Watch Out For FedEx SmartPost

Cristiana says beware the trap of sending things via FedEx SmartPost: the USPS handles the local part of delivery, and “since you now have two shipping companies involved, nobody wants to take responsibility for the package” when it never arrives.

I ordered a Christmas gift on November 30th, and it was shipped out on the first of December. Here it is on the 23rd of December and I still have not received the package.

I first contacted FedEx, and they said it was handed to the USPS on the ninth, and they have can’t do anything, and they have no responsibility for the package anymore. So, now my package has been in USPS limbo since December 9th, and USPS will not handle any complaints until it has been 2 weeks. But, you can’t expect any help in 2 weeks, it is actually 2 weeks plus one day, because you need to contact them after the last day’s deliveries are done.

Coincidentally the fifteenth day is December 24th, which is the day I was going to give the gift.

So, now I am giftless on the 23rd of December, and neither the shipper, FedEx, nor USPS wants to take responsibility.

Update: Cristiana included this screencap showing the sudden derailment of her package:

122309-006-fedex-record.jpg

Comments

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  1. Laura Northrup says:

    I ordered a Roku with the free shipping deal we had in Morning Deals a while back, and I was really surprised at how long SmartPost took. Zippy once they got it to my local post office, but I can’t ever remember a package taking more than two weeks to get from California to NY. This one did.

    • taking_this_easy says:

      FedEx Smartpost is the cheapest and worst way to ship something…( cheap for the company, sucks for the consumer)

      think it took about 2 weeks to get a package from california to NJ….

      slow transit to the local post office, then delivery the next day…

    • cristiana says:

      That’s funny, because I am the Cristiana who submitted the article, and it was a Roku video player that I ordered, and subsequently never arrived.

      • toolmaan says:

        ” I first contacted FedEx ” Hi Christina, sad story, sorry for your headache, but in this transaction you are not FedEx’s customer. whomever you purchased the gift from is the shipper and that should be your point of contact and complaint. Smartpost is not a consumer product, it is a service offered to large shippers which allows them to bundle multiple shipments to the same geographic location. Obviously it is too late to save this disaster but really your only recourse is to contact the shipper and demand they either find the shipment or reship. You are their customer and who they shipped it with is not your problem it is theirs. even if they gave you the choice in the transaction, they sold you that service not USPS or FedEx.

  2. Tim says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s still FedEx’s responsibility. Ultimately, you paid FedEx for a FedEx service. It’s their fault they contracted out part of the service.

    • Wolfbird says:

      Ayep, that’s exactly how we work. I’m not from UPS but my courier also subcontracts with them back and forth. They are not allowed to talk about my packages, and I’m not allowed to talk about theirs.

      Ultimately, who you paid is responsible. If they don’t want to help, ask for a supervisor/etc. To my knowledge, as long as you are civil they will not refuse you. Being a little bitch will get you transferred to some random unhelpful department, probably. But I’m sure everyone already knew that.

    • Sneeje says:

      Legally speaking, this is correct. The contract in commerce was with FedEx to deliver to her home, the contract was not with USPS (assuming the fine print around her transaction did not say otherwise). If this were to go to court (yes, I know that would be silly), FedEx would have liability—if they or she wished to enjoin USPS, they would likely succeed, however.

  3. CompyPaq says:

    If FedEx has confirmation of delivery on the 9th, I don’t think it is their responsibility.

    • Tabe says:

      Nowhere in that tracking log does it show a delivery on the 9th. Handing the package to the USPS doesn’t count as “delivery”.

      • Optimistic Prime says:

        It is a delivery. FedEx delivered the package to USPS on the 9th, tendered is transportations speak for delivery. USPS tracking is an utter waste. 90% of the time I have the package in hand for three days before it even shows picked up by USPS. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve been with FedEx 12 years.

        • brecklundin says:

          and this makes you an “authority” how? Are you offering the official FedEx legal position? If so please provide your direct contact information as well as the names of your immediate superiors.

