FedEx Rep Steps Up, Makes Buying Car 1000% Easier

Jeff has a big sweaty hug to give FedEx after their customer service rep Leslie personaly intervened and saved his car-buying transaction from getting 1000% harder. Read his happy tale, and another addition to the “ABOVE AND BEYOND” files, inside…

Jeff writes:

Today I am writing to pay a serious compliment to one of your outstanding employees. I do not know her last name, but Leslie (the manager?) from your Emeryville, CA transfer center went above and beyond the call of duty today, and this outstanding effort on her part should be recognized.

Today I am purchasing a vehicle from a private seller. Due to some complications with the bank holding the title, it was not shipped from Georgia until yesterday evening, and arrived in California early this morning, with an expected delivery date of Monday. This was not good, as the seller was leaving the country (for good) later this afternoon, so we had to have the title by this morning. After the seller placed a few calls to fedex, they informed him that he would be unable to pick up the shipment because it was stuck in the Oakland airport. We were both disappointed, and tried to come up with a workaround. However, a few hours later, I checked the tracking information and saw that the package was now sitting in the Emeryville shipping center. Again, the seller tried to call but whoever he spoke to refused to transfer him to the Emeryville office!

At this point I called and spoke to a very polite and helpful customer service rep on the phone (whose name I cannot remember), who assured me that she would get a message to Emeryville and see what they could do. An hour later, Leslie called me to confirm the tracking number and asked me a few questions for verification, and promised to personally find the shipment and have it ready by noon. I was thrilled. When the seller walked in around 9:30, Leslie had already found the package.

Because of the singular effort on the part of Leslie, I will be able to purchase my new car today, something that would have gotten way more complicated once the seller left the country, even it even could have been completed at all. I have already told several people this story, and will continue to mention it in the future. This sort of exemplary action on the part of FedEx employees reinforces the brand image your company attempts to portray on Television and other advertising campaigns: If it absolutely has to be there, you can absolutely depend on us. Today Leslie has reminded me that FedEx is one company who actually takes their credo seriously.

Leslie, thank you so much,

Jeff G.

And that’s how the front lines can win you customer loyalty.(Photo: billy verdin)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mariospants says:

    I’m confused: “When the seller walked in around 9:30, Leslie had already found the package.” … walked in where? Was the seller in California too? Why use FedEX if you’re already there?

    • Farquar says:

      @mariospants: The title is often held by the bank holding the note on your car.. This is often the biggest hassle when buying used, and can be a problem with car dealers who flip trade-ins.

      • econobiker says:

        @Farquar: Yes, the seller often has to payoff the bank prior to getting title. It can be a little dicey but workable as long as you have a good contract with the seller. Never agree to take over payments to buy a car, though, as the seller will get the title upon the final payoff…

    • katylostherart says:

      you can avoid the bank holding the title by taking out a personal loan instead of vehicle financing. at least that’s how i did it.

      • MrEvil says:

        @katylostherart: Depends on the amount borrowed. I think $4000 or less a bank will do an unsecured loan with you. If it gets much higher the bank’s going to want to make it secured especially with the Financiapocalypse

    • katylostherart says:

      @mariospants: also depending on where in california it’s up to a 12 hour drive one way.

    • ciaright says:

      @mariospants: I am guessing that the seller is a member of the military. Their vehicle is titled in Georgia but they are stationed in California. I would imagine that they are being deployed out of the country to Iraq or Afghanistan.

  2. Trick says:

    Good service from FedEx! We always read about the complaints, which pretty much power the internet. It is good to read about the good some companies do as well!

  3. downwithmonstercable says:

    Good for Fedex, but this sounds like it could’ve been a total scam. Couldn’t get the title before the seller left the country…I hope this guy really gets the car in the end.

    • Hyman Decent says:

      @downwithmonstercable: I’m guessing Jeff wasn’t going to part with the payment for the car until both the (clean) title and the car were in front of him, and he already had test-driven the car and otherwise checked it out.

    • dorianh49 says:

      @downwithmonstercable: “I hope this guy really gets the car in the end.” Otherwise, he’ll get something else.

