FedEx Delivers My Packages To The Garbage Can, Trash Collectors Deliver Packages To Back Of Garbage Truck

Consumerist reader Brooke’s FedEx packages have disappeared into the void, but not in the usual it-was-never-delivered-even-though-FedEx-says-it-was way. No, FedEx delivered her boxes — straight into her garbage can.

The driver even made note of this on the door tag he placed on Brooke’s back door. Unfortunately, by the time she actually saw the door tag, her friendly local trash collectors had made their appointed rounds and taken her packages with the rest of her refuse.

“Now FedEx tells me that the company that did the shipping has to file a missing package claim,” writes Brooke. “But the package isn’t missing, and shows up as delivered. I want my money back, or my packages, or, hell, both.”


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  1. FrostedButts says:

    Funny… and here it thought it was only UPS that hired the shipping/delivery morons…

    • sonneillon says:

      Depends on the area. When I lived in Co, UPS was constantly delivering my packages to wrong addresses or losing them, while Fedex always had them at my house on time. Now that I live in Virginia, UPS delivers like clockwork and FedEx can’t seam to get the packages off their plane without losing them into the void. USPS has been consistent at both places, getting packages to me timely enough, not as quickly as the other two though.

    • dorianh49 says:

      FedEx Ground is a separate entity from FedEx Express. While I’ve never had serious issues with FedEx Express (they’re my go-to shipper of choice from my experiences), FedEx Ground sucks. They’re basically a contracted 3rd party operating under the FedEx name. AVOID.

      • FrostedButts says:

        I forgot about that, but you are right. Ground and “Home Delivery” are totally separate. That certainly explains it more…

      • skapig says:

        Exactly. FedEx Ground is contracted out and it shows in how poorly some of them perform. As far as I am aware, UPS does not do this. It’s the same drivers who handle the ground and express shipments. Express delivery in the morning and the rest in the afternoon.

    • SidusNare says:

      Its always seemed like an east-coast west-coast thing to me.I am in Atlanta and UPS is great when I am having things shipped to me, but awful if I want to send to my dad in California while he says FedEx is great out there. But when he sends to me with FedEx its always a hassle.

  2. jaybee says:

    Pay peanuts…..

  3. Clippy says:

    At least he actually showed up!

  4. nybiker says:

    The question I have is: Was the trash can already put out for collection? Or do her trash collectors just come up to the house to get the cans?

    If the can was already out on the curb for pickup, then what makes the FedEx driver think that’s the best place to put the boxes?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Why would it matter in either case? Trash cans are meant to contain trash. Their entire purpose of being next to a house means there is probably trash inside. Trash is meant to be collected and disposed. It would be irresponsible for the FedEx driver to put packages inside the garbage and make the assumption that it won’t get picked up, presumably because the FedEx driver thinks they know the local pickup schedule.

      • nybiker says:

        Well, I have had a delivery person (I don’t recall which of the companies it was) put a box in one of my trash cans, which are next to my house. The NY Sanitation crews do not come up to my front door to take the cans. I have to carry them out to the curb. That’s why I asked the question.

        • ClemsonEE says:

          Which is very common. I’ve never heard of trash collectors coming to your house and getting your trashcan, it has to be out on the curb.

          To Pecan, it’s a good hiding spot because your neighbors would also assume that only trash is in there. I actually commend the FedEx guy for attempting to hide the package (especially if it was expensive); however, this is conditional that the trashcans were by the house and not out on the curb (and were empty to begin with).

          • Upthewazzu says:

            My folks live in a suburb of Memphis where the trash collectors take the can from your backyard.

          • The Porkchop Express says:

            oh they do in some cities. Really nice ones where city or county codes don’t premit the trash cans to be on the side of the road. the kind of place where business trucks and vans have to be in the garage and not in the driveway, the grass has to be kept up a little more than other places, and garage sale signs have to follow strict rules.

            • shepd says:

              That type of place sounds like a living hell. You can’t have freedom without a few bruises along the way.

              Which explains why I looked for the kind of area I did. Safe, but unattractive. It meant that when I was fixing my car for 2 weeks on my driveway nobody called up the city. That’s freedom.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Well, on the paper the driver’s circled “back door,” “porch,” and then “other.” I’d like to know whether the trash cans were near the back door or the porch and he felt he needed to specify the package was in the trash cans because the OP wouldn’t have seen them at the back door or porch.

