Ask the Right People

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.

me:  Impossible?

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…

me: Perfect.

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.

One thought on “Ask the Right People

  1. I bet it’s not FedEx that didn’t want to redirect it; I bet it was that particular Customer “Service” person. She would probably have had to switch to that one app that always confuses her.


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