FedEx Thinks This Is An Appropriate Place To Leave A Package

Consumerist reader Tim was a bit annoyed when he got an e-mail saying a delivery from FedEx had been left at his doorstep. But that was nothing compared to what the FedEx driver did to his next door neighbor.

“When I arrived home, I noticed my neighbor’s package on the balcony and took photos,” Time tells Consumerist. “Since he lives on the top floor, he had to pull out a ladder to take the package down as the lower level neighbor was on vacation.”

At least they let his neighbor know that they had placed the package on the “Balkon,” not to be confused with Balki Bartokomous.

Tim says he sent off an EECB to FedEx execs to find out if this sort of delivery is in line with company policy and considered good delivery.



Edit Your Comment

  1. zigziggityzoo says:

    “Left your box in Serbia, mmk?”

  2. clippy2.0 says:

    I know there is alot of hate for delivery folks. I happen to love my UPS man; when my wife ordered new tires he went out of his way to pick up the tires (we wern’t on his route that day), call me to make sure I was home and then brought them over right away. I know it’s not an average story, but I’ve never had an issue with UPS (other than the fact that he usually doesn’t make it to my house until after 7pm)

    So take that UPS haters!

    • JoeDawson says:

      I ordered tires, and they just left them in front of my house, no box or anything. Fortunately they are now on my car and I won’t die from bald tires.

      • tinyninja says:

        You know UPS doesn’t box stuff right?

        And tires are typically shipped without a box. After all, if they are fragile enough to need a box you should be leery of putting them on your car.

      • kobresia says:

        I buy motorcycle tires online quite frequently. They usually come in bags, but not always. I think I’ve had one tire that arrived in a box.

        If something isn’t in a box, it sometimes gets assessed the additional handling charge, because it might not be able to ride the belt and be automagically sorted like everything else. I ran into that all the time with shipping containers, especially shipping aluminum medical supply chests (think MASH stuff). Even wrapping them in kraft paper would miraculously make them able to go on the belt and avoid the $8 additional handling charges, whereas if I left them just as-is with the convenient handles accessible for people to handle them with, it would cost me.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      The quality of service varies widely depending on who your guy is. My old FedEx guy was great, but they replaced him with a real fuck up. It’s a good thing I’m familiar with my neighbor down the street and we regularly exchange stuff meant for each other.

      For how important the face of the company is, you’d think they’d vet them better.

    • George4478 says:

      I have a great UPS guy too. I put him through a lot, ordering stuff like ammunition (50 lb boxes) and snow melt crystals (40 lb bags), plus the dozens of Amazon Prime packages. And he’s always so damned happy when ever he come to my house.

      He got a nice tip from me this year.

    • Gambrinus says:

      I think it’s worth pointing out the UPS tends to hire a lot of seasonal delivery drivers this time of year who probably don’t meet the normal standards. I think that’s where a lot of this hate comes from.

    • Jawaka says:

      I work in my basement a lot during the day and unfortunately I can’t hear the doorbell from there. When my Fedex person realized this they started calling my home when they where pulling up to my front door so I’d know they were there. There’s a lot of good delivery people out there too.

    • DFManno says:

      I once shipped a document UPS Next Day Air. UPS did indeed deliver it the next day – TO ME, the sender.

      So take that UPS lover!

  3. Costner says:

    Hope it wasn’t fragile.

    But on the other hand…. if it was left on the ground floor would you even be able to take a picture or would it be stolen before he arrived home?

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      This. If the driver left it in front of the door then they’d complain that their expensive shipment was left out in the open and unprotected. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      It appears today is another of Consumerist’s special “bitch, whine, and moan” days.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        throwing it up on the balcony isn’t the right way to do it at all though.

      • minjche says:

        Eh, I don’t think you’re seeing the full picture here. It’s not a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, it’s a “damned if you do something dumb” situation.

        The alternative you were looking for (as part of your “damned” analogy) was if the delivery person left a “We missed you” tag on the door so the neighbor could pick up the package at a FedEx location or sign for it to be left outside (at the neighbor’s own risk). If the neighbor would have complained about the inconvenience of the door tag, THAT is a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. This story, however, is do something atypical and dumb and get complained about, or follow standard policy and leave a door tag (specifically one for a later delivery).

        • Such an Interesting Monster says:

          So then we’d get the “Why does FedEx not deliver to my house/apt and force me to take time off from work to pick up my package” thread.

