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)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.