What Part Of "Must Obtain Signature" Did FedEx Misunderstand?

Frank told FedEx to require a signature before delivering his skis, instructions FedEx found vague and confusing. When Frank complained, FedEx said that in order to deliver the increased volume of goods over the holidays, they reserve the right to essentially chuck your delicate gifts from a speeding truck.

He writes:

I love dealing with UPS. The package comes when they say it will, and the regular deliveryman knows when, and when not, to leave a package when nobody’s home. I hate dealing with FedEx. They claim they came when they didn’t and leave packages at the door without even knocking when we are home. For Christmas, I ordered a pair of skis for my wife and told the shipper to insist on a signature. TrackingUpdates@fedex.com sent me a shipment notification that clearly said “Must Obtain Signature DO NOT LEAVE AT DOOR.”

The tracking page said that the delivery would be on 12/26. No problem, since I ordered too late to get it in time for Christmas. We changed our plans to stay up in the Adirondacks for the long Christmas weekend only because of the heavy Sunday rain that wiped out the great skiing conditions that existed just a day before. I went to work Monday, Christmas Eve, checked the tracking page, and found out that they were now delivering the skis that day. I called my wife and told her to hustle home to be there for the package.

I later checked the tracking page before she got home and found that they had delivered it with the notation ” Left at front door. Package delivered to recipient address – release authorized.” I submitted a complaint online: “Despite specific instructions from the shipper: ‘Must Obtain Signature DO NOT LEAVE AT DOOR,’ the package was left at the door based on ‘Signature Release on file.’ [please note — that’s B.S.] I HEREBY REVOKE ANY AND ALL SIGNATURE RELEASES THAT YOU HAVE ON FILE.”

Their reply was: “Our records indicate that your shipper is not requiring FedEx to acquire a signature to complete this delivery. Our drivers often can deliver packages even when no one is available to sign for them.” I e-mailed them again and suggested that they re-read my e-mail and the specific instructions from the shipper.

Then I got this reply: “FedEx authorized release of residential packages without a release agreement on file to expedite deliveries because of possible weather/volume issues and to ensure packages were delivered in time for the holiday. FedEx reserves the right to release packages at residential locations without obtaining a signature.”

In other words, FedEx doesn’t care what instructions are given by the shipper — they reserve the right to do whatever they want with the package — like leaving it outside so various undesirables can happen by and help themselves to your stuff. By the way, the toe piece on one of the ski bindings was damaged. Thanks, FedEx.

I no longer will do business with any merchant that will not give me the option of shipping with some company other than FedEx.

Thanks for listening


(Photo: DDFic)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rando says:


  2. Major-General says:

    Gee, and I was simply wondering if FedEx knows the meaning of “deadline.”

  3. Dustbunny says:

    I wish FedEx would leave packages without a signature in our building — I was at work during the 3 delivery attempts they made, and even though I left a note saying it was ok to drop off the package, they didn’t. It seems to be up to the individual driver to decide how to handle deliveries.

  4. mgyqmb says:

    They might has well have left a big middle finger on your doorstep. That e-mail is harsh.

  5. aybara says:

    Sadly this is my exact experiences with UPS.

    They did a drop and run on a brand-new Dell computer rather than wait for me to answer the door. All UPS does at my house is the drop and run. FedEx always waits until I open the door, no matter what the package is.

  6. 7j6cei says:

    This is the exact reason I have all my packages sent to my office.

  7. Hawk07 says:

    Newegg is famous among the UPS and Fedex drivers in my area since they told me Newegg requires a signature for everything delivered. Whether it’s a $5 piece of plastic, or a $1300 quad core extreme gaming processor, they need a signature.

  8. madanthony says:

    Personally, I’ve had the opposite problem with FedEx, at least with their ground division. They’ve refused to leave low-value packages in my fairly safe suburban neighborhood because the shipper required a signature. Since I’m one of those people who has this thing called a job, which means I can’t sit around all day waiting for them to deliver a free-after-rebate router, I ended up having to drive to west bumblefuck (aka Dundalk, MD)to pick up my package – and had to pay tolls, to boot.

    When I lived in the city and didn’t trust my crackhead neighbors to not steal my shit, I would have packages shipped to work, where there was always someone to receive them.

  9. weggles90 says:

    Thats why Canada is awesome, you HAVE to sign for the pacakge, it can’t be left on your porch.

  10. Rob says:

    FedEX refuses to listen to anything I say, I have had multiple packages that they just will not leave at the door ranging from boxes of pencils to computers, but one item I really cared about (my laptop) they chucked at the door like it was an empty box and just wandered off, they didn’t even place it next to the door they left it across the hall from my door for whatever reason.

    UPS on the other hand believes that I do not exist and that my packages should always be sent back too the sender, no matter how many times I give them my address, no matter how many routes I give them to my residence they just do not understand! One of the UPS representative explained too me that their software does not recognize my address and their was nothing she could do. So UPS is a total loss for me.

    DHL has politely placed things next to my door and if needed allows me to sign one of their nice little tag things.

  11. “love dealing with UPS. The package comes when they say it will, and the regular deliveryman knows when, and when not, to leave a package when nobody’s home.”

    You’re obviously dealing with a completely different UPS than the rest of us. They’ve left packages in snowbanks down the block from where I lived and worse. Don’t even get me started on their executive complaint process.

    But FedEx, sadly, is no better. Good luck on getting any money from them on the ski’s damage.

  12. eelmonger says:

    Doesn’t FedEx leave a door hanger that you can sign to waive the signature requirement? I know they used to, but I haven’t had to deal with it in awhile. I live in an apartment complex where the office will sign for packages if you aren’t there; something great if you have a job and can wait around for stuff.

