I Canceled FedEx Shipment To Scammer, FedEx Still Delivered Package

When Randall found out the guy to whom he sold an expensive digital camera was a con artist who skipped payment, he had already shipped out the product. He hurriedly called FedEx to stop the shipment and was assured he’d get the package back, but wires were crossed and the conman got the camera.

He brought up the issue to FedEx but the company won’t take responsibility.

He writes:

Anyway, I call FedEx that Friday afternoon after I shipped it and asked them to cancel the shipment. I was assured they would return the package 3-Day Select to the return address on the shipment, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

You can imagine my horror when I checked the tracking information the next morning and the package had made it to the Memphis hub and then was sent back out to Miami! Didn’t I just cancel this shipment? What sense does it make to send it to Miami and then bacK? Regardless, I called FedEx again. I mentioned the fact that I canceled it the night before and it still was processed through the facility at Memphis. Again, I was assured it would be returned and that the chase agent in Miami would get the package and return it. So, I waited again.

Sunday night, I checked the tracking information, and it had made it to Miami’s station. I called FedEx again Monday morning right before 8am to make sure it would be stopped. Again, I was assured it would and that the agent at the local station, not the airport but another Miami station, would be able to stop the package from going out.

Words can’t describe how enraged I was when FedEx sends me a delivery confirmation email. And of course, the recipient denies receiving the package. Now, FedEx is giving me the run around. I paid for the $2k in insurance to cover the value of the package. They screwed up, and if I had been told the cancellation was a best effort endeavor, I could’ve bought a plane ticket to Miami and intercepted the package myself. It would’ve been worth it.

One, they released the package to someone other than the addressed recipient.
Two, I was incorrectly informed that the package would be returned on three occasions, when it wasn’t.

Three, What kind of system allows a canceled package to be routed and delivered without any kind of warning?

So, what can I do?

I’ve faxed a complaint to the CEO’s office. I’m lucky enough to be working with the agent in Miami now, instead of the 800 number customer disservice reps. But, I’m running out of patience. I can’t afford to lose $2k worth of merchandise.

I received a letter saying it’s not their fault that they delivered my package after I canceled the shipment. It’s also not their fault three customer service agents told me that it would be stopped and returned.

Randall admits his share of responsibility for the mix-up, but wants FedEx to step up and resolve his problem. What do you think FedEx should be on the hook to do for Randall?

Comments

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Refund the cost of the merchandise, no less. Three assurances that were false is not acceptable.

    • domcolosi says:

      Well, Fed-Ex should refund the amount it was insured for. That’s what they’d do if the package was lost. I think that’s fair (otherwise, what’s to stop OP from saying it was filled with platinum? or what’s to stop Fed-Ex from disputing the price of the merchandise?)

  2. Skellbasher says:

    Seems really odd. I’ve canceled tons of FedEx shipments in the course of business at work, and I’ve never had a package that had an intercept on it make it to Memphis and then continue on to be delivered.

    • Difdi says:

      The true measure of a corporation’s (or any group’s) worth is not just in how they conduct every day business, but how they resolve issues when things go wrong, as they inevitably do sooner or later.

      The fact you’ve never had troubles is wonderful. This does not render into bullshit someone else claiming to have had an awful experience. It merely means you haven’t had a problem yet. No more, no less.

  3. lvixen says:

    FedEx should pay for the merchandise. If someone other than the person it was meant for signed for it, they should have come back until the correct person did. I know it shouldn’t have arrived in the FIRST place. I had a bad experience with FedEx recently. They lost and damaged a package I sent. It was found because the label I had on it was a very unusual name. It was supposed to go to TX (I live in RI) it got lost for several days, I called and they finally tracked it down but it STILL had to go to lost & found in CA! Then it was delivered, which is when the damage was discovered, so it had to be shipped back to me to file the complaint. Plus I ended up losing money in the deal! Yeah, they need to pay him for the camera, it was insured and no less than THREE employees said it would be stopped.

