FedEx, why won’t you deliver my wine samples?


Stop, stop.. you’ve got my wine….

FedEx has perfected the non-delivery delivery – and just in time for the holidays

Dec. 2 update: Apparently, I’m not the only one this happens to.

There was a muffled knock at the front door during dinner on Monday night. I got up from the table, shouted, “Hold on, I’m coming,” and quickly walked to the front door. It couldn’t have taken longer than eight seconds.

But when I got to the door, nothing – no driver on the porch, no truck on the street. There was, however, a sticker on the door, saying I had missed the delivery. In other words, I had suffered another FedEx non-delivery delivery.

I write this post because I don’t know what else to do. I’ve called numerous times and complained, and nothing changes. The non-delivery delivery is not common, but it happens often enough that I made a sign for the front door. It says I’m home and implores the driver to wait. (Would that I had it up Monday night.) A $70 bottle spoiled in October from riding in a hot truck when I got non-delivery deliveries a couple of days in a row.

You’re probably asking: How can this happen? Isn’t it FedEx’s job to deliver packages? My answer: Apparently not. The company probably sees its mandate, using the cooperate speak so popular these days, as “partnering to provide supply chain logistical support.”

Say it with metrics

In this, it likely measures success with metrics: How quickly does the driver complete the route? How long does it take the driver to make each delivery? How many many deliveries can the driver make each day?

Which of course, says nothing about delivering packages. Or, as the wine publicist who sent me the $70 bottle wrote after she checked on what happened at her end: “The very conscientious gentleman we work with at our warehouse said that while he shared our grief, he also said that FedEx couldn’t give a horse’s patootie when it comes to ground deliveries.”

Wine complicates the situation, since it requires an adult signature. The driver just can’t leave the package and zip back to the truck, but has to wait for someone to come to the door to sign the handheld. That means the driver takes longer to make the delivery and longer to complete the route than the metrics demand. And from what I know about metrics, no employee wants to get caught in metric hell. So the driver does a non-delivery delivery.

The irony here is that FedEx’s CEO threw a fit after a recent New York Times story that said the company finagled Congress so it wouldn’t have to pay any federal income tax. The CEO was so angry that he practically challenged the Times publisher to a duel. I’m not one for pistols at dawn, what with my eyesight. But I do challenge someone at FedEx to explain to me why I had to drive to a Walgreen’s on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to pick up a package that someone paid FedEx to deliver to my house.

One final note: I lost my temper when I called customer service and cursed, which was inexcusable. The customer service rep didn’t deserve that, and it does nothing to resolve the problem. I hope he accepts my apology.

8 thoughts on “FedEx, why won’t you deliver my wine samples?

  • By Don - Reply

    Every time I pick up a FedEx wine delivery at my local Walgreens, I thank the clerk effusively for providing the pickup service. Last time, the shipping winery didn’t give me the tracking number & FedEx didn’t notify me of the delivery, but Walgreens had held onto the case for a couple of days past the 5-day pickup window. Now I always ask how the wine is being shipped & use the address of a local pickup center.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      On the one hand, I am glad I am not the only one who has this problem. On the other hand, it is incredibly depressing that I am not the only one who has this problem.

  • By Walter Blood - Reply

    I started using a FedEx Office store for my wine delivery point about 5-6 years ago after missing home deliveries. It’s only 3 minutes away. They know me so well they go to extra lengths to take care of me. No more missed deliveries.

  • By Cody Reynolds - Reply

    This has happened many times. Even my roommate has been home, I got a text from UPS saying delivery not completed, no one home. I called, he said no one even rang the bell. Last time with FedEx, winery shipped me wine without a notice so I could change the location or date, while on the road for 10 days. A FedEx pickup spot only will hold for 5 days, and I was there on day 5, they were going to return to sender on the 5th, but I beat the driver. Frustrating.

  • By Paul - Reply

    The only workable way to get alcohol deliveries via the package services is to have them shipped to a store and held or delivered to a commercial address with a receptionist who signs for everything. The alternative is always what the WC describes otherwise.

  • By Laura - Reply

    I used to live in Fairfax Co, VA. I’d stay home & wait for wine deliveries, but I’d swear they’d wait to deliver until I went into the bathroom. And then my wine would travel around for the rest of the day on the truck. I tried UPS MyChoice where you’re supposed to be able to choose a delivery time slot. The UPS driver just laughed at me when I told him that, saying that UPS has no idea when he’s going to deliver a package. I started having it held at UPS facility where at least it was in constant temperature. My couple of shipments via FedEx were even worse. Again, if I knew when the shipment was coming I’d have it held for pickup. Now I’m retired and live out in the boondocks and haven’t tried having wine shipped yet. Depending on who’s driving that day, both UPS and FedEx deliveries are mixed. Sometimes I hear the truck in the driveway, other times they park on the road and run down the drive. I may not know I have a delivery until later when I step out the door.

  • By Scott Townsend - Reply

    When Fed Ex and UPS merge they will be know affectionately as FED UP. Fed Ex and On Trac/Amazon just do drive by’s to my mailbox (which is situated on a major state road) instead of delivering to my front porch. Rich from UPS is great. I will purchase a product from a different vendor when I find they ship Fed EX. Golden State isn’t any better. I have a winemaker friend that says his shipments either don’t show up or ar broken upon arrival. Trying to navigate that can of worms to get reimbursment has become a thesis on futility.
    A job worth doing is a job worth doing well.

  • By William - Reply

    Trust me, UPS, nationally at least, is far worse. They consider a 1% package breakage rate acceptable, and refuse 95% of claims.

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