            • andsowouldi says:

              The note was on the back door also. Why would anyone see a note on their back door? Probably didn’t notice the note or the package in the trash can and carried the can to the street themself (themselves?).

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            I used to be a garbage man. We often went to the side or even back of the house to get the garbage from elderly people. (We were “being a human”) One of the main reasons I stopped being a garbage man was having a rich sob demand I pick up his 17 garbage cans of weekly trash from his back yard, 300 feet from the curb. I was verbally reprimanded for not doing so, the I got a written reprimand for doing so; seems that completely destroying the sidewalk and lawn with a 70,000 pound vehicle pissed the guy off.

            • shepd says:

              Best thing I’ve read here yet. Only thing that would have made it better would be driving over his BMW with the truck. :-D

          • TasteyCat says:

            Some trash companies provide this service, but at a much higher price than standard curbside service. Typically it’s the wealthier towns with the longer driveways where people would rather do this than be bothered bringing their trash to the curb.

            • DangerMouth says:

              It depends. When I lived in Oakland CA, our trash was collected right out of the shed on the back yard. Not once in 7 years did I ever have to drag the cans out. And this wasn’t by any means a ‘fancy’ neighborhood, it was a borderline slum with about equal numbers of working class families and drug addicts/gangsters.

              When I moved to a much nicer neighborhood in El Cerrito, we had to haul the cans to the curb, but we were still paying the same, ~$30 per month.

          • NatalieErin says:

            Not everyone has to take their garbage cans to the curb. In my city, the garbage cans are at the back of the property – basically in the alley. You don’t ever have to move them if you don’t want to.

          • Selunesmom says:

            And all the trash pickers in the neighborhood assume that anything in there is garbage, and it’s free game. My old neighborhood was full of people who’d dig thru your trash on a regular basis. Having the can on the back porch wasn’t a deterrent.

      • crb042 says:

        Responsible or irresponsible nothing!
        I don’t want my packages to pass through where anyone puts trash!
        If I had a package delivered this route I’d be complaining even if I snatched the package away from the garbage collectors.

      • runswithscissors says:

        It matters because it’s their best avenue for blaming the OP.

    • Charmander says:

      According to the delivery tag, the boxes were placed in the garbage cans by the back door. The delivery location says: Back Door.

      So, sounds like the author pulled out her garbage cans into the front, or alley or wherever they were supposed to be for pickup and didn’t notice the delivery tag hanging on the door.

      • Coalpepper says:

        Easy to do, ifn he put the packages in the can at the back of the house, and the note on the front door, since i know more than a few people that don’t use their front door.

      • amuro98 says:

        Where I grew up, we left the garbage cans in the backyard. The garbage service used these little golf cart dump trucks to drive into our backyard and dump the cans before delivering the trash to the larger truck driving down the street. Living in a suburb more concerned with appearances and a fear that garbage cans would attract “Those People” from the nearby city also meant our garbage fees were the highest in the state.

        So, no, the FedEx driver should not have – under any circumstances – put packages into the garbage cans. There’s no way he could have guaranteed that the homeowner would retrieve them before garbage collection.

      • Belloc says:

        “Back door” is scribbled out. That whole section is the package location section. You’re only allowed to select one — they selected “Other: Inside of garbage can.”

    • cottercutie says:

      In my town, the garbage cans are not put out to the curb, they are collected on the side of our homes by our garbage collectors.

    • common_sense84 says:

      Are you serious? Garbage cans are for dirty gross garbage. Packages should not be placed into them.

  5. caradrake says:

    Part of me wonders if the delivery person ‘pocketed’ the package, seeing that the trash collectors were right behind him/her, and thus giving the delivery person a good excuse to cover up the theft.

    • Rocket80 says:

      Or if the recipient pocketed the package and is now making the claim – That thought would cross my mind if a note like that was left for me.

  6. hennese says:

    I think the OP is 100% at fault here. I don’t know why – but almost every single post someone makes that comment – Somehow it is always the OPs fault.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Uh…she should have been home earlier!!