    • econobiker says:

      @downwithmonstercable: It sounds like the guy is buying a car face to face in California but the car title was in Georgia due to the bank financing it being there.

      And the seller was to leave the US by this afternoon.

      This could happen when a foreign student buys a car in GA when he is in a college and then travels to CA and sells it prior to leaving the country for good.

  4. wary_consumer says:

    And yet both Fed-Ex and UPS reps refuse to walk 20 feet to put packages on my porch under cover, instead always opting to dump them in my driveway where they get wet and/or go unnoticed for days

    • homerjay- Smiling politely says:

      @wary_consumer: You don’t look at your driveway for days?

      • Ein2015 says:

        @homerjay- Smiling politely: I was wondering the same thing…

      • wary_consumer says:

        Well, to be more precise, they dump them into the flowerbed that is adjacent to both the house and driveway where they can go unnoticed for days. This doesn’t happen if its a LARGE package, but when its a letter-sized package, and its not something I’m expecting, then it gets hidden by the shrubs and bushes

        I see how it goes. They pull into my driveway, and while standing inside their truck by the passenger-side door, they just chuck it into the aforementioned flowerbed and run

        I had a package yesterday where the guy took the time to put the package into a plastic bag that was about half the size of the package. He then stood the bag+package up on end so that the rain fell into the bag. The results was a bag full of water with the package inside

        The covered porch is just 20 feet from the driveway…..

        • gqcarrick says:

          @wary_consumer: Are you sure you didn’t do something to piss off the UPS guy? Sure sounds like if it you got a bag full of water and a package.

          • gqcarrick says:

            @gqcarrick: We must have excellent UPS guys out where I am because they always seem to put it on the front porch or back porch if it looks like something expensive.

    • Con Seannery says:

      @wary_consumer: My UPS, FedEx, and DHL guys always put them either in plain sight in the driveway against the house, on the porch if it’s too big to sit inside of the little alcove the garage door makes, or in the garage if it’s open. The one time I’ve had a package delivered when it was threatening rain, they bagged it, tied it off, and set it with the open end down, so there was no way it would get wet. You must have pissed your UPS guy off.

      • wary_consumer says:

        Well, I guess I must have pissed him off by making him drive to my house to drop packages off 3-4 times now.

        I’ve never seen the guy, talked to the guy, or otherwise interacted with him.

        I’m thinking that they are just lazy and/or dumb-a’s

        I mean, don’t they realize they are shooting themselves in the foot? I will NEVER use them for anything unless I absolutely have no other choice. They are banned, and I recommend to my friends that they ban them as well

        If enough people do this, I guess he’ll be happy when the number of deliveries drops to the point where he loses his job

        Didn’t DHL just shut down US operations today?

  5. parad0x360 says:

    This is kind of confusing. Why didnt the person who sold the car have the title on them?

  6. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I propose dubbing the guy in the picture as the new, unstoppable, super-powerful FEDEX MAN

  7. JayDeEm says:

    I only wish they were this helpful when that check I was expecting from Nigeria never showed up. They just kept telling me that the tracking number was invalid.

  8. SharanyaMed?n says:

    It was very nice of the OP to write this letter to FedEx. I used to work a horrible retail job (the Bloomingdale’s dress department during wedding, prom and graduation season, oh boy) and every now and then, some very nice customer went the extra mile and wrote a note to Bloomingdale’s complimenting them on something I’d done; every single time that happened, suddenly my schedule was much easier for a month, and the supervisor would make my life there a hundred times easier. It really makes a difference; people are more likely to complain about bad service but forget to compliment good (even with the best of intentions to, it can slip your mind easily) but I bet Leslie found herself with a very happy boss after that letter!

  9. BrAff says:

    wait… my (real) name is Jeff G.

    this is weird…

  10. silver-bolt says:

    1000%? How did you come up with this bogus number? Tsk Tsk Consumerist, bad journalism there, faking numbers… Honestly, it would have gotten only 438% harder by accurate numbers -_-

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      @silver-bolt: I figured it was just that newfangled Maury Povich math. “I’m 1 trillion percent sure that baby ain’t mine! [even though we had unprotected sex repeatedly]”

      • diamondmaster1 says:

        @Optimistic Prime: I think you’re forgetting the corollary to that of Maury’s Multiplication of Percentages:

        “I’m X percent sure that we’ve finally found the father of my bastard child!”

