FedEx Breaks Your MacBook, Doesn't Deliver It, Says Your Questions Are Irrelevant

We get that accidents happen. What we don’t get is why FedEx won’t tell this guy what happened to his laptop—why it went out for delivery, why it got returned back to the warehouse, why it was then reported damaged and undeliverable, and finally why the person he was sent to for help keeps stonewalling him by responding that his questions are irrelevant.

The only information Minoru has to go on to reconstruct the last, sad hours of his new laptop’s life are the status tracking updates:

  • Apr 22, 2008 3:36 AM On FedEx vehicle for delivery
  • Apr 22, 2008 5:24 PM At local FedEx facility
  • Apr 23, 2008 1:10 PM Shipment exception / Unable to deliver

Wow. So now I’m really disturbed. I called FedEx, and the rep tells me that the package is damaged, and they will not deliver it. I demanded more information, and she switched me to her manager. Ceci Watts at Cincinnati call center was absolutely 0% helpful. You could tell she handled this type of calls frequently. All she could repeat was the same stupid line no matter what I said or asked. This isn’t word for word, but it’s pretty much how it went:
Me: So was the package on the truck at 3:36 AM or not?
Ceci: It was a miscellaneous scan.
Me: What does that mean?
Ceci: It was a miscellaneous scan.
Me: So what does it mean? “On FedEx vehicle for delivery” sounds like it at least made it to the truck for delivery. I would like to know if the package made it to the truck, and when and where the package was damaged.
Ceci: That’s irrelevant.
Me: It’s relevant because I need to know why I don’t have my package.
Ceci: It’s irrelevant.
Me: So was it a lie? Are you saying the status was a lie? It never made it to the truck?
Ceci: It was a miscellaneous scan. It doesn’t matter.
Me: This is ridiculous.
Ceci insisted that there’s nothing they can do for me, even though they destroyed my package. My laptop was fine until it entered that mysterious 14-hour window on April 22. It was in FedEx’s hands, and it somehow got damaged, and who knows where it is now. The only option for me, Ceci said, was to contact Apple. So even though it’s almost impossible for anybody else to be responsible for the matter, they’re refusing to correct the situation or be helpful about it in any way. Now I have to take my own time to contact Apple, Apple would have to investigate it, then send me another computer.

Minoru, here are email addresses for the executive team at FedEx—if you can’t get anyone on the customer service front line to talk to you like a human, perhaps it’s time to aim higher up in the company.
“FedEx destroyed my package, and lied about it” [Moochida]

“Email Addresses For A FedEx EECB”
(Photo: ericrichardson)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ryfael says:

    Fedex is still better than DHL which lost my laptop because “the truck was stolen”. Their information was inconsistent. I was forced to have Dell send out a new one.

  2. FedEx is good for most things…I’ve had only a problem or two in twenty years – but when they smashed my Titanium PowerBook G4, it took three months and many phonecalls to get the $500.00 I’d declared the value of the shipment to be.

  3. sprocket79 says:

    Shipping companies won’t deal with the recipient. On Monday I saw that UPS claimed to have delivered a package from Amazon to my front door at 2:00. When I got home at 5:30 there was no package. I called them and they made me check the back of my house and with my neighbors before they would finally tell me there was nothing they could do because I wasn’t their customer. They said the complaint had to come from Amazon. Luckily Amazon has great customer service so I reached someone immediately and they issued me a refund the next day because they no longer had the item in stock to replace it.

    Hopefully Apple will be as good to you as Amazon was to me.

  4. nick_r says:

    I had some problems with FedEx this past week; however, the times when I called and got escalated to a manager, the manager was actually very pleasant and helpful. I think Ceci is just a bad egg.

  5. snazz says:

    this actually sounds very typical of shipping problems from fedex or UPS. the shipper wont usually talk or discuss what happened to the shippee. they will refer them back to the shipper to work out the problem. as the shipper is the one responsible and files claims with fedex, etc.

  6. Black Bellamy says:

    Why is Minoru hassling FedEx? It really is irrelevant why or how the package was damaged or lost or whatever. I “demanded” more information. Yeah, because that information would have helped him how?

