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Posted August 22, 2006 8:00 AM | Permalink
This is all a bit surprising to me. I've had nothing but excellent service from FedEx and UPS, and even, for the most part, from USPS (exception being several lost items of First Class mail in Chico, CA). Airborne Express was quite a different matter. Those guys actually lied to me.
I do have to say I have always lived in urban/suburban areas, and I can easily imagine service is worse in rural areas.
Aug 28, 2006
Being single, there is no one to answer the door when I'm at work. A few years ago I'd arrive home, find the door hanger that they attemped delivery and then call the local terminal. Depending on time, I'd either pick it up before they closed or the next morning. Now they have removed the local office phone number so I can't call them to ask them to hold for pickup. Can't do it on their website either. It is just stupid there isn't a box to check "hold for pickup". What I found out you have to do is call the 800 number and say "Agent" to get a live person, since there is no "hold for pickup" in their automated phone system.
Aug 28, 2006
I will not use FedEx if it can be helped. I've had FedEx packages tossed over my back fence twice while home, then hear the roar of the truck speeding away. Both times electronic equipment was in the box, and fortunately it wasn't obviously damaged from the toss. Each time I've called to complain, and I generally get a limp "sorry" from the person on the other end of the phone. I'm sure that the drivers are more interested in number of deliveries and time to deliver than condition of what was delivered. I don't know how gentle UPS or USPS are, but they've always checked to see if someone is home...
Well, I can say that the drivers here are excellent -- UPS and FedEx (both air and ground) come right up to the door every time, even though we're rural, and are nice, intelligent, and thoughtful. Our porch is covered, and we haven't had any trouble with the delivery end except for DHL/Airborne, which literally will drop our packages at a gas station in town (13 miles away) and call us to go get it. I paid for delivery service for that?! But other than that, the delivery end of things is great here. -rc
Aug 28, 2006
Unfortunately, this is the norm in customer service.
I nearly had a heart attack when trying to deal with Amazon.com's system, which will not even allow you to contact someone directly, you must go through a form on their site.
Occasionally I am surprised by GOOD customer servce, but I actually expect to have to repeat myself three times before I finally get someone to actually read my message.
Seems most companies employ people (and computer programs) to send you a canned response based on your subject or a few words picked up from your email.
It is utterly infuriating, especially if you have already gotten exactly the same response by searching their online help. Many companies will not even allow you to GET TO the contact us form without first typing your question into their help form and confirming 8,000 times that your question was not answered!!
Aug 29, 2006
I ordered a package online that was shipped (at the seller's discretion) by FedEx. Well, I live in apartments on a university campus. We have no physical mailboxes at the apartments, in fact no one on campus has a physical mailbox at thier location, all campus mail is delivered to the campus post office, including packages from major delivery services. The university post office workers look at the physical address on the package and place a notice in the appropriate post office box. Apparently, the FedEx driver decided that after several years of doing things this way (and I checked with the post office employees, it was the same driver that had been coming for years), it just wasn't good enough. I came home and found a FedEx slip on my door, called the local office, told them "this is campus, deliver it to the post office like normal", and got "I wonder why the driver didn't just do that in the first place".
Two more slips and another call to the local office netted me a response of "we don't do that". You don't? Then what have you been doing these last three years that I've been recieving packages? I climbed the ladder and got no answer from the higher ups. Finally I called the seller I had purchased from. Apparently hearing from the person that pays the bills is what lit a fire under FedEx because the package was in its usual place the next day.
Side note to Steve: I sympathize. Really, how does one miss the Mint?
Aug 29, 2006
FedEx seems to be the king of canned responses based on my own experience with them. My problem was that they always delivered boxes intended for me to the wrong end of town. I live in on South Boston Ave and they went to North Boston Ave (granted it was the same house number). I would call the customer service number and they would say "We're so sorry. We will clear this up with the delivery person immediately and it won't happen again". Yeah, right, and pink elephants fly.
This went on for three years, every single FedEx Home delivery. I tried using companies that did not use FedEx for delivery, but every now and then one would sneak through. Finally I got someone on the phone and told her that "sorry" didn't make up for the fact that my husband's birthday present was late because it had to be sent out from the company again. She broke their rules and gave me the phone number for the franchise owner for the FedEx Home Delivery in my area. I spoke to him and he had never been told the stuff was going to the wrong address, though I still blame him for not knowing the difference between north and south.
It's been almost a year now and I have no problem with FedEx these days, but I still avoid them as often as possible out of habit. You would think that after they had to pay out a certain amount of money for "lost package" insurance (well over $1000 over the course of three years), they would have tried to figure out why it was happening instead of just giving me a standard "we will look into it" response.
Aug 29, 2006
My gripe is about Fed Ex. When I first moved to north Georgia about 7 years ago, my late husband and I had some electronic equipment sent to us by his daughter. Fed Ex, rather than drive all the way to our house a mile down a county maintained road, tied the equipment to our rural mailbox close to the main road, a mile from here. I let that slide, though we were a bit ticked about it. About a year later, we got a loan -- refinanced our home -- and had around $10,000 of checks being sent to us for dispersement to some of our creditors. Those were put in a clear plastic bag and tied to the mailbox as well.
I didn't let this one go. I not only called Fed Ex, I also called the loan company and told them what had happened.
Not once since then has Fed Ex tied anything to my mailbox. They always drive right up to my front door. I usually don't even have to step off the porch to receive the package from them. Sometimes being a witch works!
Aug 29, 2006
I just have to say I am fortunate,as that I have the boss of my local fedex right next door. So when I know I have a package coming from them I tell him, and he watches out for it, and brings it home with him instead of the driver. Lucky me!
Aug 30, 2006
It is unfortunate that in this day and age "customer service" has been reduced to such a level.
Having worked in the service industry as a computer consultant for a number of years, I can say that 9 out of 10 calls can be covered by a "canned response". I'm sure that other services have different results but it would be hard to believe that the canned response would cover less than 60% of calls. This is probably why you get such a response when you try to contact customer service, for any reason.
There are ways around most automatic email responses though. If you want to avoid their auto email response system, space out y o u r w o r d s l i k e t h i s, orjamthemtogetherlikethis, or just misspell the few critical words that you believe are most likely to give an automatic response. Most auto response systems cannot find the keywords they are looking for in such an email.
As always, if you can't get the service that you expect, escalate the problem up as high as you need to go.
Aug 30, 2006
I hate canned responses.
I'm a member of a band called Afterhour Shower (shameless plug: www.myspace.com/afterhourshower). We're just a couple of college kids who like to play some music and have a good time. I put our band on myspace to get us out on the web where folks could find us and listen to some of our stuff. A few days after I put the band on myspace, I was on someone else's computer trying to show him the band page. I couldn't remember our URL off the top of my head (I have it memorized now) so I had my friend log in to his personal myspace account and I went to the search page. I put our band name in their search engine and clicked search and found nothing.
I filled out the customer support form and told them a search for my band turned up nothing. They sent me back an email with a generic response on how to search for things on myspace. It completely disregarded my question. I got caught up in other things (I am a college student after all) and did not try searching again until a month or two later. Again, I had the same problem. Again, I filled out the form. Again, I was taught how to use a search engine. After about six months of the same responses, I finally discovered that it takes a few weeks for them to update their databases. It still took about six months for our band to be searchable on myspace. The problem fixed itself, but through absolutely no help from the wieners in customer support. Fed Ex is not the only company with issues.
Aug 30, 2006
(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)