  13. courtneywoah says:

    I was supposed to receive a package on 12/26 but I was never given the option from the merchant of making a signature required. When I came home the next day 12/27 my package was nowhere to be seen. I called FedEx and asked them if they had dropped my package off. The lady on the phone said she would send a driver by the next day to confirm. When the driver showed up he said “did you receive a package?” I said “no” and he says “ARE YOU SURE” in an accusatory tone. I said no again and he walked away saying “ok bye” leaving me standing there wondering what happened. Now I have to call the merchant to file a complaint. Although I don’t blame FedEx for my neighbors possibly stealing my package, I don’t think the driver that did the follow up was very nice or professional. I am still wondering what the point of his visit was.

  14. stinerman says:

    I worked for UPS during the holiday rush.

    I know for sure that if something needs a signature we get it. In fact, once my driver forgot to get a signature for a package after we had delivered it. So we went back to the house, “undelivered” the package and put it back on the truck for tomorrow’s delivery.

    Of course, I don’t know how FedEx does it, but “signature required” means just that in UPS-land.

  15. othium says:

    What action can a consumer take when a package has been delivered to an apartment complex and it has been stolen from the mail area? (Paid with Visa check card) Do I contact the seller or UPS? Would a chargeback be a possible solution to this? It wasn’t a huge loss of money as I only spent 24 dollars on the item, but I was disappointed that it even happened, as I hate to suspect the people that live in my apartment. They have always been helpful and nice.

    (Going to go and google this dilemma for answers..)

  16. stinerman says:

    Most of the time, the shipper decides whether or not you’ll have to sign for the package. The standard rule of thumb is that anything below a certain value is a “shipper release” which means the deliverer can just leave it there. That is, until some package in the area ends up stolen. Then a lot of stuff becomes “signature required”.

  17. v12spd says:

    I was furious with UPS last week, but was too busy with the holiday season to deal with a complaint. I was (luckily) outside my house working on my car. I had been awaiting the box for my new projector (Panasonic AX1000U) and I see a UPS driver pass by, I ask if he has my package, and he says hell be back later. About an hour later, he slinks past me with a box heavily marked in ink and stickers with the word FRAGILE. Literally launches it at my doorstep, it drops down 4 stairs onto a brick driveway. Each *thump* had my heart drop another inch for fear of the bulb in the projector breaking. When I ran up, he had already “released the requirement for signature so I didnt need to be there” and quickly sprinted for the trunk. Luckily the projector worked fine, but I was furious that they could ignore the labels to such a huge degree.

  18. stinerman says:


    It depends.

    Usually UPS will require a signature for all packages in an apartment complex. If they can drop them off with a neighbor or at the administrative offices, they’ll waive the signature (unless a signature was originally required).

    If someone signed for your package, then as far as UPS is concerned, they’ve delivered it. You’ll have to take it up with whomever signed for it. If no one signed for your package, talk to UPS first and then your merchant.

  19. stinerman says:

    UPS drivers are Teamster members. Putting “fragile” or “do not bend” on a package or envelope doesn’t mean anything to them. They’re not losing any pay if a package is damaged in transit.

  20. othium says:

    @stinerman: Thanks for the advice! I will do that.

  21. bsbeamer says:

    Have to add to the UPS problems…

    Had a large and expensive computer server component of super fast hard drives, etc. shipped to my work by UPS from CA to the east coast. They basically dumped it at the door outside the building late on a Friday and left it sitting there all weekend long. It just so happened to be rain/snow/sleet and a toasty high of 24-28 that weekend. It was signature required, and marked fragile with a “do not drop” and “this side up” marking.

    Luckily the box wasn’t wet, but the hard drives were ice cold and completely frozen. Called the computer company in CA and they told me that I basically needed to “defrost” them for about 5 or 6 hours and bring them to room temperature before trying to install. Absolute nightmare.

  22. Mrs. Stephen Fry says:

    UPS sucks more than FedEx. I have a friend who worked there for years, and she told me they basically drop-kick any packages marked “fragile.” Just because they can.

  23. Buran says:

    @Randal Milholland: Yeah, no kidding. It’s funny to see people screaming “I HATE UPS and will never ship with them, FedEx only!” and other complaints with the company names reversed but no other differences.

    And then people come along and realize that it’s not the companies (usually) but it’s the individual idiots working there that cause problems, so company A is great in some places and B is great in others.

  24. Buran says:

    @courtneywoah: I’d file a complaint about that guy too. That’s unacceptable.

  25. Buran says:

    @MonkeySeeMonkeyDo: Someday I’ll ship a package with a pinhole camera in it that keeps a running record going and is triggered to save the last 30 seconds of video if there’s a sharp drop. Then send the incriminating video to UPS along with a picture of the clear “FRAGILE” mark. And send it to the press too.

  26. wring says:

    has anybody brought up the difference between fedex grond, fedex home delivery, and i think fedex express?

  27. sled_dog says:

    Should have called FedEx and told them that the package was never delivered. If it was, they were supposed to have a signature release (the requested proof of delivery.) Free skis!

    And … don’t they charge extra for signature release?

  28. suburb says:

    And UPS is no better…I received an automated call last Thursday 12/20 stating that my 2 1TB hard drives from Amazon (worth about $600 total) would be arriving on Friday, 12/21 and that I’d need to sign in order to receive them. I had to work, but the message went on to say if no one was available to sign, there would be directions left as to where I could retrieve the package…no worries as UPS is only a short distance from home.

    Needless to say, I arrived home from work on Friday only to find my package sitting at my door. I happen to live on one of the busiest streets in the Mission District of San Francisco. Not exactly the kind of place to leave anything of this sort just waiting outside.

    A bit peeved, I immediately went upstairs to see what happened to my “required” signature only to find THIS!!! That’s right, my shrubs signed for the package. I immediately called UPS to file a complaint (the second in the past year I’ve had to file) and the woman had the audacity to ask me if someone in my building had the last name of “Bush.”

