Where Random Happens

FedEx SmartPost

One Person’s Experience.

Okay so, I didn’t deal directly with FedEx, I ordered some software and books off of Amazon. Amazon could have gone with anyone, this time they chose to go with FedEx SmartPost.

My order, which was supposed to arrive two days ago, is not here yet.

Okay, no problem. So I call Amazon.

“Terribly sorry about this sir, please accept this credit.”

All well and good, but I still don’t have my package. And Amazon has no idea when it will arrive. Why? Because FedEx won’t tell them!

So now I have to go to FedEx. Apparently my package has been on their truck, in my town, for the last 48 hours. It has been in the city for the last 72 hours.

So where is it?

Here is the kicker: FedEx doesn’t know *AND* FedEx says its not their problem! Thanks to their new delivery service, SmartPost, they deliver your package to your city, hold onto it anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, and then put it “In Transit” to your local Post Office (USPS).

How long will it be “In Transit”? FedEx doesn’t know. They don’t have a system for dealing with that.

How long will it be at my Post Office? FedEx doesn’t know. It stopped being their problem once they passed the buck to someone else.

In this case, one of their chief competitors.

So after a night of worthless FedEx “Support”, I made this image which explains the entire thing.

FedExSmartPostUnderstand, I didn’t give the tech support woman any grief. How could I? She was courteous and more to the point, she doesn’t make the rules. There is nothing she can do about it. It’s not like FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith handles support phone calls personally.

Hell, and it’s not even that my order is two days late! It’s been a rough winter (though not here in Houston), mistakes happen.

The point here is, FedEx gives you this tracking number so you can follow your package. So if you live in a city like Houston, where it rains frequently, you won’t have your cardboard box soaked through by the time you get home. You can plan ahead. You can schedule your day.

But that tracking number is worthless thanks to SmartPost, because FedEx will tell you right up front that they don’t know, and it isn’t their problem anymore. There is no one you can call or contact because FedEx put a system in place that actually loses your package for an indeterminate period of time. I was told that my package could take an additional 10 days from today.

Overseas mail is faster than that! The US Post Office is faster than that! In fact, I can’t think of any shipping business that is slower than that!

Am I wrong for thinking that FedEx SmartPost is a mind-boggling stupid move on the part of a major shipping company?*

*Apropos of nothing, but it made me feel a little better, I noticed in my searches that FedEx market share value dropped a bit today.


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