          FedEx is by far THE worst deliver service around today. I have had cases where labels were transfered between parcels and FedEx explicitly refused to look at the last place our parcels were scanned. Their CS is completely pointless and they lost my business for, oh, the next 40-50yrs….OTOH, I have NEVER had the USPS bungle any of the 100-500 parcels I ship daily for the past 10-15yrs.

          Well, there was the one time a delivery was sent to my PO box and an idiot clerk LOST IT after putting a note in my PO Box…but the Postmaster was AWESOME in that he put every free person in the building on the task of finding the item…it was UNDER a box on a shelf and it was a large envelope with sig. confirm. Of course this USPS sttaffer was whacked out on SSRI’s (they affected her more than a lot of folks but helped her in other ways….so it was an accident that was my only issue in over a decade.

          FedEx, however, has lost over a dozen parcels or delivered them w/o collecting the required signature but indicated them signed for by F. Rontdoor….

  4. Julia789 says:

    Ugh. Hate these split services.

    It’s like booking travel through Expedia – when something goes terribly wrong, the airlines says it’s Expedia’s fault, and Expedia says it’s the airlines fault. No one budges and everyone is stuck in a round robin.

    • DoubleBaconVeggieBurger says:

      I have been hitting my head against the wall all day for booking through Hotwire for Christmas. Not really Hotwire’s fault, more United Airlines, but I’m sure the whole clusterfracas wouldn’t have happened if I had booked directly through the airline. So thanks for that comment. Argh.

      • Julia789 says:

        What I do to avoid problems, is use expedia like a search engine to compare flights and prices, write down the flight I want, then go diectly to the airline website to book. Always been same price or less. Learned that lesson the hard way when something did go wrong. Those travel sites are handy for checking what is available but a nightmare if something goes wrong.

  5. Lady Shopalot says:

    I recently won an eBay auction and the seller, a large liquidator, used this for shipping. It took two weeks to get my item and I had no way to track it for the entire second week. I don’t get the appeal of this service to companies — why pay FedEx to take the shipment only part of the way? Why not just use USPS all the way? It’s kind of half-assed, if you ask me.

    • Brishen says:

      It’s so consumers can “leverage” Fedex’s efficient transport network while using USPS’s excellent endpoint delivery.

    • yasth says:

      It is *insanely* cheap, and the company only pays fedex, fedex then pays USPS. This time of year though it can take forever though, as smartpost travels on surplus fedex space, and there is not a lot of that.

      From a theory point of view it is lovely, Fedex handles the getting it across the country part, more or less with no extra cost (as it transits only using leftover space), and then hands it to your postoffice who delivers it for no extra cost (as the postman is going to stop by your place anyways).

    • SunnyLea says:

      If by “I had no way to track the item the second week” you mean that tracking stops at the “in transit to local Post Office” stage, you are mistaken.

      After FedEx turns the item over to USPS, you should be able to use the same tracking# on USPS track and confirm.

      In fact, I’m curious if Cristiana has tried this.

      • Lady Shopalot says:

        I did actually try that. USPS tracking kept coming up with no information available. I suspect maybe someone didn’t scan it after it was turned over to the post office?

  6. VicMatson says:

    Doesn’t anyone think it’s the shippers problem? They are the customer.

    • zacox says:

      Agreed. When you order something from a company, generally it is their concern and responsibility to get what you ordered to you, and it remains their liability until the product is actually delivered to you or your door. The OP’s gift has not yet arrived at her door, and so the company from which she purchased it is still liable for getting her a product.

  7. BridgetPentheus says:

    if it’s Jersey City, I’d recommend calling the Postmaster General(in Jersey City, I forget his name) and standing in front of the package window till they find it. (I’ve had similar ‘lost’) packages with them before. The building is open to 8pm, so you may still be able to call but not the windows. I’ve talked to them and I’ve had stuff quickly found If you are in Jersey City

    • cristiana says:

      I am not in Jersey City, I am in Forest Hills, and the package was going to my Mom’s house on Long Island. I also found it weird that it went to Forest Hills first, even though it was shipped with the correct Long Island address.