    TO make it even better, my complaint was never followed up by the local UPS office “within the hour” as promised.

  29. mantari says:

    Yeah. I shipped something in NOVEMBER via FedEx, and I paid extra for the ‘signature required’ service. Result? They left the package, no signature required.

    I was disturbed, since I sold something worth some good $$ to someone online. But he didn’t report any problems, so I decided not to press the issue.

    Still, unhappy with FedEx service, but I’m sure my complaining won’t make them change their behavior nationwide.

  30. pda_tech_guy says:

    Gosh I hate FedEx. They do this all the time at the company I work for. We ship out on average 60 packages a day. The packages are replacement PDA’s. (people call for support, and if we cant solve the issue over the phone, then a replacement is sent.” we always require a signature, (because of the value) and insure the packages at 800 dollars.

    Every day we get complaints from at least 2 or 3 customers who say “FedEx left it at the door”
    One time a package actually got stolen off a person’s front door, and submiting a claim is a nightmare.

    I really dont understand what part of signature required FedEx doesnt understand. This is why I always have all my packages shipped to my office, or shipped to a Kinkos. They will actually hold your package for you.

  31. CurbRunner says:


    I agree with this tactic and it should become standard practice for customers to respond in this manner until FedEx feels the economic pain of having to replace the unsigned-for goods and actually starts to obtain the required signatures.

  32. LAGirl says:

    FEDEX does that to me all the time. The driver in our area comes early, so i’m usually home when he’s here. but he NEVER rings the bell. he always drops the package on the front porch + runs.

    the worst was when my boyfriend bought a new MAC laptop. it shipped ‘signature required’. the idiot driver left it on the front porch w/o a signature! we weren’t home and it sat there all day. anyone walking by could have grabbed it. thank god that didn’t happen. boyfriend called FEDEX to bitch them out, but honestly, i don’t think they really cared.

  33. WraithSama says:

    Here’s what you all need to understand: the quality of service with which your packages are delivered are dependent entirely on who the driver is that delivers in your area. All of the major delivery companies don’t seem to give a damn what their drivers do, so which company you use seems irrelevant; it’s up to the driver if they do a good job or not.

    In the old neighborhood I lived in, the FedEx driver sucked, leaving packages in snow, leaving a signature-required box of computer components on the doorstep in the rain without ringing the doorbell, etc. In my new neighborhood I moved to recently, the FedEx girl is friendly, on-time, and won’t leave packages on my doorstep if I’m not there to sign it, often leaving notes on the door saying when she’ll try again or where I can pick it up after delivery hours.

  34. evilhapposai says:

    Both UPS and FedEx are famous for it here. I ALWAYS ask for signature and there are people home most of the time, however had had my ps2 (back when they were hard to get and expensive) left out in the rain as well as a laptop.

  35. motoraway says:

    @weggles90: Not true at all.
    UPS often leaves my parcels on the porch, even though they have never had consent to do so.

  36. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’ve had it go in both directions. I’ve had UPS and FEDEX leave packages off at my house that were clearly labeled “Signature Required,” and I’ve also had UPS decline to deliver my $20 computer mouse (from NewEgg) even after I left the driver a signed copy of the receipt stating that I waived all liability if the package was stolen. (I live out in a very rural area way out in the woods, so my packages have an equal chance of being trampled by a moose as being stolen).

    It seems like the signature policy is totally up to the individual driver and nobody is enforcing the policy.

  37. brettt says:

    Fed Ex forged my signature twice, when I ordered things from store.apple.com.

    Isn’t this a liability for the driver?

  38. it5five says:

    Boy, I’m glad I don’t use any private shipping companies. USPS FTW. Either the package is left in the package box, in the office with a notice for me to pick it up in there, or at the actual post office with a notice in my mailbox for me to go pick it up. None of this unattended business.

  39. Bunklung says:

    @stinerman: Classic. I bet all union workers do nothing all day and make more money than you do. I bet they also get to drink free beer at any time during their shift because they are all paid by the hour way too much. Think how much better YOUR life would be without unions. All that money could be funneled to the people who “really” work… like part time workers, immigrants, and CEOs.

    Everything is perfect in white collar land, no favoritism, cronyism, or good old boys. Scum, being late or overpaid is not in their vocabulary. All workers are high function, and they NEVER call in sick… You don’t even have to s*ck your boss’ **** to get a promotion. That comes from the promotion fairy!

    /sarcasm off

  40. britne says:

    @othium: Get in touch with the company you bought it from. I had something I ordered from Amazon, they said it was delivered, and it never showed up. Thy couldn’t say if it was taken to the apartment office and it was stolen from there, or if they left it inside the door and it was stolen from there. Either way, I explained to Amazon that I never got it, and they sent a new one, which I did receive successfully.
    Oh, and to whoever stole it, enjoy season 2 of House. I know I did, you know, once I got it. =)

  41. elislider says:

    If you read the back of the door tags FedEx leaves, in the paragraph about required signatures, youll see that it doesnt require the signature of the person the package is addressed to. It can be anyone who answers the door, or A NEIGHBOR. yes, fedex will let your neighbors sign for your packages. Like any of my neighbors arent sketchy or old

  42. djxspike says:

    I seem to have the opposite problem. I wish I could just tell them to leave it on my landing. My neighbors are all old and don’t share my taste in music, movies, and computer hardware and they wont steal it. And if they do… no one will miss them.

  43. btosch says:

    In our area (Redmond, WA) UPS is awesome. They know where to leave packages and when we are likely to be home and actually care.

    FedEx ground and overnight are effectively 2 companies. We will not shop anywhere that uses FedEx ground. The most recent fun was a package from Woot. I saw the truck in the neighborhood but it did not stop at my house. We were home all day. My package showed as delivered. A subsequent “investigation” by FedEx that did not involve talking to me or accounting for my being 100% sure the truck did not come to my house found that the package had been delivered to the correct address.