    Minoru’s beef is with Apple. It was Apple that was supposed to get him that MacBook and if it failed to arrive it’s Apple’s fault. Minoru needs to stop wasting his and FedEx’s time and get on the horn to Apple.

  7. jadenton says:

    This isn’t not a serious issue, yet. The delay is fustrating, and the refusal of the CSR to fess up in inexcusable. But FedEx is dealing with the situation appropriately.

    Here’s what happened. Somewhere along the line your package got trashed. Maybe by the driver, or maybe the driver just spotted it. Rather than deliver it and make your deal with Apple for the warranty, they have returned it to Apple; probably with an insurance payout. Apple should be issuing you a refund or sending you a new laptop very soon. You need to work with Apple on this.

  8. missdona says:

    Call Apple.

    I had a Bath and Body Works delivery sent Fedex that mystically disapppeared from their system, truck, whatever. One call to B&BW had the whole order replaced. The first order showed up about a month later.

  9. Uriel says:

    Hahaha, Chris left out the last of the guy’s post. It’s hilarious:

    “I’ve also read some horror stories about FedEx employees and contractors. Drivers are often too lazy to deliver all the packages they’re supposed to, so they make up excuses and fake status updates or purposely leave packages on the dock. Based on this experience, I have to conclude that the status updates are meaningless until you actually get your package in your hands. “On vehicle” might as well read “I fucked your mother,” because they could do whatever the fuck and get away with it. I have no reason to believe that it’s actually damaged. I’m reeeaaally getting pissed off now, thinking about a crooked FedEx employee or contractor probably selling my laptop on eBay. I HATE HATE HATE FEDEX! Someday, if I ever have my chance, I will take a big, runny, stanky shit in their truck, I swear.”

  10. Uriel says:

    i hope he includes that in his EECB.

  11. Jmatthew says:

    I’ve always gotten great service from Fedex, so this kind of suprises me. The only thing I can think of is that it really was lost (i.e. they have exactly as much info as you do, so really can’t help you.) and they’ve already reported that to apple, so she really can’t help you get another laptop any further, it’s up to Apple to ship again… very strange that she wouldn’t just explain that though, so who knows.

  12. Murph1908 says:

    For fear of litigation, many companies are averse to admitting any fault. Ceci didn’t want to give you any more information than you already have, to avoid it being used against them in a lawsuit.

    And as other posters have said, it’s still an issue between Apple and FedEx. It was never at any point ‘your laptop’.

    The part of this logic that doesn’t make sense is that they required you to contact Apple.

    My suggestion. Contact Apple and just tell them you didn’t get your computer. Let them track it down and resolve it.

  13. mgy says:

    @NeroDiavolo: FedEx online claimed that my package had been delivered to my doorstep, despite the fact that I had been home the entire day, and never once received a knock at the door or a FedEx truck anywhere near my area. I called their 800 # immediately, they said they would put in a report and maybe get back to me in a week or so. I found the number of the local office (a little bit of social engineering as it wasn’t listed anywhere) and called them right afterwards. They got in touch with the truck driver who continued to claim that the package was left at my doorstep. Early the next morning I was out at my car (apartment complex – had to park far away) and see a FedEx van with a man hurrying quietly up my steps, dropping the package off, and hurrying back to the van. Boy did he speed off quick. Made me sick.

  14. Juggernaut says:

    @Black Bellamy: Exactly, if you didn’t get your MacBook – cancel/chargeback the payment, call Apple and give them shit…

  15. Nighthawke says:

    Ceci Watts of Borg.

    Your shipment and your money is irrelevant. Prepare to be scanned as miscellaneous and assimilated.

  16. vermontwriter says:

    I’ve never had anything but bad luck with Fedex. A part of an outfit for my brother’s wedding was to be delivered the day before we were set to go out of town for the wedding. By 6pm it hadn’t arrived, so I called and was told that the driver “ran out of time” and the package would be delivered the next day. When I stated how that wasn’t acceptable, they told me too bad. I finally spoke to a manager who agreed it would be there at 7am the morning we were leaving. It showed up at 8:15 – 15 minutes before we had to leave the house.

    Another time, I had to return a defective printer under warranty. Brother arranged Fedex pick-up and Fedex never arrived. Took them two days to finally show up. What was worse was that another Fedex driver showed up in the meantime with a package for me (I work from home) and he couldn’t take this package even though he works in the same location.