  8. nycdesigner says:

    Typical Jersey!

  9. gamehoarders says:

    I ordered a T-shirt and sweater from Express.com last month and they shipped it by SmartPost. I had ordered the sweater on November 2 for a Thanksgiving party. It arrived 23 days later on November 25 (after getting routed to the wrong zip code a state away), THREE HOURS before the party I wanted to wear it to. This may have been borderline acceptable if it was free shipping, but I paid $8 for this and it was totally unacceptable. Express.com sent me a survey on November 23 to ask how satisfied I was with the shipping method and I got to vent that it had been two weeks and my package was STILL not here.

  10. mercwrought says:

    I have the exact problem i have two order that are mia one from FedEX and one from DHL both in the same state one from 12/2/2009 and the other from 12/12/2009

  11. G.O.B.: Come on! says:

    I’ve ordered a lot of clothing w/free shipping that uses FedEx SmartPost and it has all arrived without issue. Once it’s happened to you, like it has to Cristiana, you’re better of using FedEx Ground. It will, unfortunately, cost you a bit more than a service that should work in theory.

    • coren says:

      By “lot of clothing” do you mean shirt woot? =D

      • tricky1 says:

        about 1/3 to 1/2 of my wardrobe is from shirt.woot and all of them have made it here intact.

      • G.O.B.: Come on! says:

        Hahaha, no actually. I order from another site where you have to spend above a threshold to get the free SmartPost shipping.

    • LastError says:

      Fedex Ground is great, but be aware the the Ground drivers are almost always independent contractors rather than Fedex employees. Thus, they can work as hard as they want to, or not.

      DHL drivers are often contractors as well. My local DHL depot (now closed) would literally hire anybody with a van. Anyone. Paint the thing yellow and off they went. Shudder. Good luck.

      I still use Fedex Ground by default. The billing and backend stuff is exceptional and makes it a snap to ship. Truly an awesome thing. Fedex has this stuff nailed. But the actually delivery part … well, my experience is that the ground contractors make it much more of a hit or miss thing than if you used regular overnight Fedex.

  12. kuhjäger says:

    Wow, started in watsonville. I thought it was going to be coming from my fiance’s company in Gilroy not far from watsonville. They ship a certain headset with smartpost, and have had this problem a lot.

    Nice to see my town pop up on the consumerist. Even though Watsonville sucks.

    Will the OP be willing to reveal the original company?

  13. Iresire says:

    I had a similar experience recently. I ordered a package on Amazon through Super Saver which, in my case, used FedEx SmartPost. After two weeks it became apparent that I was not going to receive my package. (I usually get Super Saver packages in 2-3 days because I live so close to the Amazon warehouse.) Fortunately Amazon has a good policy on last shipments.

  14. Torchwood says:

    Woot! uses Smartpost for many of their shipments. It still arrives for me at work in (surprise) Sacramento, CA.

  15. LESSTHANKIND says:

    As a former resident of Forest Hills, I could not be less surprised that all the trouble started when the package arrived at that particular post office. Worst, laziest most incompetent post office on Earth.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      No it’s not!
      The Rogers Park post office in Chicago is the worst!
      Not only are the postal workers lazy, good for nothing scum, but the customers are even worse!
      The dump is full of half-wit foreigners who come to the PO & think it’s the workers job to pack up their crap to ship to Asia, Africa, Mexico or South America!
      What’s needed is someone in the lobby to tell these idiots that the post office isn’t Marshall Field’s gift wrap service & to go home & learn how to pack your crap & then return!

  16. debones says:

    Well….it is Jersey.

  17. bananaboat says:

    I worry about any FedEx delivery. Ordering checks from most companies allow to ship safe/secure via FedEx for an additional cost. The problem, FedEx doesn’t do residential deliveries in my area. So FedEx moves the package across the country in about one business day with a tracking capability…but then they dump the package at a post office 40 miles away. Now my package passes through a mail facility with documented employee theft issues, arrives at my local post office in about 5 days and is then delivered about 2 days later in the box out on the street.