    Of course woot to Woot who instantly refunded the the purchase when I told them I did not receive it.

  44. stopNgoBeau says:

    @britne: It was very enjoyable… thanks!

  45. DallasDMD says:

    @elislider: FedEx wouldn’t leave a package for me at our apartment’s management office because the shipper required someone at the address to sign for it. I even left a note pleading for them to do that… guy just left another handwritten note saying he couldn’t due to the service requested by the shipper.

  46. themediatrix says:

    I do not trust some of my neighbors and I fully believe in human fallibility (regardless of the delivery company in question).

    That’s why my husband and I have a mail service that’s open seven days a week and accepts packages and mail for us. They sign for stuff and hang onto it until we can pick it up if we’re out of town or something. They are really nice, know our names and I feel completely comfortable buying production equipment online.

    Of course, it doesn’t help when I’m sending stuff to other people.

  47. Sonnymooks says:

    I’ve never ever had a problem with either UPS or Fedex….then again I also tip them at christmas time unlike my neighbors.

    Hell, my UPS guy and my fedex guy have even come back to my house later on, to drop off stuff because I wasn’t home the first time…..unlike DHL (idiots).

  48. sleze69 says:

    @sled_dog: Yep. Next time, say it was stolen.

  49. Teapotfox says:

    UPS drops things in my building with no signature… I’ve known them to put things in our hallway without even ringing the recipient’s bell to let them know it was there. Once they left a shipment intended for me on the second-floor fire escape outside my neighbour’s door in the rain instead of inside, right in the hallway outside my clearly marked apartment.

  50. MMD says:

    Last Christmas I was sending a gift via FedEx ground because I wanted to be able to follow the tracking information. They never even scanned the package until it was delivered. In the meantime, I kept entering the tracking number online and getting no record of the package! I called customer service and the Kinkos I shipped from, and was told by both that they probably weren’t scanning the packages because of “holiday volume”.

    I can’t tell you how sick I am of “holiday volume” as an excuse for bad service. The holidays come every year. I guarantee you they’ll come next year at just about the same time. Why is no one ever prepared?

  51. retech says:

    My g/f had her macbook delivered to my place since I’d be there to sign for it. Without fail it arrived while I was in the shower. FedEx must have known I was there, what with the door closed and me not answering and all. So he kindly left the box on the step. Right there for all to see. At the time I lived on a rather busy street and the box was less than 20 feet from that street. Luckily I found it before it was snagged. But what part of that agreement with Apple doesn’t a driver understand. In HUGE print on yellow stickers it said: “Signature Required.”

    Thank you FedEx for ensuring a great service that complies with all those crazy rules that people seem to put in just to annoy your employees. Wish I’d have reported it stolen and gotten a spare.

  52. Psqunq says:

    I just had a package delivered from UPS that was marked “Hold For Pickup.” of course, they delivered it to my house. It was a christmas present.

    Let’s just say that all shipping companies suck and leave it at that. :)

  53. North Antara says:

    @Sonnymooks: Isn’t there a rule against tipping union workers? I once tried to tip the delivery guy from a grocery store, and he told me he couldn’t accept it, citing “union rules”.

  54. Buran says:

    @stinerman: That seems like trespassing and theft to me — once you left it it wasn’t yours anymore, was it? I don’t recall anything in the agreement that drivers can remove packages from property after delivery.

  55. aviationwiz says:

    I’d be curious to know if the package was just marked “Signature Required” on the box, or whether the actual “Signature Required” service was added to the shipment, or both.

    Without actually adding on the value-added service to the shipment, the carrier does not have to get a signature if conditions otherwise permit a driver release. If that service was added on, well, then there’s definitely an issue there.

    The same thing goes for any expensive items people have received without requiring a signature, we don’t know what’s in it! If a laptop or TV or something was shipped in the original box, which does happen, we will get a signature on it, since it is considered to be a high risk item, otherwise, a driver release is fair game.

  56. Kevin Cotter says:

    My favorite was when FedEx chucked the motherboard my wife ordered for Christmas over the fence into the backyard so the dog/puppy could tear it apart before I got home for work. I wish I had pictures – there was parts strewn across the whole backyard! As the dod matured she doesn’t do that anymore, but I see FedEx hasn’t matured at all – they still suck!

  57. Sonnymooks says:

    @North Antara:

    I know my mailman told me that have certain rules, but he still took the tip, UPS and Fedex have never told me anything about rules regarding tips, and always are more then happy to take’m.

    I actually have no problem tipping them, either for the holidays or for extra service and effort (an example being coming in the morning, I am not home or asleep or whatever, and then coming back later to try again, and in some cases a 3rd time).

    FedEx and UPS, have also been great with not leaving anything at my doorstep, but actually making sure someone signs for it, and it gets gotten. DHL, however, I have nothing good to say about, I hate them, I loathe them, and wish ill on their company (multiple bad experiences).

  58. Joe S Chmo says:

    Never had a problem with UPS. The drivers are always friendly when delivering my goods to me. FEDEX drivers are ok as well in my experience.

    One time though, I got home late from work and the FEDEX note said I had to go to their office to pick up my goods. So, I went there after work the next day and had to fight the bad traffic. Well, when I got there the counter guy said the goods were not there either. I asked if I needed to wait for the driver to get back and he said the driver was already back. So, I drove home fighting traffic and when I finally got home, the package had been left with my neighbor. Go Figure.