          • Gehasst says:

            I’d rather stop by after work to pick it up, vs the package being tossed. I usually get electronics delivered. Tossed = broken = more aggravation than just stopping by the FEDEX/UPS place to pick it up.

          • minjche says:

            Maybe we would get that, but we don’t have it now, so that’s just irrelevant speculation. This FedEx guy is still “damned if you leave a package somewhere stupid”.

      • ovalseven says:

        Yeah, what’s the matter with people? This person should be happy that his package was left on somebody else’s balcony, and everyone should expect to fetch a ladder to claim their deliveries.

        • Costner says:

          Let’s not be too dramatic. It was a bonehead move by the driver, but mistakes do happen. Since they can’t possibly know how many apartments are in each building and we don’t know how the addresses are listed on the building, this could be an honest mistake.

          Just think if that was actually the right balcony…. then he would probably be writing in to explain how impressed he was with FedEx’s amazing customer service and how they went out of their way to deliver a package in a safe manner where it wouldn’t be stolen.

          Oh wait… no they wouldn’t because people don’t write in when someone does something right.

  4. Power Imbalance says:

    LOL, I wanna be a FedEX driver. Just thing of the funny places one could put packages.

  5. eturowski says:

    I am kind of torn on this one… depending on the contents of the package, I might actually be okay with the delivery guy tossing it up to the safety of the second-story balcony. Leaving a package on that sidewalk looks like a surefire way to have something stolen. It also depends how far away the FedEx pickup location is.

    Also, it’s a little hypocritical to make fun of the delivery guy for misspelling “balcony” when you’ve misspelled the OP’s name as “Time” (” ‘When I arrived home, I noticed my neighbor’s package on the balcony and took photos,’ Time tells Consumerist.”)

    • little stripes says:

      How would the FedEx driver know what was in the package? Does he have x-ray vision?

      This is a terrible place to put a package.

      • JennQPublic says:

        The FedEx guy knows that the package was subject to far worse abuse on it’s way to it’s destination. If it had been left on the street, it would have been stolen.

        This is where I would have wanted it left. It would be a pain to get down, but at least they got it.

        • somedaysomehow says:

          What if it was something for Christmas and you didn’t have a ladder? Would you have gone out and spent $75 to get a ladder so you could reach it? The people who owned that balcony were gone.

      • Costner says:

        Well if it came from Amazon… based upon the size of that box, I’m guessing it is a SD Card.


      • regis-s says:

        It was light enough to toss up there. Judging by the stories and videos of other deliveries it was probably one of the shorter flights packages have taken. It just happened to be straight up.

        • little stripes says:

          Just because it’s light doesn’t mean it’s not fragile. Picture frames are light, but also made of glass.

          It’s a terrible place to toss a package. In fact, packages should never be tossed.

          • elangomatt says:

            I think you’d be appalled to see how packages are handled during shipping. I would be pretty surprised if any packages handled by a human at a sorting facility wasn’t tossed at some point during its trip. Not saying it is right, but they probably have to maintain a fast pace so the only way to keep up is to make packages fly through the air.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            Man, they THROW them at the hubs. All shippers do. I pack everything I ship in layers of foam and make sure it can’t move inside the box. I ship samples at work and don’t want them to arrive all dented.

        • eturowski says:

          Haha, yeah… I used to work at FedEx unloading trucks at a hub. If you are unloading the “recommended” 18 parcels per minute, well, let’s just say that at that speed, considering the hourly wages the unloaders are paid, it makes more sense to just pay out the insurance claims for the packages when (not if) they are damaged.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      It might make some sense if that was the customer’s balcony. The way I read the story, the customer lives one floor up from the balconly where the package was left.

  6. Nick1693 says:


  7. dogmaticman says:

    I give credit to my delivery person all the time, they find a lot of creative ways to hide packages- and I completely approve. Whatever keeps it from getting stolen…

    • jessjj347 says:

      Exactly. Came here to say that the delivery location in the photo is amazing. I doubt anyone would steal it there, as it would draw a lot of attention to the potential thief.

  8. madanthony says:

    It’s FedEx Ground. From what I understand, FedEx Ground drivers are independent contractors, so the quality control can be pretty flakey since FedEx has limited control over them.

    • tinyninja says:

      This is true. The driver typically owns his route, although some people own multiple routes and hire sub-contractors. And these drivers get paid per package delivered, so they pull stunts like this.

