Pedals

So is being furious with FedEx like boxing with God?

1

I shall vent.

Ordered A Thing last Sunday. Really wanted The Thing. Wanted to be one of the first to get The Thing. It was going to be (one of the) last Things I ever buy, like in my whole life.

They said it would ship on Monday, which I didn't believe for a minute. But it did ship on Monday, with delivery predicted for today, the 25th of September.

I followed the tracking all week like a obsessive-compulsive.
• Picked up in Ventura CA at 5:14 pm Monday, left there at 8:31.
• Arrived Bloomington CA 6:39 AM on Tues 22, left at 12:45 pm.
• Next seen in Nashville, 2:04 pm Thurs 24 (why'd that take two days?),
• leaving at 10:57 for the 3-hour jaunt to Evansville.
• Arrived Evansville at 5:03 AM today, and shown as on truck and out for delivery at 5:10 AM.

Yay! On schedule. Great! Gonna have some fun tonight!

I built my day around being home with the doors open to be sure and hear the truck. By 3:00 I've started to wonder, because believe it or not, FedEx DOES know how to deliver to me (there are several doors with several addresses and it can confuse), and they're usually here by then. I know what door they come to. The door was open and I was 15 feet away. OK, maybe 25. I put fresh batteries in the doorbells yesterday and they all work.

At 3:28 I check Reverb tracking AGAIN, and there's a Carrier Issue notification. Never seen one of those. Check FedEx's site, and at 3:19 they'd changed the status to "Customer not available or business closed."

Well, la connerie, mon amis. I was RIGHT HERE. They couldn't've driven a truck down my street then without my hearing it, much less parked near the building and crunched through the gravel (which I also would have heard). I checked all doors and mailboxes, and no form notice.

Wellsir, I don't mind telling you I was 'oppin' mad, I was. So what I does, is, I looks up FedEx's customer service number online and calls'em right up! I punch the recorded-message phone-tree numbers on the iPhone like this was all its fault, entering the option that most nearly matched my issue (they didn't have "you bastards ought to be strung from the yardarms") AND the tracking number, to which Automatelle crooned something about they'd tried to deliver and no one was home, and they'll be back Monday.

So I yelled, is what I did, barking into the phone REPRESENTATIVE, REPRESENTATIVE, REPRESENTATIVE until Automatina asked "You want to speak to a customer service representative, is that correct?" DAMN RIGHT IT IS, you dull-witted digital dunce.

A few recordings of assurance that FedEx cared for me later, my ears are blessed and soothed by the wispy and mellifluous lilting voice of what must be the fairest delicate flower of Indian maidenhood, willing and anxious to help me. Undaunted by the image of dark sari'd beauty the voice conjures in my boiling brain, I forge ahead with what had to be obvious stress lines of self-righteous, wounded victimhood and outrage in my voice, briefly outlining the "problem" and assuring her I WAS here, with the DOORS open, and fresh batteries in the DOORbells, and was purdurn SURE no FedEx functionary had been within a block of my address at the date and time in question (now barely 15 minutes past), and I wanting to know where in HELL my package was, and you need to call that guy and send him right back here with The Thing, because I know he has a cell phone in the truck, don't insult me by pretending otherwise.

THAT'S tellin'em, right? She did some checking and allowed as how there'd been a (melodious but unintelligible), and the package was going back to the facility for re-delivery on Monday. Clarify please? WHAT was the issue? Still lovely to listen to but, between utterly charming accent and the musical sing-song, completely unintelligible. Seems maybe (garble garble flutter) it hadn't really been on the truck this morning after all, and would be coming Monday. "So why does the status message reflect that you tried to deliver and I wasn't here...when I AM here, and you DIDN'T try to deliver?"

The fairest flower of sultry Indian maidenhood may have said that it was just the code the driver happened to punch in...when, what, I wondered...he came to this address because it was on his run list, and found he didn't have The Thing on the truck?

Something like that, she agreed to whatever she had misunderstood from whatever I had said in response to whatever I had only partially heard of what she had said while trying to follow her customer service script in English as a second language.

I don't know whether this was FedEx's corporate intention or not (leave us alone so we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, with your package and YOU CANNOT TALK TO ANYONE WHO CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT), but by this point I'd accepted the futility of getting a straight answer. Was I going to say, "put me on with your supervisor's supervisor's supervisor, someone in the US who speaks English, AND has the authority and wherewithal to actually address the situation?"

I was not.

And if The Thing really wasn't on the bus (I thought that 7-minute turnaround in Evansville this morning seemed too clockwork efficient), that may have been asking someone to bend reality anyway. I get it. Blood from turnips. What, did I want them to make a special trip from Evansville here, tonight, just for me? Well...yeah!