  59. sashko says:

    Oh I can tell you some juicy stories about FedEx :-)
    First one, is when I sent a shipment to my brother in Germany, they couldn’t find his house for freaking 3 days!!! How in the world don’t you find a huge house that I can see with my blind eyes on google maps? The finally after 3 days of yelling and screaming they finally found it. My brother actually made huge signs next to the house for the FedEx delivery person. It was quite funny.
    The second story is of me sending two iPhones to my cousin in Moscow. Well guess what? The iPhones were stolen by FedEx employees in Moscow and the FedEx supervisor at the station in Moscow told my cousin himself: “Oh it is very common for electronic items to be stolen from our warehouse.”
    Good job, FedEx! Not only are you incompetent, but also thieves!
    I actually use UPS only from now on, and have instructed our shipping department in my company to use UPS only as well, FedEx is no more our shipping partner. Also when we place orders now with our vendors, it’s UPS only as well.
    The funny part of the Moscow story is, it took 30 days for the customs and FedEx to clear the item, but the customs worker said, from now on use UPS, they are the quickest and only takes a few days to clear!

    Shame on you FedEx! I’m glad there is UPS, I hope your stock goes down soon!

  60. pentab555 says:

    I bought a ipod for my girlfriend for christmas, we were worried when we found out that apple “requires a signature” for all items, because no one is home until after 7pm. Well, long story short the ipod was delivered 3 days early(a plus)and required no signature(a confusing plus). After having the package sit on our coffee table for a bit we decided to open it because we were not expecting any packages at that time, since we are both on top of tracking our packages. We opened it and were dumbfounded to find that it was her ipod. We thought it needed a signature so that it would not be left on a doorstep for some unknown amount of hours. I went online and doubled checked to see if it needed a signature, and low and behold, there was one… In fact it was of my girlfriends(who the package was addressed to, an error on my part) who was at her job from 6 am to 8 30 pm that day. Because we got what we wanted and there was no problems, and because we were worried about the hassle of getting a signature, we did not complain. But this is troublesome, figure id bring it up.

  61. GothamGal says:

    Whoa there! This is not a FedEx problem, UPS did this to me on several deliveries this season. They would knock on my door and by the time I got to the door, they were already at their truck. That’s how fast they are and don’t care. When I opened the door, I was relieved to find my package and not a baby left on my doorstep.

  62. edrebber says:

    FedEx can legally decide not to collect the signature, but they are liable for the first $100 if they addressee claims non receipt. Since the OP received the Skis, there is no legal recourse with FedEx. The OP should file a damage claim with FedEx for the damage to the Skis.

  63. coren says:

    @Bunklung: That’s the argument they were making alright! You nailed it!

  64. coren says:

    @Buran: If it’s improperly delivered, maybe. But certainly not trespassing, or else it was trespassing to put the package there to begin with.

  65. GothamGal says:


    OK, your story made my day.

  66. swalve says:

    @wring: No, and that’s a good point. REAL FedEx is much better. FedEx Ground is the former RPS, and FedEx Home is their home service. No parcel pickups, they operate Tues-Sat. And they suck.

  67. Buran says:

    @coren: I think if you enter someone’s property with intent to remove an item that is not yours, you could get slammed with trespassing, but if you were leaving something I can’t see anyone pressing charges.

  68. war59312 says:

    Yeah the worst thing about this is that they charge you more to get a signature. :( So yeah I would fight them all the way. They have not rendered the service, so no they cannot legally decide not to collect the signature when I have already paid them to!!! Wow what some people put up with these days.

    Stop putting up with this shit people or else it will never quit!!

  69. Copper says:

    All depends on the driver. In my area, both the FedEx and UPS drivers are great. When I’ve been here, they get my signature and when I’m not, they give it to my apartment office.

  70. weggles90 says:

    They shouldn’t have. Any time I miss a parcel, they always leave a tag saying when they will be back. Purolator did, UPS did, FedEx etc. Maybe it’s just in Ontario then, but I know for sure where I live it is required on all deliveries.

  71. 13743an says:

    I had a similar problem with FedEx that I paid extra for signature required and date specific delivery. Needless to say that didn’t happen. Since I shipped about 12 boxes it cost over $200, I complained and it took some time and talking to many people, but I got all my shipping charges completely refunded. I would suggest calling, and escalating. I have yet to find filing an online complaint any use.

  72. MrsMicah says:

    @suburb: *falls over laughing* I’m glad that your package made it there ok. And since it did, I’m going to enjoy the humor of the situation. My husband found it funny too. Perhaps you live in a magical shrubbery?

  73. DjDynasty says:

    @LAGirl: Same thing happened to me, Brand New iMac, My xmas present to myself, MISSING! they signed for it themselves!

    What pisses me off the most is Apple won’t resolve it until FedEx resolves it and who the fuck knows how long that will take. I should have gotten a dell, At least their executive service is worth a dam. Steve Jobs himself couldn’t speed up this process.

  74. tiringthought says:

    UPS just dropped off 300 dollars worth of stuff I ordered to my neighbor next door who signed my name for it then tucked the package inside my apartment building door. I live in a building with only two units yet the package still manages to get stolen. Thanks over friendly neighbor and UPS guy.

  75. DallasDMD says:

    @DjDynasty: Chargeback.

  76. derobert says:

    @sled_dog: The legal term for what you’re suggesting, is, I believe fraud.

  77. derobert says:

    @MMD: Maybe because if they bought equipment, hired & trained employees, etc. to handle the peak volume without any service degradation during the peak two weeks of the year, all that would be wasted money the other 50 weeks.

    I sure wouldn’t want to pay for that. I’ll take cheaper shipping that works well 50 out of 52 weeks of the year, thanks.

  78. larkknot says:

    All three major delivery services (UPSFedEXDHL) ring the doorbell, drop the package in front of the door, and take off running – my place is two stories and they’re usually climbing back into the truck by the time I come downstairs and reach the door. That’s IF I’m at home when they do it. Never ever do they actually get the required signature or just “Attempt Delivery.” My neighborhood isn’t awful, but it’s a little sketchy, and the weather around here is frequently wet, which is all together a bad combination for packages. USPS wins hands and feet down in this competition – they either put it in the special key-locked package boxes, or wait at my door for a few minutes after knocking, or I get a little slip in the mailbox letting me know I need to go to the post office conveniently located nearby, which also happens to have very extended hours. I <3 this one branch of government.