    I’m not sure what smart post is suppose to provide so back to other shipping methods.

  18. twophrasebark says:

    “So, now I am giftless on the 23rd of December, and neither the shipper, FedEx, nor USPS wants to take responsibility.”

    This is the shipper’s responsibility. If the package never arrives, the shipper will be out the cost of the shipping and the purchase cost. If they refuse to take responsibility, they will lose if the customer charges back.

  19. HogwartsProfessor says:

    This is exactly what I thought when I got the email touting this at work. I decided I wasn’t going to use it and if anyone suggests it, I’ll point them to this article.

  20. CTAUGUST says:

    I could not agree with Cristiana more! The moment I saw “SmartPost” on this story I cringed. I have ordered items online a number of times where the company used SmartPost and the delivery time was ALWAYS horrid.

    FedEx seems to get these boxes to the USPS and then the USPS takes forever to get them to their destination. It’s as if FedEx is paying the post office a very discounted price to handle their part of the delivery so the USPS delivers when they feel like it.

    I am suprised FedEx even does this program any more. I rarely see a positive comment.

  21. SunnyLea says:

    Woot! uses Smart Post almost exclusively, so I’ve gotten used to it. It’s slow as Christmas. However, it is like Christmas in another way, too. That is, it takes so long to get your package, you generally forget you ordered anything, and then get a nice Christmas-like surprise when it finally shows up.

    • saerra says:

      “… slow as Christmas…”

      In this case, it appears to be *slower* than Christmas!

      To the original poster, you might want to double check your time limits on chargebacks and keep an eye on the calendar. Just in case…

      And- question – do companies usually tell you when they’re using this shipping option? It’s not something I’ve seen, and sounds like something I’d like to avoid.

  22. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    What amuses me about smartpost is that it takes longer for the package to get form Fedex to USPS than it does for just USPS to get it to me.

    I’ve had two items shipped the same day from roughly the same place (CA vs AZ) and the one from Cali (shipped via USPS) got to me a full four days before Fedex’s package. And I paid more for the Fedex shipping!

    The post office has its faults, but they’re a whole helluva lot quicker than Fedex. And cheaper, to boot.

  23. buttcat says:

    I had an order from newegg that shipped SmartPost. It was accidentally sent to the wrong address. I first called newegg and they said I had to call FedEx…FedEx said to call USPS…USPS got nothing…rinse and repeat. I eventually had newegg resend the order to the correct address (yay newegg!) and SEVEN month later the lost package finally got sent back to newegg! The only reason I know the package got sent back was I received a RMA email from newegg. Pretty bad.

  24. Dukebruno says:

    A few months ago I was placing an on-line order with one of our distributors and noticed a new shipping option that was significantly less expensive than either FedEx Ground or UPS Ground. It was called UPS Innovations. I selected this option and, for a couple of days I followed the package via UPS tracking from Chicago to central New Jersey. Then, it fell into the abyss. When I called UPS to ask what was up they explained that UPS Innovations is in partnership with the USPS to have the postal service do the actual delivery. It took about 4 business days to get from Edison NJ to New Milford NJ. Total time from order to delivery was around 10 calendar days (counting weekends). Gives new meaning to the word Innovations.

  25. jbc63 says:

    The post office & Fed Ex.. a perfect fit…. Another reason, other than gross customer negligence and overspending, that the post office is headed further into the gutter. I say goodbye and good riddance.

  26. petey says:

    The “Delivery Exception” part of the screencap tells the story. Sounds like the parcel wasn’t addressed correctly.

  27. dabarak says:

    1. Woot.com does this with at least some orders. Not real thrilled with it.

    2. Complain to the USPS? Gimme a break. EVERY complaint I’ve made to them, in different Zip Codes in different states, has fallen on deaf ears. Even a complaint filed with postal inspectors.

