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I am an artist painting in oil and watercolor. I work from my home based studio in Georgia.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My FedEx Ground HORROR Story

I decided to try FedEx ground after years of using USPS and UPS, I thought adding another shipping vendor may be a good idea. After about two months of shipping without problems I had my first issue in which I needed customer service from FedEx Ground. It turned out to be a nightmare experience that can only be described as extreme poor FEDEX customer Service.

I shipped FedEX Ground Ground Adult Signature Required as usual.
Customer is in MD I am in GA. I used my account and FedEx Ground online shipping.

A few days after shipping my customer sends me e-mail
She informs me she can not be there during the day to receive package she works Mo - Sat. She cannot pick it up at Baltimore location either.

She called FedEx after receiving sticker on her door about Adult Signature required. She tried to tell them to just leave it the next day and she sign the door sticker on the back.

She was told they can't do that. That she must sign for it "IN PERSON"

She contacts me with e-mail asking for me to get the “Adult Signature" requirement removed.

I immediately contact FedEx, was told "Adult Signature" CAN NOT BE REMOVED even if the shipper asks for it.

I asked to speak to a Manager.

Waiting, long hold, eventually the “Manager” or whoever it was I spoke to tells me same.

Adult Signature cannot be removed “No Matter What”

I asked to speak to someone else who can make the change.

I talked to the “Customer Advocate Team” the persons name was Debbie Gurnsey. She told me she was reading that the procedure for getting the Adult Signature removed was, to send a Fax to the Sr. Manager, Steven Ross in Baltimore to ask to have the Adult Signature removed. I did that immediately.

The next day I receive a delivery exception notice via e-mail. They tried to deliver but recipient was not home. They will try to re deliver because "Adult Signature" is required.

Recipient contacts me via e-mail later that day. She went home early in hopes to catch the Fed Ex delivery person, but of course she found a sticker again. Adult Signature was underlined in bold. This after I was told that faxing a removal request to the Sr. Manager Steven Ross in Baltimore would get the signature requirement removed. Obviously this was either not so or it was just ignore.

I called FedEX again and was told that "THEY CAN NOT" remove adult signature no matter who asks for it.

I made the situation clear and told them that the recipient simply cannot be there.

I told them it would be silly to just keep going back when she isn’t there and then just return the packet to me, when the situation could easily be resolved and everyone would be happy, by leaving the package at the door, and they did have my request in writing already!


I was once again connected to another person, who told me the same thing. The Adult Signature once it is selected can not be removed. I told them there is no such thing as can’t. They simply won’t. This was beginning to be ridiculous.

FedEX told me that after trying to redeliver it and if she won't be there or come to pick it up, it will be sent back to me and I will be charged for the return. Effectively I got the feeling that FedEx is more interested in some power game here then in delivering a package.

After this ridiculous situation, Exasperated by FedEx unwillingness to work with me and my customer, lack of customer service, lack of flexibility to resolve issues, my customer has become very upset and I will probably have refund her money, if package is not delivered, and I will probably loser her as a customer for good.


The packet is in limbo right now as of March 13, 2009


When trying to resolve the issue I was given the run around, was lied to and ignored. My concern as a small business owner my pleas to accommodate my customer and please remove the Adult Signature and leave the package at her door were ignored and my concern about the poor Customer Service by FedEx were brushed off. The last call I made I was told she was going to give it a last ditch effort to see if someone can remove the Adult Signature" and she would call me back was yesterday March 12th, and nobody ever called back.

Today I got another exception notice. the same as every day "Recipient Not Home" Adult Signature Required.

To make matters worse, I have no other options to do anything with my package. FedEx is in control they are keeping it and keep trying to re deliver even though they have been told that the recipient isn't there and can't come to pick it up and they have a written request to just leave it at her door.

Instead of resolving the issue they have, according to my customer told her she would be charged per redelivery. I think something really fishy is going on here. I have never heard of such a thing.