So, Monday. It's great to have something to look forward to.

2

The driver thought the ‘thing’ was cool and decided to keep it.

3

Indian maidenhood. Bahahaha!!!!! Yeah FedEx sucks. Sorry about your luck buddy. Out here in the sticks, UPS is king. I don't deal with FedEx unless I absolutely have to.

4

Where’s the facility? You know you can pick it up?

5

The driver thought the ‘thing’ was cool and decided to keep it.

I considered that.

Yeah FedEx sucks. Sorry about your luck buddy. Out here in the sticks, UPS is king.

I prefer the USPS, given druthers. UPS seems to beat the hell out of boxes, but have never broken anything (for me). FedEx is usually much better than this in these parts. But it was the shipper's choice.

Where’s the facility? You know you can pick it up?

An hour away. And probably not on Saturday. I've actually managed to chase things down at that location, and it's one weird place. I can wait. Not like I don't have toys to play with.

6

Anticipation, Anticipation is making me wait..

9

Bad Day, eh?

Nah. Pretty good day, actually. Nice weathers. Had the doors open!


So is this the Night Sky?

Oh...I dunno...could be?

10

Hell, they ain't even made one of them things yet.

11

Hell, they ain't even made one of them things yet.

Well that's I figured too. But yet.

12

FedEx is an anagram of DeFex.

Just sayin;....

13

Tim ,at least your thing showed movement.I could tell you some stories involving the USPS over the last couple years I’ve dealt with ((including my local postal annex)) being shut down for 5 months after a sting uncovered,not one but all 22 employees running drugs through it. I just recently had a convo with Ethan about all this when he sent me my Champ amp.Made it all the way from super Cool Cali in reasonable record time to only sit at the Raleigh distribution for 9 days I believe (over a week anyway),finally makes to my Fayetteville/Ft.Bragg dist for them to missend it to Link Wray’s hometown of Dunn NC ,10 miles north of me.Last time the Dunn PO got my package they sent it to Knoxville,Tenn.Had a coat come in from Carhartt distributor in MS a year ago,almost got me,almost made it and yessir it got missent all the way back to Austin TX.Here’s a shipment of saddle screws I’ve been waiting on since Sept 9 from Fl to me in NC.It’s now the 25 and they show in Memphis,Tenn. Hell,at this point I’d like to have the Pony Express resurrected.

14

I hear ya, my brother. I had an almost identical experience a couple months ago, only with UPS delivering 1,000 fresh pressed CD's from Disc Makers in New Joisey. The tracking had them out for delivery as scheduled, only nobody showed up. Or the next day. For several days in a row, the tracking was updated to reflect 4 packages, allegedly 3 boxes containing 300 each and one containing 100, as loaded on the truck, out for delivery. But then sometimes it would change to say "delay due to extreme weather (there weren't none), traffic (the UPS hub is less than 10 miles from my house) or "Emergency Situation" (gimme a break) for a few hours, then back to "out for delivery" again. My attempts to contact anyone at UPS were an exercise in frustration and futility, so I finally called Disc Makers, figuring they'd have more leverage with UPS than I did. Sure enough, the next day I received .... the box with allegedly 100 CD's (it actually contained a few more). Two more days and I got the rest, although one carton was short, so I hadda call Disc Makers, but they were great about crediting me for the missing CD's.

So my conclusion is, yeah, the delivery services are all scrambling with all the extra volume during the pandemic, but we have to understand that regardless of what's on the tracking websites, delivery will be "whenever the hell we get around to it." Yeah it sucks, and "customer service" is an antiquated concept, yadda yadda, but it don't help to blow a gasket over one more thing in life that's out of our control. Grant me the serenity etc. etc.

The CD's came out really good though --- a few folks here have even ordered 'em --- and now that a coupla months have passed, I've pretty much calmed down, and even talked myself out of exacting any, um, consequences, if you gnomesane. I mean since the facility is so close and all. But as Tricky Dick once said, "it would be wrong."

Disappointment is only possible when one has expectations, and in these times even the most basic expectations seem to be only a setup for disappointment, so I try to keep reminding myself to deal with how it is rather than how I wish it was. It's not alotta fun alotta the time, but it keeps my blood pressure in a manageable zone, so there's that.

16

Hey, I need one of the CDs! Do I send you money, er whut?


It's not like I needed this thing, or don't have ample toys to play with. And I'm well over it, practically knew I was just amusing myself with aggravoutrage at the time. Really, it's not the not getting it today that annoys, it's that I planned my day around it, and then FedEx lies to me.

That said, FedEx got a package to me last Friday of stuff I ordered on WEDnesday, and that's hard to beat.