  28. outlulz says:

    I had the same problem with DHL’s service when they gave their packages to the USPS. I ordered something from ThinkGeek which was not delivered on time. I contacted DHL who said that the package was given to the USPS and gave me the name of the employee who accepted it. I went to the post office and they said they had never received the package from DHL and that the employee that accepted it didn’t exist. After 2 hours of arguing with the post office and even having DHL talk to them, ThinkGeek sent me a replacement. Three weeks later the original package showed up on my mail route beat up and opened.

    • petey says:

      That sounds like a DHL error…if the DHL employee scanned it to a non-existent USPS employee, who knows if the USPS ever got it. Now pretty much all DHL employees are non-existent as well.

  29. StutiCebriones says:

    Can I be the nerd who provides a single counterexample? I’m another regular buyer on Woot… and FedEx is a regular shipping hell for me (I’m on Chicago’s Far North Side), while Smartpost quickly and reliably gets to me well before the tracking date that Woot’s emailed link gives me. Two-day FedEx from Woot has taken more than a week in the past. When the Smartpost tracking page tells me it’s reached my local post office, it means it’s probably in my foyer already.

    So I apologize for being That Guy, but yeah. I really, honestly prefer Smartpost.

  30. kompeitou says:

    I also ordered a roku player on 12/2/09. it was “delivered” on 12/8, only… i never got it and I was home all day. Same thing, fedex smart post.

    I posted some of my experience on the Roku forums, but I doubt Roku will do anything.
    http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?t=24775

    After talking to the “supervisor” of Roku’s CS support in India he said it might take up to three weeks to send out a replacement because of the holidays. So I called my credit card company and did a chargeback. Then I found that Amazon sells Roku players, with Prime overnight shipping I got my player today. Just in time for Christmas. Thanks Amazon!

  31. NinjaMarion says:

    There’s a reason Woot’s logo for things shipped SmartPost is a snail with a package on it…

    http://shirt.woot.com/Images/Icons/64×64/SmartPost.png

  32. ExVee says:

    I notice a “Delivery Exception” among the tracking statuses. It looks like somewhere along the way the system attached it to the wrong address. If after determining that they couldn’t figure out the right address that might be why it’s in Postal Limbo right now. I’m afraid that doesn’t help the situation much, though.

    • petey says:

      That’s what appears to be the problem. It looks like it was addressed incorrectly. It may be the shipper’s (or even the customers) fault.

  33. RockaRolla says:

    An order of mine recently got stuck in smartpost hell (see this tracking page http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/8749/13066486.jpg ) and the fedex csr suggested I see if the merchant would reship the order. I guess it was easier for her than actually dealing with the problem.
    The merchant (Drs. foster & smith) reshipped the order the next day by fedex ground and refunded my shipping charges. I kinda felt bad because it really wasn’t their fault, other than trying to save a buck using smartpost.

  34. golds says:

    The problem at hand here is not a clear as person would think it is. Smart post operates in the same way that parcel post does. How they operate is UPS or Fedex has to wait until they have a full semi until they can get a discount from the post service. Fedex transfers the item to a “hub center” and then transfers it into the post service in bulk. That is where the wait time comes from. Last summer, I tried out Parcel Post at my job. We ship about 500-700 small packages a day. My shipping time went down about 2 to 9 days, not to mention all of the packages that were “lost” between the transfer. The angry and confused customer where not impressed. I quickly changed back to using the our original form of shipment. So in the end, the shipper ends up saving a few dollars on shipping but the customer really takes the short end of the stick.

  35. drdroo says:

    Shouldn’t this be Watch Out for UPS Mail Innovations too? These aren’t new services and they all do things the same way and for some reason it always seems to be the postal service that jams up the works. These services are usually cheaper than USPS Priority and (in best cases) takes a few days longer. However, the price difference is significant. It isn’t really any surprise to me that the postal service doesn’t seem to work hard to process this stuff.

    DHL started offering DHL@Home first, I believe, then the ‘copycats’ came along.

