Jeff is an American who currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo is a dense and baffling city, and his bank, USAA, created a huge problem when they sent him a check using FedEx but sort of forgot to include his street address. In a city of millions and in a neighborhood of 300,000, FedEx’s challenge was to find one foreign dude. They could have just sent the envelope back to USAA. Instead, they accepted the challenge and got the package to Jeff before the original delivery estimate was up.
I am an American, but I live and work in Tokyo. I needed a teller’s check sent from my bank in the US to Japan. I elected to have it sent by express courier, given the nature of the contents. My bank, USAA, sent it by Fedex the next business day. For some reason, in the process of sending it, they omitted “line 1″ from my address that they have on file. What resulted was an addressee section that contained my name, apartment building with unit, and city. There was no street information included at all. Bear in mind, I live in a mega-metropolis with millions of people and tens-of-thousands of apartment buildings. My “tiny” city district alone has over 300,000 people.
Instead of just returning it to sender, Fedex did some deep digging to find me by researching the apartment buildings in my postal code. From the looks of the notes on the delivery tag, it took 3 failed attempts before they actually found the correct person. The original delivery estimate was 5-8 days. I received it today, exactly 6 days after it was sent without the benefit of a street address.