

I opened a box I received from FedEx and pulled out of a couple of DVDs and then saw what looked like a rusty lid of something. At first, I thought nothing of it, since you can get DVDs packaged in all kinds of weird shit. I thought it might have been a fake film canister of some sort or…something. In retrospect, it might have been the Limited Edition Paint Can “This Old House: The Complete Series.” But when I pulled it out I saw it was what you’re seeing up there: an authentic $4.99 rusty gallon can of Satinwood Interior Latex Flat Wall Paint. (And please don’t mock the wallpaper, it came with the house.)

I called the sender of the package and said, “What’s with sending me a can of paint?”

He said, “What the hell are you talking about: a can of paint?” And you can guess where the conversation went from there.

It took a while for John to track down someone from FedEx to investigate, but apparently they’re on the case now:

Regardless, the claims process is supposed to be underway, and FedEx Claims was helpful when I got them on the line–after they inexplicably transferred me to somebody who worked somewhere else within the company and had no idea why I was suddenly on their phone and then…on the second call they transferred me into their internal phonemail system, where I was prompted for my mailbox number. But anyway, the third call was fine. Let’s just see how they react to this.

“Indiana Jones and the Satinwood Latex Flat Wall Paint” [Needcoffee.com]

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  1. Farquar says:

    Prior to the release of the original XBox a company I worked for did some market research with it. The company that did some of the testing for us, instead of returning the XBox’s to us, returned phone books. Then tried to claim that someone with FedEx must have stolen the XBoxes.

    They got busted.

    Not that I’m saying this guy is lying.

  2. zigziggityzoo says:

    lol. Maybe it’ll eBay for some $$? The mysterious FedEx quantum DVD/Paint Can! You never know which one you’ll get until you look!

  3. organicgardener says:

    Since there are surveillance cameras pretty much everywhere these days, it shouldn’t take too long for FedEx to determine who made the switcheroo.

  4. OmniZero says:

    Maybe Fedex is full of magic. Can they turn pencils into gasoline?

  5. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    @Farquar: Me thinks the seller is responsible. You’d need time to unpack, remove, subtitute and retape. Was this purchase from eBay or some eTailer?

  6. OMG! Ponies! says:

    Wouldn’t the shape of the boxes be different? And the weight?

  7. @SigmundTheSeaMonster: @Farquar: I’ll speculate and throw my support behind this theory as well. The update to the post is interesting:

    The person shipping to me wrote down one pound on the weight, knowing that it gets weighed and the real weight written in on the airbill when it gets “checked in” at whatever FedEx depot there is. So what was written over the number one and circled is the number “25.” … Which means that somebody did the Indy swap before it was weighed in the first time.

    DVDs don’t sound like something worth enough money to risk losing your Fedex front desk job. And you’d have to have a can of house paint handy to do the swap.

  8. bobpence says:

    CSI: Paint Department. Wouldn’t most paint have a batch ID, such that it might be able to be traced to the area it was sent to, perhaps even the individual store? Of course that is some pretty cheap paint.

  9. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I can vouch for the FedEx employees. When those guys want something, they just steal it outright (like they did to an iPod I shipped a few years ago) — now of this namby-pamby paint can switcheroo business. They’re honest crooks.

  10. TVGenius says:

    About two weeks after the Wii’s launch, after my grandfather spent several hours in line on a hunch at our Target, my grandmother shipped one across the country, inside another plain cardboard box, without any indication of what lie within. It got to the FedEx distribution center 5 miles from its destination, and was never heard from again.

    After three weeks of NO help whatsoever from FedEx, she was able to get one from the Wal-Mart she lives directly next to (having previously met the manager, he was nice enough to personally grab one off the next truck they had come in and hold it, even going so far as to check her out himself). Needless to say, that one went UPS overnight and made it.

  11. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Imaginary_Friend:
    now = none.

    {Imaginary_Friend puts Gawker Edit Post button on wishlish}

  12. pfeng says:

    Despite not going into details of why he’s sure, the OP certainly does seem sure that the switch occurred after the package was in FedEx hands. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    @bobpence: LOL, probably easier to dust for fingerprints and check all the suspects :)

  13. Zimorodok says:

    Nobody’s going to top my company’s order of $6,000 worth of Dom Perignon which UPS managed to swap out for six cases of car parts, repacked crudely in the original shipping boxes with factory markings.

  14. As much as I would like to blame FedEx……

    Sounds like a vendor problem.

  15. goodkitty says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the DVD’s were *inside* the paint can? Maybe it’s a ‘LOLpackage’.

  16. topgun says:

    I have had nothing but problems with FedEx ground. About a 20% breakage rate, Deliveries at 5AM or 11:30 at night. Packages shown as out for delivery when tracking them that don’t show up for 2-3 more days. If I have a choice, I’ll ask for UPS. Heck even the USPS does a better job.