  79. Sestos says:

    I have had similar issues with FEDEX and UPS.

    UPS would never leave a package even when I requested it. I had to take a late lunch and make sure I was home around 0130 in the afternoon, that was almost always the time he drove down my street. Then they got a new driver and he would drop stuff off and use my floormat and garage can to disguse the box!

    With FEDEX, I would be watching TV on the sofa and hear someone outside my door. I would get up and open the door to discover a box had been left and the FEDEX guy was driving down the street. No knock at the door or ringing the door bell.

  80. jamar0303 says:

    Are those three (UPS/Fedex/DHL) the only private delivery services that exist in the States?

  81. savdavid says:

    Good Lord, I didn’t know they could do that. Why does FedEx even bother to ask if you want a signature?

  82. Eagles says:

    Happy New Year to all of you. There are a plethora of reasons your packages may have been delivered to your place of residence even though there was a signature required. One of the most common is the barcode your shipper applied may have not been legible because of where it was placed on the package, i.e. the corner, or it was slightly damaged, or it came off the package because it wasn’t secured properly and the scanner couldn’t read it. Your “Signature Required” is imbedded in the barcode, if a power ship label, etc is used. So, if the barcode is illegible, a new barcode, with the same tracking # is created. Unfortunately, none of the shipping companies can determine what your shipper imbedded in the barcode when manually generating a new label. Once that occurs, the drivers don’t get the standard double beep on the scanners/trackers to let them know there is an exception to the delivery. Granted, there are drivers who ignore this and leave packages, but all-in-all, these companies have more successful deliveries than unsuccessful. Everyone understands it becomes personal when it is your package that isn’t delivered properly, or ends up missing. It is easy to complain and degrade these companies. But do you do everything perfectly? Do you make mistakes? Do people tell you, “you suck” when you make an error? These are multi-billion dollar companies, to include the USPS (government) and in the grand scope of their operations, they do care about your package. They do have people behind the scenes looking for your packages and looking into the delivery issues. These companies process millions of packages during their peak season (all with their own windows and some have multiple peak seasons), and of course, every package is personal to someone. So, whether you ship with them or not, they will still succeed, because of the increasing need for these companies.

    Find the positive in every situation, don’t sweat the small stuff and your life will be much more peaceful and rewarding. Look at oneself first, before passing judgement on anyone else. This will take practice, especially for the people who are always negative.

    I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas and hope your New Year is safe and very prosperous.

  83. Rusted says:

    @jamar0303: No, there is Airborne. Think of it like RC Cola compared to Pepsi and Coca-Cola in market-share. Also USPS, though far from perfect, can also be useful.

    Reading the posts, it seems the quality of service for the various delivery services depends on who is doing it and how the regions are run.

  84. jamar0303 says:

    @Rusted: And apparently corporate is too disorganized to do anything about that, or the comments would be more consistent. Quite unfortunate.

  85. Hawk07 says:

    I think UPS and Fedex would just rather pay out insurance claims on stolen or damaged packages than pay the drivers to actually get the job done right. Both companies are famous for their cost cutting measures to make the most profit. Also, considering some very expensive goods go through their possession, they must have a good insurance policy in place.

  86. Xkeeper says:

    I guess nobody knows how to use USPS.

    Required signature, held it for us at the post office when we weren’t home, got here fine and undamaged, and even earlier than expected.

    USPS isn’t only for pure letters.

  87. clevershark says:

    In Canada UPS, Fedex and Purolator are equally terrible. None of them seems able to find my place, even though it’s a large apartment block on a busy street with the number clearly visible from the street. There’s no delivery notice or anything like that, and tracking invariably reports that the recipient was not at home (when I spent all day in so as to receive the package, my name is on the apartment register and I instruct the shipper to write the door code on the delivery label). UPS is by far the worst offender in this category, and I have yet to get a good explanation for this recurring behavior.

  88. ChristopherDavis says:

    @Rusted: Airborne was bought by DHL a few years ago.

  89. Trauma_Hound says:

    I’ve had Fedex leave packages in my mailbox which is illegal.

  90. Optimistic Prime says:

    During Christmas most delivery companies waive signatures due to volume. However the original letter writer cannot revoke all releases as the shipper may have a release. FedEx Express has a surcharge for signatures required as they usually require at least one or two re-attempts. If you have something coming, have it sent to your office, or ask for a hold for pick-up. I’m thinking the letter writer is the same guy who complained last year he got his package early, even with the horrendous weather… You can’t please everyone.

  91. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    When I have the opportunity to fill in a “Special Instructions” or “Notes” field on an order form, I will typically say something like this:

    “Do not allow shipper to leave package at my door. OK for apartment staff to sign for it. Because I have no control over the shipment until I receive it, I am not responsible for shipments that do not arrive/are delayed, or for items that are missing, damaged, or shipped in error.”

  92. KyleOrton says:

    @WraithSama: I agree absolutely. It’s all about the drivers. I live and work in a small town and I know both the FedEx and UPS drivers. They’re great guys and work with me for both business and personal deliveries by putting them inside a garage. I think the UPS guy has been doing that for 15 years!

    The guys are great, but the companies still make plenty of mistakes.

    DHL on the other hand seems to compete with Walmart and McDonalds for employees. They rarely (try) to find our office, don’t show up for pickups and responded to my complaints that the drop box nearby wasn’t being picked up regularly by removing the drop box.

  93. sciencegeek says:

    For residential deliveries, I have more problems with USPS stealing/losing my mail than Fedex/UPS/DHL messing up deliveries in any way.