    • ClaudeKabobbing says:

      Of course the OP is responsible. She should have had her trash cans secured

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      The only thing to blame the OP on is the final paragraph. That is just how it works and not a valid complaint. The shipper is FedEx’s customer and must initiate the claim. It is also their problem to get a replacement to Brooke right away (Most companies will expedite a replacement. They then file the claim against FedEx. It’s faster than waiting on FedEx to process a claim and they can threaten to take their business elsewhere).

    • finbar says:

      It’s the same reason you can’t read more than 10 comments on most newspaper sites without learning that no matter what the article was about, the cause of the issue was liberals, immigrants or breast feeding.

      Oh wait that last one is a consumerist thing..

    • runswithscissors says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s what some commenters are after with the whole “were the trash cans by her house and then she moved the trash cans to the curb for pickup without checking them for packages”? thing…

    • Difdi says:

      I’d suggest that it’s just as likely to be your fault. Or the Pope’s. After all, someone is at fault, and you and the Pope are both someone.

  7. FIOSguy says:

    Effing trash cans. How do they work?

  8. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    even if the trash hadn’t been picked up – ugh! it’s in the mid 90’s here right now. one hour in the trash can with the nasty stuff i cleaned out of my fridge and i am not sure i’d want to touch my delivered package. even through a bag, the trash can stink everything up terribly

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Yeah, the heat around here is making for a pretty fragrant combination when paired with trash, and it’s not something a package should be marinating in for any length of time.

      • El_Fez says:

        THIS! My garbage can has a years worth of kitty litter coating the inside. There is NO way that I would want my stuff in that . . . well, in that shit!

  9. KrispyKrink says:

    Typical and expected from the people that work in the Ground/Home Delivery outfit of FedEx.

    • The Colonel says:

      That’s one of the things that frustrates me about FedEx . . . they are such a great company overall, but their ground delivery is the company that used to be RPS. FedEx bought them, but lets them run as a separate entity. FedEx should have the same people run their ground and express division.

      • kobresia says:

        They –cannot– combine them. RPS was a union shop, when they bought RPS, they got a bunch of union employees & contractors. FedEx Express workers are all non-union. The two divisions mix as well as oil and water. It’s always kind of amazed me that FedEx wanted this deal and didn’t just figure out how to offer ground service on their own. They’re otherwise extremely anti-union and lobby against all pro-union legislation.

        When you wonder why your delivery service sucks, just remember: UPS, FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, and USPS are all unionized. FedEx Express isn’t. Now tell me again how great unions are and how their workers push the limits of excellence and quality work?

        • sirwired says:

          FedEx Ground delivery drivers are not only not union, they aren’t even employees. FedEx ground delivery drivers are “independent contractors” that have purchased their routes from FedEx Ground. FedEx Ground then pays them for delivering the packages. They even must purchase their own truck.

          This has been the source of a lot of controversy, as it saves FedEx quite a bit of money, and UPS is not thrilled about this.

          • kobresia says:

            Perhaps I’m thinking of the terminal workers.

            Still doesn’t seem like a very good deal for FedEx, since there’s such a broad range of competence in the drivers. I was aware there’s some level of contracting going-on there, since every now and then there are guys selling their FedEx/RPS trucks on eBay.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            Thank you very much for the info. Seems anti-union bias knows no bounds.

      • KrispyKrink says:

        Glad somebody else understands what I’m saying.

        Too many times I have to explain to people that FedEx Ground/Home Delivery is a completely separate entity from the parent FedEx. Different people, different policy, different training, different operation entirely. Substandard at best.

  10. brinks says:

    Um…the driver couldn’t have left one of those missed delivery notices if there wasn’t an inconspicuous place to leave it? Holy hell. FedEx would have had bleeding ears if I had to call them about this.

  11. crb042 says:

    Essentially FedEx threw the package into the trash and claimed to have delivered it.
    Seems the OP has quite a case for reimbursement here.

  12. coren says:

    I think both is a bit much, since the company the product is from didn’t screw up (other than choosing a shipper that fucked up so royally (they all do that though…)). Unless she just means her shipping charge, in which case, sure, that’s fair.

  13. dotyoureyes says:

    Even by Consumerist shipping horror story standards, this one is an epic fail. I’d vote for the “cover up a theft” theory, except I doubt a thief is dumb enough to try this one, since they’d clearly get caught “delivering” a package to the worst possible location.

    So I’m just betting on a really, really stupid delivery guy.