  17. jumpycore says:

    water = wine?

  18. Optimistic Prime says:

    As a FedEx employee for 10 years, I find it crazy to think someone switched it out. One, we just don’t keep cans of paint laying around in the hopes something awesome comes through for us to exchange. Second, as pointed out above, the weight when it was checked in was 25 pounds, which sounds high, even for a can of paint, unless they actually did the dim weight on it.

    Now this isn’t to say there aren’t thieves at FedEx, they’re everywhere and anywhere opportunity exists. UPS, DHL, and FedEx all have their share of hoodlums working for us, but we do try to keep the number low for obvious reasons.

  19. @Optimistic Prime:

    And it is not like you all have time to sort through all the packages looking for the perfect package for pilferage…. which explains why Dell, HP etc make it so easy for you to identify their products. I can spot a Gateway computer from 100 paces and I can’t see without my glasses more than 10 feet.

  20. @Corporate-Shill:

    Still say Vendor problem.

  21. Aisley says:

    Ah, Fedex, Fedex, Fedex. I promised never to use their “services” to ship out or have ANYTHING shipped in.

    On February 2006 (FYI: this is how horror stories start), I order the most gorgeous China set from one of the shopping channels. They used Fedex (eyes rolling here), the thing is that they left it at a neighbor’s house. I placed call, after call, after call, after call, requesting that they explain to me how is it that o huge box with very well market with name,address and all the dohickies necessary for a shipment.

    Well, I’m glad to report that since my neighbor and his family are very good friends with me and my family, he called me and told me about it. He even brought it to my house.

    About FEDEX, well I was left to wonder who’s in charge, or if it is a case of the lights are on but nobody is home.

  22. hills says:

    @Aisley:
    That’s your horror story? Fedex delivered your package next door and you received it without any problem? Doesn’t sound that bad to me:) I know UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc. have all done much worse….

  23. ShadowFalls says:

    Why would someone on ebay try and scam you with a can of paint? The weight of such an item would be so much, they wouldn’t make any money at all by substituting that… and why send some DVDs and the paint can? Something seems suspicious here…

    Could the person who shipped it get you a copy of the receipt? Unless the person printed the shipping label online, it would clearly say how heavy it was when dropped off.

  24. msbluesky says:

    I once opened an overnighted box (sent via FedEx) that was supposed to contain some work-related presentation materials.

    What did I find instead?

    Copies of the Maryland No Child Left Behind yearly 3rd grade assessment (that had not yet been given) and an ANSWER KEY.

    The Box had extensive taping around the corners and appeared to have been somewhat damaged, but I had indeed received the correct box (checked the labels; they were printed by MY company). I also found about 1/3 of my materials in the bottom of the box. . . .

    I called FedEx, they explained the box must have been damaged en route, “repackaged on the conveyor belt” and I should throw the other paperwork away. . . .Hmmmm!

  25. alysbrangwin says:

    My brother had to ship his books home from Berlin when he came to UChicago for grad school. He used DHL and was shocked when the boxes arrived minus a few books and contained several old children’s T-shirts. The books of course were never recovered.

  26. P41 says:

    It seems like USPS, UPS, or FedEx should start offering a service where you seal up your package going out, or open up your package coming in, under the watch of either an employee or better yet a digital video camera…Maybe even the tracking number has a direct link to the video clip. They could even stick it on YouTube instead of hosting it themselves.

    I can see the Ebay dispute now.. “Package mailed as tracking number xyz, delivered and signed for by abc, video clip clearly shows a working laptop being sealed in a box and accepted for shipping. Therefore abc either swapped in the bricks himself, or needs to file a claim with the shipper.”

  27. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    I currently work at FedEx, but a few years ago I was one of the people that repackaged damaged boxes, broken bottles, and incorrect shipping labels. I could have stolen tons of stuff but I never did. Basically that person has the power to swap stuff and either take it out of the facility (hard) or ship it somewhere else (easy). So that is what might of happened. Or sometimes we get a completely smashed box and later get an item that may or may not have been originally in the smashed box. You usually have to make sure before but then again some people are lazy/sloppy.

  28. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    @P41: I have actually done this. I have shipped a few laptops on Ebay, I film myself at the counter packaging everything together, taping it, and sending it out. When you deal with laptops ranging from $1000-$2000 you can’t be too careful.

  29. gaberussell says:

    Similar thing happened to me, but we traced the issue to the UPS Store where my mother had brought a box of CDs and DVDs. She paid them to pack the box, but they apparently switched my shipment – I received a box full of promotional pens advertising RV insurance.

    Only recourse was to send them receipts or copies of store catalogs with the items I owned circled to prove the value, and they’d only pay up to $100. Not worth the time.

  30. Puck says:

    Well, color him surprised!

    /ducks

  31. Adisharr says:

    Without knowing what movies were actually in there, it may be more interesting watching the can of paint.