Is FedEx reliable in your area?

I was really disappointed to see Soylent had chosen FedEx as their shipping partner since my personal experience with them has been awful. My girlfriend and I have had five “lost” packages in the last year alone, four of which magically ended up back at the original shipper as “undeliverable” with FedEx repeatedly apologizing and saying they had no idea how that could’ve happened.

Currently, I am trying to track down a package (780001410439) that was supposed to be delivered Saturday and is now showing a delivery date of “not applicable”. The local FedEx facility has assured me they’ll look into it and call me back. We’ll see how that goes.

I figure I must me an anomaly, right? FedEx wouldn’t still be in business if everyone had these issues so has anyone else had ongoing problems with FedEx?

Full Disclosure: Our UPS man is very friendly and a FedEx truck killed my dog when I was twelve.

Edit: I just got a call back from the carrier facility. They have failed to locate the package.

Actual quote from FedEx:
“I just hope it’s on the truck.”

Yeah… me too.

Double Edit: After visiting the facility twice, they found it! Picked it up at 7pm last night!

well, that escalated quickly!

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I live in a large apartment complex and have noticed that FedEx usually won’t leave a delivery attempt notice, they just automatically give packages to the leasing office. The only reason I knew to go to the leasing office to pick up the package is that I had been tracking it online and the status showed “delivered.” I work from home sometimes and still will see that a package shows as “delivered” when I know that they didn’t even come to my door to see if I was home. I guess their assumption is that people are going to be at work no matter what.

UPS, though, seems pretty consistent in first trying to deliver the package directly to my apartment, if I’m not home, they leave a note saying that they’ve left it with the leasing office.

Yes! I find FedEx to be TERRIBLY unreliable here in southwest Ohio. Typically when I have something shipped to work, it’s ok. But having something shipped to my house via FedEx is an utter nightmare scenario. I just assume it’s not going to get there.

Recently purchased something on Fleabay that the seller would only ship to confirmed address. Lot of good that did him, the FedEx left it on a porch up the street. Customer service told me “I understand you’re reluctant to go up on someone else’s porch and retrieve your package.” Meanwhile I had no proof just suspicion, because the second two letters of their address was the same as mine and the first, mine is 10xx, his is 11xx, and I went by minutes after delivery notification on my phone and I see a package there while nothing on my porch. That package was never retrieved even though marked delivered and the seller lost his money!

That’s just one of a WHOLE lot of screw ups over the years with FedEx.

UPS on the other hand, while they’ve had there moments, are leaps and bounds more reliable and reputable in my opinion. I also have no trouble with USPS, although a lot of people seem to hate them. UPS seems to be mostly the standard around here, I know in other parts of the country, FedEx is considered the standard.

I have had horrible luck with UPS and the best luck with Fedex. Im in KC so perhaps location makes a difference. Hey, look at the bright side. At least it isnt DHL.

UPDATE: I just got a call back from the carrier facility. They have failed to locate the package.

Actual quote from FedEx:
“I just hope it’s on the truck.”

Yeah… me too.

So I guess the real question is this: has anyone else had this kind of lopsided service in the opposite direction? Are there any other instances where FedEx always gets it right and UPS is the one looking incompetent every singe time?

EDIT: ninjad by jahhluv

I have great experiences with FedEx and some poor experiences with UPS. I think it depends how far away you are from their local distribution center and how good the local employees and management are.

I suspect distance may play a role in lead time, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the second point. Since it is a nationwide company though, local competence is often heavily influenced by corporate standards and practices, so I’m interested in people outside my little corner of the globe.

The two companies I can think of off the top of my head that have built a reputation on quick & reliable shipping (Amazon and Zappos) both favor UPS. Obviously that’s a tiny sample size, and other things such as price likely weigh heavily in their decisions, but I think it’s worth noting.

Many years ago (over 10, don’t remember exactly) I did customer service and tech support for a company called 2Wire. They alternately used FedEx and UPS about 50/50 for shipping their product nationwide (to this day I don’t know why they didn’t just pick one). Based on my personal experience of dealing with hundreds of customers with lost/damaged packages, the (un)reliability of both carriers seemed to be about equal. Obviously, things may have changed significantly since then. Just my 2 cents.