Shipping vagaries really don't generally exercise me, neither before COVID nor now during. I do a lot of shipping myself, and answer a lot of emails (mostly from international customers) about where's my bridge, tracking shows it stuck, can you use your influence to get it unstuck? As if! I counsel patience, and it always gets there.

Then there's this one: a pedal I ordered from a builder in Belgium, which he shipped on May 30 - and which arrived here on September 10th. The seller and I had a long and cordial exchange about it over the months, we're practically best buds by now. We'd already agreed to split the suffering on it, and I ordered another of The Things. It came in about 5 days. Who knows. Then the other showed up. Now I have two of them, and haven't used either yet.

I really don't stay up nights about this. In the cosmic scheme of things, it's less than nothing.

And actually, I've had little problem overall during COVID with any of the carriers. Stuff is moving better than the bad press suggests.

17

Ah, the joys of bureaucracy - that sobering feeling of knowing when something of vital importance to you is merely an annoyance to the bureaucrat who just wants you to stop bothering them so they can go on a coffee break.

18

I wish I coulda GOT to the bureaucrat.

19

I wish I coulda GOT to the bureaucrat.

– Proteus

"You want this, don't you...?"

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche

20

I ordered one of Ethan's cool Cave Valley tweed cabs for my Champ. I hear the dog start to bark, letting me know the fedex truck has arrived. I have a lawn chair blocking the front door steps with a big laminated sign that says "Please, All Deliveries To the Back Porch. Thank You." All the other drivers have no problem with this. As I head to the back porch I see something fly thru the air out the front window and hear a big crash coming from the front porch. Fedex Doofus tried to leap over the lawn chair and fell flat on his face and my cabinet. I head out the back door to share a few choice words, only to see bonehead's truck flying down the driveway. The cabinet is fine, but I think Doofus will be limping for a while.

21

Good for Doofus!

Also, Ethan packs cabs for hazardous duty.

22

Sweet Jeezus does your description of FX resound with me!!!! It's the most Kafkaesque corporation I have ever dealt with. I bet the lack of productivity in the workplace that they cause makes drug use and Monday night football pale in comparison. Not to mention them being a leading cause of stroke and heart attacks. I think I just had a mini stroke while typing this. I love how it's a FACT that they delivered your product because they say they did! In one case I pursued they told me that it was delivered in front of my garage door,even though my 1880's farmhouse has no garage, and after repeatedly begging them to use the automatic gate which I provided with a gate code,they've repeatedly said that they do not open gates as it's against company policy or God's will or some such thing. Mentioning that UPS gladly does so fazes them not in the least. Plus they always place the package on the inside of the gate where the gate catches it as it opens,causing said gate to jam leaving gate open just enough to let the dogs out. To add insult to injury, I live where you can set your watch by the daily monsoons that frequent us and they NEVER ,ever, place it in a plastic bag. Many a time I just pick up the delivered item out of a mush of melted cellulose. After one desperate call I was told they deliver package exactly as the sender packs it and I should take it up with them. For the last 25 years of my business I made it a point to tell my suppliers NOT to use FedX.

23

I believe we all have Fed Ex stories. I have some doozies from my working days and had rental video equipment shipping around, as well as later with some very expensive new broadcast video (and pro Audio) equipment being shipped around the country..

Anyway, one of the newer ones I've encountered is finding the Fed Ex tracking saying something is "Delivered", but it really isn't. At least not quite. I forget what it was, but this happened recently when tracking said my package was delivered so I was looking on the front steps and in front of my garage for it- the usual places they leave stuff. Nothing. Then I walked down my driveway, which is around 350 feet long as we are set back from the road quite a bit, and up to the street looking everywhere. Nothing. I had a phone call similar to Tim's. I tell them it says "Delivered", but I don't see anything. The representative checks and tells me it WAS "delivered", but to the US Post Office, who would then take it on the last leg of it's journey to my house. What?! Apparently this is a common thing to do with some deliveries. I asked why don't they have a tracking entry to say just that, instead of having people think packages actually reached their final destination, and may have been stolen. I then told him "You must get thousands of calls like mine from people every day when this happens!" He just laughed and confirmed that was a correct statement. He apologized several times, and it showed up a day later by USPS.

24

$100 chocolate bar.

I think it was a $20 chocolate bar and I spent extra money to have it delivered before Christmas. I talked to the sender by phone, begged them to send it USPS, because Fedex and UPS charge a criminal brokerage fee at the border, but they assured me they knew how to fill out the export and brokerage forms to avoid that. I paid the chocolatier the duty, etc.

But Fedex still ran it through their broker, even with all the forms from the chocolatier still attached, charged me duty, taxes on the total amount and then also a $50 brokerage fee. Oh, yes, smurf you FedEx.

25

You've got to go quite a way to be considered worse than the USPS.


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