    The third time happened recently. I was going out of town and ordered a new cell phone rush delivery that was to be delivered two days before I was supposed to leave. It was on the truck for delivery and never arrived. The driver first claimed it was delivered to my house. I pointed out that I was home all day and was there when I signed for work packages so why wasn’t it with that shipment. The next line was that they’d tracked it and it was delivered to a Stone Ridge in another town instead of Stone Bridge in my town.

    After the driver was questioned, he admitted he hadn’t gotten a signature and had gone to the wrong area, but he remembered where he’d left the package. The homeowner says he never received anything mistakenly from Fedex. I was out the cell phone for my trip and someone, somewhere got a free phone out of the deal. Eventually, I did get my replacement, but Fedex refused to refund the shipping charge.

  17. Buran says:

    @Murph1908: It became his laptop as soon as he paid for it.

  18. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I generally like FedEx, but I they once misdelivered a laptop from Dell. They supposedly went to pick it back up, but it was gone.

    Dell called FedEx, it was very quick, and created a replacement order right away.

    I don’t know about Apple, but Dell only ships with the included in the cost of shipping $100 in declared value, and eats the rest of the loss.

  19. sp00nix says:

    Odd. I sent a laptop back to s student after repair, it arrived with the box torn open and the laptop running inside… The mother claimed she herd a THUD and when she got to the door the FedEx truck was already around the corner.

  20. Mike8813 says:

    I’ve seen too many “delivery exceptions” to ever trust UPS/FedEx/USPS with anything of importance.

    Really? You tried to deliver it? Funny, I’ve been home all day.

    They even send a Parcel Ninja to sneak to your front door, leave that damn exception sticker, and slip off without knocking.

    I love the convenience of buying online, but I hate the 3-7 business days of (warranted) paranoia that I’m then inflicted with until the package arrives.

  21. SOhp101 says:

    Shipping companies only talk to the sender. They seem to reserve all their loathing for the recipient.

  22. Throtex says:

    @Buran: Except, it didn’t. And honestly, that’s a good thing here, because he would be on the hook for the loss and would have to deal with FedEx. As it is, Apple is still the owner of the laptop and bears the burden of the loss.

    Check out UCC § 2-401(2)(b).

  23. @Jmatthew: How good or bad your FedEx/UPS/DHL/USPS service is depends entirely on who’s working on your route.

    The UPS people on my route are douchebags and frequently lie about making delivery attempts. One even went as far as to lie that “we had moved” one time he felt too lazy to come and ring the damn doorbell.

    FedEx people on my route rock. The guys who drive the truck on my route are friendly, courteous and professional.

  24. Black Bellamy says:

    @Buran: “It became his laptop as soon as he paid for it.”

    Actually no. It only becomes his if he actually takes posession of it.

    When he paid for it he wasn’t paying for any particular laptop – it might not have even existed at that point. What he was paying for was to cement a contract that sometime in the future Apple would deliver to him a laptop, upon which time he would take posession.

  25. viqas says:

    dont do a charge back

    apple will send you a replacement.

  26. chatterboxwriting says:

    @sprocket79: Amazon is great like that. I ordered $130 worth of books for my company when I worked in Brooklyn and the UPS status was “delivered at 1:30 p.m.” There were no packages and every single person in my company was in the office at 1:30 because we were having our weekly meeting. So it’s not like they knocked and no one answered. Amazon refunded our money and then later sent out the books again when they were restocked with absolutely no problems.

  27. Wormfather says:

    As I speak I’m on the phone with FedEx becuase they were supposed to deliver a package to me this morning, yet it was mysteriously refused. Which is total BS, they just didnt deliver it. Now I’m in phone hold hell.

    Regarding your situation, if you buy something from Apple and Apple has FedEx Deliver it, then this becomes Apples problem as FedEx is acting as an agent on behalf of Apple.

  28. Wormfather says:


    Captin’s Log, Stardate…

    now I’ve been transfered to the Customer Advocate Team. I always question the valility of a team who’s supposed to help me when they represent the exact people who I’m mad at.

    She’s quite appologetic but for some reason I dont belive she has the power to solve my problem.