I’ve had about equal (good) luck with both UPS and FedEx. FedEx tracking seems to be worse than UPS.
People have had horror stories with local couriers (OnTrac) but I’ve been very happy with them. (Most of my Amazon Prime packages come from OnTrac.)

I have that experience here. Apparently the UPS routing system considers my house to be in a different “region” than the rest of my zip code, so packages often end up on the wrong truck, and it’s just the individual truck drivers noticing and correcting the error, going out of their way to deliver to my house. They’ve actually told me as much and I consistently thank them for going the extra mile. But I’ve lost a half-dozen or so deliveries in the 20 years I’ve lived here.

On the other hand, FedEx has lost two Ebay deliveries for me over the years, but for the most part are pretty good.

USPS has been the most reliable for me.

wait what??? lol…

I live in a very rural area and UPS delivers to my house up to twice a week. Fedex doesn’t deliver to me, instead they send a letter via USPS saying I have a package to pickup in a city that’s 1 hr away. I’ve never had bad luck with them, other than spending 2 hours to go pickup a package. :stuck_out_tongue:

It know it sounds silly, but I’d second this. I think USPS gets a bad rap because of its government association and the fact that people blame them for things getting “lost in the mail” (usually never actually sent or mistaken for junk mail and thrown away), but I haven’t had any issue with packages arriving when sent via USPS. They may not be the fastest option (which is why I favor UPS), but I’m always confident that they’ll actually finish the job, which is something I can’t say for FedEx.

Yeah, USPS is solid for me as well. Whenever I ship or receive a package via Priority mail… No problems ever. Inexpensive and fast. When people complain about USPS I’m left confused about what their gripe is.

Just for starters I ordered a large terrarium. It was late and it was broken. So I had to get a hold of the terrarium company and try it again. The second terrarium was late and again it was broke all to sheet. The company that had the only terrarium I could afford told me that it was clear USPS was incapable of delivering my item without damaging it and that they would have to refund my money and would not try to ship another terrarium.

That’s interesting- were you able to get it shipped via FedEx or UPS? In my experience, all packages tend to get handled roughly, so I put the blame for broken shipments on the shipper for not packaging properly.

I can definitely imagine it being near impossible to pack something like a terrarium in a way that gave it a reasonable chance. I got two glasses from UPS last week that had a couple of inches of bubble wrap each in addition to the inch or so lining the box. Scale that up to terrarium size and you’re going to need a dedicated truck for it.

They said they had never had that problem before. And I tend to believe them since they sent me a second terrarium on nothing but my word, no hassle whatsoever. Me telling them what happened and they sent the next email that same day saying the new terrarium was on its way. I also had my almost twice the size aquarium shipped via fedex and it came completely in tact. The only damage was to a plastic covering that went over the bio wheel. And considering there was no dent to the box containing the filter I would put that blame on the store or the manufacturer of the filter.

Update: “We can’t find it in our warehouse or any of our trucks, but I can’t imagine how we could’ve lost a 41 pound box.” Déjà vu…

Most of the FedEx drivers you meet do not work for FedEx. All of the ground operations are independent contractors, so the driver coming to your home owns his own truck, or works for a guy that does, but not for FedEx. The FedEx Express service employs drivers directly, but most home deliveries will be FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery.

They do not treat their contractors well at all, imposing restrictions that blatantly cross the contractor/employee threshold in the name of better service, which causes morale issues, etc, and ultimately has an opposite effect than what is desired. This is no excuse for poor service though.

I expect you are having issues due to poor management at the terminal. Ask to speak with the contractor that delivers to you and you may get better service. Customer complaints hit them hard and can cost them their route, which is devastating to a small business man. Most of them have a very small profit margin and can’t afford the loss of a route, especially if it’s their only route, which may be the case. They can’t help much though if the box was lost before getting to their truck, but may still be helpful if it’s in the terminal.