  36. kromelizard says:

    Ah, Jersey CIty processing center, where all good packages go to be stepped on and rifled through by the faithful goons of the US Postal service. Every package I’ve ever lost has gone missing there. You could file a lost package report with the postal service, but all they do with that is collate information for investigators looking for patterns of loss. Otherwise? You’re shit outta luck if you didn’t insure it.

  37. DaveBoy says:

    I had one sent to me this way in Russellville, AR. The item arrived there on Tuesday afternoon and wasn’t delivered until Friday. Sat in PO all that time

  38. Britt says:

    I am so happy this kind of wonky service hasn’t hit here yet. If you’re shipping with FedEx, it should be FedEx all the way. What difference does it make with who brings it to the door? Seems like a pain in the behind to save a couple bucks, especially if you can no longer track it properly.

  39. Tetrine says:

    I wrote into Consumerist just today about a failure with UPS’s similar contracted USPS service called UPS Basic — I experienced the exact same thing as the OP… neither company wants to take responsibility for the package, USPS says UPS should give me a USPS number to track with, UPS says that USPS should be able to use the UPS tracking number to track the package in their system (turns out neither statements are true).

    With Basic, the UPS tracking didn’t even acknowledge that it was sent to a USPS facility as FedEx’s does above in the screen shot. It wasn’t until I called UPS to inquire about why the packaged was “Delivered” when it hadn’t in fact been delivered to me, was I informed that I had Basic service and that “Delivered” meant delivered to my local USPS facility (though it took 2 calls to UPS and 1 to USPS to get that information). From now on I will pony up the extra dollars to cut USPS out of the picture… not that USPS is totally at fault, but at least by cutting them out I can use my one tracking number to keep tabs on my shipment from origin to destination… instead of just until delivery at USPS, at which point, neither party seems to care what happens to my package. As far as UPS is concerned, their job is done, and USPS informed me that they “do not record any information about package receipt in their systems” and that I must have a USPS number to track, which should have been given to UPS by the USPS location where the package was sent to… UPS doesn’t have that information, so I can only assume someone’s side of the story just isn’t true.

    Merry Christmas and good luck getting your package straight, OP.

  40. tomcat1483 says:

    I have been known to buy some stuff on Woot and they occasionally use “Smart Post” as a delivery method. As far as I can tell there is absolutely nothing smart about it. If it had stayed with FedEx i would get it 50% faster and be able to track it to my door but with SmartPost who knows when I will see it at my doorstep. I wonder how much money this really saves people who use it?

    • drdroo says:

      A package that’s around 5$ with USPS Priority is around 2-3$ with UPS Mail Innovations (a similar service that is UPS to the USPS Sorting facility and then USPS). For packages above a pound the split between costs can be pretty significant.

  41. dvdchris says:

    I think my Roku was sent this way. I thought it was coming Fed Ex, then it was delivered ahead of schedule by USPS. Couldn’t figure that out.

  42. dg says:

    What’s the advantage to this alleged service? The USPS stinks – they cant even track their own Express Mail packages all along the route, so why would anyone trust any package that wasn’t sent Registered Mail or Certified Mail to them? (Registered and Certified get logged all over the place).

    I’ve had great success with UPS and FedEx when using their ground, or air services. Ground service during this time of the year is a crapshoot just because of the sheer volume of it and the temps that handle processing. I stick with Air during the holidays and never have an issue. PLUS, you can actually insure the packages cheaply (the first $100 is included anyway), and they don’t whine too much about documentation so you get a check if they lose it.

    If the USPS loses it, you get a shrug…

  43. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I just had a package arrive via this way.
    I was surprised that it arrived so quickly.

    sucks about the ridiculousness of the OPs situation, though. How irritating.

  44. mykie says:

    I had a similar situation with an old CRT monitor (Remember those?) that was shipped to me via Smartpost in the middle of summer.

    The FedEx portion of the delivery went smoothly, and arrived at the post office within days of being sent. However, once it arrived at the USPS unit, it just sat for a full week. I called FedEx, who referred me to USPS, who referred me to the local unit, who told me to keep waiting.