  14. josephbloseph says:

    What sort of timeline are we looking at? The wording of “by the time she actually saw the door tag” is ambiguous. Did she see the door tag on the day of the delivery? While that’s what I would assume, it could just as easily have meant that the package and door tag arrived one day, OP missed the tag and put the garbage out for pickup not knowing the packages were inside, and the packages were taken by the garbage collectors the next day.

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      Doesn’t really matter. The idea that FedEx would hiude yourpackage in a trash can is absolutely ludicrous to the point that no one should ever be expected to think it was even possible.

      • josephbloseph says:

        I don’t see how it doesn’t matter. No matter how ludicrous you think it may sound, I bet the garbage can is the first place you check when you see your door slip indicating that your packages are in your garbage can. The discussion of whether the garbage can is an appropriate place to deliver packages isn’t relevant to my question. The fact is the story as posted is missing information.

  15. 5seconds says:

    Small claims court: FedEx disposed of a package and then claimed it was delivered. You have evidence that FedEx threw away your private property (regardless of their intentions, that is what happened)

  16. ajlei says:

    If my local FedEx guy did this, I’d be livid. Unless I have a separate garbage can that is clearly labeled “FEDEX PACKAGES GO HERE”, someone would be getting an earful.

  17. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    The only thing to blame the OP on is the final paragraph. That is just how it works and not a valid complaint. The shipper is FedEx’s customer and must initiate the claim. It is also their problem to get a replacement to Brooke right away (Most companies will expedite a replacement. They then file the claim against FedEx. It’s faster than waiting on FedEx to process a claim and they can threaten to take their business elsewhere).

  18. cybrczch says:

    Ironically, she ordered a case of trash can liners…

  19. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    At she got the door tag. My FedEx guy puts the DOOR tag on the package – why???

    • SmokeyBacon says:

      Our UPS guy has done that – and stuck the package in the door (between the screen door and the main door at the bottom) with the door tag on it (so it is kind of working as a door tag at that point I guess). Of course since I don’t actually use the front door (I go in the garage door) it takes a while to know it is there. I guess no one else could see it and take it that way (but if it is on the porch I know it is there when I pull in because I can see it from the car). I haven’t had any real issues with FedEx home delivery, but a few times they delivered to the post office and the mail person brought it, so that could be why.

    • CharonPDX says:

      My favorite is when the FedEx guy slips the door tag through the gap in our ‘front’ screen door. The screen door that is permanently locked, with a sign saying in big bold letters “DO NOT USE THIS DOOR – USE THE SIDE DOOR” very blatantly posted on it.

  20. lvdave says:

    Funny how this reminds me of a company I worked for in the 90s, as a computer support tech. The head-honcho of the company, equivalent to a CEO, called the helpdesk one day saying he was missing messages in his email client. Since I was the tech-on-call that day, I hurried over to see what the problem was.. After a bit of tap-dancing around the issue, It became apparent that this person had been saving messages in folders … wait for it.. in the TRASH!!.. The email server was running low on diskspace so our admins purged the trash the night before, taking his mail to the bitbucket.. I passed the ticket up to our support manager, and left the Exec’s office barely keeping from cracking up laughing… This guy had a PhD in some physics-related field, and a masters in business.. Fortuantly, we were on Novell 3.11 and Groupwise 4 at the time, so with a bit of tweaking in Novell’s salvage function, the admins got back *most* of his messages… That still cracks me up today…

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      Yep. Having a PhD only means you’re good at one thing, and there’s no such thing as a PhD in common sense. The dean of the reasonably prestigious grad school where I recently worked did basically the same thing as your CEO. He wanted to hide messages, and the only way to do that was to mark them for deletion, so that’s what he did, and we bent over backwards to make sure he could keep doing it.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      They were trying to make the company “Green” by using recycling bin.

  21. savdavid says:

    I think the driver was trying to hide the packages from thieves but what a stupid place to put the delivery!

  22. Peter Valencia says:

    Smart yet Stupid at the same time! Hidden from Theives but in one of the grossest places in the house

  23. stevied says:

    Oh yes, the inside of the garbage can trick.

    Back in 1994 I had a FedEx employee do that with me and a contract that was being sent to my company.

    If I had my way he would have become an EX FedEx employee.

    But FedEX determined the jerkwad was an independent contractor and as such his actions were beyond the scope of his FedEx employment contract.