      The drivers who actually work for FedEx hate them and would like for them to die, please.

    • mister_roboto says:

      Indeed they are, a friend of mine is a FedEx Express driver.

      Some of the FedEx Home drivers don’t even have FedEx branded trucks- they get rentals, or they hire out help themselves. So your FedEx package can come via a guy with no FedEx credetials out of a truck with no FedEx markings because he’s working for a FedEx Home guy (who is himself a contractor).

      FedEx Epress or someone else- avoid Home (unless you happen to have a good delivery person).

    • kc2idf says:

      FedEx ground or not, I’m pretty sure that package was airborne for at least a few seconds.

    • elangomatt says:

      I guess this partially explains why fedex ground packages can’t be left at a local fedex express place for pickup. Though it still makes no sense why I shouldn’t be able to pick up ground packages from the same place in town that does the express pickup.

  9. RoadDogg says:

    My FedEx guy isn’t that bad, but he is much worse then UPS. UPS will ring the door bell and place the package behind one of our rockers. FedEx will write a note, stick it on the door, knock quietly (some times not knock at all) and run off so he doesn’t have to deliver anything. I get that 90% of his stops have no body home, but at least ring the bell. I’m just glad Amazon doesn’t use FedEx.

  10. framitz says:

    UPS has been far worse where I live.
    Just last week I was home awaiting a delivery from FedEx, and checked the door every now and then. When I checked I found a UPS slip on the door claiming they tried to deliver a package. Of course they didn’t knock or ring the bell, they just stuck the note. I went outside and found the UPS truck right outside my building. I presented the slip and retrieved the package for my daughter, this package had been sent back 4 times with NO attempt to actually deliver the package.

    While getting the package from the driver his ‘helper’ came up wanting to know which building an apartment was in. He had a hand full of delivery slips and was only delivering the slips with no attempt at all to actually deliver packages!

    Daughter filed a complaint with UPS over this BS.

    30 minutes later FedEx dropped my new phone on the door step without bothering to knock, luckily I was checking often and did receive the package before the thief that has been following FedEx trucks and stealing packages in our area could get to it.

  11. deadandy says:

    Good work on the EECB! Make sure you keep firing those off with every little issue–you’ll be sure to keep their effectiveness nice and sharp for the rest of us!

  12. TheMansfieldMauler says:
    • Darsynia says:

      Or in the recycle bin, which got collected before the homeowner got home and the person never got their package!

  13. matlock expressway says:

    It’s obvious that the driver was just a very tall German man. It was as easy as placing something on the top shelf.

    (Balkon is German for balcony.)

  14. ehchan says:

    FedEx Ground hires contractors to deliver packages. These contractors (at least the ones I deal with) are paid per delivered package, so they will do anything to achieve the delivery. I love FedEx Express, but I avoid Ground like the plague.

  15. sadie kate says:

    Man, I feel spoiled by my delivery guys. I have Amazon Prime, a newborn baby, and a husband that works 60 hours a week, so pretty much if I need an item and I can get it on Amazon, that’s how I do it. Diapers, wipes, vitamins, etc. The FedEx guy brings the packages to the carport, knocks loudly, and calls out that he was here; the UPS guy rings the front bell, and if I don’t answer after a minute (likely because I am feeding the baby), also takes the packages to the carport. If I get a package too big for the mailbox, the postman brings the box and all of the mail to the door for me. Hell, when I was pregnant, the UPS guy would bring the boxes right inside! I should write nice notes to their supervisors.

  16. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    Oh cousin Larry don’t be reediculos!

  17. Dallas_shopper says:

    UPS is decent in that they usually deliver packages in my neighborhood when people are home, so the guy just rings my doorbell and leaves packages on the porch….right in front of the screen door, which opens outwards, which means I have to push the package off the porch when I open the door. Otherwise I can’t get out. But that’s better than my USPS mail carrier, who doesn’t deliver certain pieces of mail at all…like my water bill. I NEVER get my water bill anymore.

  18. Swins says:

    That was after three tries of throwing it up there

  19. Sarahlara says:

    I have seen our UPS man chuck packages onto balconies too. He was standing inside the back of the truck to do it, so he had another foot or so of height. I like our UPS guy, but if something breakable were inside those packages, they did break.

  20. RosevilleWgn says:

    On another note, Fedex is using Budget Rental trucks in my area to deliver packages.