    For business shipping, I had a heck of a time getting things delivered to Barcelona via Fedex. The delivery guy there didn’t like working after two in the afternoon and would just give up and let it wait until the next day. We were shipping perishables and this didn’t work so well. I think I got the delivery guy in trouble. I’m sure Fedex contracts with a local delivery service there.

    I think in the end it would have been cheaper and more effective for me to check the stuff as baggage and fly over there myself. In retrospect, using a freight expediter also would have made more sense. Oh well.

  94. tenfournine says:

    I’ve actually had some good experiences with FedEx. Last summer, I was at a college visit program, and there was an off-site community service activity as part of the agenda. My dad had fed-ex’d some medicine to me, and I was off-campus when it arrived. The driver was nice enough to call me, and drive out to where I was for no extra charge.

    Anywho, as for the holiday rush, this happened to a teacher of mine once. When you think about it, FedEx has no other option with the signature policy. They can either hire huge overflow work for a short period of time (unfeasible), or just deliver lots of stuff late (probably end up on the Consumerist, lol). I think, though, that during the holidays, they should make people aware of the policy. Tell people the bad news up front.

  95. mrrbob says:

    Last yr I was buying/selling a house and had to rent an apartment for a while. I had a BUNCH of stuff in storage – 2 10×20 storage units. while picking my stuff up I saw a fedex truck pull into the storage yard and open a storage unit and bring an armfull of stuff in and drop it off. I walked out of my unit and saw him just as he was jumping out of his truck with the stuff and he gave me one of those mouth open looks then ducked in, dropped the stuff locked op and busted ass out of there.

    I have often wondered just what the hell was really going on but I never reported it.

    That unit was full of stuff. It looked to be a 10×20 and was 3/4 full.

    Why the hell would this guy be dropping stuff into a storage unit like that? There had to be 50k of stuff in there.

    I probably should have called it in. I will always wonder about what was really going on.

  96. Morac says:

    DHL is worse. I’ve had DHL leave an $800 item (TiVo S3) on my door step and it was not in any type of shipping box so anyone who walked by could see exactly what it was. Fortunately no one stole it, but I’ve read instances where they were stolen after being left outside the door.

  97. crazyflanger says:

    This happens to me everytime I get something shipped to me. First day it arrives mid-day when I’m at work. I understand I will need to wait another day to recieve the item, and on the clip it is clearly checked that the day they will deliver the item after 5pm. I come home the day and my package is always on my stairs. I live in a crappy neighborhood and have yet to get a package stolen, but someday…

    After the third of forth time this happend I really thought about reporting that I never reiceved my package…..def do it next time.

  98. dragon:ONE says:

    Compared to all the horror stories of UPS and FedEx people chucking packages, DHL seems to be more careful with packages.

    I had two packages coming from Microsoft (for a Partner webcast attendance gift). They came up to the door, left the package in between the set of doors (a set inside and outside the house), and then gently knocked on the door and went on their merry way.

    And UPS actually walks up and sets them down on our porch here. Same with FedEx.

  99. dragon:ONE says:

    And I almost forgot this quote from bash.org’s quote database:
    you wouldnt believe what just happened
    i’ve been tracking my macbook all day on fedex, gets signed for by “One CHILETA” at 3pm…while im at work
    turns it was misdelivered….TO THE MARCY PROJECTS IN BROOKLYN
    so what did jim bastard do?
    I put on a button up shirt, black leather jacket, kakhis, and a dress shoes
    went to the address
    and pretended i was a detective
    laptop is sitting on their desk
    “Maam I’m here about a misdelievered package”
    “We know its here”
    “We just want it back, or else I’m going to have to come back with a warrant”
    “and no one wants that”
    never underestimate the power of a well dressed well spoken white man in the hood
    the guy took one look at me as he was walking towards the door….turned around and came back with the package

  100. rider924 says:

    !st off, let me admit I’m a corier for FedEx,next let me address a couple things;….1, any package going to a residence can be released at the door unless a restriction is placed on the package by the shipper, now whether the courier decides to play by the rules or not is his/her choice and their risk at losing their job because it can and has happened, it’s called falsification…..2, any package going to a business requires a signature, doesn’t matter if no restrictions or not, unless it happens to be FedEx supplies…..3,you have to understand, FedEx couriers, and UPS for that matter, are under a constant barrage of pressure to perform as many stops per hour as they possibly can regardless of weather, traffic, customer holdups, etc. doesn’t matter what happens during the day. The job is a huge stressful situation, for which you recieve only marginal good pay. The benifits are good when you can meet all their rules and requirements, the retirement plan is questionable at best, if you can make it that far without a debilitating injury or being forced to quit by unreasonable demands by management.
    Regardless of what you may want to believe or what you may have been told, it is not an easy life of just driving around and delivering packages. Couriers are expected and required to know exactly what happenned and where each package is during each and every day. We’re talking anywhere from 80 to 120 stops a day and 100 to 250 packages a day depending on the route the person has. Minimum requirements for stops is 10 per hour, most are capable of 15 or more per hour, which means a stop every 4 minutes. Yes, we are expected to have a viable reason for any delay encountered.
    Lastly,I hope you at least understand why some couriers are inclined to bend or break the rules. The demands are enormous, the stress is incredible and the margin for error is extremely small. Just remember, whenever a courier screws up a delivery he risks his/her job. So it boils down to that persons work ethic and amount of commitment to try to do the best they can in the guidelines they are expected to maintain.

  101. othium says:

    @britne: (Sorry it took so long to reply – I was working over the holiday.) Thank you for the advice! I will contact the company and see what they can do to resolve the issue.

