We’ve all seen videos featuring delivery drivers showing off their athleticism, chucking, tossing, throwing, and otherwise unceremoniously dumping items. This tends to annoy both the recipient and the sender, who sometimes has to replace damaged items. It would seem to make sense for FedEx to have a “don’t throw packages” policy, but what if you need the driver to give your parcel that extra push?
In an example that just goes to show that a viral video captured by a neighbor or a surveillance camera might not always tell the whole story, Consumerist reader Jim says he’s regularly asked delivery companies to throw certain packages over a six-foot security gate and onto his private pathway for 16 years, and never had a problem with that request.
So recently, he was stumped and annoyed to find that a FedEx delivery person had left a note on the gate indicating a failed delivery. He says he called FedEx to ask why the package wasn’t tossed as requested.
“I vent to the customer service representative that I am flabbergasted that instead of tossing the 6-pound package over the gate, the driver felt the most efficient use of his time was to handwrite out a door tag, and then place the burden on me to either fetch the package myself or be available tomorrow up to 8 p.m. to take delivery of a blanket from Amazon.”
(We must say, this must be the first time we’ve heard from someone who is upset that a delivery driver had failed to throw their package.)
Jim says the rep acknowledged that there was no signature required for delivery, and took down his instructions for the next day’s delivery driver to throw the package.
Soon after, he says someone else from FedEx called him back to apologize, telling him that his package couldn’t be thrown over the gate as he wished, because “it will go viral and that will not be good for FedEx,” Jim recalls.
According to Jim, the woman explained that this is a recent corporate decision, one that drivers are aware of but customer service reps are not. She made arrangements for him to collect the package the next day, but Jim says he will try to avoid FedEx from now on.
We had a few questions for FedEx: Does the company have a policy — either new or existing — against throwing packages even if a customer requests it? And if so, is such a rule specifically intended to ward off bad publicity from viral videos?
A company spokeswoman declined to address the question of airborne packages and viral videos, telling Consumerist in a statement simply that FedEx “is committed to the safe and secure delivery of all shipments.”
“For customers who require customized delivery, FedEx Delivery Manager offers a portfolio of convenient options that includes having a neighbor sign for the package to having packages held for pick up at secure FedEx locations,” the emailed statement reads. “We encourage customers to find the delivery option that best suits their needs at fedex.com.”
But if that need involves feats of athleticism, you just might be out of luck: Though the site for FedEx Delivery Manager says “Special requests are our specialty,” it’s unclear whether throwing packages is a special request that will be granted.
We asked the FedEx spokeswoman if throwing a package over a gate or fence is among those options, but have not yet received a response.
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