    • thisistobehelpful says:

      The problem with that is UPS and FedEx don’t require the package to be delivered to the addressee. Unlike USPS where it’s an actual crime to open someone else’s mail, UPS/FedEx rely on someone else being able to sign for the package. Unless he put something saying that they’d only accept the signature of a person at the address on the label then it doesn’t matter who signed for it. The best he could get is that someone at the address signed for it, not the person it was addressed to. He doesn’t say if he required that specifically.

      http://www.fedex.com/us/tracking/f_quickhelp.html?link=6&type=1

      UPS has one of my neighbors (in a condo complex) marked as a thief. She tried several times to say she didn’t get a package and then get money for it from UPS. Now they have it set up that EVERYONE who gets a package delivered here has to have it signed for. But they don’t have it set up so that the signature matches the recepient. Makes sense right?

  4. c!tizen says:

    That really sucks for the OP, I would say he needs to check out who he’s selling to before he ships, especially with such an expensive item, but hindsight is 20/20 and it would do no good now… lesson learned, very expensive lesson learned.

    I would also contact the local authorities (where the package was shipped) and relay the information that led him to the fact that this person is a scam artist. $2k is definitely worth reporting and if this isn’t his first time he could be looking at some serious jail time, or really harsh rash from a slap on the wrist. I’ve learned the hard way with Fed-Ex that once your package is shipped there is pretty much no getting it back and if there is one thing any shipping company is good at it’s deflecting blame to someone else.

    The childish part of me wants to say to ship another package of dog poo to the same address with a note “saw this, thought of you”, but I’m sure there is some kind of law against that. Sorry to hear it, again, that sucks.

  5. Spooky says:

    3..2..1..Law suit!

  6. haoshufu says:

    Didn’t he purchased $2k worth of insurance? FedEx should pay for the item out of the insurance claim. Oh, BTW, it does not matter what coverage you paid for, FedEx will only reimburse up to the replacement value of the item or the maximum coverage, whichever is LESS.

    • craptastico says:

      i don’t think insurance would cover this. usually it’s only for broken merchandise. i’d hope that Fed Ex reimburses them otherwise however

      • RvLeshrac says:

        The person is claiming that they didn’t get the package, which means FedEx has to pay up on the insurance, since the sender also claims to not have the package. They either have to prove that the recipient has the package, which they can’t do if someone *else* signed for it, or prove that it was never shipped (then why were they tracking it?).

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      Of note is FedEx doesn’t offer insurance on it’s packages a la USPS or UPS. You can however put a declared value on your shipment. If you don’t declare a value higher than $100, that’s the most claims will pay out. Even then you need documentation to back up the value. As far as I know, it’s only payed out if damaged during transit. This is an interesting situation in that it wasn’t damaged, but delivered. The best move would be to file a police report in Miami, which they should be able to do over the phone, as well as with the local police. I’m curious to see what happens in this case.

  7. epb says:

    I think we need a little more details in regards to the scammer. The person is saying they didn’t receive the package, but FedEx should have some proof of delivery. If we’re talking about a guy whose going to do a charge back or something, I would think that’d be enough to stop it. He also mentions that FedEx delivered the package to the wrong person. Someone at the same address as the scammer? I don’t get it. Sure, FedEx messed up here delivering it, but it sounds like the guy needs to go after the scammer first.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      With their tracking number, you can go to their website and enter it in and get a signature proof of delivery. If the item was worth $2K and he declared the value, it should have been a direct signature required.

      If the scammer had someone else sign for it so he wasn’t on any of the paperwork, I’m not sure how that would help him.

      • Difdi says:

        This right here is a damn good reason not to sign for someone else’s packages. It opens you to liability in a lawsuit if that other person stiffs the seller. Your signature will be on record as signing for the delivery, and if the buyer claims he never received the package and cancels payment, well, there’s written proof that you’re a thief, at least as far as a court is concerned.

        • GrandizerGo says:

          Not true at all, many offices have a secretary sign for all incoming packages at the front door.
          She doesn’t become a thief.

  8. WinHac says:

    How did it get shipped without you having payment first?

    • Dutchess says:

      That’s what I want to know!!

      Probably got a spoofed paypal email and mailed it without verifying his paypal balance.

    • Paladingo says:

      Ebay requires you to ship before you actually receive payment in many cases (Paypal’s 21-day “hold”). Some buyers will also cancel payments while the item is in transit, leaving the seller with the only recourse of intercepting the shipment.