    I will think positive though

  29. firesign says:

    @Buran: wrong. it becomes his when he signs off on the delivery from the shipping company. until then it’s between apple and fedex in this case.

  30. Photogdc says:

    Apple Store customer support will take care of it if it was a new order or if it was warranty work Apple Care will deal with it.

    For future reference a good option for help at Fedex is the CAT or Customer Advocacy Team. Call the main 800 number and ask to be transfered to the Customer Advocacy Team. If they ask for your case number tell them you misplaced it. CAT will work with you with a personal rep to help resolve your issue.

  31. fostina1 says:

    same thing happened with my first cable descrambler. i mean cable box. ups said it was missing from the box. im sure the driver has a nice new descrambler. i mean cable box.

  32. bostonguy says:

    About 10 years ago, I was waiting for UPS to delivery a CPU to my house. I heard the doorbell ring, and hopped downstairs to answer the door. When I opened the door, I saw a yellow tag, and saw/heard the UPS truck gunning it down my street.

    An hour later, my neighbor (who I had NEVER met) brought over a package that UPS had dropped on his front step…

    Despite the yellow tag on the door, showed it as shipped to me!

  33. Murph1908 says:

    No. He was due a laptop from Apple when he paid for it. The laptop on the truck, though intended for him, never made it to his possession.

    There’s a reason the phrase ‘possession is 9/10th of the law’ exists.

  34. ludwigk says:

    I’m not saying that this happened, but there is a considerable amount of product that ‘falls off the truck’ if you are regularly dealing with really desirable products, like laptops or iPods. FedEx and other shippers deal with internal theft on a regular basis, which they compensate the shipper for. But since their entire arrangement is with the shipper, the recipient can get treated like a minor nuisance in their mechanism for generating profit.

  35. Wormfather says:

    @Buran: You are not the owner of merchandise until you are your agent receive the property.

    I.E if you buy a something doday and receive it in a month, but between then and now the sales tax goes up…well, you’re paying the new tax because the law says it’s not you’re property until you receive it and that is when a transaction is complete.

    You should be ashamed of your star. j/k.

  36. Chaosium says:


    “I don’t know about Apple, but Dell only ships with the included in the cost of shipping $100 in declared value, and eats the rest of the loss.”

    This is incorrect. FedEx’s insurance policy is terrible for larger customers, so Dell (and many other large-scale producers) goes with no insurance from FedEx (which gives a base 100$) and they have a private insurance company handling their affairs. They usually place the value of the package in their shipment notes, which is passed on to the 3rd party insurer.

  37. Wormfather says:


    I just got done talking with a Debbie Rodriguize (slaughtered the spelling, sweet) and since I’m leaving in 45 minutes and wont be in tomorrow, she’s going to have it priority overnighted to my house tomorrow morning before I leave for vacation.

    I’m filled with delight at the moment.

  38. mbd says:

    Several years ago, UPS lost an overnight shippment from my health insurer’s mail order pharmacy. The web site indicated the package was left by my garage. Unfortunately I don’t have a garage anywhere on my property. I called the mail order pharmacy and they tried to give me that “check with your neighbors” crap. No way, I told them. It is their job to get the delivery to me, and as the UPS website clearly indicated that it was left somewhere that could not have been my property, it was their problem. They decided to resend a new shipment, at their expense. They told me I would have to be home to receive and sign for it. I stayed home on delivery day, and just by chance, I saw the UPS guy putting the package in my road side mail box and driving off. So much for having to sign, let alone having it delivered to my front door which is what they are required to do.

  39. BigElectricCat says:


    Be sure to let us know if everything turns out as advertised. So far, you still don’t have the package in hand.

  40. jtkooch says:

    Am I the only one here who sees nothing wrong with what FedEx did?

    First, Minoru needs to realize that he’s NOT FedEx’s customer in this transaction. He’s paid no money to FedEx, Apple has. So to expect any satisfaction from FedEx is unreasonable.

    Second, FedEx did you a FAVOR by not delivering the laptop. They basically admitted fault, and returned the laptop for you (something you would have had to have done if you received the busted package, and then you would have had to deal with Apple).

    You’ll get your laptop, soon enough. Once Apple has it back and the paperwork completed, they will probably overnight express it to you and send an Apple Store coupon.