    Can’t control the actions of your employees, oops, I mean independent contractors?

    No problem. That is what lawyers are for.

  24. iopsyc says:

    I know how this will sound, but “in the garbage can” doesn’t look like the same handwriting on the rest of the notice. Anyone else think they look different?

    • PurpleMania says:

      I was wondering the same thing…

    • EarthAngel says:

      In some cities, articles that are placed in garbage cans are fair game for anybody to take. He might have put it in the garbage can, but if it is anything like my city, somebody else took it…especially if it was an unopened box with a UPS label.

  25. PurpleMania says:

    Are ‘boxes’ and ‘inside of garbage can’ same handwriting? Not blaming the OP, just curious what those of you who are handwriting experts think…

  26. SelfishMom says:

    This kind of thing happens to me all the time. Instead of leaving a tag and taking the package back to the facility – which I would prefer – FedEx leaves them on my stoop, behind the garbage can, or in the garbage can.

  27. brneyedgrl80 says:

    I’ve had this very exact thing happen to me but with UPS and instead of a trash can it was my recycling bin. I thought it very creative but only because my recycling wasn’t due for pick-up.

  28. Ben_Q2 says:

    I used to buy from RCCA. They put a car right next the the big trash can (UPS). That would not have been so bad if they would not have dump the big can and put the can on top of the car. What made it worst it was a number car. #5/500 (Terry Labtone). I still own it all flat and all.

  29. Splendid says:

    FedEx Ground: the gypsy taxi of deliver services.

  30. lyllydd says:

    “Other” guys on this. A client needed me to write some software for a new piece of high tech. They shipped it UPS, right after they had changed their policy on requiring signatures. It used to be you had to sign a box to allow them to leave it without a signature, new policy was to sign a box or else they could leave it without signature. I wasn’t home, so UPS driver, seeing it was insured for $10K, didn’t want to leave it where it would be obvious to thieves. So he hid it in the middle of a bush on front lawn. To make sure that nobody would know that such a valuable package was just waiting to be taken, he left no delivery notice.
    Shortly afterwards, it started to rain. Hard. For 3 days straight. I knew that they were going to be sending the package, but not exactly when. 4 days after the delivery, I called the client to find out when they were going to ship it, to find out that they were told it had already been delivered. Another half day with UPS to find out what had happened. Found the package. It was a fairly water resistant package, but not designed to stand up to the storms we had just had. My client never used UPS again.
    So I agree, stupidity is far more likely than theft.

  31. poehitman says:

    I always thought it was ridiculous to do what FedEx/UPS does. If I were a thief, I’d look on doors for that little sticker, find where the package was “hidden”, then go steal it. It kind of defeats the purpose of hiding the package if you are going to advertise the location of said package in plain sight.

  32. Press1forDialTone says:

    Our FedEx depot where I live sucks, nothing but trouble. It is a hellhole though
    and that what the employees have to work in.
    However, our UPS depot is superb and the employees tell me its a nice place to
    work if delivering packages is your thing for awhile.
    The US Postal Service is also excellent. A main USPS hub is less than 50 scenic miles
    It’s all about where you live and the people there and the
    people that companies hire and how they treat them and
    the conditions in which they work.

  33. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Ground and Home Delivery are subcontracted. They have drivers that can vary wildly from conscientious and polite to complete idiots. I use FedEx at work every day and I have WAY more trouble with Ground than with Express. Still, it’s a lot easier t get stuff fixed with them than it is with UPS.

    The shipper has to be the one to file the claim, unfortunately. Call them. Tell them what happened. Fax them a copy of the door tag, because they will probably need that for the claim paperwork.

    They might be able to make a claim on the contents, especially since there is proof that the driver delivered to the trash can. I don’t know ANYTHING for FedEx that says it’s okay to do this. With a signature release from the shipper, they can leave it on the porch, but IN the trash can? Hmm.

  34. Ashman says:

    Simple Solution – Require signature confirmation on every delivery… No Signature , No Delivery.

    I also thought that Fed Ex / UPS had to make 3 delivery attempts…

    When a package gets delivered to me, if I am not home, they leave a notice. I sign it and they deliver it the next day or I request them to hold it at the local fex ex or UPS office for me to come pick up from there.

    Either way, Putting a package in the trash can is unacceptable.