      • Optimistic Prime says:

        Selling through Amazon is similar, you must ship within 2 days of sale. Unfortunately it’s a gamble you take selling anything online. Though the last time I shipped eBay, I put in my terms shipment would be after funds clear. Not a 100% measure, but the best you can do.

    • craptastico says:

      i was wondering about that myself. the OP doesn’t mention a bouncing check or anything. it seems like he just mailed it in good faith. i guess this aggravation should be chalked up to a lesson learned.

    • MsAnthrope says:

      I came very close to falling for the same kind of scam. I was selling a camcorder on Craigslist and was asked to do a paypal transaction so that “both buyer and seller would be safer.” So, on my paypal account, I request the agreed upon amount to the email address of the buyer and shortly thereafter I got an email from “Paypal” saying that they would release funds after a tracking number was provided. It had paypal-esque graphics and everything….including questionable grammar. I called paypal who confirmed that they do not require a tracking number to release funds, and wrote back the scammer with a message from paypal. He never responded.

      I’d like to think of myself as pretty savvy, and I almost fell for it, too. These guys are getting really sophisticated. Bastards.

  9. Griking says:

    It seems to me that while this will probably be a real pain in the ass the seller will probably b e covered somewhere along the line. Was this an eBay sale? Was it paid for with PayPal? The OP shipped via Fedex so he has delivery confirmation that it was delivered. PayPal may hold the funds while they investigate but the OP should eventually get the funds released.

    And if the receiver signed with a different name then the one that the package was shipped to and PayPal refunds the purchaser because of it then I can’t imagine how Fedex wouldn’t be liable for it, especially since he purchased insurance from them.

    • winnabago says:

      Paypal almost always sides with the buyer – it’s the reason many, many former ebay sellers have left the site. The easiest scam is to announce that the item is significantly not as described (SNAD) and never return it (or to send back an empty box). The second is to have the item shipped to a confusing/partial address, where the buyer will recieve the item but it will not show up as shipped to the complete, official address. The second is what happened here. If either of these common scam methods are the case here, the seller is in for a long, difficult fight, as I can vouch for from experience.

      • Griking says:

        I agree that PayPal can be a pain for sellers but in my experiences as long as you have delivery confirmation showing that the package was delivered to the buyer’s confirmed PayPal address there shouldn’t be any problems.

        The buyer claiming that the item not being as described can be a problem but that doesn’t appear to be the situation in this case.

        • winnabago says:

          Yes, I agree. We don’t know what the “scammer” will claim, but the seller will know within 90 days – probably sooner. A fedex signature confirmation may not be enough to satisfy Paypal.

        • doughrama says:

          Just went through this process. Buyer paid with paypal, we shipped. Later the same day ebay/paypal put our funds on hold and canceled the transaction due to a possible account compromise of the buyers. So now we have no money and our product is in transit.

          We had delivery conformation. Which turns out, was circumvented. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we shipped the package to a UPS store (checked it on google maps.) The UPS store can sign for packages. I’ve never setup a delivery account with a UPS Store before… I would imagine that identity verification isn’t particularly rigorous and a fake ID or something could be used to setup the account.

          Fortunately we were able to get our package intercepted… We spoke with USPS postal inspector. He basically told us that there was nothing to inspect/no crime had taken place because the buyer never received the package. We were lucky enough to escape the scam relatively unscathed, but the scammer gets off entirely.

        • 108socks says:

          It will probably take months of resolution, though. Two years ago, I mailed a sewing machine to an Ebay buyer. I paid for insurance on it even though the buyer declined, because it was such a big and heavy package. The insurance required a signature for delivery. Someone at the buyer’s house signed for it, but I got an email claiming they never received it, and Paypal took $325.00 from my account (the cost of the machine) until the dispute was cleared. I immediately and repeated faxed copies of the signed delivery insurance tag as well as a statement, and it still took 7 MONTHS before Paypal replenished my account–but not after trying to hit me up for collections because the $325.00 made my Paypal account go negative. That was the last time I fooled with Ebay and Paypal.