    A second week goes by and still no package, so I go down to the post office and inquire as to why the package hasn’t been delivered, or even a notice put on my door. The manager replied “Well, the package is big and heavy, so the carrier didn’t want to take it.”

    So I asked to take the package with me, but the manager put up a very light protest (oh we can’t do that, wahhh), but relented without even looking at my ID.

  45. vladthepaler says:

    FedEx SmartPost is without question the worst ship in the shipping business. Amazon shipped me a CD that way, and several weeks after its projected arrival date it had still not arrived. Amazon shipped another CD with a different shipping method, asking that I return the first one if it ever showed. But it never did.

  46. FedEx Dolores says:

    Hello this is FedexDolores I apologize for this situation. Can you please provide me with your tracking number and any other pertinent information to fedex-dolores@fedex.com? I’ll be happy to look further into this for you.

  47. RobofNYC says:

    Missing in action since December 8th – my post office is five %^%^& blocks away. I am waiting for the results of “a trace”. Fortunately it’s value is less than $25.00

    Next time UPS for $2 more and the chances of receiving go up 500%.

  48. ExTex says:

    USPS contracted with FedEx (at USPS request!) to deliver certain types of packages for them. The reason was that USPS was trying to expand their services (Priority Mail, Express Mail, etc.) on the cheap, without building the infrastructure necessary to suppost it. FedEx has the system in place to rapidly and reliably deliver packages both domestically and globally, and the problems USPS has with that sort of thing are legendary! Typically, FedEx delivers the package to your local USPS facility within the contracted time: from then on, it’s out of FedEx’s hands.

    Note that FedEx provides detailed tracking of a package while it is withing their system. USPS generally does not. FedEx can tell you exactly where a package is at any given time. Once it’s in USPS’ hands, though, they are monumentally unhelpful. USPS has no significant tracking capability at all for domestic delivery.

    Within FedEx, it is a running joke that they can (and do!) deliver a package cross-country in less than a week (for Ground service – two days or less for air), but the Post Office – excuse me! USPS can take another week to deliver it from one side of a city to the other!

    Incidentally, the information above also holds true if you substitute “UPS” for “FedEx”. Remember: FedEx and UPS are businesses, and must show a profit to survive: the USPS is an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States,” (39 U.S.C. § 201) as it is controlled by Presidential appointees and the Postmaster General. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. As such, it has very little need to run efficiently, or profitably (although there have been various Congressional “mandates” for them to do so). It is currently borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury to pay its deficits.

    How do I know this? I work in the express cargo industry (not for FedEx, though), and I am very familiar with how the system works.

  49. bobjr94 says:

    I also do not like this service, it takes about twice as long as just sending a package usps and leaving out fedex.

  50. Fiabug says:

    I have had the same issue. Amazon used FedEx Smartpost. Amazon, USPS and Fed Ex say it was delivered to me on Feb 2nd. I have not received the package at all. I contacted post office they can’t find it anywhere. Am speaking with Amazon now and they thankfully are sending it out again but this time via UPS! That service is horrible

  51. treoldhippie@yahoo.com says:

    well I ordered from MJR and they used to have great service. But you had to pay a few dollars for each item. And this ‘smart’ post seemed ok.. I think it should add a disclosure that says “we dont deliver, we ship to USPS and then you cant track it at all.” This would be the simple truth. I do think the shipper should explain its actually USPS that will leave your package out on your porch or in the box out on your roadway. This would alert so many people who are used to insured, proof of delivery which IS the standard now. Especially at a $10 cost. High end shippers gladly help when they use UPS. I used some other form of FED EX and did not wait 2 weeks.. This “smart’ fed ex is not that smart. Also the shipper linked the tracking to their site, which wont give tracking, nor will USPS. So they just told me- ‘we sent you tracking.’ I guess they dont need to help their customers either. We have to learn our lessons. I have.