    • mister_roboto says:

      FedEx Ground uses contractors who “own” routes, they are not FedEx employees (like FedEx Express). The Ground people if swamped will often hire people themselves and use rental trucks to complete their routes. So yes- your package can be delivered in a rental truck by a guy that has no association with FedEx other than being hired for help by a FedEx Ground person- who is a contractor themselves.

  21. Jim M says:

    My UPS guy is getting a Xmas card and a tip today when he shows up with my Newegg order. Fedex is not getting a card.

    My UPS guy is great, stops me when he sees me out around town to give me my packages or just to tell me where it is.

  22. sonofragnar says:

    I have had more issues with FedEx than any other company I deal with on a regular basis. Most of the time the driver is too lazy to actually deliver my packages on-time and instead inserts comments into the delivery card claiming no one was at the address or simply “delivery exception” with no further explanation. I’ve called FedEx every time they pull this stunt (about once a month) and all they tell me is the delivery drivers are actually sub-contractors so FedEx can’t claim any responsibility. At least my UPS guy is on it.

    • unimus says:

      “all they tell me is the delivery drivers are actually sub-contractors so FedEx can’t claim any responsibility”

      What a load of shit. As long as you or the vendor paid shipping money to FedEx, they better take responsibility.

      Let me take a wild guess here. If you ever managed to get a hold of the sub-contractor’s company, they’ll probably tell you to complain to FedEx.

  23. Its_Miller_Time says:

    Our UPS guy is amazing. They usually make it out to our house around 1:30 / 3:30pm and is usually my daughter’s nap time. He knows our schedule that he knows not to ring the bell, place them in our back yard (fenced) and to leave a note on the door (with no comment – which we asked).

    He will be getting a card and tip when Friday comes with my final christmas package!

  24. Extended-Warranty says:

    Next time he should just not care and leave the package to get stolen. Perhaps OP would rather run the phone call gauntlet trying to get a refund on his shipment.

  25. samonela says:

    Check out the Fed Ex delivering a Computer video on Consumerist’s FB page lol

  26. sunnypies says:

    FedEx Office does have a “Hold at location” – cool service, you can ship to the fedex office instead of your residence and pick it up when you want for free.

    • elangomatt says:

      Yeah, too bad the trip from my house to the nearest FedEx Ground hold location is 45 miles, through heavy Chicago traffic. It seems stupid that they can’t drop holds off at the local FedEx Express office that is maybe 4 miles from home.

  27. cornstalker says:

    You left it on the Balki? “Well of course not, don’t be ridikulus.”

  28. ray4jc says:

    fedex stuffed a 100lb+ tv stand into the backseat of my jeep, i’m not sure how they got it to fit because it was near impossible to get it back out

  29. oldtaku says:

    ‘if this sort of delivery is in line with company policy and considered good delivery.’

    Officially, no; unofficially, whatever it takes to crank the packages out?

  30. Grungo says:


  31. erinpac says:

    I think our UPS has shifted to seasonal help. I was getting deliveries after I left work, and they were very nice. Now, there’s a note to see the front office even if I am here.

    Another odd habit the office has picked up… they will see me coming, and go get my packages before I am in, and have the book for me to sign with my name written down. Then, they’ll make me pull out my photo ID. >.

  32. HogwartsProfessor says:

    FedEx Ground is not FedEx. It’s subcontracted. My hot new Ground pickup guy (oh damn he’s cute) told me he works for a subcontractor that hired him. He said he’d go to Express (which is really FedEx) but right now there aren’t any full-time positions.

    It also seems to be worse in certain places. There’s a terminal in Maspeth, NY that I had problems with on a shipment and when I called the customer service number, the person asked me where it was and I told him. He said sourly, “Oh yes, THAT terminal.”

  33. rkramden says:

    I have a wooden deck on my house. I have always wanted a balkon. This is the fault of the OP.

  34. leastcmplicated says:

    Balkon is german for balcony. I dont think this is cause for such whining let alone an EECB.

  35. Invader Zim says:

    That must be one tall fedex guy

  36. nodaybuttoday says:

    I’ve had the same thing happen to me only they didn’t leave a note telling me it was on the balcony. I even called up the store and told them I thought my package was stolen. I very rarely used my balcony, especially in the winter, and about a week later noticed it out there. The delivery guy would have had to use the fire escape, why on earth would you do that?

  37. ancientone567 says:

    I wonder how many tries it took the delivery guy to TOSS it up there. LOL let’s not use FEDEX anymore eh?