  10. full.tang.halo says:

    1. Was it his Fed Ex account number or did he ship it through an ASO (authorized shipping outlet) aka fed-ex kinkos, Postal Annex, etc. if so they are the “shipper” and that can really limit what a CSR can do.

    If I had something that I actually shipped or even if an ASO shipped it for me, canceling isn’t the best way to make sure you get it back. I or the ASO can call an address redirect and reset the destination back to my address. It was something I had to do multiple times as an ASO when either a wrong address was put on the shipment by the sender or one of the employees. I know UPS will pull the package aside then next time it is scanned at a facility and issue a new bar code and address, and slap it over the old one. I can’t believe that Fed Ex wouldn’t be capable of the same.

    A FULL Refund, of both the item and shipping, is all that would be acceptable to me.

  11. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Was there Fed-Ex Insurance? Can you make a PayPal Claim?
    Police Report?
    Why was the item shipped without payment received?

    “they released the package to someone other than the addressed recipient.”
    At the same address? That’s normal, isn’t it?

    • ajlei says:

      I could be wrong, but I am guessing that at the point he called and had the shipment canceled, the OP considered himself to now be the recipient. That’s how I read it, anyway.

  12. Randell says:

    If you knew it was a “scam artist” before it was delivered, the thing to do would be to call the police FIRST. If it was actually some form of fraud the police would investigate. It would also cover you as to what actually happened.
    Two, Fed Ex screwed up in not stopping the shipment, but as much as you would like to think yours is the only package they deal with, it is not reality.
    Three, there are way too many details left out of the story as to why it was a scam etc.
    Finally, the only an amount you could ever recover in court would be EXACTLY what you sold the camera to the so-called scam artist for. Why isn’t that mentioned in the article? Based on the insurance you are saying the scammer paid $2000 for it. (The value is exactly what a person is willing to sell it for and another is willing to pay)
    Your remedy will only be for the amount you lost from the scammer. The idea of court is to make it like the wrong never happened. IF that were the case, you would have paid the shipping, paid the insurance, and anything else to Fed Ex happily.
    If he really was a scammer and never received the merchandise, let him file a claim against you. Seems like a good deal to me. If he did something illegal, he isn’t going to do anything about it.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      If FedEx isn’t going to take any responsibility for the package, they need to get out of the shipping business. End of story.

  13. doughrama says:

    My wife and I just had a similar problem, fortunately it’s supposed to end well (we don’t actually have the package in our hands yet).

    My wife won an ipad at a conference. Since she already has an ipad and I didn’t want it, we decided to sell it on ebay. The buyer paid with paypal and the money was in her account.

    The next afternoon my wife shipped off the ipad and let the buyer know it was on it’s way. Late that night my wife got a bunch of e-mails from paypal/ebay saying that the buyer was suspicious and that the funds were put on hold and that the transaction canceled/was being investigated. Fortunately we have a relative who’s a manager for the USPS. We called him up, gave him the information and he was able to get the package intercepted and sent back to us.

  14. TouchMyMonkey says:

    Next time, money first, then merchandise. If the buyer doesn’t like that, tough. That’s the way I eBay.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Exactly. Remember the days when you had to send a money order to get items on ebay? So far, I’ve never had a problem selling on ebay. I had one person who paid for an item, never claimed it from the post office when it shipped, it got returned to me and I tried to contact them but they never answered. Weird.

  15. jimstoic says:

    I just avoid FedEx.

  16. adam395 says:

    FedEx should step up to plate on this one and refund the money. Yes, it’s Randall’s fault that he shipped it to a scam artist, but after repeatedly promising to intervene in the shipment and failing to do so…that’s shameful. A reimbursement for the product is the least they can do.

  17. Qolotlh says:

    Yeah they are good at that. My former employer sent a box via FedEx next day air and I refused it as it was no longer needed. They attempted to redeliver it twice a day for the next three days until as supervisor at the hub was chewed out for not following procedure I was told. Would be awesome if it was something I needed and they were that adamant about me receiving it but doesn’t seem to be the way they work.

