So I’ve been following my packages using Fedex’s online tracking. Very nice system, which told me quite clearly that the package had arrived in town… had been put on a truck… which was unable to find the address… so it took the package back to the airport. Very nice.
I called the Fedex help line tonight to clarify things. I guess not including “c/o A Huge High School Right at the Address I Gave You” confused the driver, who was expecting a residence. OK, well can you just add the line about the high school in there?
No. Apple has a special contract with Fedex that does not allow Fedex to accept delivery address changes from anybody but Apple. So I have to call Apple, who will then call Fedex, who will then notice that there’s a school, with people who order packages inside, at the address I gave them in the first place.
The Fedex support lady had an idea. “You could go down to the station and pick it up, if you want.”
“Let me get this straight,” I said.
“I can go to the airport,” (where the station is), “show my ID, and get the package?”
“Yes,” she said.
“But I can’t tell you, the delivery people, where to deliver the package, where you will also check my ID?”
“So as a package delivering company, you will do the ID checking part, but not the delivering part?”
More silence. The sound of frantic keyboard clicking.
“I mean,” I said calmly, “doesn’t that seem odd to you? That a customer would have to come to you to do the exact same thing that you would do if you went to them? Which is what you do? Delivering stuff? Doesn’t that seem… I dunno… a bit crazy?”
“Can I put you through to the Canadian support team?” she said.
In the end, the Canadian person apologized, and reiterated that while she understood my disbelief, they had a unique agreement with Apple for changing the delivery addresses, probably to prevent fraud and theft. What I really learned here is that to Fedex, Apple was the customer, not me. I was just inconvenient. And sarcastic, to boot.
Adding insult to injury, when I called Apple support to change the address, I waded through three layers of automated menus, only to be told that they were closed, and I should call back during regular business hours. Surely Apple can come up with a phone system smart enough to know you’re calling after hours, and tell you that on the first layer! Aargh.
And not a happy pirate arrgh, either.
About the author: Joshua Sarkis Prowse is a teacher, writer, geek, music and sports enthusiast, and zealot for clear communication in all forms. This is where he rants about writing and editing. You can read other stuff at joshprowse.com.