Thursday, February 24, 2011

FedEx Sucks - And Why I STILL Have Not Reviewed Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA

Posted by: Stonecipher

Feb. 22, 2011

OK, I’ve had enough.  FedEx is the worst.

Some of you may recall a post here at 20 Beers in 20 Nights from a couple weeks ago in which I discussed my trade for some Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe IPA – Beer Number 12 on The List.  And some of you may even remember yet another post here in which I complained of some technical difficulties that prevented the Double Simcoe from arriving here when it was supposed to.  At the time of that post, however, the middle man, FedEx, had apologized for the mix up, assured me it was all under control and explained that I would most likely have my package within 48 hours.  So I didn’t rip into them at the time.

Well, here we are now, three promises, two assurances and six days later and still, no beer.  So, I believe it is time to tell the ridiculous story of just how screwed up FedEx is.

Let’s begin with this:

FedEx Detailed Shipment Travel History for my Package
If you look closely you'll see that this package left Massachusetts, bound for Illinois, on February 14, 2011, ten days ago.  

So far, so good.  

An expected arrival date of February 17 was attached to the information and it looked to be smooth sailing.  My plan was to crack open a Double Simcoe on Thursday Night and have the review up by Friday at the very latest.

Of course, that was not to be.  At 1:45 PM on the 17th the package apparently "Arrived at FedEx Location" in Northbrook, IL.  Then, a mere 13 minutes later at 1:58 PM, the shipment travel history claims that I, the recipient, could not be located.  This is weird for three reasons: 1). FedEx just delivered a different package to me about two weeks prior, so I know they know how to find me 2).  I was home all day that day, specifically so that I could be there when it arrived and 3).  It actually takes 23 minutes, according to Google, to get from Northbrook to my house - so they could not have possibly been trying very hard.

Regardless of how hard they may or may not have tried to deliver to me, though, they chose to send it about 8 minutes farther away from me to Wheeling, IL, where it sat for a few more hours before being shipped PAST MY HOUSE to Chicago.

I was unaware of all this at the time, but when I saw all the commotion on the travel log the following afternoon I picked up the phone and called FedEx.  I asked why I was unable to be located, but the friendly customer service representative could not give me an answer.  I then asked when I could expect it and she said by the 23rd.  "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" I said "I live under an hour away, why is it going to take five more days to get here?"

"Well sir," she replied "We still have to ship it across country to San Francisco, if you aren't paying for overnight service we cannot get it to you any faster."

Of course that response sparked three minutes of conversation that was very confusing for both of us until we eventually realized that the problem was that someone along the line had changed the address from my Illinois address to a San Francisco, California one with a new street address, zip code and everything.

Now, it is worth noting here that I did once live in San Francisco, but the SF address FedEx had was not even close to my old address.  The only thing I could think of was that maybe I let an old habit creep up on me when I sent my shipping info to my beer trading partner - did I actually write my address with San Francisco in it somehow?  Turns out, no.  No I did not.  I checked my sent email and then further realized that the whole time, FedEx's shipment tracker was still showing a final destination of Illinois.  This was clearly their screw up.

Anyhow, the woman on the phone assured me that she would contact the Chicago location and make sure that the address was corrected before it was scheduled to leave again the following day, which was Saturday.  She also told me I could probably expect it the next day, or at worst, on Monday. 

So, despite the fact that the new estimated drop-off date was still showing February 23 about six hours after that phone call, I was content and guessed that it would arrive soon.

I was wrong.

Saturday, no package.

Sunday, of course they're closed, still no package.

Monday, no package and a suspicious lack of updating on the shipment travel history.

I picked up the phone again that afternoon and this time another very friendly customer service representative picked up the phone, only this time it took me four minutes to get through the obnoxious auto-response crap.  I explained the situation to her and she informed me that the warehouse is closed on Sunday and Monday, so nothing had left since Saturday, but she assured me that my package was slated to ship out to San Francisco first thing Tuesday morning.

And that is when my blood began to boil.  It was beginning to seem like no one at FedEx actually talked to each other, ever.  I'm fairly certain now that their communication system simply entails people writing things on post-it notes, throwing them out the window and hoping for the best.  The wind might blow it to the correct person, you never know.

So, for a second time, I explained that I live in ILLINOIS, not California.  And for a second time I was promised the package would not ship to California, but that they would make sure it got to me in Chicago.  When I asked if I could just come pick it up they told me no, but they offered to call me the next day to let me know what the status was.

Sure enough, Tuesday morning, they called back to inform me that everything was back on track, my package was certain to arrive in San Francisco, as promised, by Wednesday!

Are you kidding me !?!  Thanks a lot ass holes!

Seriously, I was outraged at this point, I mean, what could they have possibly been doing when I called earlier?  Was I not clear?  Who knows?

At this stage in the game it was much more difficult for me to be polite on the phone, but I did my best and despite my assertive and probably overly aggressive tone the woman promised me that she would have the package turned around before it arrived in San Francisco and she would make sure it was shipped overnight to me by Thursday.  

Wednesday morning when I woke up, however, I saw that the shipment travel history was now showing that the package had arrived in South San Francisco - 15 minutes south of San Francisco.  So it wasn't exactly stopped and turned around on a dime.  Furthermore, I wasn't feeling very confident that any of the post-it notes aimlessly floating around the country had actually ended up in the appropriate hands, so I planned to call that afternoon to figure out what I could do, short of driving to San Francisco myself to pick it up.  To my surprise, however, I received a phone call while I was in class and the message said that the package had, indeed arrived locally and it would be at my door by noon on Thursday.

So, here we are, it is 1:47 PM on Thursday and there is no package here.  The package, as I found out a little less than an hour ago, is still in San Francisco.  


One customer service rep hung up on me today after getting too confused by my lineup of tough questions like "Where is my package?" and "When will it get here?", I had another one tell me that I had no right to be upset with them and finally I spoke directly to the guy who left me the message yesterday.  What was his excuse?  Well, he never said where it arrived locally in his message for me, he just told me that it had arrived locally, which could have been anywhere.  He further explained that he was a little confused yesterday because he was certain that my package was bound for San Francisco.  Eventually he explained to me that the package now has the correct address on it, is headed to Illinois and will be in my possession by 3:00 PM tomorrow afternoon.  Anyone want to bet?

I was also given a new tracking number this afternoon, which I am about to plug in and see what happens...

...Well, that's kind of hilarious, an issue I had nearly forgotten about popped up with the new tracking number.  Before the beer arrived in the Chicago area last week the package supposedly weighed 29 pounds.  After it left it was showing only 20 lbs.  Now, it is not showing where it is, but it is showing that shipping information has been sent to FedEx and that the package now weighs 30 lbs.  So, again, who knows?

Oddly, my prediction here is that it will actually arrive tomorrow afternoon, but I think there's a 20% or so chance that it is simply not my package.  Anyway, I would love to hear your predictions as well in the comments section and I will be certain to follow up with an update tomorrow afternoon.

Cheers!  And if you enjoyed the site, follow me on Twitter for the latest 20 Beers in 20 Nights updates.  Hopefully, sometime very soon, I will finally be able to review the Weyerbacher's Double Simcoe IPA.


  1. wow what a nightmare. It makes me wonder how a company can have incompetent assholes represent them. Is it required by law to hire a certain percentage of the mentally disabled?

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