  18. Tedsallis says:

    I had an opposite experience. I sold a gift card on ebay and sent the number on the card to the buyer via e-mail as requested, he left feedback and everything was fine. Turns out he was scammer and after redeeming the code (or reselling it) he filed with paypal saying he had not received merchandise. I looked and saw he had done this to a bunch of other sellers and after a few inquiries determined that none of them had ever bothered to actually mail the gift card with a tracking number. So I sent it via first class with delivery confirmation and submitted the number to Paypal. Scammer gave a fake address so the package bounced back but Paypal found in my favor and scammer did not win. I was out a couple of bucks on shipping but I got the gift card for free anyway so it worked out fine.

  19. crb042 says:

    sounds like if it’s possible to back out of paypal transactions the important lesson here is to use a more reliable means of money exchange for expensive items. Bank check or something like that.

    also, I don’t know ebay/paypal rules regarding this, maybe someone can answer this… paypal transacts on email addresses, right? So, wouldn’t it add a level of credibility to deal with people who have non-free email addresses? eg, I doubt I’d ever track down someone @yahoo.com, but law enforcement and/or my lawyer could chase down who owns the account that’s tied to an email address @ the local cable provider. Would ebay let you … I guess the proper word is ‘discriminate’ … against freemail addressees?

    As to the issue at hand, I agree with others that this should be covered by insurance. It’s also probably worth filing some complaints with various authorities, this is probably covered under mail fraud or some other more-serious-than-the-scammer-expected laws.

  20. acuthbertson says:

    So the OP sends a camera valued at $2000 through FedEx yet doesn’t require a signature on delivery?

  21. Joey Zazza says:

    This is GRAND THEFT (value exceeds $500) across STATE LINES…contact the FBI.

  22. skapig says:

    FedEx should absolutely be on the hook for this.

    No info provided on the scam. Always wait for payment to clear before shipping. Especially when it’s $2000 worth of merch.

  23. fxsoap says:

    I hope they see the error and pay him.

  24. FedEx Dolores says:

    Hello this is FedexDolores, I am a customer service representative with Fedex and want to extend to you my deepest apologies for this happening.

    When a package is tendered to Fedex our guarantee is to deliver according to what that label reflects. Any change request received after the shipment has been tendered to us is considered a request and we cannot gurantee it, but will do our best to try to accomodate. I understand your frustrations and I am sorry that we could not carry out your request for stopping this shipment.

    I apologize that this was not explained to you correctly. When we submit these requests, they are sent to the delivery station who will try to adhere to your change request. I apologize that we were not successful in following through with your request. I hope this helps you understand a little bit of how our operations work. If you have any further questions or concerns, please email me at fedex-dolores@fedex.com. I’ll be happy to assist you with anything that I can.

    Warmest Regards,

    FedexDolores
    fedex-dolores@fedex.com

  25. OMG_BECKY says:

    I got screwed out of a $2,000 computer once thanks to FedEx. I sent the computer C.O.D. to a buyer in California. Well, the “cashier’s check” FedEx accepted at the door turned out to be counterfeit. In the end FedEx would not take responsibility, the police would not help me and I was in deep sh*t with my bank–they froze my account and were suspicious of ME! What a nightmare.

  26. pyrobryan says:

    Who in their right mind would ship a $2,000 piece of merchandise without receiving payment first? If you owned a store, or were selling it at a garage sale would you let someone take it with them and tell you they’ll get payment to you later? No, you would have cash in hand before you let the item go. So why do it differently for an online sale?FedEx should have stopped the delivery if they said they would, but the OP shouldn’t have shipped it to begin with.

    FedEx delivered the package to the designated address and the package was received and signed for at the address. FedEx did their part. Does the shipper have any evidence that he requested an intercept on the package? How do we know that he is not the conman here trying to bilk FedEx out of some cash by claiming to have requested an intercept. Maybe he just sent his friend a box of stuffing paper and insured it for $2k then lied about try to stop delivery. I’ve never dealt with FedEx, but every time I call the USPS I get a case number. Does FedEx have a similar system?

    FedEx is a business and they can’t just go around paying claims because it’s a sad story. This is why you take notes. You get the name of the person to whom you are speaking. You ask if there is a case number or some other record number in case you need to call back in regards to this situation. You screwed up. You need to do your part in making sure things get handled as they are supposed to. Then, if things don’t go well, you have a leg to stand on when seeking compensation.