  102. boston515 says:

    I live in a bad area. People will steal packages off my doorstep if delivered when no one is home. My mom paid an extra $12 for FedEx, with instructions for the package not to be left. It was delivered anyway. Luckily I was home and was able to get to it within a few minutes after they came. I called and complained. FedEx’s response? “If you have a package coming and you don’t want it to be left, call us to make arrangements for pick-up from your local hub.” It’s a twenty minute drive each way, but definitely worth it when it comes to valuable merchandise like my laptop. (Because you can’t submit a claim for stolen/lost goods if it shows it was delivered.)

  103. clickable says:


    I don’t know if anyone’s done that exact scenario yet, but there are plenty of stories with pics and videos on eBay’s Packing & Shipping Boards (some may be in older threads), showing how packages are handled and under what conditions they are dropped off (deserted, snowy fields, etc.). IIRC there was one video that was talked about for a long time that showed a “fragile” shipment being deliberately tossed from a truck platform, or being stomped on, or something quite scnadalous, because the video spurred a lot of debate.

    Funny thing is, now I can’t even remember which company it was. I also believe Fedex and UPS are pretty similar. If you get a decent team handling your account, or a decent driver on your route, you think they’re the shizznit, but at the same time, other people’s reports of abysmal service from the same company is equally correct. We’re very lucky, we’ve had the same UPS driver on our route for the past 3 years and he does the job right. We get 80% of our deliveries by UPS.

  104. Xerloq says:

    @tiringthought: I had a UPS driver sign for a package himself and leave it at my door – at least that’s what UPS Customer service told me. Thanks for leaving my $3000 laptop in plain view.

    I no longer allow any courier to leave packages at my door. I simply call the depot near my home and ask them to hold it there for me to pick up. They always have held it without charge.

  105. moostrength says:

    No offense Rider, but no one forced you to take that stressful job. There is no excuse to cite “stress” as a reason or excuse to do a job half-assed.

    I’m an IT director in charge of web development, IT administration, 20+ Grad students, 5+ Research Staff, and I’m even remotely paid what I’m probably worth. That being said, I never cite my job stress as a reason why I don’t get something done right; because it’s an idiotic excuse.

  106. stinerman says:

    I worked with them. They don’t care. And I’ll guarantee you it was because they’re union.

    Now, I can only speak to the people I worked with in my distribution center.

    And don’t get me wrong. I’m a big union supporter, but these guys know they can’t get fired for doing a piss-poor job.

  107. moostrength says:


    And this is exactly why Union’s imho are a complete farce. Instead of protecting workers rights, the end up protecting idiots who shouldn’t be working in the first place.

  108. nowrap says:

    FedEx just got me with this. They delivered a package to an old address of mine (a whole other story that involves the wonderful customer support team at Microsoft) and someone signed for it… at least that’s what I thought.

    I had a friend drive by my old place to see if there was a note. And what did my friend find? Lo and behold, the package (an Xbox 360) was sitting on the front steps in plain view on a busy street in downtown Orlando. I’m lucky it was still there.

    So now I get to gripe to FedEx. Just another company in a recent string of shitty service.

  109. Cera says:

    I had a really poor experience with FedEx once as well. It was also the only time that I had an item that I ordered shipped through FedEx, too. The tracking information stated, for three days in a row, that the driver attempted to deliver my package but no one was home to leave it with. The thing was, there was someone home all day, every day and no driver had ever shown up. I ended up talking with a FedEx supervisor and with the company that I had placed my order with. I knew it wasn’t the company’s fault, I just felt that they had a right to know that FedEx was screwing over their customers. Basically, it could still hurt their business because FedEx wasn’t delivering their products to the customer. I finally got my stuff, and the company that I had placed the order with made a note on my account to ship any and all future orders through UPS at not additional charge. Since I’ve never had a problem with UPS, I accepted it.

  110. rider924 says:

    No offense taken moostrength….I’m not saying it’s my reason, I play by the rules, I’m just saying there are those that don’t and will do things they shouldn’t at their own risk. If you get a good courier in your area who has a decent work ethic your problems will probably disappear. Hope things get worked out for you.

  111. DevilGuy says:

    try living in the SF bay area, due to the high cost of living here no one with any real sense will actually work for FedEX or UPS consequently delivery service to my house is a hit or miss affair. On two seperate occasions a FedEx driver left packages on a doorstep 2 blocks away with the right number on the wrong street. On another occasion a UPS driver chucked my brother’s package in the bushes next to the building of which our townhouse is a part. It’s gotten so bad that we all just have our packages shipped to us at work.

  112. giantsfan1954 says:

    Just wanted to address some concerns,I am courier for FedEx Home Ground, I would kind of like to address some of the concerns here. For those that live in apartments, many leasing offices refuse to sign for packages they just do not want the responsibility or liability that comes with accepting the package. There are three types of Signature Required packages: In Person(someone who lives at the residence)Adult (someone who lives at residence that is over 21)and Indirect (basically anybody). Last year Home Delivery received a directive stating we can’t deliver the first two to apartment offices unless we are familiar with the customer,know them, etc which means you need to be home for that stuff. Many shippers are lazy when it comes to addresses for apartments as well. Apartment Numbers are frequently left off of the box so that leads to bad service, also apartment numbers are sometimes wrong. This might be a reason why some packages end up in the wrong place. Apartments dwellers usually need signatures for everything even if the package doesn’t specify. Though there are exceptions: they have an enclosed area where you can leave the package like a patio or backyard, though its at the discretion of the driver when to leave packages. For instance, I would leave packages at front doors of apartments if one, the neighborhood was safe, two past history of the apartment complex, three no present problems. It really depends on the neighborhood. The drivers usually learn fast. In Riverside, I had one apartment complex where it did not matter where I left the package a claim would be in the process whereas in other parts of the city I could leave the packages anywhere and not have any problems.

  113. wtmylm says:

    Forget using FedEx ground those driver are contracted out. If its not express you will never be able to call FedEx back for a ground package. Use UPS.