Well, the time has come. I had to cave in and add a "flowers" category to my blog. I know I thought I wouldn't. My OCD standards for a blog category require that there be a minimum of five relevant posts before the category can be created. And now--unfortunately--I have reached that minimum with the flowers.
As we all know, my birthday was on Sunday. So Torsten tried to send me flowers, purple ones, to arrive at my office on Monday morning. Yes, he paid extra for guaranteed morning delivery.
I hardly even need to write the rest of this post, right? You all know how it ends, don't you? But I'm going to continue anyway.
First of all, let it be noted that the company from whom he ordered the flowers was a new one, Proflowers, and decidedly not the Company That Shall Not Be Named Lest They Find This Post and Send Me Yet Another Ridiculous Apology Bouquet. And let it also be noted that Proflowers is not at fault here. In fact, they were great. Better than the other two flower companies we have dealt with recently.
Anyway, Torsten ordered beautiful purple flowers, only to discover that they were to be delivered FedEx, which, to be fair, was not made clear on the website when he ordered. So, fine, we can deal with FedEx. But FedEx claimed they attempted to deliver the package at nine yesterday morning and couldn't because the elevator was broken. Except that it wasn't. I called and they were very sorry. They'd try to deliver again. The courier came back. Again, he said the elevator was broken. I called FedEx back. Again, they were very sorry. But there wasn't anything they could do.
I called my office building's package room and asked if the elevator was broken. I was told that it was not, and that even if it were, there were about nine other ways for delivery people to get into the building. Furthermore, I was told, FedEx had already showed up that morning and delivered a bunch of packages. Mine, of course, was not among them.
I called FedEx back. They were very sorry. They called the local facility, told them that the elevator wasn't broken, and requested that the package be sent out that afternoon. It wasn't. Of course it wasn't. So I called FedEx back. You might be noticing a pattern here, but they were very sorry.
But the thing that really pissed me off? They didn't offer a solution. They didn't say the driver could call me from down at the bottom of the supposedly broken elevator so I could come down and meet him. In fact, their drivers don't have phones. They couldn't guarantee that the package would be delivered. If I wanted to be sure I would get the package, I'd have to conjure up a car and drive way out to the middle of nowhere to their warehouse and pick it up myself. Which, I informed them, was not exactly how I intended to spend my birthday night.
Okay, I fudged the date a little. But they were my damn birthday flowers and no way in hell was I going to use good Zipcar money and hours of my time going to pick them up. And this was where it got frustrating. They just did not have a solution. They had no response. They understood that I could not come pick up the package myself, and--again!--they were very sorry. But they could not guarantee that my package would arrive. And they had no alternative proposal for how to get it to me.
It's amazing, isn't it? I work in a normal office building in downtown DC and the premiere worldwide delivery company, the one that people trust with irreplaceable, confidential, time-sensitive documents, can't even get me a simple package of flowers? After four phone calls? And they don't seem to care? I wonder how many private landfills they have filled with people's packages that just never got delivered because of some inane technical snafu.
And what really gets me is that this is ALL they do. They have a single service that they provide, and they can't even do that correctly. This is not the first time they have messed things up for me. My passport (not to mention my birth certificate and other important papers) sat in their warehouse for a month and nobody knew where it was--and when I finally found out about the situation, they tried to CHARGE ME MONEY to fix it.
And they once inexplicably delivered a package of mine to a building down the street--and the amazing thing was that once I figured out how it happened, and I figured it out myself without any help from them, they still REFUSED TO HELP. They claimed they would go back, pick it up from the wrong place, and deliver it to me. BUT THEY DIDN'T. And they didn't bother to tell me they weren't going to, either. Instead, I had to find the other place and pick the package up from them myself.
It is just mind-boggling to me that FedEx gets away with this kind of behavior given the nature of a lot of the items that they are charged with delivering safely. If anyone is interested in some sort of class-action lawsuit, or at least an expedition to find the Graveyard of Lost FedEx Packages, let me know and we'll see if we can build a coalition.
Anyway, luckily Proflowers was a lot more accommodating than FedEx was. Not only did they issue a full refund, but they also ordered a replacement bouquet to be sent. Plus the original bouquet, if it hasn't died from overheating in the FedEx warehouse overnight, is still theoretically scheduled to show up. Of course, nothing has arrived yet. But still. A replacement AND a refund? THAT is good service. FedEx should take a cue from them.
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