    Lighten up. If this was so time sensitive that you can’t wait a few extra days then go to an Apple Store in person.

  41. jtkooch says:


    “I.E if you buy a something doday and receive it in a month, but between then and now the sales tax goes up…well, you’re paying the new tax because the law says it’s not you’re property until you receive it and that is when a transaction is complete.”

    What? Sales tax is applied based on when and where money is exchanged. You’re example makes no sense.

  42. @jtkooch: I was about to write EXACTLY what you said.

    Minoru hasn’t paid FedEx a dime, and they owe him precisely nothing.

    He should simply call Apple say “your delivery contractor didn’t deliver my laptop, WTF?” and put the onus on Apple to deliver a new one, toot-sweet. They will, without even thinking about it, because there’s undoubtedly a process for dealing with busted/lost/misrouted/stolen shipments already.

  43. joeblack13 says:

    While the OP’s business may not have been with FedEx, doesn’t the OP deserve an explanation?
    “The package was set to be delivered, was damaged and had to be returned to Apple for a replacement.”

    I don’t think that’s entirely too much to ask as someone waiting for a package. Instead the OP was completely stonewalled. Actual customer or not, a simple answer is just run of the mill (one would hope) customer service.

  44. theblackdog says:

    In other news, there’s a FedEx driver that’s enjoying a shiny new MacBook Pro.

  45. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Fedex is the ABSOLUTE WORST.

    Don’t even get me started on fedex ground. Wondering where your fedex ground package is? Don’t bother, fedex has no idea because fedex ground is outsourced to local delivery companies that have no actual contact with fedex customer service.

    The whole company is a joke.

    UPS > DHL > Messenger Pigeon > Fedex

  46. TechnoDestructo says:

    Ask the douchebag how much the tires on fedex trucks cost.

    Assure him that the answer to that question IS relevant.

  47. BeThisWay says:

    I wrote a blog post about my FedEx experience. This is part of it:

    I was expecting a Fed-Ex package that was already a day late due to weather problems. They were required to deliver it by 3pm.At 3:06 I got an e-mail that they had delivered it at 2:59. Uh. Nope.

    He pulled up as I was calling FedEx, and I confronted the guy. He didn’t want to get in trouble for being late so he said it was delivered when it wasn’t.

    I could have gotten the guy in trouble, but I decided against it. He admitted it, and took responsibility.

    I realized that our client was getting their money refunded anyway. I realized that this guy could get fired. I realized that my next package could get accidentally “lost” if I made an enemy.

    Still, it was dead wrong.

  48. ctaylor says:

    UPS in my area is by far the worst. I refuse to use them if at all possible because they have lost packages, refused to deliver (I took a day off from work to catch an important package. I sat on the couch, staring at the door for the entire day. No one ever knocked, no note, but UPS said that I wasn’t home.)

    FedEx is easily the better of the two.

  49. Minoru says:

    Thanks to Consumerist for posting my story. Those of you who say that I should just contact Apple — I have, and there’s still no resolution. Apple promised to contact me to let me know what will happen, and it’s been about 30 hours since my first contact, and about 5 hours since my second.

    Those who say that FedEx is not at fault… I see where you’re coming from, but as a company that makes money by getting packages from point A to point B, they have clearly failed in this case, so how can I not fault them? I was supposed to have something, and they failed to give it to me. Also, I suspected that the package wasn’t just “damaged” as they said, so I asked for more info to see if I could get to the truth at all. If it turned out that someone at FedEx stole the package, is it still Apple’s fault?

    In any case, complaining to Apple is a good thing, as cases like this — if there’s enough — should impact their consideration for who to partner with.

  50. jsbaker says:

    Had something like this with DHL a while back. ordered a 22″ dell monitor at work. Tracked the package for a day or two as it just sat in the DHL facility. I finally called them once the delivery was offically late and they said the local facility could not find the package. I told the rep. sounds to me like someone the facility stole it since you show it made it there and now it can’t be found. She said yeah sounds that way to me too. Called Dell and had to wait for DHL to tell them it was lost but once that happened they overnighted me a replacement.

