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I live in a NYC apartment & *must* have a signature required for deliveries. If a package is left in the hall, it's pure luck if I get it; it pretty much might as well be left out on the sidewalk. Fed Ex charges - get this - *$10 additional* to require a signature! AND apparently the vendor has to arrange with them in advance even to be able to offer that option to purchasers. There was no way to arrange for a signature to be required w/this vendor, but they had a good product & price, & I was working with it the best I could. I put off all plans for the projected delivery date until the package was in my hands; I put a note on the front door for the driver stating that we were home, & if there was no response to the buzzer, to call us, & left my phone #; I sat waiting in a quiet apartment listening for the buzzer; I kept the Fed Ex tracking page open & refreshed it every several minutes. The door buzzer never sounded, there was no knock at the apartment door, & there was no call. When I refreshed the tracking page again @ 11:07 AM, it indicated the delivery had come 3 minutes ago, at 11:04. I rushed out to the hall, & there was no package. I then took the elevator down to the lobby & found the package sitting in the middle of the area by the mailboxes (not even off to the side!). I brought it upstairs & called Fed Ex immediately, speaking with a supervisor who was very

attentive & seemed to want to help. She said that the driver's log

entry in their system stated that he had left the package "outside the

door of Apt. XX." I told her straight out, "He's lying, & if he was

here, I'd say it to his face." I think it was clear to her that since I

had the package, I'd have no reason to go through all this & state

falsely that the package had been left in the lobby; the driver, on the

other hand, had substantial reason to claim he'd done his job properly when he hadn't.

The supervisor said this was a serious problem & that she'd report it

to her manager. Since I finally had the ear of an apparently competent person who seemed to actually care, I told her the story about the previous week's delivery, from a different vendor. In this case, it was clearly stated in Fed Ex's order that a signature *was* required. Briefly: Fed Ex's driver delivered the package to the wrong address, did *not* get a signature even though it was specified on Fed Ex's order form, claimed he *had* gotten a signature from a doorman with a building ID (we don't have a doorman); Fed Ex later determined that he had lied about getting a signature & informed me that he'd be "reprimanded." Fed Ex couldn't locate the package after a week of investigation; the vendor arranged for another shipment to be sent; when I requested before the delivery date on Fed Ex's website to pick up the package at a nearby Fed Ex office, I wasn't informed until after the change was made that this would delay the shipment an additional 4 days. First, the website said it would delay from Fri to Sat. Now, why is that? The office is a few blocks from my home, certainly the same delivery route. Then, on Sat, I find out that the office to which I'd requested delivery is closed! If *I* can look this up, Fed Ex's web site can be programmed to look it up & inform me *before* I make a change. Wait, it gets better: I wait until Monday, & then the package *still* isn't there. Why not? Turns out the dispatching facility, where the package is stored, is closed on *Mondays*! If I'd been informed in advance, I could have selected another, 24/7 Fed Ex office a little farther from my home. They also never responded to the complaint I'd filed about either situation.

The supervisor didn't know if both instances were the same driver, but

I wouldn't be surprised.

For what it's worth: I have *never* had any problems at all with deliveries from UPS, with which I have no connection other than as a recipient. They *always* require a signature &, to my knowledge at least, with no extra charge. If I miss a delivery & call them later that day, I have no trouble reaching the local dispatching office; they'll call the driver & then call me back saying something like, "The driver is taking lunch 2 blocks from your home @ 3:30; you can meet him there & pick up the package." The Fed Ex supervisor's response to this was, "Well, Fed Ex doesn't offer that service." I told her, "Officially, neither does UPS! I can't order that type of service, &

they don't guarantee that they'll do it, but if they can, they do. UPS has a 'human' solution, where Fed Ex has an 'institutional' solution." In my opinion, while Fed Ex may be OK for business-to-business shipping where everything on both sides is regimented, they have chosen not to orient themselves toward deliveries to individual consumers; the clear impression is they just don't want to be bothered with those details.

This company doesn't make any products; & offers only a single service which, for all its thousands of employees, computerized systems, trucks, planes, & worldwide presence, is basically just a fancy way of saying, "Here's a dollar, kid. Go bring this to Bob." If they can't do that, what good are they?

Throughout 7-10 calls to Fed Ex about these 2 situations, not one Fed Ex cust svc rep or supervisor could give me an answer to either of these questions: "What is Fed Ex's apology worth?" "Why should I ever use Fed Ex again whenever a vendor offers me another choice?" The only responses I got were extended silences, or ignoring the question. No problem; I think I've got my answers.

Product or Service Mentioned: Fedex Delivery Service.

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