I will keep the progress posted here and I am considering filing a complained with the Consumer Protection Agency. This just seems too unreasonable for Fed Ex to treat a customer like this and threaten to apply additional charges.

It reminds of the horror stories you hear by moving companies. The load up your furniture, you pay what they tell you to pay and when it comes time to delivery the furniture they tell you, you owe more money and they keep your furniture hostage until you pay up. Which is extortion in my opinion. Unless charges are disclosed up front they should not have a right to just tag on more charges. Neither should Fed EX especially since the solution is so simple, just leave it by the door as we requested numerous times even in writing.

Right now the package is in limbo at FedEX and I can't do a thing to actually get it delivered to my customer. I will keep you updated on how this ends.


Here is the painting and the transaction that took place on ETSY


Needless to say I WILL NEVER USE FedEX Ground Again. Maybe not even FedEx Express I just have a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Yesterday I shipped a painting to a regular collector in California and I used UPS ground which I used for years.


I know no shipping company is perfect but this Adult Signature thing with FedEx ground is THE MOST RIDICULOUS thing I ever came across.


Of course I informed my customer that if the painting is not delivered by Monday and she can't pick it up or be there to sign for it, I will refund her money.

I recommend to artists out there, to think twice about using FedEx ground for shipping your art.
Especially if you require a signature at delivery. This can turn in to a real nightmare when your customer can't be there to sign for it and has no one else to do it either.

I do state in my store policy that I always require a signature, with original art is is a must do. Unfortunately my customer read the store policy, but missed reading that part.

to be continued...

Today is Sunday and I heard from my customer.
FedEx Ground has sent us an exception notice that "they" tried to deliver the package, but nobody was there that was yesterday Saturday.

I heard from my customer and she informed me that she was indeed there all day Saturday and never was there a ring or knock on the door.

I also learned something about FedEx ground that I did not know, which is FedEx ground is not actually FedEx, these delivery drivers are sub contractors. I am very upset that I was not aware of that before doing business with them. Because legally I think it presents a problem when you do have an issue with the delivery and it may be the reason they can't make adjustments after you send your package off.

Not very good! I would definately stay away from using FedEx ground.

Here is a web site and some info I found:

Here is something I found on the Internet.
http://www.fedexaminer.com/FedEx/

FedEx Ground: Formerly known as RPS (Roadway Package System), this division delivers packages exclusively through a ground trucking network to businesses and residences throughout the United States. FedEx uses contractors for delivery who provide their own trucks, equipment, vehicle fuel, insurance and uniforms under the FedEx brand. FedEx Home Delivery: This division started out delivering packages to residences but has since expanded to include deliveries to businesses using contractors who provide their own trucks, equipment, vehicle fuel, insurance and uniforms under the FedEx brand.

So indeed we are not dealing with The FedEx Corporation but with a sub contractor which if I had known that I would never started to use them.

I am coming across lots of blogs with stories of dissatisfied customers for FedExGround.

to be continued...

as of yesterday 03/17 I heard from my customer and she was able to talk to FedEx and arrange for her to pick it up on Saturday the 21st. I will celebrate when I know she has it in her hands.

Why could that not have been done before when we first called? There is no record of our conversation with FedEx according to FedEx... they are truly highly unprofessional, considering that I myself called them four times and was promised two call backs neither one came as promised.

My customer asked for a phone number for that FedEx location that is supposed to hold her package and was told they "Don't publish the numbers" and she should just come and pick it up during their business hours.

Final update.

My customer was able to pick it up and finally after lots of unnecessary aggravation she has her painting.

All in all my evaluation of FedEx ground is that the rules and customer service is very unfriendly and rigid. It led to time wasted.

I've shipped a few painting since and used as I usually did using UPS.

While no carrier is perfect, I find UPS ground is still the best option. In years I have been using them I can count any issues I had on one hand.

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