        Where X increases exponentially with each failed attempt to discover the kid’s father. Isn’t there somebody up to 12 attempts so far with 0 results?

  11. bnelson333 says:

    As I was reading this, I kept thinking the CAR was being shipped via Fedex, didn’t know they did that! Took me a re-read to figure out it was the TITLE!

    Makes the story funny though. :-)

  12. wickedpixel says:

    Emeryville in the house… woot!

  13. MisterE says:

    Incredible. I guess this unnamed rep is the only person who gives a crap about customer service. In the Hudson, OH office they only have 1 guy working at any given time. The last time I was there (about 2 weeks ago), the employee was attempting to bounce between 9 different customers. I went down the road to UPS and things were a lot smoother. Of course, I mailed a comment card to Fedex, but those things are mailed directly to the dumpster. So, I avoid Fedex whenever I can.

  14. koath says:

    That happens to be called the Purple Promise. It is FedEx’s motto.

    Disclaimer: I work there

  15. MrEvil says:

    That’s why I shipped all my shipping back to FedEx.

    However, not all states make it so the bank has to hold onto the title. I know Missouri doesn’t. The lender can just record a lien on the copy of the title. The buyer gets the physical title for registration purposes. When the note is paid off, the lender sends the borrower a notarized letter clearing the lien.

    However, I guess its different when you buy a vehicle in state since the dealer or car lot handles all the registration paperwork on behalf of the buyer. My truck was purchased in Missouri and never registered there in my name. When I transferred the title to Texas they recorded the lending bank on the new Texas title certificate which has been in my possession ever since.

    In fact, after an experience my sister had with buying a vehicle in state, where the dealership lost the Vehicle Identification certification delaying her new registration, I think I might stick to buying all my vehicles out of state, or insist that I handle all the title and registration paperwork myself.4

  16. Cool story bro says:

    What is there to stop a company from getting their PR department to invent a story involving exemplary customer service (as told/gushed by a supposed customer) and then sending it on to sites like the Consumerist?

    Not saying this story isn’t true. It just occurred to me that it probably does happen :p

    • Optimistic Prime says:

      @Dabby: It does happen, a lot. The problem is the negative voices in a crowd are always the loudest. I know that everywhere I’ve worked I tried to go above and beyond, but many people don’t. As a discalaimer: I work for FedEx. I know there have been plenty of times where I’ve delivered an urgent box for a customer, and I’ve never been a driver for the ten years I’ve been here. I’d take it to the customer on my way home. There have been plenty of times we dug through all the containers in the building for a single package. It’s that kind of service that keeps us in business.

  17. Ben_Q2 says:

    Once I had UPS leave a Box (1/24 Nascar) by the big trash can. The trash truck came and put the can on top of the box. Its funny when you think about what happen after it happen. The driver had to come out and his boss. At 1st they try to put the blame on the trash man, then me, then caved in and just took the blame.

  18. calchip says:

    My own experience is that their service has gone dramatically downhill in the past several years, but it’s nice to hear a good story about FedEx.

    I used to go to the Emeryville center all the time, and I distinctly remember Leslie. She was just a staffer at the time (~4-5 years ago) but was exemplary even then… super efficient, always had a smile and a great attitude no matter how busy, and in spite of having to deal with some real jerks (people coming in at 5 minutes to closing being very demanding, dotcommers who thought they were the shit, that sort of thing.)

    Leslie is the sort of person who exemplifies what FedEx *used* to be with the sort of “can-do” attitude that grew the company so quickly in the 80s. I’m sure there are plenty of rank-and-file employees like her, but I really wish there were still people like her in senior management… my experience is they’ve all apparently gone to UPS ;)

  19. lore says:

    I actually know who that representative is, and yes, she is EXTREMELY helpful. I don’t know if she’s the manager or not but she’s definitely been working at that office for quite a while now. Great that you wrote a letter commending her service!