Fed Ex Not Ready for Christmas

Tracking Can’t Keep Track, Operators Won’t Chat

It’s now become a Christmas tradition: Fed Ex’s tracking system tells consumers fairy tales about December delivery dates when Fed Ex’s delivery system fails. Just a couple of years ago, a few days before Christmas, Fed Ex system capacity could not keep up with delivery promises Fed Ex promised to consumers. This year the system is misleading consumers earlier. Better watch out, better not pout if Fed Ex does not deliver.

Then and now the cause is neither weather related nor technological. It is management failure to build enough surge capacity. According to the one honest Fed Ex manager who spoke to me Thursday night about my undelivered computer due Thursday, the whole system is, she said, “tremendously backed up.” “3 to 5 days behind.” “It’s terrible.”

Fed Ex top management is surely aware of this year’s monumental screw-up. And, like the last time, has gone into Dodge the Consumer Mode. All day The Fed Ex Tracking System produced fanciful, not factual, delivery dates. It will be there “late afternoon,” it cooed. Some Fed Ex managers claimed the Tracking System meant “approximately,” a word not used in the system’s vocabulary. Fed Ex also offers consumers a live Chat option for more info. But the Thursday message was that chats are cancelled because there are no operators.

Consumerist Takeaway: If you buy anything from a store that plans to use Fed Ex Ground for delivery, I hope delivery is not important to you or the recipient during the rest of December. And there is no point in using the Fed Ex Tracking System unless you understand the system means “approximate,” as in if not today, tomorrow or whatever whenever.



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