Sunday, January 09, 2005

Fed Ex Receipt? Sorry, No!

So my new G5 iMac arrives -- only it has a thin pink stripe down the center of the screen. Tech support is very helpful, we run a few tests. They eventually declare it DOA -- and email me a shipping tag.

I print out the label at work, and then I carefully pack the Mac back up, and take it over to FedExKinkos to ship it back to Cupertino -- the guys there were also very helpful -- we seal it up, attach the shipping label, and off we go.

So far, a bad situation -- a brand new dead PC -- is moving along bette rthan expected. Minor headaches, but all parties involed get props for being so helpful.

I ask for a receipt, and -- here's where things get odd -- they don't do that.

No receipt? Um, excuse me? I am handing you over $1,800 worth of hardware -- admittedly DOA hardware -- but its still 2 grand worth of computer that I am responsible for. The guy at Kinko'sFedEx sez:

"Sorry, we can't give you a receipt, unless you pay for the shipping - - and Apple paid for it. Keep a copy of your print out of the label as a receipt. Or you can wait for the driver to arrive, and watch him scan it into the shipment."

This is a very seriously flawed process; If FedEx loses it, then I have no proof that I entrusted it to them; Or an unscrupulous person can pretend to have shipped a DOA PC (which is really fine), and blame the receiptless FedEx, keeping the merch. Either way, its not good for either party.

I'm not about to wait 2 hours for a driver; Nor am I going to place $2,000 worth of hardware I am responsible for into the hands of a stranger. 

Fancy a game of "shipper's roulette?" No thank you.

But I have an idea. Do it yourself reciept:  Snap a shot of the boxed Mac in Kinkos on the LG phone, email myself the photo -- Voila! Instant reciept!

iMac G5 at the Glen Cove Road Kinkos Fed Ex in Greenvale NY
Saturday, January 8 2005, 4:54 pm.

Even better, my car's GPS places me in the Kinko's parking lot. I don't know how long e911 keeps records, but it should show my location of where the emailed photo was made from as that Kinkos.

So now I feel I have covered my own ass -- but is this really necessary?

Hey Fed Ex! How about a reciept next time . . . ? 

UPDATE:  January 10, 2005 9:42 am

I call FedEx support, to verify if perhaps the employee made a mistake in not handing me a reciept. The support person tells me that this is indeed the practice with prepaid shipping stickers on packages dropped off at FedEx Kinkos in NY. I cannot recall which of these variables might change elsewhere, but there you have it.

Oh, the kicker? She tells me I cannot track the package until afte rit gets scanned by a driver at 5pm today -- thats 48 hours after it was dropped off at Kinkos. 48 Hours to get lost, dropped stolen or broken -- and I still have no proof thjat the machine is in their care.

UPDATE:  January 10, 2005 10:24 pm

Huzzah! I have a FedEx tracking number --   361876310241727
It shows the Ship date as  Jan 10, 2005  (thats wrong -- it was dropped off on 1/8/05)

The package appears to have been picked up at  6:11 PM  on Jan 10, 2005
8:09 PM Arrived at FedEx location  BETHPAGE, NY 

Estimated delivery  Jan 17, 2005, to ELK GROVE, CA
Service type :  Ground Return Online Label -
Weight   29.2 lbs.

While I appreicate being able to track this now, its besides the point.

For a pretty regarded company, Fed Ex needs to improve some of its systems . . .


Posted at 06:55 AM in Design, Shopping, Web/Tech | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 9, 2005 9:02:45 AM


Good grief! That's a pretty weak policy. I'm definitely linking to that!



Posted by: Rob | Jan 9, 2005 6:00:45 PM

Greetings Barry –

A few quick observations.
Fed Ex doesn’t give receipts in New York and Florida.

I agree that its creepy not to get a receipt, but I use them several times a week, and never had a problem with a package not receiving an input scan.

If it ever came down to it, they have security cameras that record the entire transaction.

Further the fact that they don’t give receipts as a matter of policy could certainly be used against them,

For what its worth: Your picture doesn’t show that they accepted the package, just that it was there (but certainly bolsters your argument), and forget about the E911, you’d never get those records.

Posted by: Jodd | Jan 9, 2005 6:02:13 PM

In the past on those occasions when I have had to send something back to Apple they have ALWAYS provided me with the shipping tag, which included a tear-off receipt. They have also always sent someone (usually Airborne/DHL) to my home to pick-up the item.

Your experience seems odd.


Posted by: Richard | Jan 9, 2005 6:02:58 PM

there's only one problem with your receipt: you can't tell what's in the box ... a busted iMac, or fourteen two-pound bricks.

folks who ship regularly and get a pickup from the carrier present a manifest to the driver which seems to become, effectively, a receipt. one-time shippers (especially those with prepaid packages) are pretty much hosed. you get a prepaid label which usually has a part which shows the tracking number that you keep, but i'd hardly call that a receipt.

Posted by: Henry | Jan 9, 2005 6:03:35 PM

My apologies to those of you who couldn't get comments to post -- they seem to be working now (I posted some words from emailers)

Posted by: Barry Ritholtz | Jan 9, 2005 6:04:45 PM

Well, the reason they can't provide a receipt to you is because that would be disclosing private financial/billing information to an unauthorized party. Your transaction was processed between you and Apple, not you and Fedex, and as such, Apple may have different, private rates/billing specifications between themselves and Fedex that they wish to keep to themselves; additionally, billing information is sometimes used to verify certain information on a Fedex account, and it would therefore be unwise to disclose such information to any unauthorized individuals. Billing information and all related documentation is supposed to go to the original billed party (billed by Fedex).

Posted by: Anon | May 20, 2007 4:01:37 PM

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