I found a door tag from FedEx tonight, and gave the 800 number a call.
me: Hi, I found a door tag saying there’s a package for me. Can I come to a service center to pick it up?
800 FedEx dude: You want to schedule a pick up?
me: I want to pick up my package.
800 FedEx dude: oh, I thought you said you wanted to schedule a pick up. Because you said pick up.
me: No, I want to come get it.
800 FedEx dude: Oh. Ok, can you give me the door tag number…
(tag number, info….)
800 FedEx dude: Ok, you should be able to just show your ID and pick it up. Is 1200 6th Avenue closer? or….
me: Closer than what?
800 FedEx dude: Well you could also do 15th Avenue South…
me: I think 6th Avenue is ok.
800 FedEx dude: Ok, just show your ID when you pick it up tomorrow, after 11pm.
So I go to google maps and… 1200 6th Avenue is actually a horrible place to pick up a package; no parking. So I call back.
me: Hi, here’s my package number…. I agreed to pick up my package at 1200 6th Avenue, but I realize now that’s not a good place. Can I pick it up at a better location?
800 FedEx lady: Sir, you asked to pick up your package at 1200 6th Avenue, and now you’d like to change locations?
me: Yes, that’s correct. I just called a minute ago.
800 FedEx lady: Could you hold please? …..
After a few minutes….
800 FedEx lady: Sir, unfortunately once we’ve redirected a package it cannot be directed. I’m sorry about that.
me: Oh… that’s disappointing. I had just called a few minutes ago, I was hoping I could pick it up at a more convenient location.
800 FedEx lady: Yes, it’s actually impossible to change a location once it’s been redirected. I’m sorry.
800 FedEx lady: Yes sir, I’m sorry.
Ok. So Friday afternoon after school, I will drive into downtown Seattle, pay $10 for parking a couple blocks away, and schlep it back to my car… because it’s impossible for them to redirect my package to a different location. FedEx, the company that delivers packages. Can’t move my package.
I call bullshit. Come on, I lived in China…. what would a hard-ass Shanghainese person do? I called the branch at 1200 6th Avenue.
Local FedEx lady: Hi what can I do for you?
me: I arranged to pick up a package at your location… do you have parking?
Local FedEx lady: (chuckling) No we don’t.
me: Is there a way I can pick it up at a different location? The 800 FedEx lady said it was “impossible.”
Local FedEx lady: Oh, I see, they don’t want to send it around.
me: Can you help me?
Local FedEx lady: I can’t help you, but if you call the 800 number back, ask for a Customer Advocate Technician. Call them back and ask to talk to a CAT. When you get to the menu, say “operator” and “operator” and then ask or a CAT. Or a Customer Advocate. Tell them you want to pick it up at 700 East Broadway, they have a parking garage. You can wheel your package to your car on a dolly.
Soooo, I call the 800 number again, ask for a CAT. The operator asked for my name, and to my delight, I didn’t have to spell my last name… I actually started to spell it, and the operator interrupted me saying “Thank you Mr. Villanueva, I’ll put you through to a customer advocate now.” And she pronounced it beautifully.
CAT: How can I help you, Mr. Villanueva?
me: Well, I asked to pick up a package at 1600 6th Ave, but I realized immediate that it was a horrible location. Can I pick it up at a more convenient location?
CAT: Of course. Do you have a location in mind?
me: Is there a location on East Broadway…
CAT: … yes sir, we have a location at 700 Broadway Avenue East…
CAT: Ok, Mr. Villanueva we will send you an email when that is ready for you to pick up.
And that’s the end of the story. I’m sure FedEx has a reason for not wanting to bounce a package around too many places, but “impossible” was quite an overstatement… You just have to ask the right people.
Oh by the way, I hope “impossible” lady loses a button. There’s no reason to waste everybody’s time like that.