  51. jsbaker says:

    Oh forgot another with Fedex. I work for a large Medical school / Research institution. My office alone does $5k to $10K a month in Fedex shipments, about 50% of them international since we manufacture products that are used in research labs around the world. For 10 years our daily pickup for our department has been in the same exact room at 4:30PM. Sometimes they don’t show up until later but usually they are on time. One day they just decide to not pick up our packages. We call them the next morning and they come right away. That afternoon they fail to pick them up again. We call again and they come out. They do this every couple of months with no explanation or they will take part of the packages but leave 3 or 4 behind. Most of our shipments on dry ice which has to be replaced when they do not get picked. Now we’ve gone to making Fedex reimburse us for the $50 to $60 of dry ice in each box when they don’t show up. We’ll see what kind of reimbursement the are manager can get us since they did it again this week.

  52. ecwis says:

    Too bad your post is completely wrong. I think you mean “FedEx Home Delivery.” Yes, it is outsourced but you can choose whether to send packages through FedEx Ground or Home Delivery; I usually send packages through Ground to avoid the contractors.

  53. juri squared says:

    @Nighthawke: Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought that :)

    Obviously the laptop is now part of the Collective. Resistance is futile.

  54. kyle4 says:

    I know Apple used Fed-Ex but it kind of sucks that they have to replace it because of their mistake. Fed-Ex should have to pay Apple for the replacement unit.

  55. Skankingmike says:

    my suggestion for most people, if they can, is ship your package as a Hold at Location with FedEx anyway

    They will like you more and you can pick it up on your own time without the inconvenience of door tags and run arounds.

    and btw its’ free.

  56. Skankingmike says:

    @ecwis: both are contractors btw, Ground as a company. The drivers are not employee’s of FedEx they are all private contractors however if you do a quick Google search many of them are fighting this and requiring more money or less rules.

    interesting stuff as i work for FedEx.

    It usually works like this

    Guy buys Route from FedEx, then buys Trucks and uniforms. Next he finds he needs more vehicle’s, so he higher his own workers to do the route. My route where i work has 7 Drivers all employed by One guy who owns this route. He makes 100’s of thousand of dollars (that he has to pay out to his employee’s and their vehicle’s)

    They generally make like 1.00 a package and an extra .50 cents if its’ big :P which is why ground usually hate s you if you have a bunch of large boxes and will treat them with utter disrespect.

    So yea FedEx Ground regardless if it’s Ground or Home is Independent contractors.. just and FYI

  57. ecwis says:

    @Skankingmike: Interesting argument as they are classified as contractors but Jimmy Hoffa says that FedEx has a lot of control over them. []

    Ha, I did not know that they’d treat large packages with utter disrespect. I have several large boxes (18x18x24, 30-40lbs) and I was going to call FedEx for a pickup soon actually. Maybe I’ll choose DHL (would that be any better?).

  58. Skankingmike says:


    they are contractors yes, but the definition of a contractor means they operate outside the company, however in FedEx Ground’s case they make them operate within FedEx company guidelines yet they pay no benefits nor do they cover insurance or other costs associated with being an employee thus they are contractors and own their own routes.

    FedEx makes a killing off this concept, but many of the Ground Drivers if not all are suing FedEx to either become true contractors or Employee’s. And slowly their Unionizing.

    as far as those boxes just pack them well with lots of stuffing and don’t make them too heavy for the box their in. If you have heavy crappy packed boxes (like 80%) of the crap i see your package is ever going to make it.

    A good test for boxes is drop it from a height of 3meters (that’s what happens to all boxes fyi) if it crushes, repack it, if it’s fine, go.

  59. consumersaur says:

    Hey legal eagles: FedEx were still complete jerks to a customer. Whether or not the customer should ultimately deal with/blame Apple or FedEx doesn’t excuse the CSR’s poor service skills.

    Why get caught up in this esoteric legal blame game? It’s reasonable to assume a shipping company should give you some details to confusing shipping terms, mistakes etc. to a customer who paid to have an item shipped.

  60. eblack says:

    I work for a company that ships stuff through FedEx on a daily basis. They won’t do much for the recipient, the sender usually has to file a claim for missing stuff. The procedure is for the recipient to call us, we ship out a new package at our expense, then we recoup our costs from FedEx.

    But then we have pretty awesome customer service.